Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Racism Yeah! Sexism Nah!

Something about this campaign season has been striking. With the democrats yielding two "firsts" - the first woman who could have been president or the first not-only-white person to be president - the battle pitch was set. There were plenty of things to talk about but most issues never got center-stage quite as much as personal differences between the candidates.
Here is the bit that was striking and bothered me. Ad hominems against the Clinton camp were never seen as sexist except by a small group of women and were even nationally acceptable and deemed humorous. She is much reviled in the news media and so attacks on her about her cleavage and sexuality and dressing and person and voice and words... were not seen as attacks against womynkind but rather against a deserving, obnoxious target. On the other hand, stood America's first not-all-white contender to the throne. Anytime he was criticized, it was as if all black-Americans were attacked and Americans had to prove their credentials as race-inclusive. (We won't even cover how America's oldest candidate to the office fared.)

How is it that in this day and age an anti-Clinton group called Citizens United Not Timid could exist and its founder not be prosecuted for a hate-crime? What if someone had made an anti-Obama group called Not In God's Green EaRth? What if someone made an anti-McCain group called People Revolt in Collective Knumbers? (Ok, I know I won't make a good living as an acronym designer but you get my drift.) Would we react differently? I think we would react differently. Check out the poster above by the anti-Clinton group. It wants to teach people what Hillary Clinton "is." Check out its flag- if this is not an attack on all women, then what is?

The environment in which this election is taking place us gives us a clue to the zeitgeist. It was entirely acceptable to have a Clinton nutcracker but no doll of Obama was made or will be made. I wish the respect extended to Obama had been extended to Clinton as well. I am not asking for equal opportunity nastiness and tearing down. I don't want Obama or McCain to be attacked and name called but I would like to see some recognition and outrage when Clinton is attacked in a way that is psychically damaging to all women. I would like more people to express an outrage when a woman's campaign to aspire to the president's office is asked to shut itself down over and over again. If America was ready to accept a person across the color divide (at last) then surely, it must have already accepted someone who was representative of at least 50% of the populace in terms of her gender before now. Apparently not. And apparently not now.

Whether Obama was the candidate or not, Clinton would still have gotten treated poorly. We all love to pay respect to god and country. Let's start by paying our respects to mother, sister, wife and daughter.

1 comment:

Radhika said...

Having just posted this blog, as I read it, I am worried. I am worried that I will be accused as a racist person because to illustrate my point, I made the NIGGER acronym. My fear is a symptom of the times for sure, whereas I am sure the person and organization that created the CUNT acronym has no such misgivings.

So strange that I should feel this way but not the person who created the CUNT acronym- since that person was not a woman but I am a non-white person.