31 thoughts on “If You Like This Sort of Thing…

  1. Awesome post.

    It seems to me that the whole approach of various pundits in trying to psychologize, diss, and dismiss people on the basis of how they’re voting in the primaries isn’t terribly unrelated to the approach of the pundits who psychologize, diss, and dismiss fat people on the basis of their size (or skinny men for being skinny, as far as that goes). “You’re just voting for Hilary because you’re a woman, whereas anyone intelligent knows that she’s (fill in insult from list).” “You just think we should leave fatties alone because you’re fat, whereas anyone intelligent knows that fat (fill in insult from list).”

    Gah.

  2. Thanks to you, I’m going to donate. Because fuck it, I’m not ashamed either! (And it’s really messed up that I’ve felt ashamed…)

  3. Perfectly worded, as always.

    I’m another who voted for Hillary, in a state that Obama took by a landslide.

  4. THIS WAS AN AMAZING POST. man, you get me every time!

    this line: “I mean, if my vagina actually had an opinion, I can pretty much guarantee you it would be pro-Obama. My vagina doesn’t care much for Clinton, frankly, but if Obama were single, my vagina might very well take an interest in politics. As it is, my support for Hillary is certainly coming from some other part of my body. And smart money’s on the mushy grey stuff between my ears.”

    so clutch^^ and freakin hilarious! I looooove your writing.

    I am not ashamed either–and now I have a post to point people to when they ask me why. I AM voting for Clinton not only because she is a women, but she is THE woman for the job.

  5. I’ve gotten a whole lot of that, you have a VAGINA, I know who you are voting for!!

    Which basically functions to make me not want to vote at all.

    Which I must FIGHT AGAINST!

    Our primaries aren’t until next week, but I’ll be out voting for my candidate of choice. Whoever wins the primary, I’ll stand behind whoever wins.

    DEMOCRATS in ’08, BABY!

  6. Thanks for posting this. I too voted for Clinton though it seemed like the entire interweb that day was telling me to vote for Obama. Even though I had all the reasons I wanted to vote for her laid out in my head (and they looked much like your reasons), it was hard to shut out that very loud nagging voice that kept chanting, “Obama, Obama.”

  7. I loved that article, even though I am an Obama supporter. Every time I hear a sexist Hilary insult I want to vote for her out of vengence. However, I still prefer Obama.

    but this one definately takes quote of the week:

    “I mean, if my vagina actually had an opinion, I can pretty much guarantee you it would be pro-Obama. My vagina doesn’t care much for Clinton, frankly, but if Obama were single, my vagina might very well take an interest in politics.”

  8. Great Post! Thanks for reminding all of us that we should never be ashamed for voting with our brains, no matter what others think.

  9. Great post! :) I voted for Obama, but I seriously considered Hillary as well, and I’m sick of the vitriol that’s flying back and forth between some of his supporters and some of hers. My anecdata: most of the Democrats I know voted for one but are OK with the other, and will gladly vote for whichever one gets the nomination. I think the crazies are making everybody else look bad. I wish we could save our rage for the general election!

    And the line about your vagina and Obama was priceless. And AE’s reply. *dies*

  10. My anecdata: most of the Democrats I know voted for one but are OK with the other, and will gladly vote for whichever one gets the nomination. I think the crazies are making everybody else look bad. I wish we could save our rage for the general election!

    I KNOW! Totally. I might have to do another post about that (even though others already have).

  11. In case anyone totally missed me yesterday, I was covering a Clinton rally (she was an hour late but I forgive her). There were all these little girls running around in shirts that said “I can be president” which totally choked me up. Anyway, Kate, it was a great post and very well-timed for me. (As I expected, going to the rally made me even more confused about who I wanted to vote for — I’d been leaning towards Obama and I think I still am, but I can’t deny that Clinton’s plans are better thought-out.)

  12. I’m an Obama supporter, but that certainly doesn’t make me anti-Hillary. Funny enough I have always assumed that I would vote for the first viable woman candidate on principle of woman president = awesome.

    Unfortunately my brain is a winner-take-all state

  13. I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I’m older than almost all of you (46), and I started life in a world where women were teachers, nurses, secretaries, or moms. Full stop.

    In 1984, I was 23 and as apolitical as one can be, but I got my ass out there and voted for Walter Mondale for one reason — because Ms. Geraldine Ferraro was his running mate. I have not had a chance to vote for a woman in a presidential race since.

    I guess I don’t see what would be so wrong about voting for Hillary JUST BECAUSE, or precisely because, she’s a woman? Isn’t breaking the barrier for women to be in the White House a huge enough thing, in and of itself? Seems to me it would be perfectly justfiable to say, “I think Hillary is a twat, but I am voting for her because I want there to be a precedent for a woman to be president!” (Hee, I love words.)

    By the same token, (oh my) I think it would be perfectly justifiable to say, “I think Barack is a dick, but I am voting for him because I want there to be a precedent for a member of a racial minority to be president.”

    It’s not voting with your nasty bits. It has to do with wanting to see a HUGE societal shift take place before your very eyes.

    If you ask me, what SUCKS is that we’re having to choose BETWEEN the woman and the black guy in this race.

  14. J. totally agreed that the choice sucks. I hate the fact that every time I say I’m voting for Hillary because I want a woman president, I know some people will interpret that as, “and I don’t really give a rat’s ass about having an African-American president.” When of course the difference in my excitement level about both those potential changes is statistically insignificant; I’m just slightly more stoked about a woman in general and HRC in particular. (If there were a progressive woman of color running? I’d be over the moon.)

    And I think you might be right that this is an age thing. Feminists over 40 with any media profile are nearly all gung-ho about Hillary, while high-profile young feminists are, for the most part, not. There have been many times in recent months when I’ve felt like I must be ANCIENT, because I don’t understand why all these young whippersnappers (you know, like, 3-5 years younger than me) can’t come out and say that yes, a woman president would be a BIG FUCKING DEAL, and it is worth factoring that into your decision.

    It’s given me a much greater appreciation for second-wave feminists who are infuriated by my generation taking so much for granted, I’ll tell you that much.

    And btw, I was only 9 in 1984 — and Mom and Dad were, of course voting for Reagan, so I assumed he was the best candidate (sigh) — but even I can remember the excitement about Ferraro. Both hearing about it and feeling it. At 9. When I was, to say the least, not politically aware, and certainly not conscious of institutional sexism. I did have a concept of right and wrong, fair and not fair, by then, and it didn’t make any fucking sense to me that there had never been a woman on the ticket before. I was totally stoked that there was a girl in the race.

    Which is why the thought of those little girls in “I can be President” t-shirts really does make me blub.

  15. Which is why the thought of those little girls in “I can be President” t-shirts really does make me blub.

    Oh, me too. I had to keep my game face on because I was sitting between Politico and the Washington Post, but I was blubbing on the inside.

    I think that voting for Clinton because she’s a woman is a valid and noble way to make the choice. Ditto voting for Obama because he’s black. Their positions are very similar, whatever they say, and they would probably both be great in different ways, so if you have to choose, why not choose based on which historic occasion you want to see? Why not choose based on wanting to live in the kind of country where a woman or a minority can actually, not just theoretically, become the chief executive? Makes sense to me. In fact, it’s one of the few ways of choosing that’s not pure speculation. I think Clinton would be better able to handle opposition, but that Obama would get less opposition in the first place; I think Clinton would be competent and Barack inspiring. But that’s just my guess, and it’s influenced by media spin. Even choosing based on voting record involves some guesswork, because past and future votes are not the same, and you operate under different political pressures as a senator than as a president. But if you’re choosing based on wanting a woman president, a woman president(ial candidate) is for sure what you’re getting.

  16. Also, I just called Obama “Barack” for some reason, as though he was my buddy, so I guess I owe the RNC $10.

  17. I still have my pin from that election, Kate. I was ten. It doesn’t even mention Mondale, but is just a picture of Ferraro in the center and says NOW 1984 (as in the time period, not the women’s organization). I wore it to school every single day from the day that my mom’s friend gave it to me until election day.

    Obama is clearly going to win my state and I will gladly pull the lever for him if he’s our candidate in November (oh how I wish we still pulled levers! I miss those! It felt so solid!), but I’m voting for Hillary when it’s my turn next week.

    So is my dad. Which makes me really want to thumb my nose at all of the pundits who talk about the gender gap and how all of the white men are going to cross over and vote Republican, that they’ll vote for a black man but not a white woman. Men, vote for Obama if you believe he’s the best candidate. But I have a little more faith in you that you can handle a woman in at the top.

  18. Well, I don’t like either of them, but Clinton has more experience of the two. I got screwed out of voting in the primaries this time around because they can’t confirm my residential status in this state, so I don’t get to make any sort of statement. I think I’ve come to terms with our first female president not being an exceptional superwoman with a political agenda for all seasons, so long as she’s not a Republican.

    I’m for pretty much anyone with a pulse and a D after their name at this point, I’m too young to die from the stupid that the R’s keep shuffling around. Given my druthers, I’d like to see Kucinich’s agenda, Edwards’ energy, Obama’s charm, and Clinton’s saavy all rolled into one fantastic Frankencandidate, but I’m told it would be expensive to get all the heads into the frame for the advertisements.

  19. Why not choose based on wanting to live in the kind of country where a woman or a minority can actually, not just theoretically, become the chief executive? Makes sense to me. In fact, it’s one of the few ways of choosing that’s not pure speculation.

    Exactly, Fillyjonk!

    And I forgot to add another factor that will weigh in my decision — Hillary is a mother. And I am a mother — of two boys who in 5 and 7 years will have to register at the post office for selective service, or whatever the hell it’s called. The draft. (Which they say will never come back, but then why the registration?)

    Father love is probably very similar to mother love, but I have never experienced it firsthand, so I don’t know for sure. I do know that on a visceral level I feel safer putting my sons’ safety into a woman’s — a mother’s — hands than a man’s.

    If that makes me a bad feminist, tough shit. My babies trump all.

  20. (Which they say will never come back, but then why the registration?)

    I do have to say, Hillary talked at the rally about offering $10k per year towards college in exchange for “two years of national service,” and that made me uncomfy.

  21. I think most educated liberal women agree that it’s perfectly fine to vote for Clinton or Obama on the basis of gender or race, respectively, and are willing to defend that against any argument. However, it bothers me that the choice is so often presented this way, because it’s not that simple.

    For example, white women who identify with and support Clinton are said to do so “because she’s a woman” as if the fact that Clinton is white is so negligible that it’s barely worth mentioning in a discussion of white women’s voting decisions. Black women who support Obama, on the other hand, are called upon to question why their racial allegiance trumps their gender allegiance.

    Obviously, both groups are balancing the racial and gener identification in deciding on a candidate; to differing degrees depending on the individual, of course. The tendency to speak of Hillary without reference to race obscures the fact that for many white women, perhaps disproportionately among her core supports of older, mostly white, women, their identification with and support of Hillary is both a liberating, progressive, amazing act of sisterhood and an expression of a racial allegiance that they’ve practiced all of their lives without having to examine or defend in the way that black people so often do.

    Our tendency to talk about Clinton as “the woman candidate” also prevents almost all discussion of the advantages that being white afford her in attracting Asian American and Latino support when compared to Obama, which is one of the most important and least discussed issues in this race.

  22. I’m glad you posted this.
    The more I read about the candidates, the more I love Clinton. I wish I could vote for her, but I’m Canadian.

    I just read an essay by feminist Robin Morgan that explores this whole topic and had me in tears. Please read it, it’s amazing. It erased any doubt I had about why Clinton should win this election. The essay is available at
    http://thestar.blogs.com/broadsides/2008/02/amen-to-all-tha.html

  23. THANK YOU, Kate. I voted for Clinton and although on paper I’d be happy to see either of them win, in my heart I’m pulling for Clinton. Because if Obama loses, the cultural narrative will be that he will run again, and win next time. If Clinton loses, the cultural narrative will be that a woman can’t be president.

    Also, I’m ten years younger than Obama and I’m wary as hell of the excuse I’m hearing from some people that the Boomers had their chance; it’s time for a new generation to take the reins. As though folks over 60 should just do us all a favor and disappear, regardless of how much they have to give — and you know it’s not the men over 60 they’re thinking about. Personally, I intend to be 60 someday myself, so I’d just as soon not lay the foundation for my own irrelevance.

    But what do I know? I voted with my vagina.

    Of course I wiped the lever first. You never know where that’s been.

  24. Perhaps it is age? But also race and class. While women were headed into the middle class work force in droves, my mothers were taking on more hours in those traditionally female (and low-paying) sectors to feed their families. I can’t identify with HRC anymore than I could her husband. I know that there is a facet of white women who *really* can and see her taking the nomination as a win. I don’t find excitement in that, but I get it. And in the same way many get choked up about little girls (race not mentioned) with “I Can be President” tee-shirts, I have gotten chocked up to see young men of color take to the phone banks to promote Obama, because the general consensus in the media is that young men of color are at least semi-criminal, thank you Ron Paul.

  25. Too bad even the oldest of you wasn’t eligible to vote for Shirley Chisholm. It would have been great if all women were willing to vote their vaginas then.

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