Faithful readers know how much I love Lynn Harris. And today, I love her even more than usual, because she’s already done all the ranting I wanted to do on the day of the primaries that will make or break Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.
First, there was her lovely article in Nextbook last week, and today, she’s got a related post up at Broadsheet that says everything I wanted to say as Clinton makes what might be her last stand. I love it when other people do the hard work for me. Especially smarter and funnier people.
This election, people, is not about women vs. women, or feminists vs. feminists, of whatever school. (Some NOW chapters endorsed Clinton, some Obama. Steinem and Pollitt split their votes. There you go. Plenty of room.) There are plenty of excellent reasons to vote for either Democratic candidate, few of which need be informed by race or gender or any of that in the first place. How refreshing that, as far as the prevailing sense goes, we have choices to be so passionate about (choices to be passionate “for,” not “against”).
But. If Hillary supporters are pissed off, and maybe even taking it out inappropriately on their Obama friends, I’d say we have reason to be… We are frustrated. Not necessarily because we expect or demand that all women (!) must vote a certain way. Not necessarily by the possibility of an Obama win, but by that of a Clinton loss. And not just by that potential loss — which, I should underscore, is not a done deal, even as the orchestra tunes for the ritual dance-on-grave — but by (some of) the reasons that may be behind it….
We are frustrated that diversity of opinion among women — as if we’re all on one big giant Listserv (“Who are you voting for? And what are you wearing? OK me too bye!”) — is so often reported as “division” in the first place. (Even in articles about why Clinton supporters are frustrated!)
We are frustrated because it really would be pretty great to have a progressive woman president. Sue us.
Emphasis mine. Rawk.
Also whichever way the votes go today, and whomever you’re supporting (if you’re supporting a Democratic candidate at all), please take a moment to read this essay by Connie Schultz on why feminists should still support the concept of Clinton’s run for the White House, even if they aren’t voting for her:
I don’t think every woman should support Hillary Clinton just because she’s a woman. Smart women disagree all the time, and that has never been more obvious than in our heated discussions about Clinton.
I do, however, think every woman should support the notion of Hillary Clinton. That means judging her by her record and her plans for our future, not by her marital stamina, her choice in suits or her version of femininity. Even if we can’t support her as a candidate, we ought to acknowledge the history that she is making — for us and for our daughters and granddaughters. And we ought to point out to them that making history sure has a downside.
She goes on from there to list just a small handful of the misogynistic swipes people have taken at Clinton over the last several months, ending with the women who have shredded her in a new anthology — and explaining in just a few words why that shit needs to stop, no matter how much you fucking love Obama:
Katie Roiphe writes that she has “yet to meet a woman who likes Hillary Clinton.” Lorrie Moore calls Clinton “a freak.” Amy Wilentz declares that Clinton’s recipe for chocolate-chip cookies “sounds awful” and that when Chelsea was a newborn, Hillary’s hair was “a wreck.”
On and on they go, bruising and battering the only woman to do what they — and the rest of us — could only dare to imagine.
All the while, 11-year-old girls watch.
Shapeling Dems in Ohio, Texas, Vermont and Rhode Island, please go vote today if you haven’t already. And please tell your children how fucking historic that vote was, whichever way it went.