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When I was a kid in the 1960s, there was a favorite BBQ joint in my home town.  It was a tiny little place attached to one end of the owner's home.  For a buck, you got a chipped pork sandwich on a homemade bun -- made all the better by the finishing touch, which was to spread the outside of the bun with butter, slap it on a grill, and weight it down with a length of wood.  The result was a thin, crispy, soaked through with butter and sauce, heart attack-inducing bit of heaven.  I'm not sure I've had anything better in my life.  

By the door was a sign reading "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone."  It took some years before someone filled me in on the meaning the sign had in this case.  It wasn't there because chipped pork made some customers rowdy.  It was a code for something that, by the late 60s, people had stopped posting directly.  What it meant was "No coloreds."

Four decades later, I was a volunteer for Claire McCaskill's narrow loss for Missouri Governor in 2004.  I was out there again in her equally-narrow winning run for the Senate in 2006.  I wasn't the biggest volunteer, or the most diligent, but I took a couple of weeks off work and tromped over a fair part of two counties knocking on doors and smiling.  I was working some rural areas, but most of them were areas with a lot of union folks who were strong Democrats.  Only a few times did I get run off someone's porch, and only twice did someone threaten to punch and/or shoot me if I didn't go away.  After hitting several hundred houses, none of whom knew I was coming, that seemed like a pretty good record.  I'd have probably had more doors slammed if I was pushing Amway.  I also did a lot of phone banking for the campaign, and while I got the phone slammed in my ear many times, and a lot of people telling me they wouldn't vote for McCaskill, the reason they usually gave was that they were mad about getting too many calls.

On no occasion did anyone tell me that they weren't voting for McCaskill because she was a woman.  The closest it came was when someone complained to me about some dealings that had been made by her husband, but that was an item that had been in the news quite a bit, so I don't think it was particularly because of her gender.

This year, I phone banked for Barak Obama on only two occasions and likely called no more than a hundred voters, all of them in the Midwest.  One in ten gave me some none-too-oblique reason for not voting for Obama, such as a mention of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and how we've "seen his kind before."  One in twenty were a lot more blunt; they weren't going to let "the blacks" take over the country -- and that was by far the nicest way it was phrased.

From the perspective of one of the old white male oppressor class (and I say that quite seriously), racism does not seem to have changed much over the last forty years.  It's still there, still ugly, and still drives some people's actions as much as it did before Selma.  The number of people who are openly racist has been reduced, and I'd like to think that the number who have those feelings but don't share them has also seen a sizable decline.  Still, the experiences I had on the phone have been echoed many times by those volunteering for the Obama campaign,

I know many people would never consider joining the KKK and who would never give the kind of answer I got on those one in twenty phone calls.  They'll speak out loudly and often against racism.  But at the same time, they speak with equal frankness about how "black people haven't taken advantages of the opportunities this country has given them," how African-Americans haven't advanced like other minority groups, and how they're tired, sick and tired, of having their tax dollars go to support them.  They would all too easily nod along with Pastor Hagee railing against "lazy blacks" who couldn't even be bothered to save their own children from Katrina.

They don't even recognize this as racism.  They call it being realistic.  They point to Bill Cosby's remarks as proof that sensible African-Americans recognize the problem, and they nod sagely over the death of rap artists.  To them, the statistics that show a disproportionately high number of African-Americans convicted for crimes isn't an indictment of the justice system, it's an indictment of "black culture."   They wouldn't put up a sign that said "no colored allowed," but they aren't bothered by the "we reserve the right..." sign even if they know of an instance when the two are interchangeable.  

The window of the Obama campaign office that was vandalized in Indiana (the window not smashed out) wasn't marked by swastikas, what the vandals wrote among the racist epitaphs was "God Bless America."  Pretending that the vote for Barack Obama hasn't been affected by racism isn't wearing rainbow-colored glasses, it's wearing blinders.

As shown by the terrific work done by DHinMI, Hillary Clinton has clearly benefited from a racism that's both overt and covert, and which strongly afflicts a band across the center of the country.  

And yet...

Back in the 1960s, when I was chomping on BBQ and learning to decode the society around me, my mother was at work.  She graduated the local high school in the 1950s, valedictorian of her class, and without the resources to go to college, plunged straight into a career.  No one had to tell me how rare that was at the time.  When I peddled my bike to cub scout meetings, my mom was the only one who couldn't take a turn as den mother.  The term "latchkey kid" hadn't yet been invented, but no one had to decode for me the disdain when I showed up on my own, dragging some bag of store-bought cookies when the responsibility for treats swung around to me.  I can't deny I resented it.  And just as it took me time to understand that sign at the BBQ shack, it took me time to figure out the other end of the equation.  It took me time to figure out why my valedictorian mother who could speak Latin, do more math in her head than most people can handle with a calculator, and inevitably see through a forest of distractions to find the source of a problem, was spending her nights practicing typing and stenography.  Why she left the house at six each morning to be a secretary to bosses who were exclusively men.

And the funny thing is, despite a lot of changes since the 60s, I'm not sure that sexism has really gotten better.  Yes, many more women work and the career opportunities are greater, but that probably has more to do with economic conditions that have nudged us toward two income households than it does toward a revolution in thinking.  

Racism is ugly, but a large part of racism is also regional.  Even in those regions, overt racism is regarded as unacceptable.  Down in Marietta, Georgia, there's a bar owner selling T-shirts that show a picture of the children's book monkey, Curious George, along with the motto "Obama in '08."  That's worse than reprehensible, but it's also  limited to a single area and widely rebuked.  You're not going to find a commentator on one of the news stations to defend this shirt (okay, maybe Pat Buchanan, but Buchanan is repugnant all on his own).

Sexism is ugly, it's widespread, and it's accepted by our society.  For weeks, every time I wrote an email on anything political, one of the ads that showed up on my computer was for a Hillary Clinton-themed nutcracker, complete with "stainless steel thighs."  This is a product that has been offered broadly, one that's been sold in stores across the country, one that I've seen on the shelves.  

Pretending that misogyny doesn't play a role in Hillary Clinton's losses is easier than missing the ugly racism that undercuts Obama.  You can't make a map that shows where sexism is and where it isn't -- because it's everywhere.

Why is that?  Maybe it's because in the 1960s, the civil rights of African-Americans were firmly established through a series of legislative actions.  Those "we reserve the right" signs might have still been there, but the "no colored allowed" signs were taken down.  Even if there is still a percentage of the population -- a significant percentage -- who still harbor a pre-civil rights attitude, most people now recognize that both signs are abhorrent, that overt racism and covert racism, should not be allowed.

But in the struggle for women's rights, we lost.  Just this past weekend, as hundreds of young men and women graduated from Washington University, they were joined on stage by a woman there to collect an honorary degree.  That may seem a good thing, but the woman in this case was Phyllis Schlafly, and she didn't miss the opportunity to stick her tongue out again at feminists, reminding them that the Equal Rights Amendment had not become law.  When it was introduced in the 1970s, both major parties made passage of the ERA part of their platforms.  It was only in the 1980s, under the rising leadership of people like Reagan, Schlafly, and the merry band that we now consider neo-conservatives, that the GOP reversed its position and worked to sabotage passage of the ERA.
To this day, it remains acceptable to attack those seeking equal rights for women in ways that are not acceptable in going after those trying to seek equality among races. Just last year, a resolution to ratify the ERA was introduced into the Arkansas house.  At first it seemed to have momentum for passage, but endless hectoring and mailings convinced twenty congressmen to withdraw their support.

Sure, no one was out there telling me that they weren't voting for Claire McCaskill because she was a woman, but that doesn't change the fact that she was running to become Missouri's first woman governor, or that she lost out to a man who not only lacked her experience, but who makes George W. Bush look like a genius.  It doesn't change the fact that not only did the Supreme Court recently make an egregious decision in a case concerning a woman who had uncovered rampant sexism in her place of employment, but that such situations are still commonplace.

That the Democratic candidates were whittled down to an African-American and a woman is admirable.  Both candidates have had to overcome enormous difficulties, and this is our best opportunity in a generation to make real strides.  The work of fighting racism is not over.  It may never be over, not so long as human beings harbor the genes that bend us toward drawing lines between "us" and "them."  It's a fight we have to continue.

But as Barack Obama becomes the next president of the United States, let's make sure that we make progress on both fronts, by reviving and passing the ERA.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:59 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bizarre, thinking-about-the-same-things dailykos (14+ / 0-)

    McCain has no core principles that the American people can trust he'll follow from one day to the next. We should worry about his principals, too.

    by algebrateacher on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:05:46 PM PDT

  •  The sign (83+ / 0-)

    And sure, I know the "we reserve the right" sign doesn't always have that meaning.  I've seen plenty of taverns where folks meant it as a warning to folks who'd had one too many -- and back in the days when "Woodstock" was seen as a threat by rural people who thought they might at any moment be overrun by rainbow horde it often mean "hippies keep out."  In many places it probably means no more than "act like a jerk and I'm booting you out."

    But I've seen places where it did have the meaning I expressed above, and I don't doubt there are a few still around today.

    •  Yeah, I agree that the sign (8+ / 0-)

      should not be understood in explicitly racist terms. Most fast food chains have signs to that effect, and I don't think they represent institutionalized racism. The sign is for owners who want to be able to kick out those they don't like, or who ruin their business. Now maybe for some individuals all you have to be is the wrong color, while for others you can be kicked out for sharing alcohol with minors.

      Or it could simply be talking quite loudly and playing with your gravy as onlookers grimaced and called on the waitress who was a total bitch even though there were approximately 5 people in the diner and I know we were ordering the most food at the time... er, well that's my own personal encounter with the 'right to refuse service.'

      I enjoyed the rest of your diary though, carry on the good work!

    •  Thing is... (4+ / 0-)

      How does one tell what the particular meaning is in any one place?

      The safest assumption to make is that the actual meaning is 'not us' or 'other.'

      Anything from that point out is sheer politics.

      Follow the money. It's getting away.

      by bablhous on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:20:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pretty easy in most cases... (4+ / 0-)

        If the sign is at a bar or other type business that serves a rowdy crowd vast amounts of alcohol--it is most likely there to protect society in general outside the walls of the establishment and the owners of the establishment from the effects of over drinking of said persons who are being refused service.  That is a good thing.

        Change?? Hell I want a revolution!!

        by quiet in NC on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:08:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  One thing I'd add to your essay (33+ / 0-)

      is that societal discrimination is not so much a matter of what we ourselves want to do, but of what others want to do that we will not confront and challenge.

      In this, Barack Obama is an easy case.  His bearing, like that of Sidney Poitier in his various 60s film roles, practically shouts out the question of whether anyone can justify discrimination against a Black man like him.  And as in such films, the answer is generally "no."  That's part of his electoral advantage -- he makes people feel good about saying no to prejudice.  But it's not lost on many that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton don't have the same advantage.  Rejection of them still largely goes unchallenged.

      Among female politicians, Hillary is, oddly enough, a hard case.  I could name a dozen prominent female Democratic politicians that I don't think would face the sort of vitriol she endures.  (Here goes, working from west to east: Pelosi, Feinstein, Boxer, Murray, Cantwell, Napolitano, Sebelius, McCaskill, Landrieu, Lincoln, Stabenow and Granholm, and I didn't have to go past Michigan.)  Part of the reason is that many of us don't show the same lack of tolerance for attacks on Clinton as we would for most of the above.

      The reason for this is rooted, I think, in something that was said way back in 2007 -- I wish I could find a cite, but I haven't been able to -- back when Hillary's supporters were trying to tell us that she wouldn't face the problems that other female candidates would be expected to have: "voters don't see her as a woman, they see her as a Clinton."  In other words, her fame would crowd out her gender.

      I think that that turned out to be true.  She is seen as a Clinton first and, for those who are not projecting their stored grievances upon her, almost exclusively.  She is attacked on gender for the same reason that people attack Bill for his appetites (sexual and gustatory): they are familiar routines, they have some social freight.  But "Hillary as nutcracker" -- compared to Obama as monkey on those t-shirts -- doesn't seem to be an attack on women generally so much as Hillary specifically.  If it were Boxer or McCaskill running almost even for the Presidency, I don't think we'd see these nutcrackers, and if we did I think they'd be more roundly and vociferously condemned.

      Clinton has put on a Thatcherite mantle (in foreign policy, at least) for much of her political career, and so she comes off to the public as a kind of Lady MacBeth -- right down to the "Unsex me now" line.  Sexism is surely alive in our society, but with the next female candidate is will be more appropriately condemned.  The prejudice that Hillary is suffering is not so much anti-woman as anti-Clinton.

      Posting a diary on the nomination? Pay your McCain Tax!

      by Seneca Doane on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:40:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that certainly speaks for me (9+ / 0-)

        as my antipathy toward all things DLC is deep and longstanding, and Hillary represents (and fosters, via her staff and entourage) that wing of the Party that I can't stomach.

        Having said that, I still think much of what she has encountered isn't due just to her policy and tactics (which is the essence of her "Clintonism" as much as her last name is), but to a perception that she shouldn't be the way she is because she's a female.  

        Her unwillingness to admit her shortcomings and her pugnaciousness, for instance, are "faults" that George W Bush shares in spades, but for which he isn't called out nearly as much as she is.  And her stridency is a trait that even someone like Billy Graham gets away with without so much as a hint of criticism.

        So some of it is sexist, even though she shouldn't be getting a pass necessarily for some of those traits, but it must seem unfair to her and her supporters when men who exhibit those same traits are not criticized like she is.  That is sexism, no matter how you cut it.

        Otoh, one of the main things that attracts me to Obama is that his personality and actions defy stereotypification on a gender or any other basis.

        "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

        by nailbender on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:27:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My antipathy towards her before the primaries was (4+ / 0-)

        mostly anti-dynasty, meaning anti-Clinton, I suppose.  The thought of Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton seemed, and seems, unamerican to me.  That was especially aggravated by the "inevitability" theme coming from her campaign at the time.

        Now, my antipathy is based on the demeanor of her campaign - the Barack Obama in a turban emails, the McCain and I have passed the test to be President statement, the "he's not a Muslim, as far as I know" disingenuity.  Her ties to the corporate elites, and her "take no prisoners" attitude towards the campaign have totally turned me off towards her.

    •  fine essay, and (8+ / 0-)

      fine conclusion.  

      Jeeze this is a great site.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

      by nailbender on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:50:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some thoughts (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, LeanneB

      It almost seems here like "racism vs. sexism" is some sort of grotesque parallel contest to Obama vs. Clinton. Comparing how bad the problem of racism in America is to how bad the problem of sexism in America is seems as counterproductive as it might be informative. It approaches the infamous hierarchy of oppression: is sexism worse because it's accepted and widespread? Is racism is worse because it's rooted in murderous violence? Who is more unfairly burdened: Obama or Clinton? Is this a useful way of discussing these issues?

      Barack Obama was one of them. West Virginia, Hillary, was one of us. —Pat Buchanan

      by Michael D on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:57:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think it's useful (3+ / 0-)

        more after Nov. than now. BTW, both are accepted and widespread and rooted in murderous violence. I could argue that sexism, past and present is human kind's most under-reported violence against itself.

        Friday, on Foreign Exchange it was reported that a population of trafficed women and young girls the size of the population of Salt Lake City is being held in sexual slavery in the US right now.

        Both are stealth evils, neither wants to advertise themselves as what they are. Yet...IMO, sexism is the evil most accepted.

        "Girls Gone Wild" exhibit #1.

        Most Rap videos  exhibit #2

        If you want to do a mental pretzel take my examples, trafficing, entertainment, and flip gender and race. Besides being fairly gross, they would be unthinkable in our society now.

        That said, I don't believe that racism or sexism have been the defining issues in this Primary. Entrenched power vs Change are the battles that we've been going through.

        Edwards Democrat voting for Obama would like to remind you, "Concentration Moon, over the camp in the valley" Frank Zappa knew.

        by high uintas on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:20:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Migrant sweat shops, lots of porn, most rap vids. (0+ / 0-)

          Racism wins! Yeah!! Racism wins again!!


          Barack Obama was one of them. West Virginia, Hillary, was one of us. —Pat Buchanan

          by Michael D on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:03:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What the hell? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annetteboardman, donaldw6, sistermoon

            Are you having a competition?

            Neither wins, both exist. Both are insidious and overt and covert and violent and evil. Which one is the winner?

            I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean. If you are offended that I brought up the fact that violence against women is widespread, that women are trafficed for sex (not just migrant women-see FLDS), and misogyny is accepted as a norm, sorry.

            I happen to think they are as contemptable as racism. Neither are acceptable to me. I do believe that we are more comfortable with misogyny than with racism, so much so that Grandpa Fred can be proud of his "trophy wife" and it merits only a chuckle.

            Working towards an end to both is the change that I'm voting for.

            Edwards Democrat voting for Obama would like to remind you, "Concentration Moon, over the camp in the valley" Frank Zappa knew.

            by high uintas on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:25:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I was accepting your challenge. (0+ / 0-)

              If you want to do a mental pretzel take my examples, trafficing, entertainment, and flip gender and race. Besides being fairly gross, they would be unthinkable in our society now.

              That sounded like a "sexism is worse than racism today" argument to me, where we were trying to decide who ranks higher on the hierarchy of oppression.

              Barack Obama was one of them. West Virginia, Hillary, was one of us. —Pat Buchanan

              by Michael D on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:35:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  As Kinky Friedman sang back in the day: (9+ / 0-)

      "While traveling through the Lone Star State
      I lost my lunch before I ate,
      It happened in a pull-ahead café. Yahoo!
      I felt my bones begin to crunch
      I saw my name on the businessman’s lunch
      And the neck who owned the place stepped up to say:
      "Hey buddy, are you blind,
      Say, partner, can’t you read the sign?"

      We reserve the right to refuse service to you,
      Take your business back to Walgreen’s,
      Have you tried your local zoo?
      You smell just like a communist,
      You come on through just like a Jew,
      We reserve the right to refuse service to you."

      music and lyrics by Kinky Friedman, Rick Goldberg, J. Maizel.

      •  I have a friend that worked at a bar in the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas, Neon Mama

        Texas Hill Country where the owner lived next door. He quit after the owner installed cameras to make sure the bartenders enforced rule #1: No Hispanics. It's sad because this place is a fairly well known music venue, a lot of ex-hippies and Willie fans, and I don't think any of them would have a problem with hispanics whatsoever. But the owner sure does have a racist bug up his ass.

        I've always wanted to make a comment that ends with the word Mayonnaise

        by frankzappatista on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:11:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  lots of backdoor racism and sexism today (4+ / 0-)

      instead of laws saying women and minorities can't do x or y, we have laws based on cultural or social differences that have same result. like different criminal justice treatment depending on whether cocaine use is crack; like city ordinances that loud music in park banned when only mexican americans use the park for weddings with bands; like discretion vested in police, prosecutors and judges that is so tainted by institutionalized sexism that results in women in jail for crimes that if they had been men, no jail time.

      passing ERA big step in right direction.

    •  What they got overrun by... was meth. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      frankzappatista, Neon Mama

      Tina done tore 'em up.

      The Blacks do cocaine.

      Meth has trashed the trash.

      Dixie Chicks, Amy Winehouse, Imus, and Rev. Wright. Overcome our evil with good.

      by vets74 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:54:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would say (20+ / 0-)

    that racism, while worse in some regions, isn't necessarily just regional.

    In fact the subtle form that racism exposes itself in supposedly "tolerant" regions is often as damaging as overt racism and often worse.  After all, at least with overt racism, you know right away what you are dealing with.

    Barack Obama for President '08

    by v2aggie2 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:07:09 PM PDT

    •  I dunno... (38+ / 0-)

      You had me until you well, didn't.  First of all, I have a pet peeve about using the terms 'sexism' and 'misogyny' interchangeably, because they're not the same. Secondly, as a thirtysomething mixed race female (who can usually pass for almost anything in mixed company; white, mixed, Latina, Italian, Indian...), my experience is that racism is much more prevalent, insidious,sweeping, and rampant than sexism in almost all parts of the U.S. I do not believe that Hillary lost any significant number of votes because she's female. I believe Barack Obama has lost many millions of votes because he's black. The fact that he still won is extraordinary and was helped in part due to higher turnout among AAs and young people who are less likely to be racist, and I think that's good for this country and will continue through to the GE.

      I am all for passage of the ERA, I believe pay inequities between the genders are still appalling in this country, I am not so naive as to pretend that sexism doesn't exist. But there is really no way to compare racism and sexism in any meaningful way. Black people were brought here as slaves. American Indians (of which I am half) were nearly exterminated in an appalling-near genocide that gets none of the attention, respect, or repatriation the equally-reprehensible Holocaust gets. It is a national disgrace the poverty, illiteracy, and alcoholism, and crime rates among Native Americans in this country. We are largely a forgotten part of this nation's history and population.

      I don't want to demean women's struggles in this country at all, or dimish the insidiousness of sexism, but I just think progress has been made at a much more comprehensive and rapid pace in areas of women's rights than in our racial divide. And I don't think this primary capaign has 'exposed' sexism or that HRC was brought down by it or even significantly effected by it. OTOH, I seriously worry about Barack Obama's personal safety on a daily basis. Think about that.  

      •  Dumb question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        are you responding to the diary or my comment?

        No worries either way!

        Barack Obama for President '08

        by v2aggie2 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:27:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you (10+ / 0-)

        For pointing out that sexism and misogyny are not interchangeable terms.  They get used as synonyms and they are actually quite different.

        This has been a pet peeve of mine as well this campaign season as folks have been throwing around the misogynistic label quite easily.

        I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision. -Eleanor Roosevelt

        by dewberry on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:30:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent point; one needs to be precise when (9+ / 0-)

        using words like misogyny, as well as when using racism to describe bigotry. While ignorance and fear play a part in all these extremes, they play a singular role in bigotry, where irrationality (especially in subconscious fear responses) also lends a hand. Misogyny and racism stem from hatred and self-loathing dysfunctionalities, although even that characterization is an over-simplification.

        As an aside, however, I want to commend Devilstower for an excellent diary that confronts salient and trenchant issues that most writers are either not willing or too afraid to tackle. Any discussions that ensue, no matter now parsing or critical, can only help to enlighten at least faintly the shadows of intolerance.

      •  I loved the article and your reply (6+ / 0-)

        This was rich in the fact that you were responding directly to the assertions of writer - I think the original article becomes even more relevant with your additional commentary.

        You disputed the thesis but didn't discredit the ultimate precept of the article, as well as defending the etymology of the words misogyny and sexism.

        It becomes even more valuable by your giving the reader a quick layout of your vantage point.  This is big circus tent and not everyone has the same view.  And depending upon which way the breeze is blowing - elephants can be adorable performers or noxious assault to the olfactory senses.  

        This was another fine read with an interesting expanded perspective.

        Thank you.

        I would love to preserve this in context with the underlying article with links to Kos.

        Binx101 The Almost Daily Binx

        by Binx101 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:50:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Racism Has A More Sinister Edge.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lauramp, Ambboogie

        It was just 70--80 years ago when lynching of African Americans, with happy white "spectators" was still occurring with some regularity. Sexism, misogyny and racism still bedevil our society, but racism is in another league, IMO.

        my experience is that racism is much more prevalent, insidious,sweeping, and rampant than sexism in almost all parts of the U.S.

        Well I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari... Tehachapi to Tonopah--Lowell George

        by frandor55 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:04:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Better to simply note that sexism is different (8+ / 0-)

        The basic difference I would note between race and sex is that everyone has a mother who's female (it may just be their birthmother, for those few who are adopted by a gay male couple, or raised by a single father). Even when women had limited legal rights, they had influence in the sense of being married to/mothers of men.

        I think it makes more sense for race to be a factor in supporting a candidate, since race is part of group identity while femininity is something that exists as a subset of every racial and ethnic group.

        On the other hand, comparisons between the two, and competition over who is more opressed or deserving--all that is poison to the progressive movement. Blacks and women fighting over scraps is no way to build a movement for change. Instead of saying that sexism doesn't matter or that sexism wasn't a factor for Clinton like racism was for Obama, why can't we just agree that Clinton's defeats were due to her failures as a candidate, and likewise Obama's successes were due to his strengths as a candidate, particularly his ability to draw in new voters? Why do we have to look for ways to divide people? Do we think Obama is full of it when he talks about bringing people together?

        Finally, I am really tired of this glass-is-more-than-half empty way of looking at race. Yes, we are still a society that is way too divided among racial lines, but nothing like we were in the 80s or 70s, let alone the 50s. It wasn't so long ago that you would never a black leading man or woman in a Hollywood movie...when black people only showed up in advertising for cheap stuff like McDonald's or Coca-Cola, never as spokespeople for banks, insurace, investments. These are superficial differences, yes, but they reflect real changes in attitudes in the places where most Americans live (urban/suburban communities).

        We're about to see a black man become the Democratic nominee, we're about to really see the "First Black President," I think it should be OK to say we've made some progress.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:16:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well.. (11+ / 0-)

          I am rooted in my Native American experience where things have NOT gotten better. We're almost a forgotten race. Unlike AAs we have no political capital with which to bargain.  I think it is unfair to refer to concerns voiced about the state of Native American communities in the U.S. as glass-half-empty, as if we're just not optimistic or pollyanna enough or grateful enough. I do not think that hard-nosed, eyes wide open discussion about racial discrimination is 'looking for ways to divide people', instead I think it's a necessary discussion we have to keep having, which I think is what Barack Obama stands for, and exactly what he was driving at in his Philadelphia speech.

          •  Well Said (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fixed Point Theorem

            I feel very sad that the Native American cause, while mentioned several times by Barack on the Trail, has so far not become a major platform in these primaries.  On the other hand, I do feel that Barack's trying to keep the conversation as wide-open as possible, as inclusive as possible.  He can't harp on about race all the time (as we do), but he wants a fair-for-all deal, including every race.  The NA population certainly needs some major assistance in getting a toe-in on the ladder.  Funnily enough, so do the Appalachian white voters, who are isolated regionally and culturally, and largely out-of-step with the dominant culture and "left behind" in so many ways, it's not funny.  That's what makes some of the hateful racist comments they make so pathetic and sad. Two ends of the spectrum; the criminally neglected NA, who remain noble but desperate, and the white enclaves who project their self-hate and lack of societal standing onto African Americans.

            On the feminism front, however (I'm a mid-50's white female), the diary does and doesn't resonate with me.  I really didn't pick up on that much anti-female rhetoric, unlike some of the Hillary supporters, apparently.  I did pick up on a lot of anti-Hillary rhetoric, which I think was justly deserved.  I know we're supposed to be appeasers at this point with the Clinton campaign, but she really is a tone-deaf nit-wit.  Obama was thoroughly nice with her, didn't bring up her personal baggage, refrained from out-and-out criticism, and often complimented her.  Hillary took no notice of this, or rather took advantage of it, and has worked her supporters up into a frothing madness for winning against all odds.  Hillary's macho stance, tough on this, tough on that, shows her basic discomfort in being a woman.  I think the fact that she's a woman was entirely ancillary to her and Bill's ambition.  They have been planning on both being presidents before they die for over 20 years.  Their "marriage" is more about this than anything else.  There's no vision there beyond that ambition.  I really am ticked off with her.  She has used the "female" thing as leverage, without really giving a damn about what legacy she leaves behind from her primary run.  I feel sorry for her supporters, who she's brainwashed, but I can't say I view her candidacy as anything to do with furthering the womens' cause.

    •  Exactly... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama

      One reason why we haven't seen as much progress as some would expect since the Civil Rights movement is that fact that we've gone from confronting the direct enemy of overt bigotry in the form of lunch counter signs and Bull Connor, to shadow boxing against ourselves.

      Straining to decode the dog whistle. Pointing fingers at friends sometimes with justification, sometimes without.  Growing jaded with the confusion betweeen legitimate grievance and cynical dismissive "Race card" oppurtunism and denial.


  •  Real butter is actually better for you than marga (11+ / 0-)

    margarine.  So you probably ate healthier then than you might now at a BBQ joint.

    I remember the 'back room' at the popular hamburger joint when I was a kid in the mid-seventies.  The blacks ordered and ate in another room removed from the main dining area. We had pinball tables and a  juke box. The 'back room' had none of that.

    Things seem better today because there are no 'back rooms' anymore. But racism is still alive and thriving in the US today.

    •  ...Maybe "Festering" Would Be.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heiuan, goshzilla

      ...maybe festering would be more accurate, thriving has a too positive vibe. IMO.

      But racism is still alive and thriving in the US today.

      Well I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari... Tehachapi to Tonopah--Lowell George

      by frandor55 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:09:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Regional racism (10+ / 0-)

      is hard to counter.  I moved to Florida (the south Alabama part) when I was 6 (in 1952).  I came from Missouri and had not experienced segregation. On my first visit to the local 5 & 10, I went to get some water and there were 2 water fountains marked "White" and "Colored."  Never having had "colored" water before, I drank from that fountain to the horror of nearby shoppers.  In the 56 or so years since, I was corrupted by the area prejudices to some degree but not as deeply as those whose parents were also prejudiced.  My point is, even though I still have some degree of racial prejudice in me, I still am not reluctant in the least to vote for Barack or to recommend that others do the same.  Racial prejudice can never be legislated out of existence but an Obama victory will, I think, go a long way to changing the minds of those who are open to change.

  •  Thank you, thank you (32+ / 0-)

    Let's work for 'progress on both fronts'.  Yes.

    For progressives this shouldn't be an either/or proposition.  It doesn't matter if I'm an Obama supporter - I should still be fighting against sexism.  If I'm a Clinton supporter I should still be fighting against racism.

    Surely we can hold two thoughts in our heads at the same time.

    btw - see my sig line.  Can you come?

    Live in St. Louis? Meet fellow bloggers at "a blograiser" at the Royale on May 21.

    by maryb2004 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:08:26 PM PDT

    •  Yep, we all lose (11+ / 0-)

      When racism and sexism are pitted against each other in the "which is worse?" sweepstakes.

      We need to recognize both of them, and strive to understand their insidious way of continuing to infect parts of our society.

      To put that in context of this current debate, I hate it when Clinton supporters claim that Obama's campaign "played the race card and cried racism."  And I hate it when Obama supporters can't admit that there were some voters against Clinton because of her being a strong woman.  When we divide into camps like that, I think we all lose.

      I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision. -Eleanor Roosevelt

      by dewberry on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:28:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, thank you (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nudger, high uintas, phaedras, Neon Mama

      Is there a more sobering reminder of how far women have not come than Lily Ledbetter?  And how sad that women are less free to choose what they want, in some ways.  Leaving the home for the workplace is not emancipation when it drives a reluctant mother away from her newborn, for instance.

  •  Obama and Clinton voted for equal pay (27+ / 0-)

    McCain voted against that bill.

    What's madness but nobility of the soul at odds with circumstance?

    by slinkerwink on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:09:26 PM PDT

  •  Devilstower (17+ / 0-)

    is absolutely correct, right down the line.  I grew up in the South in the 1960s, and while racism and sexism have gone underground they still exist and still hurt.  We have a lot of work left to do, and not just in the South.

  •  Excellent Diary! (8+ / 0-)

    Barack Obama for President '08

    by v2aggie2 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:09:35 PM PDT

  •  Thanks. typo. Link (14+ / 0-)

    Your fleet fingers missed a 'c' in Barack Obama's name near the top of your diary.

    Link about racism (warning: offensive to the extreme):


    Men and Women

    If combat means living in a ditch, females have biological problems staying in a ditch for 30 days because they get infections. . .. Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.
    Newt Gingrich (b. 1943), U.S. Republican senator from Georgia, Speaker of the House of Representatives. New York Times, (January 19, 1995), remark during a history class at Reinhardt College, Georgia.

    Pat Schroeder's response, under "sexism":


    I have been working in a male culture for a very long time, and I haven't met the first one who wants to go out and hunt a giraffe. I am very, very troubled by the new factual data that seems to be coming out of our new leader.

        Pat Schroeder (b. 1940), U.S. Democratic congresswoman from Colorado, lawyer. New York Times, (January 19, 1995), answering Newt Gingrich's description of gender roles.

    C*nt....McCain called Cindy one, and White House photographers say Bush referred to Laura as one:


    1. The female genital organs.
    1. Sexual intercourse with a woman.
    1. a. Used as a disparaging term for a woman. b. Used as a disparaging term for a person one dislikes or finds extremely disagreeable.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from INSO Corporation. All rights reserved.

    No man can call himself liberal, or radical, or even a conservative advocate of fair play, if his work depends in any way on the unpaid or underpaid labor of women at home, or in the office.

         Gloria Steinem (b. 1934), U.S. feminist writer, editor. New York Times (26 Aug. 1971).

    Much of the ill-tempered railing against women that has characterized the popular writing of the last two years is a half-hearted attempt to find a way back to a more balanced relationship between our biological selves and the world we have built. So women are scolded both for being mothers and for not being mothers, for wanting to eat their cake and have it too, and for not wanting to eat their cake and have it too.
    Margaret Mead (1901-78), U.S. anthropologist. Male and Female, ch. 8 (1949).

    The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations is licensed from Columbia University Press. Copyright © 1993, 1995 by Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

    Best Diary of the Year?

    by LNK on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:12:16 PM PDT

    •  C@#t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quiet in NC

      I hadn't heard about Bush calling Laura that name.  DO you have sources?  This, of course, fits in with my opinion of the man, but I'd like to know where the info comes from.

      •  Actually, it's McCain (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        who called Cindy a c**t, in front of witnesses (including reporters).

        She supposedly made a joke about his receding hairline, and he said, "At least I don't pile on the makeup like a trollop, you c**t"

        "I run the kitchen, so I can stand the heat" - Nikki Giovanni

        by sistermoon on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:11:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bush referred to Laura with the C word (0+ / 0-)

        He didn't say it to her face that we know of.

        It was press photographers taking his picture when he was coming or going ...White House lawn, helicopter, guy talk. Nobody will go on record because nobody wants to be instantly unemployed!

        I read it in one of the tabloids that is almost always very nice to the Bush family.......but occasionally has been reporting fighting between the couple, Laura checking in to the Mayflower hotel when angry, threatening divorce because he's drinking again.

        Best Diary of the Year?

        by LNK on Sun May 18, 2008 at 10:11:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  if he is calling his wife that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cdiaz71, LNK

      then he is even more messed up than i thought. severely disturbed.... scary stuff.

      Welcome to the empire. life is not a dress rehearsal My record label:

      by johnfire on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:58:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i wonder if it would be easier to bring round (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shadan7, RainyDay, arlene, Neon Mama, soms

    the Clinton feminists if reviving the ERA were part of his platform?  Would they still sneer at hope then?

    Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. --Molly Ivins

    by sap on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:13:34 PM PDT

    •  Wouldn't be good enough (5+ / 0-)

      Nothing except for Hillary on the ticket is seen as anything but sexist pandering.

      I read often on MYDD how having any other woman on Obama's ticket is "insulting".  I imagine that the ERA on the platform would be seen similarly.  Though arguments about sexism come up often, it's really about  all about Hillary for a lot of the most hardcore. They've projected themselves onto her.

      That said, the ERA should be on the Democratic platform.

    •  I think (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, myboo, Neon Mama, blindyone

      they would be more interest in ACTUAL equality, rather than something which sounds like a bone thrown to them.  Something like a promise to put another woman on the Supreme Court, maybe. Okay, just a different bone, I know, but still something with actual teeth behind it.

    •  I'm the exact demographic of HRC's feminists (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annetteboardman, sap

      Poor, white, and 57. I consider myself a feminist and raised our only child, a daughter with those values in mind.

      My choice for President wasn't based on gender, it was based on who could best bring about the changes that I'm interested in. My first choice was a man, second choice, another man.

      Silly, IMO, to vote based on the gender or the race of the candidate. Like voting for someone who you can have a beer with.

      I believe most of her supporters will come on board, those who don't will be a small, sulking minority.

      Edwards Democrat voting for Obama would like to remind you, "Concentration Moon, over the camp in the valley" Frank Zappa knew.

      by high uintas on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:54:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  hear! hear! (12+ / 0-)

    That was kick ass. Sadly, he is right on target about racism and sexism. I said earlier in the nomination fight that it would be easier for Obama concerning racism than it would be for Hillary concerning sexism, because at least they wouldn't be quite as overt about it. That was merely stating a fact and not in support of it. He nailed it when he said you can't make a map of sexism, because it truly is everywhere. I certainly hope that if there can be progress made on Equal Rights for all Americans in this climate we don't slack off and miss the opportunity.

    After taking several readings, I'm surprised to find my mind is still fairly sound. Willie Nelson

    by cactusflinthead on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:13:57 PM PDT

  •  Excellent and complete analysis. (13+ / 0-)

    It blows my mind that there are commentators on the radio, so-called "more fair" ones than others, still saying that the charge of racism is exaggerated in this country. I'd like a guy like Dennis Prager to go door to door for Obama and have his goddamned faced rubbed in the open, blatant racism. Even the common "casual"
    racism from people who "should know better."

  •  We serve everyone...but hate door and tele calls (5+ / 0-)

    Personally dislike having people banging on my door or calling me for causes or products. Caller ID shields us from the phone bankers and upstairs balcony over the door allows for a quick dismissal of the door knockers.

    Only the candidates themselves can get away with knocking on doors.

    So any "shortness" canvassers and callers get might be simply annoyance vs. any political statement.

    •  would you rather live where your neighbors (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      goshzilla, XerTeacher

      and others don't care or are forbidden to talk about their preferences?

      if you don't want phone calls, don't include your phone number on your voter registration document. That takes care of that issue rather quickly.

      And then, please think about what it would mean if your neighbors didn't care or if your government/walled housing unit forbade people from talking to their neighbors about politics.

      It's so easy to greet, thank and urge people to go on with their solicitation. That approach adds to the sum of good will, not the sum of irritation and bad feelings. Just really easy, if you put your mind to it.

      After all, the quality of our government matters - and part of that is citizen involvement. I wish there were more... Apathy is surely a bigger problem than engagement.

      •  Franky my dear, I'd rather you get off my porch. (0+ / 0-)

        Since you asked.

        Claiming that your invading my privacy and property with your views, using my time for your purposes, represents "democracy" is arrogant in the extreme.

        As is your claim that we must "greet" such uncivil behavior or we are "apathetic".

        I actually applaud people who got out and do such work, the canvassing and calls, I guess it works. I just hate to have them canvas or call on me.

    •  As one who did extensive canvassing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama, Fixed Point Theorem

      for Obama here in Indiana, I have to say that - in my experience - the bulk of the residents didn't really mind us coming to their doors.  I'm sure many did feel some exasperation, especially those in areas that were canvassed repeatedly and may have had Obama supporters show up multiple times, but rarely did anyone communicate intense irritation, overtly or covertly, about that.

      I was fortunate enough to encounter a rather small number of dyed-in-the-wool bigots, who wasted no time slapping me with various smear-email "facts," and that was unpleasant.  But almost no one treated me badly for having the audacity to approach them at home for this cause, I'm happy to say.

      Ask me about my sig line.

      by LeanneB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:01:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This all goes back to one critical fact (6+ / 0-)

    We have to work together in order to kick the GOP out of the WH in November. It'll be harder than some think. The GOP hits below the belt and will pull out your trachea if you let it....but..

    Yes we Can.

    An eye for an eye and the whole world will be blind.

    by rini6 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:17:14 PM PDT

  •  Thank you so much. (27+ / 0-)

    I can support Barack Obama while being fully aware of the level of sexism and misogyny that has been levelled against Clinton. Maybe that's because I'm a 60-year-old woman, too. It leaves me breathless, sometimes, but not surprised.

    Shirley Chisholm famously said that she always found her sex to be a greater political obstacle than her race. And just in case one very smart person's anecdotal observation isn't enough, pull back and reflect on the fact that Senator Obama's candidacy is hailed as historic because he's a member of an ethnic minority. Senator Clinton is a member of the sexual majority.Now think of the level of bigotry it takes to hold a majority down.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    by sidnora on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:17:21 PM PDT

  •  Amen! (8+ / 0-)

    And I never thought I'd live to read "revive and pass the ERA".  Thank you.

  •  Unity pitch! (5+ / 0-)

    Maybe this is how Obama and Clinton could unite the Democratic electorate, assuming Obama's the nominee: Announce a joint campaign to revive the ERA.

    Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse ... then that would make him ... Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

    by Jyrinx on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:17:46 PM PDT

  •  I disagree with the thrust of your argument. (8+ / 0-)

    Mostly because you can give a concrete example of the hate Barack Obama personally faced in this campaign because he is perceived as 'colored'........ but you do not give a concrete example of the hate Hillary Clinton personally faced in this campaign because she is perceived as 'female'.

    What I got from your article is that you equate 'bad feelings' with 'outright discrimination', and you find 'outright discrimination towards race' LACKING against 'bad feelings towards women'.  That bothers me.  I hope I am misreading you.  On top of that, you say that racism is only a regional problem, and give the usual suspects. Well, guess what?  I've personally faced some strange stuff on the west coast, in the southwest, and in the midwest -- I faced all of them because of the color of my skin, not the innie-or-outie of my genitalia.  I'm sure that there are many here who would be happy to give you their own personal experiences in detail, some of which will include happy experiences in regions brushed off as hardcore racist and very bad experiences in regions which are supposedly enlightened.  

    That's not to say that I have not faced issues because of my genitalia.  But I STRONGLY disagree with your point, which appears to be trying to downsell the existence and persistence of racism while upselling the existence and persistence of sexism.   And by the way, sexism also exists towards men.

    If you wanted to make an argument about the need to resurrect the ERA, there are better ways to do it besides the subtle tone of ... I know not what ... towards traditional racial civil rights.

    Anyway, please give some examples of the sexism Hillary Clinton has faced.

    And more importantly, please explain how you feel Hillary Clinton could revive the ERA better than Obama, and why it should be, and whether or not the ERA should be resurrected as is or modified.  Perhaps I'm asking too much because I'm not doing the same, but this is your diary.  

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    •  the sexism never came form Obama (7+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      africa, Neon Mama, goshzilla, eltee, soms, Eyz, LeanneB

      or his campaign, but there was, for example, the "iron my shirts' incident.  the difference her is that Hillary Clinton embraced the racism of her shrinking constituency, and Obama never embraced the misogynists among his supporters.

      Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. --Molly Ivins

      by sap on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:25:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Larry Sinclair accused Barack Obama of (8+ / 0-)

        solicitation and crack-use on Illinois taxpayer time and dime.  That was not a radio stunt.  He failed two lie detector tests.  Barack Obama has ignored him even before the lie detector results, and I'm glad.  That episode had way too many bad stereotypes of successful presumeably straight black men going for it.

        The only person to hold Hillary Clinton 'hostage'  in such a way was actually trying to HELP her (allegedly) by forcing the nation to confront mental health, he thought she was the best person for the job.  That episode was mant to highlight the best in women versus men generally, and the best in Hillary Clinton versus her many male rivals (including the beloved here for his own stances on health care, John Edwards).

        url='Iron my shirt'[/url] was a radio stunt, and not only was it a radio stunt it allowed Hillary Clinton to whip out what appeared to be a rehearsed line about sexism.  Here's a photo of one of the guys involved in the stunt:

        [img src=""][/img]

        Here's a publicity photo of the djs at the radio station involved in the stunt:

        [img src=""][/img]

        So basically they got the obese, vaguely feminine latino dude -- with the help of an intern -- to pull this stunt off.  I have no idea who thought this would be a great idea.  I do find it reprehensible for Hillary Clinton to use this as some sort of talking point about the realities of what women face in this country.

        Has the 'god bless america' graffiti incident been shown to have only been a radio stunt? or was it real?  If it was only a radio stunt, then the stunters need to be punished.  If it was real -- again, no comparison.

        There are biggest example of how Hillary Clinton is not hurt by sexism to the extent of Obama hurt by racism is how often Hillary Clinton has been helped at the polls by people who were willing to vote FOR her because of her race, and NOT against her because of her sex.  That's bigger than even Geraldine Ferraro.  Hillary Clinton not only benefits from such nastiness, but has actively courted it and cultivated it.

        The biggest example of Hillary Clinton embracing sexism for her benefit, meanwhile, is her original stance of 'vote for me to make history because I have a vagina'.

        What is the biggest example of Barack Obama embracing sexism for his benefit?  There are none.

        What is the biggest example of Barack Obama embracing racism for his benefit?  Condemning his own pastor on multiple occasions does not fit that bill, for me.

        Sexism is not the biggest problem of this election, sap.  Again, there are better ways to put the ERA back on the table than this gender-versus-race diary.  That isn't even discussing that, for some of us, it's not a matter of 'versus', but 'plus'.

      •  Wasn't that a publicity stunt by two (3+ / 0-)

        "shock jocks" in that local radio market?

        "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

        by blindyone on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:03:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Erm, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jdbrooklyn, myboo, bushondrugs

      would you consider the above-mentioned steel-thighed nutcracker an example of overt hatred towards Clinton on account of her sex? They're for sale all over.

      And frankly, while I agree there's something that could be called sex discrimination against men (they're certainly more likely to be viewed as sexual threats than women, for instance) I'd happily trade my discrimination for theirs in a minute.

      The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

      by sidnora on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:26:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with you (5+ / 0-)

      As I say above, I and others worry on a daily basis about Barack Obama's safety. Not so HRC. I am sure that Barack has had daily encounters with overt racism in his life in Illinois, from not being able to catch a cab, to being called names, to being threatened, ignored in stores...daily reminders of being 'other'. I do not believe HRC has had those experiences. And it works on a person, you know? the daily reminders that many people think you're no better than something on the bottom of their shoe.

      I think we can address realistically the problems of sexism, the ERA, and pay inequity without as you say 'upselling' sexism to equate with or be 'just as bad a problem' as racism.

      I for one wouldn't prioritize the ERA over finding ways to address the appalling state of many Indian reservations and public housing projects in this country.

      •  Missing the point? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        myboo, arlene, bushondrugs

        Stuff like this really confuses me. How do you not realize that passing the ERA and having it enforced would help everyone, not just white women. It's not for those of us who made it up the ladder, it's for those who are trying to get on and stay on. It makes it illegal for you to pay your male and female mechanics different, which means the Native American woman supporting her children alone is better able to do so.

        •  I have said in more than one post here (5+ / 0-)

          that I support the ERA and its passage. I just would not prioritize it above much more 'emergency' needed measures to address poverty, crime, illiteracy, alcoholism, and drug abuse in many Native American and AA communities.

          Trust me, the ERA would do nothing to help the average Native American women if passed in a vacuum. Many Indian reservations and public housing projects are like third world countries. It would be like arguing for passage of the ERA in Uganda. First, let's deal with the severity of the underlying immediate day-to-day problems, let's address and redress and get out of crisis mode, which is where we are in many of these commnities. The ERA isn't crisis management.

          •  Indian reservations are legislatively treated (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Neon Mama

            like third-world nations, since the reservations are, for many purposes, treated as separate from the United States, with most tribes maintaining their own court systems.

            This arrangement between the Federal Government and the Tribes allows for the continuation of social and legal systems that might best be described as separate and unequal.

            Impeachment is a duty, not an option that can be taken off the table.

            by bushondrugs on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:11:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Do Amerindian men make as much as white women? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neon Mama, goshzilla

          I know latino men don't make as much as white women, and black men are lucky to make as much as white women and bounce back and forth with one another. (And apparently, Asian women make more than white women and are the closest to making as much as white men.)  I've written about this before, as a comment to KSchrad's diary on the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act failing in the Senate, and not a diary.  I'm sick of the gender wars which ignore the intersections of race within those gender wars.

          If all the ERA does is make white women more equal to white men pay-wise, how does that help non-white families whose adult family members of both sexes are struggling to reach even white female pay?

          The ERA is great, but it's not complete panacea either.  Honestly, I don't know what would be.  Hillary Clinton has not touched the ERA, so I don't understand why we're supposed to believe she cares about it.  She obviously wants to make history.  She's put her eggs in the basket of universal health care, though, not the ERA --- from what little I've observed of her.

    •  This has nothing to do with Hillary (8+ / 0-)

      personally, but I will tell you about my own experience.  The twenty years that I worked at the job I retired from, the work force was about 40% women, all doing the same work as their male counterparts.  We were a workforce of 125 persons.  The males by about 70%-30% were overwhelmingly grumbling and upset that the women made the exact same salary for the exact same work as they did.  

      I heard their complaints daily even hourly.  It was constant.  Since I was older than the average worker there this was not exactly a huge surprise to me, but what did surprise me that it was the 25-35 year old males that were most vehemently opposed to this equality.

      Then there was the men's open and on going request of top management to higher "pretty" young women instead of the smorgas board of females currently working there.  And the pretty young women that were hired got a pass on everything.  Less was expected of them, any mistakes were mostly ignored, and any favors they asked were promptly given.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm in favor of pretty women too, being a lesbian and all that, but I have a bit more included in my definition of pretty. . .substance is always an attractive feature in my book.

      The groans and cries of utter intolerance that these same men must be made aware of what sexual harassment is and why it was not their right as a male to say and act any way they pleased towards women was an enormous roaring outcry.  They hated that as much as anything.  How is it possible that any woman wouldn't want their sexually motivated advances?  It was not comprehensible to them.  That  never stopped as a topic of conversation.

      Having women promoted to supervisory and management positions was nearly impossible for most of those 20 years, but did begin to improve the last 5 of my working years.

      I've seen worse things than this over my many years, but to see it so openly and blatantly in my work place every day was pretty disheartening.  I still am quite surprised that it was so loud and prevalent among the younger workers.  

      I worked for a federal government agency.

      Maybe it's an Idaho thing?

      *the blogger formerly known as shirlstars

      by Shirl In Idaho on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:52:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can a 'pretty woman' be non-white? (4+ / 0-)

        Basically, what you're describing is how women can benefit (even if it's a sick version of benefiting) as well as be screwed over, by sexism.

        Sexism is screwed up.  You don't have to tell me.

        HOWEVER, this diary is wrongheaded to downplay racism while emphasizing sexism; it's doubly wrongheaded because the original version of it can give a concrete example of racism against Obama but cannot do the same with a concrete example of sexism against Clinton.  Instead, we're told that it's 'just obvious' --  and that 'just obvious'ness is supposed to be enough to place Hillary Clinton's struggles in this campaign on a higher platform than Obama's.  That's kind of insulting to me.  

        That it's done while laying the ERA guilt-trip down is kind of offensive to me.  Again, for a diary like this, if the ultimate objective is to say that Hillary Clinton would be better trusted to resurrect the ERA, let's hear why.  If the only reason why she can be trusted to resurrect the ERA is because she has a vagina, let that be stated outright, too.  If the only reason why Obama cannot be trusted to be sympathetic (let alone resurrect) the ERA is because of his penis, let's hear it.  If Obama's penis is more important than his skin color in this campaign, let that be plainly stated, too.

        I personally worry for anyone who actually believes any of that, in the same way I worry for someone who actually believes she can be a better friend to gay rights and the anti-war movement in spite of her past actions... but I'm just a voter here, not Mark Penn.

        •  Well (3+ / 0-)

          my experience in Idaho has been beautiful Latina women are included, and we have so few AA people let alone women, but racism about blacks is very high here, so I wouldn't be surprised that black women would not be afforded the same inclusion.

          However, NBA Hall of Fame Basketball player, Karl Malone married a beautiful black woman who was somehow a Miss Idaho. . .so maybe I am wrong there.  That of course was not a white male thing, but. . .she did win the title so somebody (all) voted her into that spot.

          Yeah, words come easy to most politicians, their actions often lead in a far different direction.

          *the blogger formerly known as shirlstars

          by Shirl In Idaho on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:37:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This was (11+ / 0-)

    unquestionably one of the finest pieces of writing I've read on this site.

    Excellent job, Devilstower.

    "Someone wants a knife fight; someone I'm lookin' at." --Master Shake

    by TheBlaz on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:18:04 PM PDT

  •  I'll buy that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jdbrooklyn, sap, arlene, soms

    The first political activity that I remember participating in was a gathering in the basement of Lawrence University's Main Hall to march for the ERA.  It had to have been 1972, when the ERA was up for consideration in Wisconsin (it passed).  I would have been about 3 1/2 years old.  Strangely enough, I remember the gathering and and the signs, but my mom doesn't remember taking me.

    Anyway.  The ERA is not so far from passage.  35 states have ratified it.  North Carolina is not one of them, but our legislature is now dominated by Democrats and with any luck our next Governor will be a woman.

    •  I think you'd also find (8+ / 0-)

      that a map of the states that rejected the ERA will look very similar to those "regions" where you believe racism remains stronger.  

      I do need to note this,  I don't know a single person that is in any way a likely Democratic voter that would vote against Hillary for President because she's a woman.  There's plenty that wouldn't vote for her because of her war-mongering, and a handful that won't vote for her because she's a Clinton.  But the only people that I know that wouldn't vote for her because she's a woman are pretty much rock-solid Rube votes to begin with.  OTOH, I do know a fair number of usually Democratic voters that will not vote for Obama because he's black--and I don't live anywhere near those limited regions where you suggest this is a factor.

      •  I was a Clinton supporter at first... (0+ / 0-)

        I'm comfortable that I am not sexist, just as I am certain that Hillary's gender did not change - but her behavior did, and that's what turned me off.

        So not supporting a female candidate does not necessarily reflect gender bias. Hopefully we can see something similar as far as racial bias, although I don't hear of many people who 'used' to be for Obama but aren't now. He never had a chance with some.

        I reserve the right to deny my vote to anybody who doesn't deserve it.

  •  As a woman, I have experienced this. (16+ / 0-)

    Never overt sexism, but that subtle, I-cannot-really-take-what-you're-saying-seriously-because-you're-a-woman smile and flippant disregard of opinions expressed in a group of men kind of racism. My husband works in a company which hosts a yearly conference . People from all over the world attend, and the majority of those in attendance, those who work for the company itself, are men. Very few women are leaders in this company, and those that are have been given more administrative roles. It is an amazing thing to see, and I have often found myself relegated to the status of a "lesser" when attempting to hold conversations with some of these men, especially when it comes to topics such as politics. They seem to disregard what I'm saying and don't really take me seriously, and I have to work harder to be heard. Sometimes there is a look of amazement on their faces when I make a particularly insightful point or point out something wrong in their argument, and I have often been told "It is so odd to have a conversation with a woman about this! No women I know are interested in politics!" It makes me wonder if maybe they haven't been listening.

    But until we are able to recognize the fact that we belong to a Human Race, sexism and racism, prejudice of every kind, will continue to exist in the world.

    Thanks for the post, Devilstower.

    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

    by missLotus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:19:22 PM PDT

    •  I've experienced it too, doled out by older men. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      missLotus, arlene, Neon Mama

      Some men express utter amazement that women have as much (if not more) talent, ability, and interest than any of their male counterparts.  

      When I experienced gender bias in college during the late 1980's, I thought it would get better.  And since then, as long as there are enough women around, it actually is better.  The trouble is that as soon as the number of women in a given situation drops below a certain point, the sexist attitudes come out into the open, even out of the mouths of men whom I thought were progressive.  It's very discouraging.

      Impeachment is a duty, not an option that can be taken off the table.

      by bushondrugs on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:22:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The time has come. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Not all who wander are lost. J.R.R. Tolkien

    by temptxan on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:20:22 PM PDT

  •  Berghoff's Men's Grill (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    saluda, bablhous, elsaf, Neon Mama, goshzilla

    Chicago NOW desexigrated it in the 1970's with pickets and leaflets.  The premise was that women coming into a bar was there to solicit for sex, but of course they didn't say that.  It was, "Men need faster service in order to get back to their jobs."

    Illinois was one of the states that failed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.  I would love to see ratification become a priority for the Democratic Party.

    •  ah yes.... (6+ / 0-)

      I can remember walking into a hotel bar to meet another IBMer who was also traveling on business, only to be told that I couldn't wait for him because they did not allow unaccompanied females into the bar.

      At the time, IBM had an unwritten policy that women could only be systems engineers and not the more lucrative sales representatives, due, in part, to the fear that a woman sales rep might have an advantage because she could trade sex for orders.

      Male only restaurants and seating areas were not unknown at the time either, from the famous Morely's in the Yale song to the elite Harvard faculty club.

      I was stunned that the ERA failed to pass.

      •  Here in Missouri there are still arcane laws KEPT (8+ / 0-)

        Girl Scout camp cabins can only house 10 or fewer girls because of an arcane law that says any domicile with more than 10 women is a bordello.

        Boy Scout camps can have actual barracks if they wish.

      •  What killed the ERA (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Neon Mama, ObamaLovingExDemocrat

        seriously, I think the restroom argument probably killed it...a bunch of states passed it quickly, then the battle cry went up that if the ERA passes we'll have to have unisex bathrooms...terror ensued...

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:28:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's funny... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neon Mama

          especially considering that there probably isn't a private home in North America with separate facilities for men and women.

          Of course the ERA wouldn't have forced unisex public washrooms. But, you know, I'm finding it hard to have much sympathy for people terrified that they might have to endure (gasp!) a public version of something they accept without a second thought in their own homes.

          Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is.

          by Canadian Reader on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:44:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  West Pasco, Florida, our Sheriff's office/jail (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Canadian Reader

          visitor lobby has two separate one stall bathrooms, with door locks.  Both are unisex, even though one has urinal also.  Handy, since "service" is so slow that most visits inspire potty break. Traffic flow works fluidly.

          I observe it with wry humor -- since macho cops whose wives didn't want female partners in their cars -- were often most verbal in spreading unisex bathroom fears back in the day. Bathroom fears and "Ooooh, they'll draft your daughters."  

          So we have voluntary military women and unisex toilets anyway. No matter what they say -- the real fear is of equality and level playing fields.

          I find FEAR of FAIR to be a sign of insecurity.

          De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

          by Neon Mama on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:04:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Insurance Industry and Mormon Church (0+ / 0-)

          The ERA always got good support in the polls, with the majority of Americans supporting ratification.  The insurance lobby and the Mormons were active on the state level, using whatever clout they had to turn pro-ERA legistors against ERA.  

          Discrimination based on sex is basic insurance underwriting policy and Mormonism is a male-centered religion.  The Roman Catholic National Council of Catholic Bishops had a "gentlemen's agreement" with the Mormons.  RC NCCB against abortion, the Mormon hierarchy against ERA.

          Phyllis Schlafly served as the front with her Stop ERA campaign.   Her group was never able to muster the troops or organization that pro-ERA groups did, but somehow, she got equal attention from the media.  The newspapers were attacked by women's groups for their sexism in want ads, confining women reporters to the "women's pages", their all-male editorial boards, etc., so they weren't particularly disposed to supporting the ERA either, although most gave lip service to support.

  •  you're right, devilstower (7+ / 0-)

    right on the money.

    And yet, how many Clinton supporters honestly heard from voters that they wouldn't vote for her because she was a woman, or that they were afraid she would devote too much time to "women's issues?"  Not many.

    Yes, sexism is more pervasive than racism, but it's also more shallow than racism in the depth of its vitriol.

    Prejudice lost both Clinton and Obama a ton of votes, but I'm absolutely convinced it cost Obama more than Clinton.  Those with sexist attitudes will still vote for women: but when I was growing up in a much more "red" area, I knew several men here in California who believe that women are biologically inferior, but who still voted for women politicians like Dianne Feinstein.  Can the same be said for racists in voting for a black man?

    It's true that women are horribly underrepresented in our government, and that has to change.  But if districts weren't gerrymandered so as to pool most of the African-America vote in individual districts, how many black politicians would we honestly see at the highest levels of our government?  I doubt you'd be able to count them on more than two hands.

    Head to Heading Left, BlogTalkRadio's progressive radio site!

    by thereisnospoon on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:20:42 PM PDT

    •  Opening paragraph of your latest diary: (0+ / 0-)

      I'd like to make a quick note to all of Hillary Clinton's supporters who are currently blaming sexism for the fact that your candidate has almost certainly lost: sexism had nothing to do with it.  In fact, it was anything but.

      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." --Samuel Johnson

      by joanneleon on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:30:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and your point is? (0+ / 0-)

        sexism had nothing to do with her losing, because it was offset by just as large if not greater margins by the racism confronted by Obama--and because the two candidates' identities made them likelier to be supported by women and African-Americans, respectively.

        In the end, it was about ideology.

        Head to Heading Left, BlogTalkRadio's progressive radio site!

        by thereisnospoon on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:48:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  get 'er done! (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bablhous, elsaf, sap, arlene, goshzilla, eltee

    ERA has been denied far too long. Yes, women have made gains, especially white women. There still are more to come. Passage of ERA under an Obama administration would seal whatever fractures remain from this primary.

    Let's do it!

    -7.38, -5.23 "Though the storm may be raging, and the billows tossing high, Lord I feel like going on."

    by CocoaLove on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:21:57 PM PDT

  •  Real men are not threatened by successful women (8+ / 0-)

    No one was prouder than my Dad that he had married a college graduate.  No one was prouder than my Dad that all of his children became college graduates and that starts with my older sisters.

    Just sayin'.  And he was a poor boy from Seattle, the first one of his family to go to and graduate from college.

    McCain has no core principles that the American people can trust he'll follow from one day to the next. We should worry about his principals, too.

    by algebrateacher on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:22:27 PM PDT

  •  Fabulous Article and more ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elsaf, Neon Mama, Spekkio

    Your article will keep on giving because it is reminder of the connectivity of seemingly unconnected events and words. I expect to savor it several more times.

    The code words that have transcended time still linger.  So do the code thoughts. But worst, so do the code operatives, driven by an enormous fear of 'religious' proportions.

    That's the echo chorus of your article - fear.  Every single word, sign, quote, depiction is telling of how successful fear has reigned in our young Nation in staggering conflict with our Freedom.

    Fear, can't live with it, can't live without it.

    But we can though force it back to where it's useful in our autonomic senses and deny it mental real estate so that it should rule our cognitive thought processes and own our reasoned judgment.

    Wonderful article.

    Binx101 The Almost Daily Binx

    by Binx101 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:23:23 PM PDT

  •  The difference between racism and sexism (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elsaf, africa, lauramp

    As bad as the treatment of women was, it never rose to the level of racism in this country. Women have long been denied opportunities, but that has begun to change. Now it is men who are losing the jobs, while women are increasing their numbers in the work force. Part of that may be due to the types of jobs men do, manufacturing and construction, vs the type women do, nursing, teaching, etc. And women, at least since the beginning of the 20th century were not physically or mentally abused. Yes, they were often considered fragile, but rarely less than human.

    With blacks, discrimination has a completely different nature. It is still within the lifetime of many people here that lynchings were being done in the south. And it was often treated as a celebration, with thousand of onlookers, including kids.

    And the list could go on. What about the way Jews were treated in this country until recently. Or internment during WWII of Japanese Americans. We have a very long history of bigotry and discrimination. Today it manifests itself primarily against Muslims and Mexicans.

    Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

    by corwin on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:23:44 PM PDT

    •  Female Suppression (10+ / 0-)

      I disagree with this assessment. The subjugation of woman spans many cultures and predates African enslavement by centuries.  It's scope, length and severity are massive in comparison.  We are talking thousands of years of female suppression.

      On the other hand,  it is very telling that many "working class whites" (code for uneducated whites) would prefer to vote for a white female over a black male.  This means a lot.

      •  My argument was limited to this country (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Since about the beginning of the 20th century. I do understand that the treatment of women prior to that, even in this country was only slightly better than that of blacks, and that women were often abused and treated as property every bit as much as slaves. Still there was at least the perception that if women were hurt, or raped by others, it would be very severe punishment, especially if the perpetrator was black.  

        Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

        by corwin on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:42:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Still present (6+ / 0-)

          Unfortunately, subjugation of women exists all over the world it is most severe forms.  Woman are routinely mutilated and woman who are raped are killed because they are felt to be impure.

          •  And why doesn't our country do more to fight (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Neon Mama

   fight the gender-cide going on in Africa right now?  Why is oil so much more important than human beings who are being raped, maimed, and killed by the 10,000's because they are female?

            ...or to fight the high rates of female infanticide in India, China, and other nations?

            ...or to fight the mistreatment of females in Middle Eastern countries?

            Yes, I know that the degrading comments about Hillary's pantsuits or the sales of Hillary nutcrackers aren't anywhere close to being as serious as these problems, but to some degree, they come from the same place: society's anxiety about women (as a gender) not staying in their place.

            The fact that the United States is so tolerant of how women are mistreated around the globe could be a bad sign of more to come.

            So, WHY aren't Hillary or Barack talking more about women's issues?

            Impeachment is a duty, not an option that can be taken off the table.

            by bushondrugs on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:37:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Not Physically Or Mentally Abused?????? (9+ / 0-)

      Are you serious?  Rape, domestic violence,sexual harassment, murder of women, often by their husbands or boyfriends, I guess that just doesn't qualify as abuse.

      I do not like thee, Doctor Fell, The reason why I cannot tell; But this I know, and know full well, I do not like thee, Doctor Fell.

      by opinionated on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:31:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The difference between racism and sexism? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      goshzilla, XerTeacher

      No matter how sexists a society is, it's never decided to exterminate its women.

      We only have to look at what happened to the Jews in Europe, the Armenians in Turkey, the Tootsie in see that deciding you hate a race so much you want to eliminate them isn't that uncommon.

      Women face violence every day, on an individual level. Murder, rape, beatings, ect. are all to common, as is demeaning the contribution women are capable of making and do make to society all the time.

      But I'd probably argue that it is many times more likely that a people will man and erect death camps as a final solution for 'uppity' members of a different race than they will for 'uppity' women of their own race. (The former has been done before, the later not to my knowledge)

      So again IMHO, and I am open to opinions / arguments to the contrary, the level MASS AND GOVERNMENT SANCTIONED human depravity that women and men of one group are likely to resort to against women and men of another group is less than that which is likely to occur between women and men of the same group, however defined.

      (The Taliban, Sex-Slave-Traders, are often government sanctioned, or at least mass sanctioned, activities involving dispicable levels of violence towards women. And are probably comparable to things like ethnic slavery, i.e. in the U.S. But still, the 'final solution' option or motivations still aren't there. It is no less evil to murder a group of women to keep them from testifying at your prostitution trial, than it is to murder a family because they look different or pray to the wrong god. But it is more rational.)

      •  Ref: inquisition (0+ / 0-)

        for people who will "man" extermination of "their" uppity women.

        a people will man and erect death camps as a final solution for 'uppity' members of a different race than they will for 'uppity' women of their own race. (The former has been done before, the later not to my knowledge)

  •  Huh?.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You're not going to find a commentator on one of the news stations to defend this shirt (okay, maybe Pat Buchanan, but Buchanan is repugnant all on his own).

    Everybody on Fixed News would defend it.  

    As well as avid racists like Glenn Beck & Lou Dobbs.

    I think you fail to understand cable news, as a general rule, does not consider  employing bigots to be a negative.  In fact, from what I see & hear from MSNBC, CNN & Fox on a daily basis, cable news channels seem to go out of their way to hire talking heads who are bigots.

    If you think Pat Buchanan is the only cable news commentator that would defend that stupid shirt, then we have access to cable news channels that inhabit 2 different realms of reality.

    "So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause."--Padmé Amidala

    by wyvern on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:23:56 PM PDT

    •  That's true - it's about theater. (0+ / 0-)

      Talking heads who say outrageous, even evil things generate the frothing shouting matches that pass for discourse in such venues.  That's a plus, not a minus, since it will boost ratings and revenue.

      Ask me about my sig line.

      by LeanneB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:32:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  excellent diary (6+ / 0-)

    Devilstower, thank you for sharing some of your story and your mom's in your maturation process. It isn't easy for women or African Americans. I guess I should know because I fall into both categories. LOL

    -7.38, -5.23 "Though the storm may be raging, and the billows tossing high, Lord I feel like going on."

    by CocoaLove on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:24:11 PM PDT

  •  Kossacks, take note... (6+ / 0-)

    it's easy to make trite, cliche comparisons and try to delve into "who has it worse?"

    But reality--the human world of disparate groups and disparate motivations and functions... does not simply resolve itself with "we're all human" in the deep and the finite and minute.  True enough we all "bleed" and feel pain in some form, but that tells you very little about the reality of life right now at 12:22 PM, or 3:22 PM out in Virginia or New York.

    We as progressives try to encourage and foster cooperation, as it is the fundamental principal of civilization.  The more we can respect and appreciate difference, the more civilized we are but also, evidence increasingly suggests, the more resilient.

    If we have a society that can do that, ushered in by we fallible, errant progressives.  Where Republican-minded people can coexist and African Americans can thrive and women can have equal choices and full economic and social freedom, then we can better last as a country and survive cyclical economic trends or technological changes or threats from abroad.

    Republicans believe in gvmt. intervention for bankers and investors, I believe in intervention for the meek and lowly -- Nulwee.

    by Nulwee on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:24:36 PM PDT

  •  I'm still amazed at the denial (10+ / 0-)

    by so many who claim that racism has decreased, if not disappeared, in the US. Against that, I can point to the woman my wife works with who considers herself fairly liberal, but doesn't want "those people" in positions of authority. I can point to the venomous reactions I saw in various public places in Florida when an African American golfer had a lead. This was before Tiger; I hate to think what it's like around there now.

    Yes, there's been a huge increase since I was young in the tolerance of one race for the other (and I'll mention, but not harp on the fact, that it goes both ways; that is in no way an excuse). But too many, even of the otherwise tolerant, still feel that when it comes to basic rights and many privileges, there's a line in the sand, based strictly on race, beyond which "those people" may not go.

    I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell. -- Harry Truman

    by jazzyndn on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:26:25 PM PDT

    •  It probably has decreased (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lauramp, Neon Mama, jazzyndn

      but given where the US has been on this topic, that isn't cause for pats on the back.  There is still a lot of work to do, and standards need to be much higher.

      Barack Obama for President '08

      by v2aggie2 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:31:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  racism (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      barbwires, ObamaLovingExDemocrat

      Having grown up in a predominately black neighborhood as a white person I can tell you that it is no better on that end.  There is such a lack of communication, open and honest communication that I can not foresee an appreciable change in behavior for either side.  And by communication I means honest and open exchange, not one side bitching at the other.

      •  Black people can be bigots (4+ / 0-)

        individually but they don't have the power of institutions ( governmental, educational, financial, legal and so on) behind them. Also, white privilege gives us all a boost from the time that we are born.

        "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

        by blindyone on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:10:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ah, but go back (0+ / 0-)

        and re-read Obama's Race speech. It is that type of communication and exchange that he encourages, and that I believe he can bring about--yes, dammit, because the black community will listen to him and open that side of the exchange, but also because I believe a significant portion of the white community will as well.

        I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell. -- Harry Truman

        by jazzyndn on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:04:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Unfortunately, that was waaaay too long a post (0+ / 0-)

    It may have been a brilliant and important piece, and may have been perfectly suited to the Sunday New York Times Op-Ed page, but posts of that length, with 4 paragraphs of throat-clearing, do not work well in the blogosphere.

  •  Thanks for such an insightful diary. nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elsaf, blindyone, Onkel Trygve
  •  Stunning , dt, (5+ / 0-)

    Meteor Blades level, even.

  •  That sign (8+ / 0-)

    was meant for many others as well. I grew up in N. Idaho and W. Montana. That sign was directed at Native Americans.

    The signs had disappeared by the time I got to South Dakota in the eighties. But working on the res left no doubt about how they were viewed by the whites who lived in the area.

    Common Sense is not Common

    by RustyBrown on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:31:14 PM PDT

  •  You could not say it any better. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    NYTimes & WaPost needs your insight and prose.

  •  Evolution brings Extinction (0+ / 0-)

    we are witnessing before our very eyes Evolution of Humanity.  With Evolution comes Extinction.  As Sexism and Racism becomes weaker and more isolated to particular regions, it is only a matter of time (perhaps only a few more generations) before that form of human species is extinct.

  •  Thank you. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    barbwires, arlene, Spekkio

    This is an extremely well balanced analysis of sexism and racism in America, which expresses something that frequently evades non-feminists: women may be succeeding at a greater number than they once did, and yet "bitch" and "slut" are not recognized as hate words as the n-word is. That is, that the movement has fundamentally failed.

    Not to mention that, for example, the U.S. Census documents hate crimes prominently, but not domestic abuse. That a single mother is more likely to be in poverty than a member of any other group. That terms like "gray rape" exist at all.

    •  Can't speak for the word "slut" but "bitch" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vets74, Spekkio

      can also be a compliment.

      I am proud to have been called one at one time or another.

      Now that I'm thinking of the word slut (uh oh), just remembered calling a fellow worker (male) a slut puppy for something earlier in the week. So I'm not sure that's a word that needs to be struck down by the PC police either.

      A better comparison for you would probably be the word "cunt" -- it IS as denigrating as the word "nigger."

      Just saying...

    •  Words (0+ / 0-)

      Is it hateful if someone calls lovingly calls their girlfriend a slut or a c*nt whilst they, er, "make whoopie?" What about the African American community's use of the "n" word?

      To paraphrase George Carlin - there are no bad words. There are bad thoughts and bad intentions.

  •  Put ERA into the Dem Platform! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Maybe if bloggers like us make enough noise, we could get passing the Equal Rights Amendment inserted into the Democratic party platform in Denver.

    Time to give American voters some positive choices between "us" and "them." One choice is to stop allowing so many "thems" to be discriminated against.

    The social symbolism of Barack Obama's candidacy is amazing, but its implications must be made explicit, put right into the text of the party's platform. One glittering example would be to insert a vow to press for the ERA's final passage.

    In fact, we should start pressing for all our Democratic congressional candidates to support the ERA, too. Get them on record supporting it.

    Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine!

    by jimbo92107 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:34:19 PM PDT

  •  Great diary, Devilstower. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Let's also remember which candidate has voted against the ERA, and which candidates have co-sponsored the constitutional amendment.

    The doctor said I wouldn't have so many nose bleeds if I kept my finger outta there. - Ralph Wiggum

    by jim bow on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:37:37 PM PDT

  •  Yes Yes and Yes (4+ / 0-)

    Excellent points.  I grew up when both racism and sexism were rampant, and I remember that the women's movement actually grew out of the civil rights movement -- we women who worked tirelessly for racial equality and then had that "click" moment when we realized we weren't treated equally either.

    I remember being in college at UCLA and Berkeley and wanting to travel to Mississippi to show my support, and having the leader of the civil rights organization that I wanted to volunteer for (SNCC) make a disparaging comment about the only position for women in the movement being on their backs. The struggle for equal rights for blacks lit a match under the feminist movement.  

    I remember working at the Rand Corporation and being paid less than the younger man I was training -- and being told that he might have a family to support one day!  The Civil Rights movement for racial equality was in full swing, and all of a sudden we women got the message immortalized by the first edition of MS Magazine with the unforgettable image of the secretary at the typewriter with a "click" above her head as she gets the picture.

    Racism and Sexism are both abhorrent, and both still prevalent.  Racism is not so overt or openly tolerated.  Sexism is mainly because the "battle of the sexes" is considered immutable and inevitable.  Until we move beyond Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus to realize that we are all Earthlings and at the same time all divine, we will continue to suffer from ingrained sexism.

    Thoughtful diary. Much appreciated.

  •  Very insightful diary ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elsaf, lauramp, XerTeacher

    ... and important for us to consider.

    I've been nursing a theory that at some point, the "working class whites" who voted for Clinton decided without fanfare to "process" her gender differently, not in terms of feminism as they see it, but as a more "positive" thing. Not everyone has African-American friends and neighbors, but everyone has a mother, and most men have sisters and wives. One of the stereotypes of "working class whites" is that they don't cotton to "women's lib". Another stereotype, however, is that they respect their hard-working, tough-as-nails mothers. I think a lot of people who might have otherwise voted against Clinton because she's a woman ended up voting for her because she started to remind them of their mamas. This might be the first step in adding a female variation on Lakoff's "strict father" formulation. It wouldn't be at all surprising, since in so many families, the Moms are the breadwinners and disciplinarians. This is bound to have a political impact, (if the whole notion of viewing politicians in terms of parent roles has any validity at all).

    If you'd have told me in October that Hillary's strongest support were to be in Appalachia and among "working-class whites", I'd have said you were crazy.

    Ironically and sadly, I think most of the sexism directed at Hillary has come from the ideological soldiers in the right wing media, and from nominally educated "liberals" who are too comfortable with the casual (and supposedly harmless) sexism that permeates popular culture.

    "I knew a Buddhist once, and I've hated myself ever since." -- Hunter S. Thompson

    by apulrang on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:39:13 PM PDT

  •  Racism, sexism, ERA, & BBQ (0+ / 0-)

    A few points.

    I agree with you that sexism is a more invisible bias than racism (I've been calling KY for Obama this weekend & it is very visible).  I don't know if the ERA is the right way to go about it.

    Why is the ERA a better solution than a rigorous enforcement of the 14th Amendment?

    BTW, that sandwich sounds awesome.

  •  Excellent diary, and one of the few (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    with which I could agree completely.

    Your point about the ERA was not one I had considered, and is even more reason for me to hope that Barack picks Sibelius as VP. Pushing for the ERA would be one hell of a good plank in the old platform!

    Obama - Sibelius 08!! McCain will have such a hard time saying it, his head will explode!!

    by ATLSandlapper on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:42:43 PM PDT

  •  Clinton should have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    been a political steamroller.  But it's kinda hard to be an engaging, feminist, progressive political figure while running as a fascist.  

    It just doesn't add up to a coherent movement.

    The same dynamic holds for Obama and race.  

    The notion that we're somehow bravely stepping forward with the first female and black candidates is completely belied by the reality that neither candidate is running as a progressive, or offering any sort of the desperately needed, coherent critique of the Bushco era.

    That McCain is even in the game speaks to their failure, and the politically incoherent, tanking, subservient nature of the "third way".

    It's the fascism, stupid!

    •  The instant Clinton (0+ / 0-)

      threatens Iran with nuclear obliteration, she also obliterates any real link between her "feminism" and any sort of encompassing, coherent, progressive tradition.  

      She shows her true values.

      If considering the first female fascist President, I know where the definitive emphasis goes.  All I see is muddy water and betrayal.

      Obama is little better, with his inane search for the "real" War on Terror, and romantic notions of Reagan and Bush I.  Sorry, but this is not the critique of a thoughtful black leader in any kind of progressive tradition.

      These candidacies are about as much about gender and race as Bush is about being a cowboy -- it's almost completely beside the point, and more diversion than substance.

      "We have given them the precious gift of freedom"  Sen. Hillary Clinton, speaking on the 5th anniversary of Bushco's Iraq smash-n-grab rollout.

    •  Ay caramba! (0+ / 0-)

      neither candidate is running as a progressive

      The alternative is four more years of the people who brought us the Bush disaster, and it's not "progressive" enough for you?

      Here's a clue, friend. The universe does not exist to fulfill your expectations, nor mine, nor anyone else's.

      "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

      by Ivan on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:50:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Should we be talking about racism? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elsaf, Fixed Point Theorem

    It seems you can divide a country so quickly with race or religion.  You have to be careful.  In Serbia, no one cared, and then suddenly, it mattered if you were one 'race' or the other.  They did the same with the Jews (Nazi Germany), Protestants (Spanish Inquisition), etc.  It just takes one little thing to bring us back to square one.  So I wonder if we should even be talking about racism?...

    •  Should we even be talking about it?? (4+ / 0-)

      I don't think I get your point. Are you suggesting we should just all ignore 'race' and then nothing bad will happen? Dude, that's really naive. Non-whites in this country experience racism on a daily basis. Not talking about it and finding ways to solve it would be a gross injustice. The people that are uncomfortable talking about race and racial divides are usually white people. That's because they're a majority who doesn't experience racism and so therefore can pretend it doesn't exist. Not a luxury available to victims of racism.

      •  I completely agree with you and the other comment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fixed Point Theorem

        Racism is a big problem, deep in our history-- it's one of the biggest stains in our past and the consequence of racist actions reverberates into the present.  It's a very serious thing.   Racism has serious consequences.  It's naive to pretend its not there, that's true.

        I mean no offense by my ill-worded title.  I guess what I'm trying to say is racism is delicate.  It can come out of nowhere (anti-Arab racism in 2001, for instance).  

        I just get nervous when I hear people talking about race, racism.  Differences can be created so easily.  

    •  Yes, we should talk about it. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lauramp, blindyone, El Tomaso

      It's a reality in this country and ignoring it will not make it go away. You have to shine a light on the things that are wrong if you want to change them. There are already divisions and opening up a conversation about race is not going to somehow "make it worse".

      "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

      by missLotus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:52:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama knew better than to run (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flight2q, Spekkio, yammatal

      as the "Black" candidate. He wouldn't stand a chance. As he became better known, and garnered more support, including support from Black voters, he got pushed into that box because his opponents knew that racial resentment appeals would work with a certain percentage of White voters.

      So he made his "race" speech. And yeah, we have to talk about racism whether it is pleasant or not because it is a daily part of a lot of people's lives.

      "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

      by blindyone on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:17:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  By the way... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arlene, donaldw6, yammatal

      that's pretty much what we did to Iraq. Before the US invasion, while there was some animosity between Sunnis and Shiites, for the most part they got along fairly well.  There were many mixed neighborhoods.  We divided the government along religious and ethnic lines and put the country, as you put it "back to square one."

      I'm not sure I agree with you that the answer in the US is not to talk about it, but I don't think your point is unreasonable.

      The thing is, it's not Devilstower or DailyKos that brought up the subject of race, and it certainly was not Obama.  But people are apparently talking about it out there -- and in very racist terms. All the diarist is doing is acknowledging this.

  •  Your essay both deflates and inspires me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Yesterday I saw a headline that said "Women ask if not Hillary, what woman can be elected President?" or something like that.  It took the Obama-won-wind right out of my sails and left me curiously deflated.  Yesterday, I also had lunch with some 20-somethings who started telling 'people are racist' stories about their road trip to Indiana where they campaigned for Obama.

    I keep going back to something I heard Howard Fineman say that really struck me.  He said it is the 'destiny' of the Democratic party to elect the first black and probably the first woman President.  I've thought about that a lot.  If we don't do it, it won't get done.  But I know it is going to be so hard and that many of the things we see and hear will anger us, depress us and hurt our feelings.

    •  Why are assuming there aren't any (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fixed Point Theorem

      great OTHER female politicians out there? There are TONS better than Clinton. None of them could run this time because it was "Hillary's Turn."

      I'm hoping Obama picks a female VP and if so you'll see what I mean. It'll be a V-8 moment, hopefully...

      •  I didn't ask the question, I saw it asked (0+ / 0-)

        I know there are plenty of terrific women out there but I am also realizing how hard it's going to be to elect a woman.  

        Hillary was not the right person to be elected President in 2008.  That would be true regardless of her gender.

    •  Hillary /= all women (0+ / 0-)

      "Women ask if not Hillary, what woman can be elected President?"

      A woman who did not vote for an unjustified war?
      A woman who is not a corrupt corporatist with a long trail of scandals?
      A woman who did not aid and abet the smearing of the victims of her husbands sexual harassment as lying "bimbos" and "trailer-park trash"*.
      A woman who is not a habitual and unrepentant liar (sniper fire)?
      A woman who is not a blatant and irresponsible panderer (gas tax holiday)?
      A woman who did not try to gain office on the coattails of her husband instead of her own accomplishments?
      A woman who did not run an incompetent campaign?

      (*I put quotes around "bimbos" and "trailer-park trash" as those were the terms used by Clinton associates. I do not claim those terms were used by Hillary directly.)

    •  That was an Assoc. Press story (0+ / 0-)

      .... don't let it bother you because that was the intent of the story. They found a small group of women to whom it was a big deal they aren't going to get to vote for HRC in the general.  Big deal.  The writers are focused exclusively on that aspect of it, not that it would be a Democrat in the White House but The Return of the Hillary.
      Most readers have the attention span of gnats anyway.

  •  This diary is really bugging me (17+ / 0-)

    so let me expand on my previous comments to ask those of you who are white and female to seriously put yourselves in the shoes of a person who every single day doesn't get waited on in stores, is followed around by security in most stores, gets second looks from police officers everywhere they go, at least several times a week gets called a racial epithet, cannot hail a damn cab, gets pulled over for DWB when you're ust trying to get home from a long fuking day at the office, you see people cross to the other side of the street when you're on it...don't you think that would seriously affect your outlook on life? Let me tell ya, it is NOT the same as being called 'sweetie'. Now there's a problem many black folks would like to have.

    Sexism is something women in this country are increasingly learning to overcome. White men are married to women, they have sisters and daughters who are female. Even when they have sexist attitudes they usually do not dehumanize the women in their life or at their job. That is not true for racism, which allows the individual to dehumanize, delegitimize, and hate, literally hate, people of other races.

    •  AMEN! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lauramp, soms


    •  But it's not about "either/or" (8+ / 0-)

      Recognizing that sexism is prevalent and destructive does absolutely nothing to diminish the critical issue of racism in this country.

      It's not about who's got it worse, or it shouldn't be for progressives. It should be about "we're all in this together" and we can only fix it together.

      Rather pollyannish on my part, I acknowledge completely. But the Republicans have been as successful as they've been over the past 30 years by exploiting this--it's been a divide and conquer strategy that has exacerbated tensions.

      Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -- Ben Franklin

      by Joan McCarter on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:52:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree it's not either/or (4+ / 0-)

        But the premise of the diary, it seemed to me, was to attempt to unify the HRC and Barack Obama factions by drawing uncomfortable parallels between sexism and racism and even implying that somehow bot of these candidates were disadvantaged, one because of her gender, and the other because of his race, and I just simply cannot disagree more. I think HRC grew up white and privileged and knows very little about what it means to actually be discriminated against, and I do not think her gender has hurt her one whit in this campaign.

        •  I would have to disagree (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          saluda, Themistoclea, paiges, StageStop

          Being characterized as the shrill, ball-busting, but at the same time over-emotional, cackling bitch who is only there because of her more talented husband, all characterizations that have been perpetuated throughout the entire campaign by the media, is not particularly fair.

          The attitude that the media has had toward her--from the very beginning when the NYT ran that disgraceful front-page story speculating about whether she and Bill were still sleeping together--has been a disadvantage for her in this campaign.

          I wouldn't presume to state Devilstower's premise for this diary beyond what I can read. And what I read is that we have some serious social problems in this country that have had a real spotlight shone on them in this campaign.

          Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -- Ben Franklin

          by Joan McCarter on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:52:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I understand your point. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      El Tomaso

      And as a white woman, in no way do I compare what I have experienced with what a person of color has experienced. But prejudice is prejudice, no matter what form it takes.

      "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

      by missLotus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:57:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Totally agree (0+ / 0-)


    •  I just rec'd your comment sheaG (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      saluda, barbwires, bluetownship, LFL

      with this caveat. I am white and a woman. And I have worked in a multicultural, multiracial, multinational environment day and out for going on a decade. Early on I learned an insight to share with you: you can never, ever say one person or one nation or one race or anyone has suffered more than another.

      I don't think "sweetie" is more than a distraction. But I do know that taken as whole, women around the world suffer in the same measure as you describe above.

      Here in America, I walk the streets and can work and live without the oppression you describe. Now, as I age I have to experience more of what you describe above. Just trying to get a table in restaurant, do something quite normal and have begun to experience the awfulness of being invisible. It is not hatred, or maybe a softer hatred for sure but what society is casting for me now must be fought just as hard or I will be destroyed by it.

      If Clinton uses the word white one more time, we will have a start calling her the white Al Sharpton.--CHRIS MATTHEWS

      by lascaux on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:01:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Except that sexism is pervasive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Themistoclea, arlene

      it is in every culture. Blacks are just as sexist as whites. Some Asian cultures have allowed women to be publicly humiliated. In Korea, it is required for a woman to rise and give a man her seat when he enters a room.
      Yes, racism is its own special problems. And we need to get beyond it. But the next step will be to confront sexism. it's been that way throughout our history, from the Civil war to present day - civil rights for blacks first, then women. I don't mind, as long as the dialog moves ahead, and strides are made.
      Sadly, every culture on the planet is sexist - not every culture is racist. That's a fact. and the next women's movement will, I hope, take on the outright sexism especially in places of color, like Africa and the middle east.
      Men have done a lousy enough job of running the world. We need the power of women - all women - if we're to ever find peace.

      "In a time of universal deceit -- telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

      by MA Liberal on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:06:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bullshit. (6+ / 0-)

      Sexism is rampant in this country and worldwide. And that you feel the need to diminish what women experience to prove your point that others have it "worse" is yet another example of women being dismissed, discounted and devalued.

      Women don't feel "dehumanized" when they are treated with clear bias in the workplace? Then do tell, what do they feel?

      And women are LEARNING to OVERCOME sexism? Learning to it's a learning curve, a matter of getting over it, the burden on the women to somehow laugh it off, isn't it funny how we don't feel safe walking down the street?  And what a riot when she got raped! And who needs to sleep with their window open? And she didn't really need to be CEO, anyway. And boy didn't they sew her up well and preserve her dignity! And girls should feel horribly self-conscious about their bodies because someday when they grow up to be women - especially if they're white - they'll learn to overcome the sexism that made them feel so wrong in the first place.

      It's all good, ladies. Just learn to suck it up.

      •  Powerfully stated. [n/t] (0+ / 0-)

        Hope is the energy for change. -- Howard Zinn

        by donaldw6 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:25:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  WOC are constantly dismissed (0+ / 0-)

        by this definition of what sexism is. And for that matter what racism and sexism mean to women of color.

        As a matter of fact, the second-wave of feminism has largely ignored the fact that "dual bias" is gravely affecting the earning power and political clout of women of color. The Civil Rights movement did the same.

        Look at the Houston Chronicles article about how Michelle Obama should "Toughen up, Sweetie". And you will see exactly what I mean.

    •  SheaG, I agree. (2+ / 0-)

      I didn't grow up in this country, and so I never really knew about racism until I came here in the 1980s. Still didn't start to really get a grasp of anything until I enrolled in school at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

      There I began to learn about the Civil Rights Movement. There, I first heard about Malcolm X. The more I heard, the more I began to read. Then, I finished school and entered the real world.

      I don't think I have ever overtly experienced racism. But there have been couple of instances, if it was, I think I nipped it in the bud.

      In Washington, D.C., one day, my sisters and I went to an Asian store, in search of some home food. The store was located on Georgia Avenue, an area populated by African Americans. As soon as we walked into the store, one of two of the clerks standing behind the counter began to slowly follow us from isle to isle. One of my sisters noticed the man following us around. Shortly after that, I turned around and went face to face with him. I asked him why he was following us around. Said he wasn't. And so I asked him to back to his post, and if I needed help, I would ask him. He mummered and went back behind the counter.

      I had a second encounter in another store, where I went to retrieve money sent via Western Union from my sister to help me with my father, who had just come to the states after almost 12 years in a refugee camp.

      I had waited in line behind several AAs, most of whom had come there to cash checks. The man, was absolutely disrespectful, constantly talking down to each of his customers. When it came my turn, he proceeded to do the same thing. I had already filled out the form to get my money, but after his rudeness to me, I told him to forget it. I did not need him to wait on me. I walked out of the store.

      I didn't know if he got a commission from Western Union or not, but if he did, he was not going to get my two cents and deride me at the same time.

    •  I hate this kind of discussion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fixed Point Theorem

      because it almost forces a choice between sexism and racism. And I know that the diarist is being fair and isn't forcing a choice. But it has to come up.

      I consider myself a feminist. I graduated college in 1973 so I am a bit younger than Hillary. I have commented on certain incidents in my life which I believe involved sexism already. I have never run from the label of feminist as many younger women have. I have been ridiculed by family members for being a feminist. I married my husband, at least in part, because I think of him as a strong man who is also a feminist (and I give his amazing mother and sisters some credit for that)

      My husband is also Black so I have been privy to that kind of world view for 30+ years now. It has been eyeopening to say the least. And we live in "liberal" California.

      My personal point of view is that racism is still a bigger impediment in our society. White women have benefited from affirmative action but when Whites bitch about how aff action policies hurt them they seldom consider how they have opened the door to previously closed positions for so many women. And I would add that many more White women are able to get a hand up from their family's wealth and connections  than Blacks are.

      "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

      by blindyone on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:29:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A wedding at my house yesterday, (6+ / 0-)

    had every person, of every extraction, color,creed,  religious affiliation I could even think of.
    We were all in this together and it looked like America to me.

  •  With Obama being president (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    we will have an opportunity to advance all these causes that will help this nation become more humane and hopefully a model for others to emulate.

    I hope that we will make great strides in advancing the cause against racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia.

  •  Talking about who has been more victimized... (5+ / 0-)

    is the way you perpetuate racism. Focusing on racism and bias is the way you perpetuate racism and bias. Multiculturalism teaches us that appreciating the value of each culture and what it has to offer all of us as a whole is essential; understanding that we have differences and using those differences to learn form one another's perspectives is essential; but turning a multicultural global society into a Victim Olympics is counterproductive, and perhaps even self-destructive.

    Is Obama encountering racism? Duh. Is Clinton encountering sexism? Sure. Are both of those symptoms of a larger issue that's about personal responsibility and self-esteem? You betcha. And the way out of that thicket is to focus on the larger picture, which is unity, inclusion, and connection; not on trying to compensate this or that group for this or that slight. Enhancement, not compensation. Looking for the larger inclusive equation, not the lowest common denominator.

    Seems to me I've heard similar thoughts coming from one of the presidential candidates. Hmmmm....

    •  I'm sorry, I don't buy it. (7+ / 0-)

      All this talk about not 'focusing on racism and bias' is pretty easy when you're not a daily victim of it. When you're not literally dying of it as many Native Americans and African Americans living in poverty, crime, and disease are in this nation. Reducing these atrocities to "Victim Olympics" and espousing "multiculturalism" is not helpful and screams white liberal guilt to me. Multicutluralism is what white parents in their charter schools and private school in the suburbs talk about. Complaining about people whining about racism is what white suburbanites do.  Go to any Indian reservation or visit some urban public housing projects in this country and talk to leaders in the NA and AA communities about what's going on in their worlds. Ask them if the way out is just to not talk about or not focus on racism and bias and instead just make sure to rename Columbus Day "Discoverer's Day" and don't forget to include Kwaanza at the Winter Holiday Choir Recital.

      Not "focusing" on racism and bias is what brought us Katrina. Not "focusing" on racism and bias is what allows us to turn a blind eye to the disgraceful crime, poverty, alcoholism, illiteracy, and conviction rates amongst Blacks and Native Americans. We have to talk about these issues. We have to do some serious "focusing" on racism and bias.

      •  sigh (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        missLotus, Themistoclea

        Not focusing on something is not the same thing as ignoring it or wishing it way or keeping silent about it. Not focusing on racism or bias, in the sense I meant it, means acknowledging it, understanding it, confronting it, but not giving it power by identifying with it or identifying with that small aspect of who we are that is different from who others are. It doesn't mean sticking your head in the sand (or elsewhere). It just means that you don't get unity by putting your energy into dealing with what separates you from others.

        If you want to overcome divisions, you focus on connections, not on energizing the divisions by focusing on them. Energizing the divisions just perpetuates them.

        I hope that's clearer. One of the reasons we have so much trouble confronting racism and other biases is because we have trouble seeing "what's in it for me." If everyone thought in terms of the greater good and how human diversity adds to, not subtracts from, the potential for a better future, and started teaching their children that, we'd be a step closer to eradicating bias. I'm talking about a direction to head in, not an end point.

        •  I understand your point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but I think only those who are not living it have the luxury of "not giving it power". The truth is that racism and bias has immense power to do harm and has done harm. In some small minority communities on the brink of extinction like NAs and historically, Jews, the ONLY way to surive is to cling like a life raft to "that small aspect of who we are that is different from who others are". To do otherwise is to lose the positive aspects of our cultural and racial identities at the very time they're needed the most.

          I fear you're viewing things from the lens of one who has always been in the majority instead of through the eyes of people for whom it's a daily struggle just to survive, who have been beaten down for so long based solely on the color of their skin, that it's impossible to see from any other perspective other than that skin, and the necessity of reclaiming pride in who you are after being told for so long that it makes you less. Part of that reclaiming involves identifying with pride those 'aspects..that are different from who others are". If they're going to use those aspects against you, trying to get away from them is one sure way to lose all hope and dignity.

          •  and i understand yours (0+ / 0-)

            but you seem to be coming from a perspective that leads to victimization. Yes, in the process of identity formation, we all need to affirm and appreciate and embrace those things which make us who we are. But once those things are embraced as part of your identity, to continue to focus on certain aspects as if they were the whole of your identity is counter-productive.

            I think you might be missing some of my subtleties here, and maybe I'm not being as clear as I'd like to be. I'm trying to say that it's not either/or, but both and more. It's not that you either have to focus on your race or totally ignore it, but that you need to come to terms with it and then focus on finding connection with others so that all might be enhanced by the mix.

            Again, I'm proposing a way out of the mess, not saying that it would be easy or natural for everyone. But one thing I do know is that you get what you focus on.

    •  You really think that the issue is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sunflight, ObamaLovingExDemocrat

      more about "personal responsibility and self-esteem"? You don't see White privilege or the power of institutions coming into play here?

      I also think the way that our society commodifies individuals and forces sexuality as a way to sell things on to even our youngest children is a threat to women in our society. And the way that violence against women is considered great entertainment with billboards showing a woman being tortured being used to promote a movie here in the greater LA area.

      "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

      by blindyone on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:37:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  sure (0+ / 0-)

        all of that is connected. Victimization is connected to self-esteem which is connected to power which is connected to personal responsibility.

        White privilege keeps whites from confronting racism because they are resistant to ceding some of their power. But why they need that power in the first place, and what damage it does to not only others in minority cultures, but themselves in the long run, is the question. It hurts them in the same way that men are hurt by not sharing their power with women. The most inclusive perspective is always the most life-enhancing.

        •  I agree that these two isms (0+ / 0-)

          damage all of us. I also agree with your point that seeking connections and understanding are the way to go. I see a lot of that in Obama's campaign.

          I also agree with John Edwards that those in power usually don't give it away without a fight.

          I need a little help in understanding why personal responsibility grants power to individuals at least on a societal level.

          "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

          by blindyone on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:24:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  welllll... (0+ / 0-)

            You don't take personal responsibility unless you think you have the power to do so. Victim-thinking is thinking that what happens to you is someone else's fault. As long as you are focusing externally and seeing the power "out there" instead of "in here," you will not recognize your personal responsibility for what happens to you or for how you deal with what happens to you.

            Sooooo, while I'm not sure that "personal responsibility grants power to individuals," I am pretty sure that those who don't take personal responsibility also don't recognize their own power--or don't recognize it as being as effective as the power of other people.

            Does that make sense?

            •  We're getting closer. (0+ / 0-)

              Not sure if I buy into your "victim-thinking". Sure, sitting around and whining, and not taking responsibility for anything won't get you anywhere. But there really is a power "out there" that is more accommodating to some than others based often times on superficial criteria having little to do with merit.

              "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

              by blindyone on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:00:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  ok (0+ / 0-)

                Yes, there is power "out there" in the sense that there are folks with money and guns and position and the ability to shape political realities. Life is not always fair. We cannot always control what happens to us. But we can control how we react to it, how we deal with it. Will we choose to feel powerless in the face of those who appear to be more powerful than ourselves, or will we choose to live according to our own values and vision, no matter what the outcome. Will we take responsibiity for our own actions and choices, and thus for our own lives.

                Victim thinking is looking externally, self-esteem and personal responsibility are about living in such a way that your actions are congruent with your values, no matter what the outcome. Real power is not about winning, but about autonomy.

                How's that? :)

                •  I still think that you sound a little (0+ / 0-)

                  unrealistic in the sense that you won't acknowledge that racism can affect an individual, or a family, even if they are determined to be powerful and "live according to their values and visions". It is more than individuals with guns- it is the weight of institutions arrayed against you. How much autonomy do you have then?

                  Obviously, most Black families did that for generations (tried to maintain family and culture/values and visions) and survived slavery, Jim Crow and segregation up until the present.

                  You have a libertarian vision where a person with enough means can choose to isolate himself and his family and create their own little world. I don't think that is reality for most people.

                  And I go back to one of your earlier points about how racism/sexism hurts more than the just the groups identified by those kinds of categories. It diminishes all of us, and the society that most of us want to live in.

                  Your ideal seems to be the Chinese man standing in front of the tank, which is heroic, but maybe when he is run over and crushed his family faces a future without a breadwinner. I think more of a group effort is needed but I'm fine with your emphasis on the danger of settling for being a victim.

                  "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

                  by blindyone on Mon May 19, 2008 at 02:16:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  at the risk of being run off the site... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Themistoclea, ceebee7, RageKage

    i have a question that i'm really glad your incredibly well-written and thought-provoking article gives me the chance to ask again.  i asked it once before in a comment on another diary, but it was late, and the diary didn't get much traction, and i didn't get any responses.

    it's about what you said here:

    Down in Marietta, Georgia, there's a bar owner selling T-shirts that show a picture of the children's book monkey, Curious George, along with the motto "Obama in '08."  That's worse than reprehensible, but it's also  limited to a single area and widely rebuked.  You're not going to find a commentator on one of the news stations to defend this shirt (okay, maybe Pat Buchanan, but Buchanan is repugnant all on his own).

    well, i am both black and a hard-core Obama supporter, and while i wouldn't say i've defended the shirt without context, i have questioned the universal reaction to it.

    the comment in which i did so is pretty long, but given the vehemence of Deviltower's remark above, i really want to know if i am that far out there on this one, so i hope you'll bear with me as i repost most of it. what i said was:

    i gather from the ajc story that this gentleman and his bar have a history of being somewhat controversial, and since nothing happens in a vacuum, that is clearly is central to the story and reaction to it, as is the grotesque racial history of blacks being likened to monkeys.

    but when you take just the words (from the guy selling the shirts):

    "Look at him . . . the hairline, the ears — he looks just like Curious George!

    and then show a picture of Obama from a certain angle right next to a picture of Curious George... i'm sorry, i do see the resemblance! and it's kind of adorable! (in fact the "only" difference between them is that George is whiter. hardly the big, black monkey reference we're used to...)

    and it makes me wonder: if there was NOT such a loaded history with the association; in fact, if there were no history at all, and it was just a random observation on a T-shirt...wouldn't our reaction be more to laugh and go:

    oh my God, dude, he TOTALLY does!

    (sorry about the "dude"- i'm black, but from California.)

    anyway, i wonder if the knee-jerk reaction to stuff like this- even if, in this case the guy is prolly a racist asshole using the 'Gorillas in the Mist' dog whistle- winds up taking us in the opposite direction from that national conversation on race we flirted with having. you know, the one Obama mentioned in a little speech a while back.

    am i "off the reservation" here? (OMG, dude, is that an offensive term?)

    so tell me true, fellow Kossacks: am i really in Pat Buchanan territory here?

    "We've always taken care of you; why do you want to leave home?" And America's the girl taking Barack Obama's arm: "But Mom I love him!"-Mort Sahl

    by carpediva on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:51:22 PM PDT

    •  Not in Buchanan territory at all (0+ / 0-)

      Not denying racism is alive and well in the US -- all of it. I grew up in MississSandy1938pi in the 1950s and '60s -- and things are a lot better! Maybe some of it is civil rights legislation and a legal system that functions reasonably well (compared to 1964 for example).

      My reaction to the Curious George t-shirt is not one of "OMG, the racism" -- even if that is it's origin. I think some of the real racism we are bound to see may bring out a balancing electorate that will make a statement: "No, we are not like we were decades ago.  An African-American can get elected to the presidency in this country."

    •  I thought it was racist (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama, blindyone, brein, carpediva

      and a pretty clear dogwhistle...but I didn't get my panties in a wad about it. The interviews with people talking about how they would never vote for Barack cuz they don't want 'those people' taking over the country concern me far more than a t-shirt or a Hillary nutcracker. Having said that I wouldn't say an appropriate response to either of those things was laughter and agreement.

      And yeah, you should probably omit the 'off the rez' comments from your daily vernacular...:-)

      •  thanks! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Neon Mama

        you know, pundits use that phrase all the time, and one day i just though, "i wonder if that's rude?!"

        sometimes there are phrases from our childhood, etc. ("Indian giver," anyone?) that you are appalled by when you get old enough to know better, and i wondered if that one fit that bill!

        "We've always taken care of you; why do you want to leave home?" And America's the girl taking Barack Obama's arm: "But Mom I love him!"-Mort Sahl

        by carpediva on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:16:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know, I remember when I figured out (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neon Mama

          the genesis of "jew you down", which my stepmother always used. I always 'saw' it in my head when she said it as 'ju you down', and I had a vague notion it was related to martial arts or something. It never occured to me that it referred to Jews! I was so appalled.

          •  dude, get out of my head! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Neon Mama, brein

            i almost used that as my example!

            i was working with this woman a fews years ago, and she used that phrase, and i was like, "Um, hello, racist much?"

            and she had had NO IDEA that the phrase was connected to a negative stereotype; she just thought it was regular word, like:

            "Jew, a verb: to bargain with someone so they reduce their price."

            she was so horrified when i explained it to her.

            (same with my friend who yelled out "Fucking moolie!" to some tailgaiting white guy while we were in the car together.  no Virginia, it doesn't just mean "asshole.")

            i'd never thought of the martial arts connotation, though!  that is hysterical.

            "We've always taken care of you; why do you want to leave home?" And America's the girl taking Barack Obama's arm: "But Mom I love him!"-Mort Sahl

            by carpediva on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:31:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  No, except (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama

      that your example pre-supposes other factors... and those who reacted to the situation with outrage were reacting to the entire situation, context included.  Location, Marietta, GA, a reputed hot-bed for backward thought, customs, etc.  The proprietor, an admitted red neck from Kentucky who moved to Georgia to avoid "working in the mines."  Centuries of this kind of behavior among southern (and other) citizens.  

      This situation did not occur in a vacuum.  Given the above contextual factors, it should rightly be seen as promoting racism, which in this society is still legal.  Someone said "you can't legislate morality."  But you can stand up against it as wrong.  This guy was/is a fearsome looking guy and no doubt a bad-ass whom nobody will fuck with.  His "success" in promoting racism will give encouragement to those who continue (secretly) to think along racist lines, which will affect elections.  Most people are sheep. They won't change - won't even look at -- their own behavior until they absolutely have to, and public, especially community, opinion is a powerful agent for changing people's minds.  

      This guy has a right to sell his racist product, as the public has a right to pickett and organize boycotts against his establishment.

      Only two things are infinite: the universe, and human stupidity... and I'm not too sure about the former... Albert Einstein

      by ceebee7 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:12:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks... but did you see that i... (0+ / 0-)

        actually included the exact phrase:

        i gather from the ajc story that his gentleman and his bar have a history of being somewhat controversial, and since nothing happens in a vacuum, that is clearly is central to the story and reaction to it, as is the grotesque racial history of blacks being likened to monkeys.

        just checking! :o)

        "We've always taken care of you; why do you want to leave home?" And America's the girl taking Barack Obama's arm: "But Mom I love him!"-Mort Sahl

        by carpediva on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:19:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK... (0+ / 0-)

          but since you acknowledge that nothing happens in a vacuum, I wonder what the point of your comment is...

          Only two things are infinite: the universe, and human stupidity... and I'm not too sure about the former... Albert Einstein

          by ceebee7 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:30:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  fair enough, i considered that... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Neon Mama

            except i guess my point is, i hadn't heard anyone mention the perception i had, which was just to at least admit or discuss that there could exist a scenario (clearly not this particular one) whereby comparing Obama to Curious George is not an automatically racist statement.

            for example, imagine some poor hapless white kid, who honestly had no sense of the historical implications of doing so, looking at the two pictures and having the same reaction i did, and naively saying so.

            he would never be able to convince anyone that he wasn't secretly Nazi Youth!  

            and with no one pointing that out, and commentary suggesting that no one but Pat Buchanan could ever think the shirt was anything but unmitigated evil, then we are missing the opportunity to have that conversation on race Obama invited us to have.

            i mean, how many times did i say in my comments that i was black? knowing that if i felt this way as i white person i could hardly say so, and not wanting anyone to think that was the case!

            knee-jerk reactions aren't always helpful to moving this country's race relations forward, i guess was my mucho long-winded point.

            "We've always taken care of you; why do you want to leave home?" And America's the girl taking Barack Obama's arm: "But Mom I love him!"-Mort Sahl

            by carpediva on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:44:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  oh, and THIS! (0+ / 0-)

        if there was NOT such a loaded history with the association; in fact, if there were no history at all, and it was just a random observation on a T-shirt...

        now you might have meant that it's impossible to remove those "other factors" from this situation, but i did take them into account, and was asking the question from that standpoint...which your response didn't seem to consider.


        "We've always taken care of you; why do you want to leave home?" And America's the girl taking Barack Obama's arm: "But Mom I love him!"-Mort Sahl

        by carpediva on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:24:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I was mainly defending (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama

      those folks who showed up at the guy's store in protest.

      Regarding a national conversation on race, I've been saying for 40 years that until America looks with clarity and rigorous honesty at its own behavior re the  Indians and slavery, it will maintain an attitude of denial, which will never yield any truth regarding who we are as a society.  I will always support a national conversation on race; I doubt many citizens of Marietta will attend.  My point was that until the citizens of the Mariettas of the world look around one day and say, "Where'd everybody go?" they will continue to try to maintain whatever status quo sustains their false sense of superiority, which in turn drives their need to inflict pain upon others.

      Only two things are infinite: the universe, and human stupidity... and I'm not too sure about the former... Albert Einstein

      by ceebee7 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:43:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rich vs Poor...thats the firmest division (5+ / 0-)

    The ‘Powers That Be’ continue to feed and encourage hate/fear/division by race, religion, sex, age, distract from the TRUE divide between the haves and the have-nots....and those 'Powers" have done a great job of deceiving people.

    At the core of the human spirit there is a voice stronger than violence and fear - S. dianna ortiz

    by Rachel Griffiths on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:52:07 PM PDT

  •  The younger people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Devilstower, Neon Mama

    are far less prejudiced, especially those who go to schools with kids from many different backgrounds.  Both of my daughters were enriched by their friends at school.  The cultural/ethnic/color of skin backgrounds of my daughters' generation are just not a big deal.

    Further, I notice, more people calling out others on their open racist/sexist comments.  I certainly do more of that.

    •  Completely agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arlene, Neon Mama

      I think this issue will become smaller over time as old coots like me are pushed out of the system.  Just so long as the next generations don't think this is a problem that can be solved, then ignored.

      Can I say that I'm jealous of the younger guys out there today?  Not because of their youth (well, not just because of their youth), but because the young women they hang with are so much more willing to display their own strength, quirks, and individualism.

  •  Excellent post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And an important one.

    I live in a very liberal place and am very glad that I never hear a racial epithet, even indirect race-based criticism, used against Obama.  But I have heard, with surprising frequency, Hillary Clinton described as a bitch and occasionally as a cunt.  I object in most cases immediately.

    But it goes to show that sexism, misogynism, is just much more acceptable in the Boston suburbs than racist sentiments.    

  •  Women's lot has gotten better (7+ / 0-)

    I know that because I've lived the past 40 years as a career woman.

    The lot of African Americans in our society has gotten better as well.

    In many ways, it's parallel. I won't say the progress has been exactly the same on both sides, and I CERTAINLY won't say that either group "has arrived."

    Women still face discrimination in the workplace -- we earn 70 cents on the dollar against our male counterparts. We have a harder time getting promotions. Society still places more of the burden of maintaining a household on the woman of a working couple. (That, of course, is an individual thing -- some lucky women having husbands who pull their weight, others having slackers -- but aggregated, I believe you will find more women rushing home from work to cook and clean than men.)

    But when I was 18 I enlisted in the Navy where I was limited in my opportunities for promotion and the places I could be posted because women were not allowed in combat zones (it was during the Vietnam conflict). When I was 22, I was asked to train a male worker to do my job at twice my salary (I came to them experienced in the work and was paid minimum wage, he came in with no knowledge and was paid significantly more.) When I was around 25 the Detroit News was sued by it's female newsroom workers because there were absolutely no women editors except in the lifestyles section. (I never worked for the Detroit News, but I've been a journalist in the Detroit area for more than 25 years, and the Detroit News lawsuit affected all women in the media in this market.)

    In my 30s and 40s I found my "place" in the workplace and worked myself into a position of being paid and respected roughly equally to my male co-workers. The only sexual issue I grappled with in those years was a grievance over the male editors being let out of weekend shifts because "they have families." (I had a family too, even though I'm not married and had no children. Why should their children get more deference than my parents?)

    Today, I would say that if I had brought the same skills as I have, as a male, I would have a good probability of being in a higher management position than I am today. That's not a sure thing, though. There are more factors at work than gender. There's probably a bias toward giving the promotions to men, but it isn't overt, and it isn't always simple.

    I think that's roughly what skilled African Americans face in the workplace.

    The remaining bias in both race and gender isn't about those of us with college degrees and skills. It's about the opportunities for getting a college degree and those skills. It's about the poverty that single mothers face, which shuts them off from higher education. It's about the urban African American teenagers who have so little opportunity to even get a minimum wage job (because the jobs are often in the suburbs where they would have to own an automobile to get to work).

    What this all comes down to is: I believe there has been some sexism in the Democratic primary race, but I don't think that's necessarily why Hillary has (all but) lost. I think there has also be considerable racism working against Barack Obama -- but that's not the only thing. (I will admit that I think it's awfully easy to say "too inexperienced," when what you mean is "black.")

    We're going to have a tough row to hoe in the coming general campaign. There are a lot of Americans who will not vote for a black man. There are a lot of Americans who wouldn't vote for a woman as well.

    But in the end, I think the racists and the sexists are far outnumbered by the people who are willing to be convinced.

    I think we're going to win this thing.

  •  If am a Republican (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama, El Tomaso

    and I call my wife a "cunt" in public, will I get more votes from the base of the party? Reminds me of Bush giving the finger to the camera and Cheney telling Leahy to fuck himself. Maybe it's a GOTV strategy for them.

  •  McCaskill is my favorite for VP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama

    I think Obama/McCaskill would be a great ticket. Then the presidency for McCaskill in 2016! Thank you Devilstower for helping get her elected!

  •  Thank you. (6+ / 0-)

    Even on this site, even here on the progressive blog, there are sexist jabs and snarky remarks that go unchallenged. What strikes me is how these reactions are just under the surface and I am certain that most of the people making the remarks about Hillary being a witch and a bitch and relentless and a nag aren't even conscious that their sexism is showing but it does, it shows and it wounds and it pisses me off.

    And for any of you out there acting like it was not a factor in this campaign and used effectively against Hillary by many (including progressives), then you are delusional.

  •  I've been wanting (8+ / 0-)

    to write a diary similar to this one for some time, but have been holding off until there was a concession.  I'm glad I did, because I think you did a more effective job of expressing your thesis than I could have.

    Just to make this perfectly clear, African American men make 74 cents on every white male dollar.  White women make 73 cents on every white male dollar.  This number is even lower for AA women and Latinas.

    The truth of the matter is that America is not more racist than sexist or vice versa.  We are a deeply prejudiced and flawed society.  This is improving too slowly, and we should be putting significant concerted effort and cash behind the cause.

    When one group is discriminated against, all of society suffers.  However, we need to combine forces to eliminate racism and sexism BOTH.

  •  I guess as a black woman I see things a bit (12+ / 0-)

    weirdly as I'm pretty much on both sides.

    I've had discrimination against me because I am a woman, a lot of it from black males, and the sexism that it entails.  I've also had sexist moments from white males towards me and my gender.

    But overwhelmingly I have been slighted because of my race and the darkness of my skin.  This is even an issue in the black community as darker skinned women have a tougher time than light skinned women in the dating pool.  Funny enough that is reversed with the light skinned males verses the dark skinned males but that is another post entirely.

    But I have gotten racism from white women, even some who don't even recognized that they were being racist towards me in their comments.  While it is un-PC to say the n word and be hostile towards black their is still an unspoken racism that is prevelant.  

    We will get over racism the moment when this test:

    No longer exists.

    •  What a heartbreaking "test" (4+ / 0-)

      Thank you for sharing this... I didn't expect to watch the whole thing but it is very interesting and sad, the updated "doll test".  Sad the way these young black children seemed to have picked up messages that white = good and black = bad.  

      I am an Obama supporter not for the following reason, but: I believe it could do our nation some good to have a black family in the White House.  

    •  Wow, just wow (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama, brein

      The idea of this still happening in the 21st century is disheartening, to say the least.  I was especially appalled by the doll test, in which children chose the white doll, especially the girl who said the doll was good because it was white.  That was truly shocking, especially when she chose the black doll as the one who looks like her.

      What are we doing to our children when they are convinced that they are bad people at so young an age?

  •  but hillary didn't lose b/c of gender, in fact (3+ / 0-)

    she only got as far as she did because she was married to a president who presided over an economy fueled by cheap $ and oil at $12/barrel.  if Clinton had oil over $100/barrel during his tenure NO ONE would remember his presidency fondly..

    and his wife wouldn't have run for president. be healed/the broken thing must come apart/then be rejoined.

    by Zacapoet on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:12:02 PM PDT

  •  i wanted to keep this separate... (9+ / 0-)

    from my other comment/question, but as fantastic a diary as i think this is, i'm not sure i concur with your premises, particularly as stated here:

    Pretending that misogyny doesn't play a role in Hillary Clinton's losses is easier than missing the ugly racism that undercuts Obama.

    maybe that's true. but we will never know for sure because Hillary herself renders the environment non-sterile for the experiment of whether or not our country is ready to elect a woman Commander in Chief.  why? because she's a Clinton and has played into the worst stereotypes about what kind of politician that makes you.

    as a woman, i've said things in private about Hillary Clinton that i would say about very few people, woman or otherwise. because i secretly hate fellow women and want them to fail? no! because she's Clinton and her behavior disgusts me.  she doesn't speak for me as a woman or as a candidate.

    i am certain that there has been some misogyny and sexisim directed at HRC during this race, but has it been dispositive, or even commonplace? i am convinced that (from women at least) what we've really been seeing for the most part is Clintonism.  (and if it's ever been clear that wasn't the case, you can bet i spoke up loudly for her.)

    let's see how Claire McCaskill or Kathleen Sebelius or whomever the next viable female presidential is gets treated.  if the same shits starts again, i will:

    a) call you to say you were right!
    b) burn my bra and bust some balls!
    c) get out there and campaign my ass off for her!

    "We've always taken care of you; why do you want to leave home?" And America's the girl taking Barack Obama's arm: "But Mom I love him!"-Mort Sahl

    by carpediva on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:12:17 PM PDT

    •  As I wrote above... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brein, ObamaLovingExDemocrat

      I am a White female almost Hillary's age who has been openly and consistently a feminist since I was a teenager. Hillary does not resonate with me at all.

      I am sure that we have better possibilities as women candidates out there without her baggage. I do think that she benefited from being First Lady, and the Clinton name is a reliable default vote for a lot of low info voters. I also think that there are White men who voted for her in the primary that will be McCain voters in the general.

      "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

      by blindyone on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:45:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That the Democratic candidates were whittled down (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fixed Point Theorem

    "That the Democratic candidates were whittled down to an African-American and a woman is admirable."
    Is it really? That is not all that defines them or their differences and similarities. Though I now live in southern California,I come from Pennsylvania, once called the Keystone State, now the buckle of the rust belt, where the Klan is still active, and given the choice between the woman and the "colored guy", McCain, the batshit loony old white guy looks good. It is a sad thing, that the qualifications of our candidates can be determined in such fashion. And the press, the media, has made the race and gender of our potential presidents the primary issues in this primary, ignoring issues of policy and ideology as best they can. Sadder still, the American public has swallowed these characterizations without blinking, and ask for seconds.

  •  as Monty Python would say 'it's inherent in the (6+ / 0-)

    system'.  Thst does not mean only in America. Both sexism and racism is endemic in almost all human society and all cultures.  Having just returned from three weeks in the UK male chauvinism is still a rampant element in British politics. Margaret Thatcher is a hero because she behaved just like a man. In most, if not all, Moslem nations women are considered inferior, rather like the way in which slaves were counted in pre Civil War America.  In all the former commonwealth countries I have either lived in, worked in or visited, both misogony and racism is prevalent.  In South America, despite the current female presidents of Chile and Argentina (the latter is accused of having been given the presidency by her husband), and while many of the environmental and cultural activists are indigienous women, they bear the stigma of being indigenous.  Latin America is a powerfully male dominated society. It is not only white males, it is black males, it is brown males, it is yellow males, it is red males.  It is the male of the species.  

    Women, period, are considered less than men.  This, in my opinion will not change radically, only incrementally, as generation after generation in a global world chip away at ancient prejudices to achieve a more balanced world.

    Also in my opinion, neither the elevation of a black man or a white woman to the highest office in the land will change much of anything in the racism/sexism arena.  

    It is however, the logical next step in human development. That's how I feel from the lofty heights of my advanced age. Now there's another subject for discusssion. Ageism!  don't let's go there.

  •  great one (0+ / 0-)

    you should write a book i was hooked

  •  Racism is much easier to erradicate than sexism (3+ / 0-)

    It is my firm belief that racism is much easier to purge from a society than sexism, and here is why:

    'Race' is a social construct.  Sure, it is an objective fact that groups of people look distinct and have different sub-cultural histories and expectations, but what a society chooses to do with that is entirely a product of culture.  Recall that and Helenistic and Roman civilizations were multi-racial and physical race as we understand it today was not one of the many signifiers in those societies.  Racial prjudice arose to justify slavery and exploitation, and has abated in recent years.

    'Sex' however, is an inescapable biological difference.  There have been hundreds of millions of years of evolution to shape the fundamental reproductive strategy and behavior of the two different sexes.  As modern society confronts this genetic legacy, this has been expressed in many ways, from the 'mars vs. venus' dichotomy to the 'battle of the sexes'.

    So in the end, as I see it, racial difference is something that society has been fixated on for several hundred years, while sex differences have been honed by vertibrate evolution since before we crawled out of the ocean.  Thus the problems and conflicts that society has about race are much more easily moved past.  

    I think we see a great example of this in the young people of today, who are seemingly almost oblivious to and unfazed by racial differences as compared to previous generations, but still have plenty of resentment, bias, misunderstanding, and hang-ups toward the other gender.

    Incidentally, please note that I believe that sexism runs both ways, including both male attitudes toward women and female attitudes toward men.  I am not going to weigh in on which is worse, just to point out that they are both there, and both need to be transcended if we are going to build a more free and equal society.

    Lastly, Hillary Clinton has shown in recent months that she is an awful politician surrounded by awful advisors, and an untrustworthy human being on top of it, who entered this race with every financial and institutional advantage, so I have zero patience for attributing her failures to her sex.

    It turns out that Bush IS a uniter... he united the good half of the country virulently against him.

    by fizziks on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:17:08 PM PDT

  •  hear, hear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    especially if we get the sort of majorities in the senate as we're expecting, and as the DFA wave continues to sweep quietly through the state legislatures, we could be in a good position to actually push this one through.

    that is, if the democrats are serious about it.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:18:43 PM PDT

  •  Excellent writing (3+ / 0-)

    but it's "epithets" not "epitaphs" ("racist epitaphs").

    Apologies in advance if my pointing out that error makes anyone feel bad.

  •  with respect to the ERA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama

    Agreed. Pushing it is something AFAIK, nobody's done lately, the political climate has changed drastically since it failed last time around. Thanks for coming up with this,

    The only question I have about the ERA itself is would it be possible or reasonable to make it any stronger?

    From the standpoint of political calculation, is this something Obama should be pushing now or should he wait until he's President?

    Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

    by alizard on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:33:20 PM PDT

  •  Did the anti-abortion movement kill the ERA? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alizard, Themistoclea, Larry Madill

    It seems like a big "duh" to me it is so simple:

    Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

    Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

    Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

    Well, then while we're at it, let's codify Roe vs. Wade.  

    •  There is a case to be made (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That the (the occasionally ludicrous) debate surrounding abortion kind of stalled the modern feminist movement in place and turn the first wave feminist into a single issue cause.

      I think if it wasn't for Roe the ERA might've passed and then Roe -- in a different form -- would've come down based on the language of the ERA, and the debate would've been totally different.

      I'm not saying I am for over-turning Roe, but I think you can't point to Roe Vs. Wade as a case of something that got so out in front of the movement that it turned around and ate the movement at the same time.

  •  Agreed on biases, but surprised it's not worse (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama

    I remember before the primary when the polls had many voters concerned that people wouldn't vote for a woman or a black man.  Well, they did and at in record numbers not only in votes, but in donating money and time--enthusiastically, in every possible measure of support.  Voters decided before even Super Tuesday rolled around that they wanted a candidate who would not be a typical white male.  

    I volunteered this election expecting it would be notably uglier than previous years--and really, it's been about as civil as other elections I've worked in before (and yes, I was there a couple weekends in WVA).  

    I agree whole-heartedly there's been both racial and gender bias in this election (WP had a great editorial on misogyny here.  However, I think people should ask themselves how does it compare to their expectations before this primary started?  Is it worse or better?

    Also, I think Hillary's strong presence, if not win in this primary, strengthens the possibility of a woman running and winning in a future election.  NYT has a good round-up on this here.

    Btw, I've been impressed by Claire McCaskill's press interviews.  I think she's been consistently the most eloquent and reflective of Obama's view of politics.  She comes across as intelligent, moderate and congenial.

  •  I attended the Ballad of Emitt Till yesterday.... (4+ / 0-)

    I attended a play entitled "The Ballad of Emitt Till" yesterday at the Goodman theatre in Chicago.

    This was a poignant play based upon the real life tragedy...and history changing event...the murder of a 14 year old african american child who was from Chicago and visiting family in Mississippi when he was abducted, beaten, murdered and thrown in a river because it was alleged that he had made "improper" advances to a "white" woman.  It is extremely hard to imagine how a 14 year old of any ethnic persuasion could be accused of something like this.  Young boys simply do not have the ability, by and large, to do such a thing.

    At any rate, my thoughts and feelings as I left the theatre were deep sadness that something like this could happen to a child, anger at the perpetrators and a feeling that the abomination represented in this play certainly added alot of perspective to the comments of Rev. Wright.  Rev. Wright is obviously not a perfect individual, but on balance, his contributions to our country's defense as a Marine and the good works of his ministry among the poorest and most unfortunate of Chicago counterbalance any intemperate speeches made in the heat of religiosity...I'm sorry, I just can never resist  pointing out the foibles of organized religion.  Rev. Wright has done more good in his life than most of us.  For the news hounds to pillory him is very wrong.

    May God Bless our troops wherever they are. Best regards, El Tomaso

    by El Tomaso on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:40:23 PM PDT

    •  What made this event (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      saluda, alizard, Neon Mama, El Tomaso, brein

      history changing, was Ms. Tills difficult decision, upon returninig to Chicago with her sons body, to hold an open casket funeral for all the world to see the extent of the horrible beating inflicted upon her young son.

    •   Respect Reverend Wright's Views (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arlene, Neon Mama, El Tomaso, brein

      I have far more respect for Rev. Wright's views than I do for Obama's scurrying away from him. But most of all I think this reveals the lengths the corporate media is willing to go to distort what someone actually said. The truth is that American imperialism has ravaged much of the world and keeps the world's poor impoverished. It's goal of controlling the middle east has caused misery for millions of muslims. Eventually someone was going to strike back in a ill-conceived way- witness 9/11

    •  Now try to imagine what it did to those of us (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      El Tomaso

      who learned about his horrible death as current event - news - of what was happening in our country right then.

      Emmitt Till has been and is why some of us have never quit trying to end being ashamed of our fellow citizens by doing all we can to stop such insanities.

      De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

      by Neon Mama on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:59:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This diary may be the most insightful (5+ / 0-)

    comment on race and gender I have seen produced by the netroots throughout this election.

  •  as the great grandson of slave owners (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    El Tomaso

    and the great grandson of slaves(surfs in E. Europe), I understand how the resistance to Obama is far less than that to Jackson and Sharpton.  The fact is that Obama is the son of a white American born mother, and a foreign born father with dark pigmented skin, not the descendant of slaves. The fear of many white southern voters, is that reparations, the promise of forty acres and a mule, with interest and adjusted for inflation, will still fall far short in making up for the harm that has come to generation after generation of decendants of those who were separated from family, denied the opportunity to learn to read, and treated as property for half the time that Europeans have dominated this continent.  Some will not draw the distinction between any person of color and those whose ancestors were brought here in chains, but I doubt many of their votes would ever go to a Dem.
        Sen. Clinton's experience overcoming the hardships faced by women in the country is quite typical, however extraordinary her success.  Her triumphs and humiliations have played out in front of an ever increasing audience since her speach at Wellsley.  There is no question bias played a part in the primaries and will in the general,and we can not know to what extent until we invent an x-ray which looks into every voters heart while exiting the polls.

  •  This is what worries me the most (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    El Tomaso

    about Obama's chances in the fall.

    There are too many people out there who will not admit to a pollster that the reason they will not vote for Obama is because he is black.

    So, support for Obama will likely be exaggerated in the polls.  And at the end of the day of the first Tuesday in November, these people are going to vote for McCain.

    And say hello to Bush's third term.

  •  Excellent Diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama, Fixed Point Theorem

    This is why I love the Kos. I'll tell you I went to this bar called Newts in Chestertown, Md which is on the Eastern Shore. This was maybe fifteen years ago. It's a seedy biker bar and there they had posted a sign which explicitly read, "No Colors". They said it meant no gang colors. Ok this is tiny Chestertown, I knew full well what the double speak meant. I experienced it first hand with comments made to me while there at the bar. Well actually at the stall in the bathroom. One patron followed me in and made an off color comment. I'll leave it at that and just say I turned it on it's head and walked out. I knew what to expect when I agreed to check this place out with two friends of mine. Both white and one a woman. I was real uncomfortable and on guard while we were there but other than the comment nothing happened. While there may have been a lot of talk about me by a few of the patrons none of them was going to drag me out and lynch me in the night. They may talk tough about it but the chances of it actually happening are pretty weak. That's a difference from fifty years ago.

    Though I was uncomfortable and on guard during the hour that we were there I viewed my presence as a type of defiance. Yeah, they could post a sign and create an atmosphere of intolerance at their bar but I can still walk in drink a beer, use the bathroom and the pool table. People have fought hard to earn me the right to be free from oppression and intolerance. I intend to use that freedom. It's also my responsibility to ensure that the freedom exists for those that come after me. Others have endured much worse. Not that walking into a biker bar is the best example of the freedoms which others fought for me to have but I can't be denied that simple act either because of my race. It's a petty act but racism is petty. Whether it's racism or sexism the fight continues. My generation I believe takes a lot of our freedoms for granted. This is a bit of a wake up call that there still remains lots to be done. I have a firm conviction that this country is going to benefit greatly from the leadership and insight Obama brings to this discussion. It's long over due but thankfully the time is here.

    Thanks for your post. An excellent diary and excellent comments all around!

    "I believe in this, and it's been tested by research, he who f**cks nuns will later join the church" -Joe Strummer

    by Theolonius on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:50:33 PM PDT

  •  When they are racists, ask them to vote for a... (0+ / 0-)



    Ask 'em to vote for the nigger.

    Reason ? He's the better man in the fight and those black boys are dying for this country in Iraq, same as Vietham.

    We owe it as respect for the dead. For the KIAs.

    When one of theirs really is the best candidate, we owe it to them. Not to vote against the man.

    Yeah. Put a nigger in the White House.

    What else ?

    BTW: I ONLY give a shit about winning elections. Whatever the fuck it takes.

    Get racist votes ??? No problem.

    Dixie Chicks, Amy Winehouse, Imus, and Rev. Wright. Overcome our evil with good.

    by vets74 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:52:56 PM PDT

  •  SEE HUFFINGTON blog (0+ / 0-)

    Larisa Alexandrovna
    All the President's Nazis (real and imagined): An Open Letter to Bush from Larisa Alexandrovna (At-Largely)

    This is a very strong statement regarding the Bush gang. I suspect that up to 5 million votes will be involved in this racism logic. No matter, we can win but the Demo leaders must be strong and carry the fight- Larry

  •  Modified ERA Amendment with Privacy Protections (0+ / 0-)

    Really "we" should try to push through a modified ERA amendment that not only codifies women's equal rights but officially defines the Right to Privacy in all respects.

    I think the ERA would be an easy sell if it were re-written mildly to broaden everyone's equal rights and have an official privacy protection clause. Especially in the wake of 8 years of Bush, and the amount of stuff we are going to find out about  what was done to invade our privacy.

  •  Most people in this country (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Devilstower, Neon Mama
    throughout it's entire history, have never been racist.  It's always been just a minority that have driven us this direction, however the majority has simply stood by and let it happen.

    It also hasn't been so much about hate as it's been about fear and uncertainty.

    What has been unequivocally proven in the last few months, is that that minority of fear-based people have been fully and openly revealed.  It's no longer possible to pretend that we've "put race behind us", that we should all just "Get over It".

    We're not over it.

    Would you expect a Rape Victim to just "Get Over it"?  Would you expect a soldier with PTSD to just Get Over it?"  Would you expect a suicidal person to ust "Get Over it"?  Would you expect the family of a murdered person to "Just GET OVER IT."

    Anyone who said this to someone in those situations would be considered fantastically callous.

    Imagine if you multiply that to an open (and then thinly covert) practice of judicial rape, murder, humiliation, violation and degradation over the course of 400 years, for generation after generation after generation?

    And then almost 100 years after the 15th Amendment Failed to guarantee the vote to Blacks, almost 100 years after the 14th Amendment guarantee the Equal Protection of the laws - we finally pass the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act - and people have the unmitigated nerve o say - "Time to get over it!"

    Our entire approach to both racism and sexism have been completely inadequate.  We have to learn how to fight fear, with Courage.  To fight statistics and excuses with Hope.

    And we still have a long way to go, Baby.


  •  having a working mom (3+ / 0-)

    I particularly related to your mention of a working mom. My mom worked and I remember being embarrassed when my dad came to school for teacher conferences. All the other kids moms were home when they got home. In my heart I was very proud of my mom but I knew it was really not socially ok to have  a working mom in the 50's.

    This is a very insightful diary. Thanks.

    Single Payer The Healthy Solution

    by Arlyn on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:02:09 PM PDT

  •  Excellent post, but epitaph should be epithet (0+ / 0-)

    "Interesting. No, wait, the other thing: tedious." -Bender

    by patrickz on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:03:28 PM PDT

  •  16 female senators vs 1 AA, rest my case (5+ / 0-)

    How many FEMALE governors versus AA?

    I think Clinton supporters FAIL to recognized we had a FEMALE VP candinate AND now have a FEMALE Speaker of the HOUSE BEFORE an AA.

    I'm 46 year old white Cuban American female, and yes I've experienced my share of sexism but in my experience racism against minorities is FAR more insidious - it's US vs THEM tribal warfare and clearly the US=white.

    In my experience b/c I'm white, folks generally accept me as one of the "US" group. Once they learn I'm Hispanic I've heard the SPICK slurs... but it's less pronouced than my cousin who's skin is much darker.

    I'm from very liberal Massachusetts, sure there's sexism still here but it's far less a factor than the not so hidden racism.

  •  Some free association on your theme: (4+ / 0-)

    I remember in the late 60s/early 70s sitting in my folks kitchen talking to my immigrant mom about Phyllis Schlafly and what a regressive piece of work she truly was.  My mom's been dead 5 years now, but she had it right back then and nothing much has changed about Schlafly.  Got her BA degree at age 65 (after I got mine).  Shlafley getting an honorary degree is a great dishonor to all of those who actually worked for any degree at all at any level.

  •  Thank you! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama

    I mentioned this to my husband a few weeks ago-  that one legislative goal with Obama in the white house should be the ERA!

    Let's get started!

  •  H.A. Rey (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama

    The author of Curious George -- and also my favorite star and constellation identification book ever -- was a jew who fled Paris just before the arrival of the Nazies. I'm sure the red-neck racist making the t-shirts intends a crude insult, but I remember Curious George as being an attractive character. The author, I think, would be deeply hurt by the use being made of George, and I hope President Obama and his supporters don't hold it against George or his creator for the unfortunate insult.

    Government didn't get smaller under the Republicans; it just lost its stature.

    by Andhakari on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:12:46 PM PDT

  •  in just the last 20 years (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama

    it seems that women have taken a couple huge steps backwards

    case in point..."girls gone wild"

    when I was a college girl my friends and I had a lot more self respect than to show our breasts just because we were asked to..."yeah, buddy, in your dreams"

    today it seems expected and not a big deal, and this is suppose to be an expression of women's sexual freedom?!?  what a load of BS!

    I intend to teach my young daughters to have more self respect.  I can't guarantee that it will take but I sure hope so

    "Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid"~ Hedy Lamarr ~

    by kittania on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:27:31 PM PDT

    •  Not really a step backwards or forwards... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fizziks, flight2q, lilsky

      ... Just the way it always is.

      Sex is power over men. Whether that's giving your husband head after he buys you a new car, or whether it is college girls preening topless for a camera to get attention and a couple hundred bucks.

      We can talk about self-respect and sex as this idealistic representation of love. Or whatever. But as long as both men and women have hormones that can overrule logic it will never happen.

      As long as the battlefield is equal I say more power to women exposing their boobs. Or, if you are are into that sort of thing, guys flashing their junk.

    •  Case in point, more women graduating college (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kittania, Neon Mama, Larry Madill

      I consider the percentage of women attending/graduating from college HIGHER than men, far bigger case to make for REAL progress than small qty of Girls Gone Wild.

      Meanful change comes from women in greater numbers in influential positions such as doctors, lawyers, politicians (hello Nancy + 16 Senators!), lobbyist (yuck but they are powerful), Professors, CEOS, etc.

      •  I was not necessarily referring to the videos (0+ / 0-)

        not "girls gone wild" capitalized

        I mean the whole concept of "show um"

        so what if more women have degrees than men...if you'll just lift your shirt you are still just a pair of boobs

        but I agree that you are right, the gains probably do outweigh the setbacks overall

        "Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid"~ Hedy Lamarr ~

        by kittania on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:05:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I usually fast-read (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the larger essays on the front page.  Not this one.  I savored every word, twice.

    Clap, Clap. Point, Point.

    by troqua on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:27:52 PM PDT

  •  This brings back memories (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama

    of a childhood trip to visit my mother's family in Montana.  The restaurant we were in had one of those "We reserve the right to refuse anyone" signs.  I am half Portuguese and in summer in particular, I was quite dark as a child.  It was many years before I understood why the owner of the restaurant looked at me with such hate.  I think he had been told by our relatives to leave us alone, but he was NOT happy about it.  

    As for the sexism, it still permeates this society.  I have male colleagues who are getting lines of credit even in this atmosphere, but I can't get anything and I can't prove it is because I am female, but I know darned well it is.  Very tough to prove, to say nothing of expensive.  We do need to move forward on both fronts and I do believe President Obama will help us do that!

    Hillary Clinton, running for President of the Relevant States of America!

    by MufsMom on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:43:43 PM PDT

  •  Thank you so much (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama

    I used to read editorials in newspapers and so forth. Thank you for filling the void. I've been here on dkos for years now, and I just wanted to express my thanks for such a wonderful editorial. The writing, the story, the point, all blended beautifully together. This is why this site is great. Fantastic writers who are given a wonderful platform.

    Much to think about, no doubt, and yes I agree that sexism still exists, in a more permissive way than racism. It's hard to deal with, and hard to understand and integrate, especially when you're not really that way inclined. Once again, thank you so much.

  •  Will you ever stop playing the race card? (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:

    It isn't about race or gender. It's about qualifications, and Obama has none. Of course you don't bother with evidence and don't know anything about high democratic culture. But let's zip through a few items anyway.
    Obama has no grasp of policy but merely recites the liberal wish list. He adopted Clinton policies of healthcare and bipartisanship, then ruined them by not making the first Universal and by insulting the red States with Wright and Bitter Gate. He has no governing record and was absent from both Senate seats. His great oratory is shallow rhetoric which a six year old might see through. He speaks of taking the high road, but implies nonstop that the Clintons are racists, while his supporters spit venom like a cobra on meth. He calls himself a democrat, but wins in red States and undemocratic caucuses, and worked from the beginning to exclude MI and FL, where he knew he'd loose. His 'new politics' are old liberal cliches that will do nothing to solve current problems, and the replacing of democratic values of knowledge, hard work, and achievement with republican smear tactics. Meanwhile, his worshippers have replaced policy debate and adult conversation with name calling, childish insults, and false accusations.
    For these reasons and more, many traditional dems won't support Obama. It's not just about him. It's that you've created a new and debased democratic party that many people wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. I can, because to me the alternative is unspeakable.
    But have fun with the creepfest you've created. It probably won't last long.

    •  wow (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama, donaldw6, XerTeacher

      If you would, please answer the following questions:

      1. Can you give one example of when Obama or his campaign implied that the Clintons are racist?
      1. Do you think that Hillary's statement about the hard working people the white people was not racist?
      1. Can you give one instance where Hillary of her campaign said that MI and FL should be counted, from before those states voted?  (Hint:  you can't because her position then was that they shouldn't be counted)
      1. Do you honestly believe that Obama doesn't embody the values of knowledge, hard work, and achievement?  He was, after all, the president of the Harvard Law Review and a community organizer on Chicago's south side.

      It turns out that Bush IS a uniter... he united the good half of the country virulently against him.

      by fizziks on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:29:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Original comments were harsh but (0+ / 0-)

        here are your answers:

        1. See Qestion 2
        1. What she was refering to and so many Obama supporters ignore at their peril is Obamas failure to conect to working class whites in states where race politics are a fact of life in the party: states with btw. 6%-17% AA pop, where 10%-30% of Dem. party is competing for resources and legislation with working class whites. He won only IL, CT by 3%, and MO by a cunt hair.
        1. She was on both ballots
        1. The point was he fails to convince 51% of electorate he can make this avilable to them. No one denies his hard work and knowledge found a path to acheivement, but many voters don't relate.

        Edwards was hoping Obama would figure this out, but results continue to prove otherwise.  I will support him fully in the general, as said the original commentator, but so many have blinders on. We've lost so many elections that should never have been lost, let's do this one right!

    •  Good Grief! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama

      If ever there was an inappropriate alias, it is yours. Your blanket refusal to attribute any qualifications whatsoever to Obama speaks only to your biased perspective. I do not support Hillary Clinton, but I don't denigrate her abilities. I disagree with some of her policies, and a lot of the tone of her campaign, but I could never stoop to such an unapologetically one-sided view as you have declared here. I can tell from your post that you do possess intelligence, so what has happened to so many of you that you now refuse to use it?

      I can't answer for all of Obama's supporters, nor would I want to try, but to attribute claims of racism to Obama is to deny the testimony of your own eyes and ears. It's truly stunning. I don't even want to talk about Florida and Michigan. The mental gymnastics Hillary supporters have performed to perpetuate this argument is something that will no doubt be analyzed in depth for years to come. I refuse to believe you don't know that.

      I'm sure you've heard all this before. If you're sincere, it's especially troubling, since these arguments you use never seem to grow and develop from interactions such as you purportedly are doing here. They remain the static, unyielding condemnations of closed minds. I actually don't believe you're really sincere at all. These are your talking points. Whoever the real person is who's behind them, we don't really know.

      Hope is the energy for change. -- Howard Zinn

      by donaldw6 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:18:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sure there are some wingnut bullshit (0+ / 0-)

      talking points you missed, care to try again?

      Or would you just like to crawl back to freerepublic or hillaryis44?

      I just read your posting history. Your only purpose here is to post anti-Obama propaganda. Enjoy your donut, and hopefully, enough more donuts to trigger autoban.

      Go home.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:33:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  racism and sexism still exist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    well written.  The problem extends beyond women and African Americans however.   I'm a hispanic male and you can bet your sweet bippy that most people complaining about illegal immigrants are not just worried about the jobs at the bottom of the wage scale being taken by hispanics from Mexico and South America.  What they are really saying is that they don't want those brown skinned people who talk a different language in their neighborhood and in their country.  

    •  Mix color and Womanhood and watch... (0+ / 0-)

      ...the fun things that happen.

      My issue with feminism and the "sexism is more blatant" than racism argument is that most of the history of the feminist movement has ignored the plight of women of color--who make less money than white men, white women, and black men for the same job.

      My issue with the anti-racist movement amongst blacks and Latinos, is that the focus tends to be on the plight of the men.  

  •  Great post... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fizziks, Neon Mama, donaldw6, brein

    As an AA female, I always wonder where I fit in this fight.  I've encountered sexism and racism--and sometimes I can't determine if I'm being treated a certain way because I'm black, a female, or both.

    Which is why I have a problem with a lot of Clinton supporters because they're still stuck in that second-wave mode of feminism.  They believe that somehow being a woman trumps everything.  I've been truly disheartened by some of the racist and xenophobic comments about Obama written by Clinton supporters on Hillaryis44 and the NARAL blog site.

    This election should be a nobrainer for all minorites--gender, sexual, religious, and ethnic minorities--who ever the democratic candidate is, vote for her/him!

  •  The good news and the bad news: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Themistoclea, Joffan

    The good news:  This is a very well written and much appreciated article.

    The bad news:  I wish that you, and others, would have written in this spirit a long time ago, and not just now when the current goal of the Obama campaign is to try to bring Clinton supporters back into the fold.   This seems like lip service and rings hollow to so many of us who have been gratuitously insulted on these pages for so many months.    And that pales in comparison with the vile invective directed toward Hillary Clinton herself.

    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." --Samuel Johnson

    by joanneleon on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:59:37 PM PDT

    •  There has been plenty of vile invective (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama, brein

      ... on both sides. From my perspective Hillary earned a large portion of hers.

      A good amount of race-baiting and a sub-tone of "It's OK to vote for me cuz I'm white' promoted by the losing candidate herself. HRC is not a victim in this process, she's just the loser.

      Sorry you feel insulted, but for chrissake, sack it up a bit and stop asking for everyone that didn't vote for HRC to kiss your Boo-Boos. You weren't victimized either, you simply lost too.

      It has happened to me before. I was a Deanic in 2004 and my side lost badly.  When Howard Dean lost I didn't go crying on the internet, screaming that I would vote for Bush instead. I held my nose and voted for John Kerry.

      Healing and bringing the party together  is definitely needed, but I think we avoid feeding into this Hillary as Saint-Martyr for Women that has been building since her loss on May 6.  She did not lose because of outright misogyny or sexism for the most part. Hillary lost in large part because she ran a bad campaign built on the thesis she was owed the Presidency.

      By all means lets come together as a party (even though I am technically an Indie) and its nominee. But lets not sacrifice our nominee's legitimacy by buying into the Victimization of Hillary and her Supporters myth.

      •  Mr "Obama 08 or Else" (0+ / 0-)

        In my opinion, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." --Samuel Johnson

        by joanneleon on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:48:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Listening is fundemental (0+ / 0-)

          I don't think that Larry said anything about "Obama or Else", but that is what you chose to hear.

          The facts are this:

          1. Senator Clinton ran a top down campaign that did not factor in the thought that grassroots/netroots could out fund raise her--though former democratic nominee Dr. Dean demonstrated the wave of the future four years ago.
          1. Her top advisors failed her, and she was not nimble in cleaning house
          1. She lied. And was unapologetic.

          So, it not about "or else". Though that would make your disdain for Obama supporters all the more easy.

  •  Senate's Version of the ERA (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alizard, Neon Mama

    Title: A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to equal rights for men and women.

    Sen. Barack Obama is a cosponser:

    Senate Cosponsers of the Senate's version of the ERA

  •  It's gilding the lily (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to say this is a terrific diary entry. So we Americans are suppoed to be having open and honest dialogs about race.  Are we?  And if so, why can't we also speak honestly and openly about sexism?  

    On one hand  Phyllis Schafly and her ilk telling us "Oh, we weren't discriminated against THAT badly!" On the other, we have the MSM telling us to "Just get over it!"
    Well, we women can't get over it when Schafly gets an honorary degree while women are still being ruled against by SCOTUS. When will we stop hiding our heads in the sand about misogyny?

    I'm at the junction of short, nerdy, and oddly attractive.

    by Pan Zareta on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:33:53 PM PDT

  •  I think it's pretty arrogant ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama, flight2q, Larry Madill

    of us to believe that we have much insight into the extent of racism and sexism in America, especially with regard to its effects on the primaries. Were there more racist than misogynistic votes? We can guess, but I don't think our guess would be as accurate as we would like to think. We know too little about how the mind really works. I do think some aspects of racism have been decidedly less subtle than sexism, and in that regard it's easier to make a judgment, but in the more subtle aspects I think we're mostly just whistling in the dark. We don't really know.

    Prejudice of any kind is still a huge problem, and comparing one prejudice to another in terms of gauging the degree of impact is, I think, both counterproductive and fundamentally flawed. As important as strong ERA legislation undeniably would be, I could never think that long-denied rights to Native Americans should be viewed as less important, or make a choice between Brown vs. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade. Perhaps we should just make a Job Jar of all of these problems and pick randomly, to avoid making choices no one could defend. The clear enemy of democracy is prejudice of any kind, however and wherever it appears, and I wish we could all just leave it at that.

    Hope is the energy for change. -- Howard Zinn

    by donaldw6 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:37:23 PM PDT

    •  Oppression Olympics (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alizard, Neon Mama, donaldw6

      I think it is important to not get into the oppression olympics, or the idea that Hillary and her Supporters are now some special class of victim, or that now a Black man has a better than 50-50 shot at the Presidency race is less an issue than sex.

      We need to acknowledge that every form of discrimination (just ask a gay man or woman not living in a large American City) is alive and well in America, and work to get past that. Whether we do it with an ERA or some other methodology.

      Like I keep saying, everyone in life has something to be bitter about (even the clear and present danger that is us White Guys). But people also have a choice: Are they going to be defined by the bigots and live according to their bitterness, or are they going to choose to define themselves and make the world better.

  •  Thanks for bringing this up Devilstower (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Nice to hear from one of the old white male oppressor class who can see that they are part of that class and women aren't. So many can't, or won't, see it.

    God is in your spare change, your job is giving it to strangers. - Billy Jonas

    by Audri on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:40:07 PM PDT

  •  I miss the ERA (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arlene, Neon Mama

    Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

    Has a nice ring.

  •  Great job but I disagree with this (0+ / 0-)

    Sexism is ugly, it's widespread, and it's accepted by our society.

    Like racism, mysogyny is prevalent, is denied, but is not "accepted."

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:22:01 PM PDT

  •  Devilstower (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    saluda, Joffan

    No one was ignoring the factor racism played in the results. That was a strawman DHinMI created to knockdown. What he did that deserved criticism was label an entire region as racist. That's naked bigotry to stereotype an entire people.

    At the risk of interfering with the self-contained echo chamber, here's another view from outside of Daily Kos

    Prof. Ron Eller of the University of Kentucky, author of "Miners, Millhands and Mountaineers: The Industrialization of the Appalachian South," has this to say about Barack Obama and Appalachia. From The Charleston Gazette:

    Once again the American media's compulsion to entertain rather than to understand has projected Appalachia to center stage of national politics.

    Hillary Clinton's landslide victory in the West Virginia Democratic primary has provided yet another opportunity to reduce economic and political issues in Appalachia to time-honored tropes about cultural differentness. Within the past week, an embarrassment of journalists, bloggers and late-night television hosts have turned Sen. Clinton's support among blue-collar voters in West Virginia into a confirmation of the white "otherness" of Appalachian culture rather than an expression of fundamental (and more complex) issues of class, gender and race or even political organization in the Mountain State.

    Newhouse News correspondent Jonathan Tilove even suggested that Sen. Barack Obama has an "Appalachian problem" that goes beyond race to the peculiarities of "Appalachia's whites and the Scots-Irish who settled there and forever branded its culture."

    Popular stereotypes and misreading of Appalachian history have long provided a convenient excuse to ignore Appalachia or to justify public and private attempts to bring the region into the cultural mainstream. Thus, the argument is offered that Clinton's appeal in Appalachia should not be taken too seriously since mountain voters represent those "other whites" whose heritage has led them to be suspicious, pugnacious and a little less civilized than the Anglo-Puritan whites of the Northeast.

    Sen. Barack Obama could not possibly succeed among these highly individualistic, uneducated and unrefined mountain whites whose ancestors resisted slavery and Southern nationalism during the Civil War. This independent spirit, suggest the pundits, will lead the hillbillies to vote for Scotch-Irish Appalachian John McCain, born in Appalachian Mississippi.

    Such characterizations of Appalachia not only obscure the historical diversity of the region and project a static view of human culture but also ignore most of the recent scholarship on Appalachia that contradicts the idea of Appalachian "otherness" and attributes its history and economic problems to political struggles that have shaped the rest of the nation.


    For blue-collar voters in Appalachia, economic concerns, not Appalachian identity, shaped their decisions at the polls. Job insecurity, rising food and gas prices, and uncertain access to health care and education turned Appalachian voters toward the more working-class message of Hillary Clinton, especially among women who occupy the center of the modern mountain economy. Perhaps because of the race issue, Obama conceded West Virginia to Clinton, who was able to use the local Democratic political machinery to her advantage.

    Unlike John Kennedy, who came to Appalachia during the 1960 primary season to confront anti-Catholicism directly, the Obama strategy of side-stepping the race issue (so recently raised by the Reverend Wright controversy) left the playing field to the opposition. Kennedy quickly learned that economic distress was of greater concern to mountain voters than religious difference, and by appealing to those concerns, he carried the state.

    Obama has yet to learn this basic truth about Appalachia. The cultural conservatism that has often fueled a misunderstanding of the region's history and problems is grounded in economic conditions, hopes and values that reflect those of the larger society. Appalachia is only the "other America" if we want to ignore the contradictions and challenges of our time. We do so at our own peril.

    See also this in the Daily Yonderon Sen. Hillary Clinton's appeal in West Virginia. There's a lot of good reasons why she did well in this state, but some would rather focus on the negative views held by some West Virginians. While Professor Eller thinks "perhaps" Obama conceded the state due to race, I suspect it was more of a strategic decision to de-emphasis the need for the state after the primaries in Indiana and North Carolina changed the media narrative. Once the media conceded it was impossible for her to win after those two states, Obama decided not to change the narrative back by making more of an effort here where the demographics assured a Clinton victory. He had the field offices in place to make a bigger push here if he had needed to, but at that point he didn't need to.

    Whether that was a good decision for the general election is a different story, but for the primary campaign it led to a media narrative that focused on a meaningless win for her in a state he conceded as opposed to a media narrative of him not winning a state he campaigned hard to win. In reality, his decision not to try harder in West Virginia succeeded because the number of superdelegates coming over to his side has continued unabetted. By conceding West Virginia, Obama also, to steal Clem's phrase, de-escalated the campaign rhetoric from both sides.

    Poblano also said in several posts that West Virginia had more to do with class issues than race issues.

    BTW, you missed Barack on your first reference to him.

    "There is nothing more stimulating than a case where everything goes against you." S.H.

    by Carnacki on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:37:40 PM PDT

  •  YES! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Themistoclea, arlene, Neon Mama

    But as Barack Obama becomes the next president of the United States, let's make sure that we make progress on both fronts, by reviving and passing the ERA.

    I've been waiting all my life to see the ERA pass.  The ugliness of the opposition to it has stayed with me, and probably done more to make me a feminist than my mother's example.  I want my rights to be fully recognized by the Constitution, and I want my nieces to grow up knowing their sex or orientation cannot and WILL not be used against them without repercussions.

    I want to hear nothing from John McCain but breathing, and very little of that.

    by Gemina13 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:55:28 PM PDT

  •  Easy come easy go (0+ / 0-)

    If the new regime does not produce we can have them back sooner than I'd like.

    An idea is not responsible for who is carrying it. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:06:28 PM PDT

  •  I got someone who wouldn't vote McCaskill (0+ / 0-)

    Probably atypical but in '06 I got one person, an African American man who was very nice, but said "I'm sorry, the Bible says men have to lead."  

    I agree that there is still entrenched sexism (I say this as a strong Obama supporter), but I'm not sure the ERA is necessarily the way to tackle it.

  •  white women are doing just fine in this country. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama, flight2q, joiful

    women who aren't white, not so much.  all the talk of political progress for 'women' mysteriously involves elections of white women solely and entirely.  

    even this diary pretty much forgets there is intersection between race and sex (and class, and so forth).  

    you have white women lined up around the block to vote for mccain because a black guy looks to have the nomination.  and the way they speak about it, as if white women specifically 'deserve' power alongside white men-- it's way more vile than any sexism they might perhaps face.

    white women can be senators and governors.  black women, hispanic women, asian women-- not really.  black men-- barely at all.  politically, white women are miles ahead of even black men, despite black men being, y'know, MEN.  obama's senatorhood is actually quite groundbreaking.  it is easy to forget how very few non-whites have been allowed access to senatorship and governorship.  

    but white women seem to get along just fine, with their numbers increasing steadily and surely.  

    sexism against white women (which is the heart of the OP's diary) is simply not 'equal to' or 'just as bad' as the racism against all POC, male OR female.  to read that diary, one might think there are no WOC, that "minorities" are all men who reproduce asexually or something.  

  •  "we reserve the right" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama

    basically, they are reserving the right to stay ignorant and fearful.... no matter who it hurts!  no matter if it destroys our country!  no matter WHAT!  

    Sometimes I think Americans get up in the morning, look in the mirror, and swear to stay stupid ALL DAY LONG, no matter what.

    And so many of them are such frightened little children!  At a frightfully old age!  Who would have thought that an attack by a group of criminals, that killed three thousand Americans, would mean we give our country away to fascists without a fight!  And let those fascists strip away our constitution and destroy our economy and destroy our standing in the world - and we do almost nothing about it!

    I always realized that my fellow Americans were stupid, but I had no idea that they were such frightened little creatures!  I have told quite a few of them that I hid those imaginary WMDs under their beds!


    by dancewater on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:25:30 PM PDT

  •  Brilliant. (0+ / 0-)

    Just brilliant. And just dead on. Thanks, DT.

    McCain: "I think that clearly my fortunes have a lot to do with what's happening in Iraq" ... Buh-bye!

    by RevJoe on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:05:21 PM PDT

  •  Magnus Hirschfeld.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arlene, Neon Mama

    Magnus Hirschfeld had some interesting things to say about how women ended up in the workplace (under capitalism), which was the beginning of the end of the notion of women as property of the patriarchy (i.e. first father, then husband), because it gave women the power of financial independence.

    You could read all about it in his book, "Sexual History of the World War." Never heard of it? Not surprising. It, and other of his books, are the ones the Nazis are so busy burning, in all those old newsreels.

    I am, in a word, delighted that your piece ended with a call to reinstate the drive for the ERA. You're right-- far too much of what is wrong wiht this picture, is traceable in the current context to the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution.

    "the people have the power to redeem the work of fools" --Patti Smith

    by Immigrant Punk on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:08:02 PM PDT

  •  A long strange trip it's been. (0+ / 0-)

    My WASP parents raised me up without bigotry. There were no overt-- nor as far as I could tell covert racial aspersions in our household in the mid-60s to mid-70s in Miami FL.

    In part, I believe, due to my eldest brother's serious involvement in the Miami jazz-scene. Music, especially jazz, seems racially transcendent.

    Nonetheless, as I grew older (in '69 I was among the first busloads of white kids to integrate an all-black junior high in S. Miami.)-- I experienced day-to-day life in a minority-- hence, I grew up with a dual-perspective on tolerance.

    By my Sr. high years, my father's job took us (He, my mother and myself (4 older siblings having flown the nest)) to Atlanta.

    I recall my musician brother's advice-- that I should get my past-the-shoulder-length hair cut before we moved. At 15, with Miami being Miami-- I had no clue what he was alluding to.

    Until my first day at my new high school.

    In bodyshirt, hiphuggers, boots/jacket (both army) I checked in at the admin office. In a school of 800 (4000+ in Miami), with one black student, teacher, and counselor-- I might as well have been from Mars.

    I was, in essence, the 'new nigger'.

    Though I was an above average athlete, I was cut from every team I tried out for-- for almost 2 years. I found my place, my voice, as the Editor of the front page of the school paper-- and barked on occasion as the cartoonist. I made it out alive.

    Flash forward another 15yrs. I'd since moved to Houston TX following Atlanta. I've found Houston to be a true melting pot of peoples. Work hard here? You'll succeed. It's the only criteria that seems important.

    But my father and step-mother, a wonderful woman (My mom had passed suddenly when I was still in high school.), stayed living in the N. Atlanta-area until the late '90s (when they retired near/to Tampa FL).

    In Atlanta-- it had to be the environs. The peer atmosphere. The father I knew who had never made allusions to race or attributing social ills specifically to one's race-- now, and regularly, made it plain that that was, in fact, a fact.

    My point is: While I love my father dearly (he's nearing 90 now)-- and I have NEVER uttered a single cross word about him-- and certainly not TO him; It will ONLY be with the passing of him/his generation-- that racial stigma can begin to dissolve from our national consiousness.

    It hurts me to think that his (generations') passing needs to happen to engender the progress that exists in my beliefs.

    Beliefs my father molded within me with his progressive attitudes nearly 50yrs ago.

    What a long strange trip it's been...


    Liar, liar Iraq's on fire...

    by jw1 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:14:51 PM PDT

  •  Obama's doing great in Southern states (0+ / 0-)

    As a response to your concern, hasn't Obama been winning the Southern states (where this problem might be the most apparent)by big margins?
    If he can do that, he can  certainly with a state like Nebraska.

  •  Part of the problem (0+ / 0-)

    is that there are no real differences among races.  Any that exist are cultural and tend to fade.  Nothing is genetic, so those who claimed there were such differences are proved wrong in a generation.

    There are real, genetic differences between men and women and we all know it.  The effort to deny them has failed, so we have to accept them but define them as differences that won't affect doing a job.

    This prevents us from being able to point to anyone claiming there are differences as a misogynist, though.  And it makes it harder to weed out the fiction from the fact.

  •  A reasoned (?) responce (0+ / 0-)

    I think the time has come for all white Americans to move back to their country of origin. After all we are about to elect a black President, isn't it time to renew your roots on the Steppes of Russia, or the foggy streets of London. So America, pull up those roots and move back home. Soon America will no longer be 50% plus one, white. Better get moving, I here house prices are not going up anytime soon. Special dispensation for Jews, who appear white, but in fact are Sephardic.

    Lary Waldman

  •  While I see your argument (0+ / 0-)

    As a black woman, the movement for equal treatment has largely ignored the additional plight of being both a minority and a woman, as though gender trumps color everytime.

    In my case, that is not the case. I think it might be fair to say, that many women of color feel the same.

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