Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Why Young Women Need Feminism

From Media Matters:

During the March 5 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, while discussing the electability of Sen. Hillary Clinton with a focus group of young voters at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, pollster Frank Luntz claimed that "Hillary Clinton would not be the first female president. Jimmy Carter was the first female president."

I am going to say this slowly, and in words with as few syllables as possible. A crone, on the virtual eve or Eostara, I'd like to speak for a minute to young women. I know that many of you think that feminism is over, old, boring. You think that your boyfriends and guy friends and male colleagues appreciate you "for who you are," and that you, unlike, say your mom or aunt or older sister, are going to do just fine on your own.

I want you to read what Frank Luntz said. The very worst insult in the world that he could come up with for Jimmy Carter was to call him a female. And because, although it's not really true, the popular wisdom is that Jimmy Carter was a dopey, ineffectual president (who only tried, 30 years ago, to get us off Saudi oil and who installed solar panels on the WH that Ronald Reagan removed), the implication is that Hillary Clinton, BECAUSE SHE IS A WOMAN, would also be a dopey, ineffectual president.

In the patriarchy, the worst, and I mean the worst, thing that you can do to a man is to call him a "woman."

And it hasn't changed since I, too, was a young woman in the 1970s, sure that I, somehow, was going to personally transcend this bullshit.


Trish said...

Let's not forget that the slang terms for women's genitalia are the worst put-downs that men can hurl.

Clare said...

Wow. I have to say, as a 21-year-old who in no way believes that feminism is or should be dead... I did not understand that comment until I read your commentary! It didn't occur to me that calling Carter a woman was meant to be an insult. Maybe some things have changed?

LittleIsis said...

Hey, I'm seventeen and I'm a feminist! I went out to vote for Clinton yesterday, so don't worry hecate, not every girl in my generation is an imbecile. I won't forget the feminists of the sixties anytime soon, and that's why I went out to volunteer for her campaign all flipping day on tuesday!

Anonymous said...

Speak it sister!