Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Too Soft To Stand Up To Our Enemies, But Too Contrary To Our Stereotypes For Voting For The War

Once Obama was the Democratic candidate, I supported him wholeheartedly. I campaigned for him, blogged for him, showed up at the farmers' market and handed out literature for him, opened my home to Obama volunteers, did magic to ensure his election, made fetch birds to protect him, drove voters to the polls -- I worked to get him elected. And I cried like a big baby when he was inaugurated, delighted that my G/Son will grow up simply accepting that, well, yeah, of course African Americans can be president.

Throughout the primary campaign, lots of Democratic voters were simply indignant: I could NEVER vote for Hillary Clinton! She voted for the war!

Fair enough. The war was immoral and everyone knew that Bush was going to fuck it up. Voting for it was immoral.

Hil had the bad luck to be a woman w the first real shot at the WH just as Rove was punking the Dems. If she'd voted v the war, she'd have had to campaign against assertions that, as a woman, she was too "soft" to be willing to use our military "against terrorists." And, as a woman, if she voted for the war, she was going to, as she did, pay a price for being pro-war. We don't like our women being too warlike.

It's MUCH WORSE for a woman to be pro-war in this society than it is for a man.

Want proof? It was OK for Kerry and Edwards to be pro-war (But, but, but, they apologized BETTER than she did! Right. Sure. Whatever.) It was OK for Biden to have been "for the war." Crickets. And, today, Obama announced that he's ramping up the war in Afghanistan. I'm sure Move On will get right on this. No, I'm not. Crickets.

Look. I'm anti-war. I don't think it's OK for ANYONE to be for any war.

But it's v, v, v, v interesting to me to see the different reactions to men who are "for war" as compared to Clinton. As usual, women are damned if the do and damned if they don't. In patriarchy, it's a feature, not a bug.

Picture found here.


Anonymous said...

It's always amazing to me how many women just didn't want to vote for probably the most feminist woman who ever stood a chance at being president in our lifetime.

I don't know why women believe men when they say they are anti-war. FDR, LBJ, top name a few... Why do women ever believe a word men say?

I didn't buy Obama's so-called anti-war policy back then, and I knew he was going to go for it in Afghanistan.

What I did know is that Hillary Clinton would have been a very good representative of women, and would have inspired a huge shift in the idea that women can be leaders and warriors and feminists.

It will always disappoint me to read about any women who did not vote for her, but oh well, I'm going to say I told you so a lot this year.

nanoboy said...

My own opposition to Clinton had more to do with her support for the bankruptcy bill and her association with her husband who was too eager to deregulate the economy.

Keep in mind, too, that the difference in who voted for who had far more to do with age group than gender. Young women liked Obama more. My wife (29 years old) voted for Obama but was initially more supportive of Edwards. I think that younger women have more of a feeling of equality with their male peers than older women do. The status of women in our society has been changing over the years for the good, and younger women don't associate electing a woman for the presidency as being a true expression of equality. For them, equality means being able to weigh candidates' merits based on non-gender variables.

Maritzia said...

Obama never said he was anti-war. In his book he talked about the need to use military force at times. He always said that he thought we needed to put more troops in Afghanistan.

What he campaigned against was the war in Iraq.

I had a lot of reasons for voting for Obama. They didn't include voting against Clinton. I just believed that Obama would be better for the country.

There's no hypocrisy in his stance since he's doing what he said he would all along.

Anonymous said...

Hilary's main problem (aside from the perception that Bill would be back in charge in the White House) was that most people didn't want a monarchy in this country of Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton.

Secondary to that was if I put her through as a candidate can a woman win? A co-worker of mine called it correctly when she said this country will elect a black man before they will elect a woman.

Ah, yes, damned if we do, damned if we don't indeed.

LittleIsis said...

Women don't know how to think for themselves half the time. It is a bi-product of the patriarchy.
I never bought the whole "monarchy" argument. Marriages are partnerships, and I find it amusing that people howled that Bill would be in charge, since when he was President they were all howling that she was in charge.
It was incredible to me how many people thought Obama was more liberal than her, particularly when it came to the war/war. Hillary's floor speech when she cast her vote was the same as Obama's supposed "anti-war" speech; he would have voted the same way as her and said the exact same thing.
He said over and over again, both on the campaign trail and in his two books about himself, that he didn't consider himself liberal or anti-war, among other things. And he also revealed his man crush on Ronald Reagan.
I did what I thought everyone did in choosing a candidate to support, I got my facts.
Like Hecate, I thought Hillary was the better candidate. And though I believe I will be saying "I Told You So" a lot over the next couple of years or months or whatever, I will give President Obama the benefit of the doubt.