no girls allowed

9371009.jpg I feel like I’ve been picking up on some serious anti-girl sentiments as of late.

I don’t understand why co-workers think it’s okay to come into my office and tell me how much they hate Hillary Clinton. I don’t understand why the U.S. has yet to elect a female president, when other countries — countries that require women to wear veils for crying outloud — have had female leaders. What’s the deal, people?

I keep hearing about how Hillary is a polarizing figure–she’s too tough, too unlikeable, too emotional. I’m not saying she’s perfect, but I’m beginning to think some of the rabid reaction is just about the fact that she is a girl. As my friend Becca says, she’s stuck in the awful position of damned if you, damned if you don’t. Obama is alright — untested, for sure, but he’s young and he has not had to get through the bs discrimination that older folk have. And I just don’t know if I will see a girl president in my lifetime.

Maternity Leave Policies
The other thing that has been bugging me is maternity policies. Do you know in Europe, the governments sponsor one-year leaves for moms? In the U.S., the legal minimal requirement is three months of no-pay. I am particularly irked when my work place does the minimimum requirement when boy-heavy companies like financial investment firms offer and Vogue magazine’s give two months paid leave (and Vogue DEFINITELY hates women).

But beyond my particular office, American society as a whole does not impress me as a place that loves women. Why not assist rather than penalize women for the one thing they can do that men can’t? Is it not our societal duty to have children? Don’t we want a labor force to help fund Social Security (if it’s not entirely dismantled)? Don’t we want someone to push our wheelchairs and feed us gruel and wipe our mouths when we’re eighty? Hello????

14 Replies to “no girls allowed”

  1. A New Yorker article advised reading Obama’s and Hillary’s memoirs side by side to kinda get a revealing and personal glimpse of who these people are and how they think. And so I just started Obama’s “Dreams of My Father,” and I’ve only read the intro thus far, but I’m already captivated by Obama’s thoughtful and searching voice about race, family, his place in the world/America, etc. And I can’t help but think how a person with his background and intellect could really envision and inspire an America to stand up for the ideals that we are supposed to be known for.

    I don’t know if you can say that he hasn’t had as much discrimination as Hillary because he’s younger. The debate of which “oppression is worse”: racism vs sexism is too complex to pick sides. However, in his intro, Obama seems like someone who has really tried to grapple with these issues in a very personal and intimate way.

    On a side note, Hillary was pretty funny and relaxed in her SNL cameo on Saturday.

  2. i don’t think i was clear re: the idea of discrimination. i’m not comparing racism versus sexism – i’m comparing generational challenges. obama, ‘im sure, has dealt with and will deal with discrimination, and it’s amazing that people can just see him as a person and not get mental that he’s half african american. i find that tremendously heartening — but he is younger. meaning, people like jesse jackson, al sharpton, and charlie rangel who are in their 60s and 70s had a rougher time and did clear the path for him. none of us operate in a vaccuum, you feel me? clarence thomas’ claim that he pulled himself up by the bootstraps is BS — there were african americans in law before him, like thurgood marshall, faced a lot of ugliness and took some punches for the latter generations, i.e.,marshall did brown versus the board of ed. prior to brown versus of ed, folks like obama would have so much more additional BS to fight that who knows if he’d get to this same level. hillary is closer to those old farts’ ages, and so i see her as more likely clearing the path for some other woman candidate in the future, then staking a claim for herself.

    hillary does not have the skill to seem personable in crowd. apparently, on one on one, she’s better at showing her sense of humor–apparently she has a raunchy sense of humor and a crazy laugh — which would you ever guess that from her public appearances? look, she’s as corrupt as any politician. there are lots of shady things in the clinton history and i’m not claiming that she’ll be better president than obama — but i think the fact that she’s a woman is NOT an advantage. it makes people see her behavior through a certain lens — if she were a man, i think the crowd would be MUCH more forgiving about her “being a bitch” or tough or cold. it pisses me off.

    i think obama is going to win the demo nom, which is cool and i will vote for him, but he’s a baby and i’m worried how he’s going to handle the kabillion problems bush has set up. bush has set our civilization like back to the freaking stone age.

    AHHHHHH!!!!!! i can’t Stop!!!!

  3. I think people championing for Obama reminds me a lot of Oprah. Although she, too, is from the same generation as Sharpton/Jackson/Thomas and same background (poor, segregated deep south) AND on top of that, she’s a woman who is not some skinny and gorgeous female, Oprah has found a way to inspire many, many people, crossing racial, gender, age lines. I think Obama has those same qualities of charisma, intellect, and empathy. And therefore, like Oprah, he has attracted supporters across all those same racial, gender, age, class lines.

    Reading Obama’s memoir, I have to admit that I do get excited about the possibility that someone might be in office who has so intimately dealt with these issues. This is in stark contrast with the current President who was born with a huge friggin’ silver spoon in his mouth and who is in bed with big corporations and big business.

    You know, in part, I do believe that some people are looking through Hillary with that gender lens. But I don’t think that’s the whole of it. I think some people just have a bad reaction to Hillary, irrespective of gender. I actually think the American people are more than willing to consider a female presidential candidate. I just don’t think Hillary is the one.

  4. I would live happily with either obama or hillary, but I think mc cain will win. obama and hillary have been galvanizing the dems in the country, but i think the u.s. overall has become extremely conservative and christian. i hope i’m wrong!!!! and yes, hillary has some just annoying aspects. she’s also fairly conservative — she’s considered a centrist dem, the only reason why i think that’s good is that she can work with cognress to get the decisions done. i don’t want someone who will get hemmed in at every chance they try to make a change.

    what else. my priorities for the pres is 1) get us jobs 2) pick up the ball with education 3) no more bombs. i think there were a few more, but those are the basics that i think bush fouled royally. notice there’s no one calling for dick cheney to run? ugh, the lot of them, UGH

  5. I don’t know, I think the conservatives might sit this next election out. I don’t think McCain does much for them either. But I think Obama has a better chance against McCain than Hillary does. After the mess of Bush’s administration, how in the hell do the Republicans have any legitimacy as the party that can run the country better?

  6. I have to agree that Hillary isn’t getting the fairest shake. I’ve yet to hear someone tell me they don’t like Hillary based on her policies. I’d love to see a woman president but I doubt I’ll see it in my lifetime. If she does win, it would send a signal to the rest of the world that there is hope for the US yet.

  7. i heart hillary. i can’t help it. yes, she is a total washington insider, but dude, that’s what you need to get stuff done. and i have stars in my eyes because she is SO SMART! but honestly, anyone will better than bush. my mom would be better than bush. i could even live with mccain, except for his whole thing of referring to asians as gooks. ha ha ha. that, i would probably never get behind

  8. It’s funny, I was just discussing this very issue with nnk and sachsy tonight (and yes, your blog was mentioned!). nnk mentioned what I think was a pamphlet given to her by an Obama supporter (correct me if I’m wrong, nnk) which listed all the shady stuff about Hillary. And the thing that really terrified me is that it was the EXACT SAME STUFF that the right wing lunatics were raking her and Bill over the coals for ten years ago. Only now it’s Democrats and liberals who have adopted those very talking points. I thought the GOP failed in their mission to take down the Clintons when his impeachment failed and he left office with stratospheric approval ratings and Hillary in the Senate. But it’s become obvious that the far right succeeded all too well.

    Anyone who thinks Hillary needs to be investigated obviously doesn’t remember the open-ended Ken Starr investigation that took five years, cost $55 million of taxpayers’ money, and uncovered NOTHING apart from a couple of blowjobs from an intern. Hillary is the most investigated woman in the history of the country, probably. All her skeletons are out of the closet and out there in the open, and that’s another reason why I like her. With Obama, who knows what kind of rumors the Republicans will start or what they’ll uncover? Hillary’s taken the worst they can dish out for 15 years, and she’s still standing. Even Obama fans have to admire that.

    I heart Hillary too, Tina. I’ll be happy to support Obama if he gets the nomination, though. I just hope his supporters feel the same way about Hillary and won’t get all petulant and take their ball and go home.

  9. You know what I also find interesting? That McCain is the frontrunner right now for the Repub party. In 2000, he was being painted by this very same party for being too unstable, too volatile, and certifiably crazy. And damn, look where he is now! People have such short attention spans and short memories.

    From what I understand, Hillary has not been forthcoming about all her skeletons. In fact, people say she is one of the more secretive politicians. Thus far, she has not released any of the White House papers pertaining to her (though she counts her First Ladyship as part of her experience). And she will also not disclose her income taxes. And goodness gracious, Ann frekkin Coulter is endorsing Hillary! Ick.

  10. look, i’m sure she has some stuff out there, the tough thing to judge these candidates is that we’re judging them on their image, nothing substantive. and i honestly think they ALL have something shady going. (look spitzer’s big news today!!! spitzer!!! with ahooker!!!! oy!!!) if you don’t, it’s only b/c you haven’t been in politics that long. and i don’t know–do i have to see ALL of your skeletons? do i really want to know everything about you till i’m repulsed by your presence?

    it’s impossible to translate the incredibly boring, tedious tug of war that goes behind the scenes that’s behind all the bills getting signed into something entertaining and simple enough that you can translate it to TV. you know what obama is? he’s a freaking celebrity. that helps!!! he has been in the senate for 1-2 years, and (read the past sunday’s times) hasn’t really put in his dues as a lawmaker, and instead of sticking it out to deal with that, he said, f* it, i’m running for president.

    ann coulter is gross, no two ways about it.

    i’m heartened with how hillary’s doing lately. her camp is finally pulling their act together. i just dig her b/c she’s smart. She’s smarter than bill, people! nice!!! i think she’s smarter than obama too, but dude, no worries, if obama is the front runner, i will back him up.

  11. I’m not sure if this is ultra-cynical or not, but … are Hillary’s taxes really going to affect how bad this recession is going to be? Are Obama’s dealings with that shady Rezko guy going to affect the outcome of the Iraq war? I’ve gotta say, I honestly don’t care what these candidates do in their personal lives if they take care of the American people. If it would have helped us avoid invading Iraq, hell, I would’ve called a hooker for Bush. And paid for it out of my own pocket.

  12. I think whomever is going to president is actually going to be unfairly blamed for the recession. I don’t know that there is anything that can be done at this point to stave it off immediately.

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