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Is feminism dead?

by Danielle Berrin

February 5, 2008 | 1:56 pm

I am a proud feminist but I’m feeling weary of women at the moment.

For the first time in the history of our nation, there is a smart, qualified, viable female Presidential candidate in the race but instead of vehemently supporting her, women are deafeningly silent. Why?

bell hooks once wrote that “feminism is for everybody,” and I sincerely wish that were true, but as of late I’m growing concerned that feminism has become a dirty word to females.

As can be expected from a woman who topples boundaries and smashes ceilings, Hillary Clinton is eliciting a relentless onslaught of criticism and condemnation from the media and public. “She’s too experienced.” “Too political.” “Emotional.” “Not emotional enough!” “We need change and she’s part of the establishment!”

Since when did a female President become part of The Establishment?

Why are women not raising their voices to support her? This is a historic opportunity. Complacency is a dangerous state, so if there is ever a time to put principle over politics, the time is NOW.

In a polemic that articulates the postmodern, “postfeminist” conundrum our country faces as two minority candidates vie for the oval office, Robin Morgan writes:

During my decades in civil-rights, anti-war, and contemporary women’s movements, I’ve avoided writing another specific “Goodbye . . .” But not since the suffrage struggle have two communities — joint conscience-keepers of this country — been so set in competition, as the contest between Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) and Barack Obama (BO) unfurls. So.

Goodbye to the double standard . . .

—Hillary is too ballsy but too womanly, a Snow Maiden who’s emotional, and so much a politician as to be unfit for politics.

—She’s “ambitious” but he shows “fire in the belly.” (Ever had labor pains?)

—When a sexist idiot screamed “Iron my shirt!” at HRC, it was considered amusing;

...

Goodbye to the toxic viciousness . . .

Carl Bernstein’s disgust at Hillary’s “thick ankles.” Nixon-trickster Roger Stone’s new Hillary-hating 527 group, “Citizens United Not Timid” (check the capital letters). John McCain answering “How do we beat the bitch?” with “Excellent question!”

...

Goodbye to the most intimately violent T-shirts in election history, including one with the murderous slogan “If Only Hillary had married O.J. Instead!” Shame.

Goodbye to Comedy Central’s “Southpark” featuring a storyline in which terrorists secrete a bomb in HRC’s [female anatomy].

Goodbye to the sick, malicious idea that this is funny. This is not “Clinton hating,” not “Hillary hating.” This is sociopathic woman-hating. If it were about Jews, we would recognize it instantly as anti-Semitic propaganda; if about race, as KKK poison… PETA would go ballistic if such vomitous spew were directed at animals. Where is our sense of outrage—as citizens, voters, Americans?

...

Goodbye, goodbye to . . .

—an era when parts of the populace feel so disaffected by politics that a comparative lack of knowledge, experience, and skill is actually seen as attractive, when celebrity-culture mania now infects our elections so that it’s “cooler” to glow with marquee charisma than to understand the vast global complexities of power on a nuclear, wounded planet.
...

As for the “woman thing”? Me, I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman—but because I am.

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