Goodbye to some young women eager to win male approval by showing they’re not feminists (at least not the kind who actually threaten the status quo), who can’t identify with a woman candidate because she is unafraid of eeueweeeu yucky power, who fear their boyfriends might look at them funny if they say something good about her. Goodbye to women of any age again feeling unworthy, sulking “what if she’s not electable?” or “maybe it’s post-feminism and whoooosh we’re already free.” Let a statement by the magnificent Harriet Tubman stand as reply. When asked how she managed to save hundreds of enslaved African Americans via the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, she replied bitterly, “I could have saved thousands—if only I’d been able to convince them they were slaves.”
This is all incredibly offensive to me — not because of who I support in the presidential primary, but because of who I am. A younger woman. A younger feminist woman.
The above section of Morgan’s essay is incredibly condescending. It completely fails to recognize that there are a variety of valid reasons younger women might decide to support Obama. Not because they think the “Obama Girl” video is empowering. (Uh, to the contrary.) Not because their boyfriends told them it wasn’t cool to vote for Hillary. Not because they’re “post-feminist.” Not because they are in denial about the existence of sexism. Because they’ve taken a look at his position on the issues and decided that he would make the best president.
My brain’s still a little mushy from last night, listening to David Gregory on MSNBC talk about how in order to really win in the eyes of the punditry Obama needed to “break out” of the box of his expected support from black voters, because … their votes counted less, or they weren’t “real,” or something. And hearing tool after tool after whisk after slotted spoon autowitter on about how Evangelicals voted for Huckabee and women for Hillary and African-Americans for Obama and, I don’t know, bitter ex-military Bush-humping pseudo-centrists for McCain, and I wondered why we were bothering with elections when we could just pull out the 2000 census, count up the various categories and allot the votes that way.
It’s like nothing counts unless it goes against the grain, like women who vote for Hillary are only obeying the Hive Vagina and African-Americans who vote for Obama are under his voodoo spell. God forbid we have heard them both speak and made up our minds, and God forbid, even if we DID vote based on race or gender, those votes be considered legitimate. At the very least, as legitimate as those of NASCAR fans or Office Park Dads or Security Moms. You know, white people, who live in Real American Places and shop at Target. And vote Republican, nine times out of 10.
I’ve written about this before, my dislike of feeling vaguely pressured to support Hillary because she’s a woman. I’ve changed my mind a little since that piece was published, in that the more time I spend with Hillary on my TV the more I realize I could deal with her as president, but it’s not some kind of ovarian twanging telling me this. It’s seeing her, powerful and comfortable and in the fucking zone, kicking ass and taking names and looking like she’s ready for another thousand years of this fight, and thinking, you know what? Fuck it, if she’s what we’ve got she’ll do just fine with all of us behind her.
Full disclosure, though, in yesterday’s Illinois primary, I voted for Dodd. Probably just because no one was able to convince me I’m not a slave.