04 November 2008

Sexism today

I recently had a (tiny) book club meeting at my apartment. We discussed The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon, which I found wonderfully written, intricately detailed and which I keep loaning to people to read. The talk, however, quickly turned to the election and as usual, the Germans found it easy to state their unequivocal beliefs that there is only one candidate. While discussing the 4 candidates and the "road to the White House" I mentioned my anger at the misogyny and blatant sexism directed at Senator Clinton and a friend of mine, an American woman my age, said that she hadn't noticed it and asked for direct examples.

I was taken aback. It has been a while and although I was angry I never felt that my anger would allow me to be bought by my former party simply by their choosing a religious right-wing fanatic who has a uterus and a perky body (although men go for that, as seen in studies). I told her I would follow up and that evening I sent her this.

That discussion made me realize all over again how sensitive I am to racism and sexism and how angry I feel when told that I am "too sensitive" or a "politically correct American" and that "real people" don't feel that way. I have been so disappointed in America. It's not that America is not a wonderful country with many wonderful parts, as it were. It's that I expect so much from her. America should be "a shining City on a Hill", and not in a right wing religious way.

I think Obama is the step that we need to take now. I think we need to take back our belief in ourselves as Americans,  a people dedicated to freedom and with a real belief that we should help each other. Not the Americans who broke the capitalist system through the destruction of the ownership society by allowing the greed of the managers to become normative.

3 comments:

Charlotte said...

The misogyny directed at Hillary Clinton appalled me too. There is a part of me that still feels cheated that she's not the Democratic candidate - I would have liked to have seen her in the White House. However, Obama also offers change and that is a good thing for America.

Cairo Typ0 said...

I think that if we still lived in the States i would have applied for citizenship this year so that i could vote in these elections - so i could be part of what will be the most important elections of our lifetime. (I too paid taxes in a country that didn't want my vote.) These elections more than anything else are a constant reminder of the chance i threw away when i chose not to apply for citizenship. :(

G in Berlin said...

My husband is also upset that he can't vote, and has lost seniority through not knowing to file a 470- he will have to start all over again when we return to the states.

I never thought that my anger at Clinton's treatment would alter my feelings about my decision to switch parties, and after a lifetime as a Republican register as a Democrat.The Republican party is no longer the party of decent people. Perhaps it can be reclaimed, but I couldn't wait any longer.
I wanted Clinton because I think she would have done a good job and I think her policy on healthcare was better. There are other reasons, but overall, Obama is my candidate and, thank goodness, my generation will finally have a voice.
Cairo Typo- I hope I wasn't harsh. Sometimes I resent paying taxes too,but I would never, never, never give up my right to vote.