Hey, Sandernistas: “We’ll Consider HRC for Our Sarah Palin, harharhar” *Is* Sexist

It’s also — take my word on this — not funny. Excising a lot of both-siderism from the Politico article:

… “I’m stunned that a man like Bernie Sanders, who has clearly committed his life to making the country a better place, would get sucked into this very dangerous rhetoric, which perpetuates sexist and misogynistic stereotypes,” fumed Christine Quinn, the former New York City Council speaker who sits on Clinton’s New York Leadership Council and does fundraising for her campaign. “The candidate is supposed to set the tone, set the agenda. If Bernie Sanders does not want to be seen as someone who uses sexist language and perpetuates a dangerous sexist stereotype of strong women, then he should tell his people to stop. And if they don’t stop, he should fire them.”

Quinn, who ran for New York City mayor in 2013, said a recent Bloomberg Politics story that quoted Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver as joking that “we’re willing to consider [Clinton] for vice president … we’ll even interview her” was beyond the pale.

“Seriously? Seriously? The absurdity of that statement almost merits no response. How arrogant and sexist can you be? It’s not OK to let people with a long progressive record get away with being sexist.”…

I don’t think Bernie Sanders is (deliberately) sexist, but I do think his campaign staff needs to check themselves, maybe run those “jokes” past some actual double-X-chromosome staffer before sharing them with reporters.

It’s a repeat of Sanders’ #BLM problem… except I doubt the Sandernistas can claim that the Vermont population is 96% male.



Open Thread: “Stop Treating Young Women Like Dumbbells”

Rebecca Traister, at NYMag‘s The Cut:

Free advice to everyone in presidential politics: If you want young women to vote for you, stop treating them like dumbbells.

It is, in fact, embarrassing how often this very basic piece of wisdom has to be doled out. Today’s example comes from Virginia, where, on Wednesday, 18-year-old University of Richmond sophomore Kayla Solsbak raised her hand high in the air from her back-row seat in an auditorium to ask a question of Republican contender John Kasich.

When the Ohio governor met her eye, he laughed and told her, “I’m sorry, I don’t have any Taylor Swift tickets.” The obvious implication of Kasich’s joke: that hysteria for the “Shake It Off” singer is the only thing that would motivate a female student at a campus political gathering to raise her hand with conviction during a town hall forum with a presidential candidate. John Kasich has a rich sense of humor.

But Solsbak didn’t find it funny, and she wrote a really good column about it for the Collegian, in which she reported that Kasich took questions from admiring older fans in the audience while dismissing a question about Planned Parenthood posed by another young woman, making it obvious that, in Solsbak’s works, the candidate believed he could “gain points by belittling me and my peers.”…

This is, of course, a larger representational problem that extends far beyond John Kasich or this year’s presidential election. Though women have had the franchise for just under a century, politicians still seem not to have warmed to them — especially young women — as rigorous political thinkers or participants…

…[T]he problem is that young women — particularly unmarried women — are key to anyone who actually wants to win a national election.

In 2012, unmarried women made up a third of all young voters, and comprised almost a quarter of the total electorate; they voted for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by 67 to 31 percent. In 2016, the majority of women voters are predicted to be unmarried, according to Page Gardner, founder of the Voter Participation Center. Among that demographic are the students and recent graduates that Republicans seem driven to diminish as dimwits…



(Inter)Sectional Confusion

meryl-streep-teeJust read this Vox article by Alex Abad-Santos about a controversy involving Meryl Streep, who apparently sparked a Twitter outrage fest by wearing, along with fellow cast-members of a film about the British Suffragette movement, a t-shirt with the slogan “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave.”

The Vox article links to a Cosmo(!) essay by Gugu Mhlungu that’s critical of Streep because of the shirt (as well as other comments Streep made about feminism; she prefers to be called a “humanist,” apparently). Here’s an excerpt from Mhlungu’s essay:

The slogan comes from the famous speech by Pankhurst and the part from which the tee slogan is taken from is as follows:

‘Know that women, once convinced that they are doing what is right, that their rebellion is just, will go on, no matter what the difficulties, no matter what the dangers, so long as there is a woman alive to hold up the flag of rebellion. I would rather be a rebel than a slave.’

But taken out of context, it’s deeply problematic. Especially in the American context where during the American Civil War, the Confederates, who referred to themselves as ‘rebels’, came from the Southern slave states and fought for their right to own slaves. So Meryl appears to be wearing an item of clothing that says ‘I’d rather own a slave than be one’.

Emphasis mine. I roll my eyes along with Mhlungu at people who equivocate about the label “feminist,” which should be embraced by every person who believes women are fully human. But back to the shirt: Why isn’t the onus on the people who view the image sans context to find out the context before proceeding directly to outrage? It’s a fairly famous quote.

Abad-Santos also seems to assume that readers will share his view that wearing the shirt was an affront, or at least a PR debacle that Streep should have avoided:

Streep hasn’t commented on the shirt. She probably won’t, since Time Out has taken responsibility with its apology. But like the context of the quote, that apology pales in comparison with the image of the most recognizable and respected American actress of the past 30 years wearing a T-shirt her publicist shouldn’t have cleared.

And Mhlungu ends with this:

Although probably well intentioned, this Suffragettes movie campaign shows why intersectionality is so important if our feminism will mean anything.

I thought I understood what intersectionality means, but I guess I don’t, or at least not in the way Mhlungu and Abad-Santos understand it. I get that oppression around race and gender can’t be fully understood as separate experiences because their combined effect is greater than the individual components. I also get that our feminist forebears weren’t inclusive and that too many still aren’t and that we should be.

But I don’t understand why it’s considered insulting or wrong or tone deaf for people in the UK — which is a whole other country, after all — to use words like “rebel” and “slave” without considering the context of the American Civil War, particularly when the use is related to a famous quote by a non-American historical figure (whom Streep was portraying in the movie, doubtlessly with an absolutely flawless British accent).

My initial take is that the outrage is a stupid example of the social media “call-out culture” that I find annoying as hell as I settle into my dotage. But! I sometimes find when I’m rolling my eyes at kids today with their stupid tweeting and misplaced outrage, etc., I’m actually missing something important — particularly when it’s an issue involving race — because middle-aged white lady.

So, I’m asking with all sincerity: What am I missing here?



Fiorina: What, Me Worry? (About Spending Other Peoples’ Money)

From the Washington Post article:

Fiorina has emerged in recent weeks as a top-tier candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, impressing voters with a pair of crisp debate performances and a promise to put her bottom-line inclination as a Fortune 50 chief executive to fix a broken Washington. But that fiscal sensibility was largely absent from Fiorina’s other run for office — a quixotic and unsuccessful attempt to unseat longtime Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

In more than two dozen interviews, staff members, friends, contractors and operatives who worked on Fiorina’s 2010 campaign singled out one big problem: how the team managed its cash….

Those who waited the longest to be paid were small businesses with a few dozen employees who did the grunt work of the campaign: building stages, sending out mailers, selling polling data. And at least one is still waiting…

“People are just upset and angry and throwing her under the bus,” said Jon Cross, Fiorina’s operations director for her Senate campaign. “If we didn’t win, why do you deserve to get paid? If you don’t succeed in business, you shouldn’t be the first one to step up and complain about getting paid.”

Olivia Nuzzi, at the Daily Beast, has another intriguing investigation of Fiorina’s “campaign” finances:

… “Through the Fiorina Foundation, she has given to dozens of charities, including those that support veterans, education and their local community,” Flores said.

Asked to name the charities, she said, “It’s a lot of charities and I’m not going to release names which will cause a headache for some of the smaller organizations.”

Asked to at least specify how many charities there are, she said, “I’d just say dozens. I don’t have an exact number.” Read more



Saturday Morning Sad Clowns Open Thread

Speaking of sad clowns, the two Republican “conservative family-value Christian” Michigan representatives who got caught “forming their own legislative coalition” after the male partner concocted a bizarre gay-sex blackmail story to cover his tracks, are no longer in office. Per the Detroit Free Press:

LANSING — It took 14 hours, two failed votes and a day full of drama, but at 3:12 a.m. Friday, state Rep. Todd Courser resigned from his state House seat, and an hour later, Rep. Cindy Gamrat was expelled on a 91-12 vote, ending a controversial sex and cover-up scandal that has rocked Lansing for the last month.

“I felt is was the appropriate thing to do. I put everybody through a whole bunch, my family, constituents and the people in this room,” Courser said. “You go 14-15 hours later, they would have been doing a third vote. I felt they were just going to go until they got their answer.

“It’s an unfortunate chapter where we’re at, but it’s time to turn a page and go in a different direction and obviously heal, in my own house and in this body as well,” he said. “It’s been hell.”…

Gamrat decided to stick it out and asked her colleagues to censure, rather than expel her.

“I firmly believe in restoration and redemption,” she said.” I have done everything I can to redeem this situation and I’m sincerely sorry for what this has caused. I still believe my actions warrant censure, but not expulsion.”.

Her colleagues disagreed, voting 91-12 to expel her with five Democrats declining to vote on the matter… Read more



Glad That ‘s Clear

Sargent_MadameX

Ben Carson on the real battleground for the Republican War On Something To Do With Women:

“They tell you that there’s a war on women,” he said. “There is no war on women. There may be a war on what’s inside of women, but there is no war on women in this country.” [via Raw Story, w. a h/t to TPM]

I’m so glad that’s clear.  Ladies: you’re alright.  Your ladybits, not so much.

Carson, I may remind you, is running second in recent GOP presidential primary polling.

(another, perhaps apposite image comes below the fold as it is NSFW in a fine art kind of way.) Read more



Hillary Clinton’s Truth Bomb (Open Thread)

In a speech in Cleveland (the Paris of Lake Erie) today, Hillary Clinton talked about women’s issues, comparing the views of backwards, Bible-humping, god-bothering, patriarchal fanatics in the GOP race with the views of anti-modern, Koran-thumping, god-bothering, patriarchal fanatics in terrorist groups:

“Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world, but it’s a little hard to take from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States, yet they espouse out of date, out of touch policies. They are dead wrong for 21st century America. We are going forward, we are not going back.”

Boom. She specifically name-checked Bush, Rubio and Kasich. Here’s Jeb Bush’s feeble meep in response:

Haven’t seen anything from the other candidates yet, but I’m sure the media will point out how uncivil it was for HRC to make such a comparison and speculate that it must be to distract everyone from e-Ghazi. That’s easier than acknowledging that the self-same “mainstream” GOP candidates who are always crowing about personal liberty want to make women’s uteri state property. Hillary is right, and good on her for saying that which must not be spoken.