Sunday, July 13, 2008

Obama and Clinton Need to Support Feminism

Cross-posted at MyDD and Feminism in 2008 Election and Beyond

Clinton should disassociate herself from the PUMAs, defending her former supporters who are following her advice to work their hearts out for Obama. Clinton supporters who immediately started to work for Obama seem to be targeted by some PUMA trolls on our blogger blogs as cowardly traitors. The anonymous attacks on me removed from the Clintonista for Obama blog were revolting and ageist, implying I was too close to the grave to have a right to political advocacy, that I desperately needed, but would never get, a man, that they laughed themselves sick at my profile.

Given that these personal attacks on me echoed the attacks made by the media and progressive blogs against older Hillary supporters, I have to wonder who those anonymous hit-and-run attackers truly were. Are they truly Hillary supporters or an army of Karl Roves in disguise? Is it completely unfair to associate them with genuine PUMAS? The whole mess is heartbreaking. I certainly understand where the PUMA people are coming from. I just have to reread all my letters to my daughters and sons-in-law for the last year. I was totally demoralized that they were all supporting Obama and repeating all the right-wing Hillary demonizing that had now been adopted by too many progressive blogs.

I had dedicated 30 years of my life to nonsexist childrearing of 4 daughters, and now I was discovering they probably weren't feminists and couldn't recognize sexism and misogyny. They had splendid educations and excellent jobs, so they hadn't experienced much discrimination. However, after a year of mothering, my oldest daughter realizes we don't live in a postfeminist era. Two more daughters are becoming mothers this year, so they will be similarly enlightened. There is nothing like discovering you might make $100,000 plus, but are still expected to pump breastmilk in a toilet to raise your consciousness. If your consciousness isn't raised enough, finding out that storing your pumped breastmilk in a company refrigerator is a biohazard should bring enlightenment.

The attacks on me and other Clinton supporters for Obama made the Obama supporters on mybarackobama seems like cuddly little bunnies in contrast. Now that they realize I am genuinely working hard for Obama, they can welcome me, even as I criticize him from the progressive left. Admittedly, it has taken me a month to find groups of Obama supporters I can work with, and we had to work through much miscommunication and misunderstanding.

Some Obama supporters genuinely believe that Hillary doesn't disown the PUMAs because she believes they enhance her chances for the vice presidential nomination. I am sure they are wrong, but I understand howClinton's speaking out would probably reassure people.

Feminists and other progressives need to start a peaceful revolution for a family-friendly, child-friendly, elder-friendly, human-friendly America. Instead we squabble like little children. Wait, that isn't fair to toddlers. The under threes I hang out with are far better behaved and cooperative.

However, if Obama supporters viciously attack Hillary supporters who are not ready to support Obama, they reinflict all the traumatic wounds of the primary season. I perfectly understand how many women feel that supporting Obama is equivalent to going back to an abusive husband. The primary campaign reawakened in me memories of a lifetime of discrimination, mockery, and misogyny. We are all too quick to dismiss people who disagree with us as trolls. Rational debate is not trolling. I do try to take what people say seriously and dialogue with them. A serious discussion of the need for a new feminist movement of progressive men and women might be a constructive substitute for tormenting our former and future allies

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