Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I'm Done Apologizing, Part II

Brief recap of yesterday's post:
- I am sick of people telling me why I am or am not a feminist
- I am sick of apologizing for who I am and what I believe
- Not agreeing with one feminist notion does not disqualify someone from being feminist
- The Guerrilla Girls pissed me off by dictating who is and who isn't feminist based on what they believe and who they vote for...

Now, onto the good stuff:
The second thing the Guerrilla Girls said that pissed me off was when they told me to vote for Clinton because she is a woman. No thanks. I chose to vote for a candidate based on their policy, not based on what's in between their legs, their skin color, their sexual orientation, their religion, etc. As cool as it would be to have a black, lesbian, Jew in the white house if along with those things she is also pro-war, anti-choice, anti-same sex marriage, anti-immigration, anti-environment, she will mostly likely not get my vote. Get it? With the Guerrilla Girls' logic, we might as well elect Condi or Ann Coulter...

The Guerrilla Girls aren't the first ones to tell me that if i don't vote Clinton then i am not a feminist. I have heard this a handful of times over the past few months and it really pisses me off. As much as i wanted to avoid disclosing who i voted for on my blog i think you can probably guess. Even though i have spent more blog space and effort supporting Clinton and reacting to the sexist shit she's gone through over the course of her campaign, politically, i support Obama. Before you chew my head off, let me explain. As soon as i tell people, especially those who know me well, that i voted for Obama i am instantly put on the defensive having to justify my vote. So fine, i'll do it here as well. I voted for Obama, I did not vote against women. So seriously, if one more person tells me that i'm not the feminist they thought i was because i didn't vote for a woman i will (WILL) punch them in the face. Seriously, next time you see me, try me ;)

Either candidate will make an outstanding president and I will wholeheartedly support whoever is chosen as the Democratic nominee. I am so very glad to see such strong candidates up there and am even more glad that we will have either a black man or a white woman as president. But my vote is not based on the demographic they represent. Let's rewind to the Guerrilla Girls for a second. They did a beautiful segment on peace and how we must (MUST) vote pro-peace from now on and anti-war. About 5 minutes later they told us all to vote for Clinton because she is a woman. Politically, Clinton and Obama have VERY similar views and ideas. And i even think that if elected, they will both surround themselves with equally as qualified and intelligent people. I think both candidates will do great things for our country and for change. But let's get one thing straight, Obama's platform is MUCH more pro-peace than Clinton's. This is why voting for someone based on their sex vs their politics is stupid. I'm not even talking about her 2002 pro-war vote because that is, like, so two months ago. I am talking about comments like this one from her campaign website that seem like a slippery slope and make me exceedingly nervous: "She would devote the resources we need to fight terrorism and will order specialized units to engage in narrow and targeted operations against al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations in the region."

Compare that to Obama's anti-war stance and you'll understand where i'm coming from:
"I will end the war in Iraq... I will close Guantanamo. I will restore habeas corpus. I will finish the fight against Al Qaeda... And I will send once more a message to those yearning faces beyond our shores that says, 'You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now.'" — Barack Obama, Des Moines, Iowa, November 10, 2007

Here is some more info on Obama's anti-war platform:

  • In 2002, he voted against the war in Iraq
  • In 2003 and 2004, he spoke out against the war on the campaign trail
  • In 2005, he called for a phased withdrawal of our troops
  • In 2006, he called for a timetable to remove our troops, a political solution within Iraq, and aggressive diplomacy with all of Iraq's neighbors
  • In January 2007, he introduced legislation in the Senate to remove all of our combat troops from Iraq by March 2008
  • In September 2007, he laid out a detailed plan for how he will end the war as president.
Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda.

There are two reasons i voted for Obama: one political and one socio-political. Policy wise, Obama is more pro-peace than Clinton. I am ready for a president that values diplomacy, collaboration, and peace. Socio-politically it's all in the numbers for me. I firmly believe that Obama will get more underrepresented voters to the polls. If Clinton receives the Democratic nomination, I am afraid that the voters who would have gone out to vote for Obama will not vote for Clinton (I fear that they simply won't vote at all.) Whereas i'm pretty sure that Clinton's supporters will vote for Obama if he is elected the Democratic nominee. Numbers wise, it's smarter to elect Obama so that come presidential elections, we (the democrats) will win.

I DO believe it's time for a female president. I also believe it's time for a black president. So what?! To elect a president simply because she is female is just as sexist as electing a president because he is male. I will vote for the candidate that makes the most sense to me, not because of the demographic they represent. And once again, all together now: VOTING FOR A MALE OVER A FEMALE DOES NOT MAKE ME ANY LESS OF A FEMINIST!


Christopher said...

But Hillary posted a recipe for Snickerdoodles on her campaign site. How can you not vote for her? SNICKERDOODLES PEOPLE! (I'd think a group like the Guerilla Girls would be a bit turned off by how Hillary plays off the traditional house wife angle so often.)

On a more serious note, as much as I've liked Obama ever since the 2004 convention speech I've been super impressed with his economic advisors and the kind of thought he's put into selecting the right people. It wasn't an area I expected him to have mastered and it makes me very hopeful for what he can do for the economy.

Sarah J said...

You are absolutely right.

Hilzoy over at Obsidian Wings wrote a fantabulous post about why she can be a feminist and still support Obama.

Erhart said...

G -

After reading your intriguing blog and then encountering this statement, a question came to mind.

"Either candidate will make an outstanding president and I will wholeheartedly support whoever is chosen as the Democratic nominee."

Not saying this will ever happen, but if the Republican party, or any other party that is, were to provide a candidate that you shared his or her ideals, would you support and vote for that person?

~JennaBella~ said...

It's sad and ironic to know that the Guerilla girls are using sexism to achieve equality instead of encouraging critical thinking and applying such valued thinking to decision making. 'Vote for her because she's a GIRL?!' Seriously?!? That is the exact reason why so many people have issues with feminists - because some push it enough to basically be the same as sexist men 'DON'T vote for her because she's a GIRL!' and create a sour taste about the whole movement.

Erhart does have a point though... I feel just as irritated about people identifying with a political party and then feeling as if they have to blindly follow or only choose from their party's nominees (not saying that's what you're doing)... it's along the same lines of people not using their noggin as their own and letting others make decisions for them.. but I won't go into that here for fear that this comment will be as long as your blog : )

FeministGal said...

Chris: very funny ;)

Sarah: thanks for the link! I checked it out and really enjoyed the post

Erhart: If the Republican party ever put forth a candidate that supported issues that are important to me i would absolutely be able to look past party lines and vote for that candidate. However, i don't foresee this happening because so much of what creates the devision between parties are usually the issues that matter most to me. If a Republican candidate supported my causes i would question their republican stance - why would they identify (or run as) a Republican? Seems like if the party isn't inline with one's politics, that person would not want to be part of that party.

Jenna: I completely agree. I think so much of the negativity surrounding "the f-word" is due to a few people who isolate others with radical or extreme ideas that the whole movement doesn't necessarily endorse.

GottabeMe said...

Here here! I am right there with you 100%!!! I am voting for Obama as opposed to Hillary on the same priciples that you are, and I am TIRED of defending myself. How on earth is voting for a woman because she's a woman any better than voting for another candidate because he's a man, or because he's white? WTF? If Hillary was running on Huckabee's values, Gloria Steinem & Co would not be saying that feminists must support Hillary.

Smirking Cat said...

I am still disturbed by a woman asking (in the Guerrilla Girls post) if she CAN be a feminist. Like "Can I join your club?" Shouldn't she be able to recognize her own beliefs and determine for herself is she is feminist or not? Why ask someone else? That really irritated me.

PhD in Yogurtry said...

"In 2002, he voted against the war in Iraq"

What vote was this?

I agree, feminism is all about choice, not about mandates to support someone only because they are a woman. I dropped my NOW membership when they instructed members to vote for ANY woman, no matter what she stood for.