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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuit

Reprinted from a former life at DailyKos:

There I was on Thursday night, letting my Sandstone Pearl toenails dry while I reread one of Rebecca Wells Ya-ya books and trying to decide whether to watch Steel Magnolias or Terms of Endearment on the DVD, when I heard a familiar word coming from the background noise of the Democratic Presidential Debate that I use to relax. “Campbell”, it said. Hmmm, there was something very knowing and mysterious about that voice. So, I backed up the DVR and replayed it. There was Hillary Clinton in her light gray tweedy jacket and asbestos pants (and great makeup, by the way) gently chiding the gravid Campbell Brown. And it suddenly occurred to me: Karl Rove must be sweating big time. It will be so much harder to suppress the female voters than the African-American voters. Someone *might* notice.

I mean, sure Campbell Brown is married to former Iraq CPA official, Dan Senor.  Sure, she’s bought into the Villager cocktail party circuit, where they are no doubt planning her baby shower complete with Peg Perego stroller with a mini-bar, reclining seat and internet connection for the little tyke.

But when Hillary said, “Campbell”, we women instantly recognized the voice of authority of the high priestess reminding the backslid acolyte of her obligations to her sex.  (Note to self: buy new candles for the altar and perform the rites tonight in the nude.)

I sipped my Cosmo pensively.  I’m very concerned about Tweety.  He will be so exorcised over this in the next week that if he doesn’t speak fast enough, he will surely drown in his own spit.  The “He Man Women Haters Club” has no place for an upstart girl who will want to come in and reupholster the chairs in a Laura Ashley floral. There is no room in the tree house.

But Tweety has nothing to fear, really.

No, just because every woman can remember some time in her life when she was given a little less attention than the boys in math class or got less praise than Raymond C. Persic in Organic Chemistry (Nyah-Nyah, scored higher than you on the ACS exam), that doesn’t mean anything.

Or all of the times when our ex-boyfriends and ex-husbands called us “bitch” and “c$^t” when we dared to assert our rights.  Or the times that our bosses gave the one raise in the department to a guy with a newborn- year after year after year, there’s no reason to think we might want to level the playing field.

Or the fathers who preferred our brother’s company after we became adolescents.  Or all of the family members who told us we could never succeed in science or medicine or law because we were the first in our families to want to go to college and it was too much money to spend on a girl who was probably going to get married anyway, perish the thought of righteous indignation.

Or the husbands who questioned our expenses, by saying, “What did you spend your allowance on anyway?!”  (You women my mother’s age know what I’m talking about.)  Or just because of the men who said, “*I* make the money, I make the rules!”, we are not looking for a champion.

Or the church elders who chastised our skirt lengths while we were going through a growth spurt, simultaneously staring at our shapely calves and thighs. Or the priests and bishops and fundamentalists who condemned us to hell for having SEX out of WEDLOCK while setting the terms of that wedlock to be perpetual obedience to our husbands, does not mean that we have any expectation that a manly God will exact justice on our behalf.

No, Tweety, you have nothing to worry about.  Do not be troubled that we might want to exercise a little authority, assert our rights, seek vengeance or see one of our own, who seems to know what the fuck she’s doing, succeed to the most powerful position on earth.

It’s not like Hillary Clinton is a personification of a pagan moon goddess who is going to re-establish our supremacy through some matriarchal social system, even if that did kinda work out for us.  Ha-ha-ha!, that is so silly of you. I mean, there’s no reason to vote for her because she’s a girl

No, that would be petty and anachronistic and un-Christian and speaks of gender identity politics and that is soooo outre.  We aren’t out to settle the score for the millenia of mistreatment and disrespect. Perish the thought!

Then again, I did detect a little glisten in Campbell’s eye.  Just a little one.  I saw it.  And if I’m right about these things, Dan will completely miss it as Campbell gently kisses him on the lips and pinches the baby’s cheek just before she steps into that voting booth next year to worship at the Temple of the Sisterhood.

BTW, sisters, make sure you update your social security cards, driver’s licenses and voter registration ID to be consistent before going to vote.  Karl’s not finished yet.

72 Responses

  1. OMG! Turn on CNN now to hear the Hillary supporter speaking of Hillary!


    Someone show this video of this woman on now!

  2. Goldberry, I thought of you immediately.

  3. RD, I’m so glad to see this again. (off to read)

  4. I was in it for this Country!

  5. RD – PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE put the date when you posted this!

    Hillary gave you a shout out!!!!

  6. date of the post:Sun Nov 18, 2007

  7. OMG is right! That Hillary supporter who was just interviewed by CNN should be our national spokesperson. I didn’t hear what state she is from but I think that they said her name was Ann Price Mills.

  8. congrats RD well deserved.

  9. RD, you are the greatest! What a moment! I leapt from my seat!

  10. Nov. 18, 2007????


    Riverdaughter – you are a sage – GOD/GODDESS bless you always!

  11. Riverdaughter: I left the computer for a minute to get tissues and Hillary mentioned you or PUMA?

  12. Carly Fiorina….hot!

  13. Riverdaughter,

    You are the best. Thank you.

  14. Hillary gave RD a shout out !!!

    I’m in awe & blessed to be a part of this group. Thank you for making me a part of it!


  15. Someone, anyone, what did Hillary say in her speech to
    acknowledge RD’s “Pantsuit”???

  16. She reminded me why she’s STILL the best candidate for the job. She earn my respect because not once she lied and said Obama would make a good CIC, or that he was ready to lead. I love her for that

  17. Hillary ’08

  18. Riverdaughter,

    I remember reading this post. But I had forgotten how magnificent it is. Thanks for posting it again tonight.

  19. From Red State:

    Story of the night: MICHELLE OBAMA CANNOT HIDE HER CONTEMPT OF HILLARY. If looks could kill . . .

  20. Kbird: I hear people praise me everyday for The Confluence but I let tehm know that we could not exist without you and every co-blogger who made this possible. You are all wonderful. Thank you, thank you, so much for all that you do. I am so happy to know every one of you.

    There are people passing by our HQ honking their horns! Tonight, I love the world!

  21. True dat…bout Michi.

    The orange suit was a fuck you to the Kos.

  22. SM: What did she say about riverdaughter? I can’t get an answer.

  23. What is the sisterhood of the traveling pantsuit. Hillary mentioned it in her speech.

    Wow, was that a nod to RD?

  24. Hiilary actually used the phrase “The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pantsuit” in a long list of praising her supporters.

    It was a shout-out.

  25. Hillary just said “the sisterhood of the traveling pantsuit.” That was the shout out.

  26. Thanks.

  27. The sisterhood of the travelling pantsuits was the title written by RD as Goldberry when she was on Kos

  28. NH: I think that is a nod to all women who supported her. I am so happy to know that she knows about us. She acknowledged all of us.

  29. How do you interpret her reference to “The sisterhood of the travelling pantsuit”

  30. Wow RD, how nice. I hope she knows that we still will not suppor Obama and why.

  31. Goddess Bless you River Daughter you and Anne Price MIlls and all of the PUMAS and GODDSS BLESS HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON I am grateful to have lived in her time

  32. Wow, great article, RD. I didn’t know you back then, but am so glad to have found you and everyone else here.

    You were prescient about Tweety. Geez, yesterday he got his undies in a twist about the word “ass.” Campbell has been a real let-down, too.

  33. NH: She is saying thank you to all of us who supported her no matter what.

  34. Did you all see that they didn’t invite Bill to join them and Carter at the main stage. They are so rude. Bill sat with the families of Jones and I’m sorry I can’t remember the name of the supporter was murdered.

  35. RD,

    I had a post scheduled that just went up. Should I hold it back for an hour or so?

  36. Thank you RD

  37. Could someone just delete Kitten comment. TROLL ALERT

  38. I’m trying to keep up. But, you’d be surprised it’s about all I’ve done for the last 3 days.

    Ah, the stress of Administering a popular site…

  39. RD, I did not know all of you back then but thank you from the depths of my heart for the “birthday gift” you provided last year. I am in awe of you and all those that take the time and make the effort to share your wisdom and insights here. Thank you for welcoming me so warmly back in June when I found you like a child lost in the woods of misinformation .

    What a speech Hillary gave the night before the delegates have to vote their consciences.

  40. Riverdaughter
    Thank you.
    I am of an age that lived thru most of what you spoke about.
    The younger generation of women do not really know what it was like to be told “you only work for the knick knacks that guy works for his family”. ”
    We can’t hire you because you will get married and leave to have children”.
    “if you are married and have children already, you will spend too much time on the phone with your childrens problems, You should stay home with your children”.
    We know you trained him and you are better but he has a family to feed.
    It is not the company’s problem that your babysitter did not show up or your child got sick, you should be more prepared for emergencies.
    Watching tonight, I realised again that we could have had the best and they are shoving the worst down our throats.



  41. PUMA HQ on CNN right now!!!

  42. Hillary Rosen just “misspoke” and said you should get it together and vote for John McCain. She sure changed after going to work for Huffington

  43. Oh my goodness!

    RD, I am in awe. Thank you so much for re-posting this for those of us who didn’t know you in your previous incarnation! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  44. Kbird: I *do* know what you have been doing and there are no words that would express my gratitude.

  45. I thought she was saying thank you and aknowledging our presence with the Sisterhood of The Traveling Pantsuit comment and when she said DONT GIVE UP I felt as if she was talking directly to us . From the gift of her generous heart and the magnificence of her soul , she was able to to personalise and universalise her words at the same time while stayiing singularly focused . I heard her very clearly thru Harriet Tubman Davis words .. and Harriet Tubman Davis also said this one month before she died

    A month before she died, she said to a friend…

    “Tell the women to stand together.”

  46. Hah, RD! I knew I’d heard that pantsuit reference before.. !!! 🙂

  47. PUMA not so Haka?

  48. Oh, darling sweetie Janet, for you:


    👿 👿 👿

    Now, please f*ck off.

  49. RD: So very grateful to you and so many others who have made this movement a reality. There truly aren’t enough words to express the amount of solace, insight, fellowship and peace of mind we’ve discovered at The Confluence — and now PUMA.

    This journey has been worth it. It led me here, to all of you. Here’s to a future fighting and championing TRUE democratic principles and policies.

  50. Here’s my blog from before . . . it’s for all you great PUMAs out there in Denver and for us all. I can’t believe how amazing Hillary’s speech was tonight. She is fantastic.

    “Without PUMAs where would democracy shine today
    Through candlelight and bright faces looking forward
    Without PUMAs how would one-person-one-vote
    Find an advocate in the midst of back room dealings

    You PUMAs who stand strong in Denver this week
    Hold in your hearts and in your hands great truths
    You PUMAs own your own clear thoughts and visions
    You shame the DNC by your elegant existence

    Your presence speaks more loudly than thunder
    Your carefully reasoned speaking tells the world
    That love of country is not found in group-think slogans
    But in the mature intuition and logic all PUMAs bring

    Perhaps, with time, others will see what is so clear
    To us this memorable day, when PUMAs witnessed
    To what we hold to be self evident, that democracy
    Is worth the struggle, worth the terrible price.”

  51. LOL madamab definitely PUMA HAKA 👿

    I want the transcript of the speech Hillary gave .. I want Hillary back

  52. Thank you, Gordon in Kansas!

    There is anger, but there is so much positive, loving energy too. We will not be thwarted. We will fight for equality and the trueness of our devotion to our Constitution and the principles of the Democratic Party of FDR.

  53. I blubbered all through Hillary’s speech.

    RD – I remember reading that post over at DKos. Thanks for the reprint!

  54. sometimes we say more when we say very littel her is our meditation/prayer/affirmation:

    Creator Father Mother God/des

    Tonight Freedom Liberty Justice the very core of our belief system is suspended above us like the toss of a coin-for a moment air born and the whole world is holding its breath-It is as it has always been in your hands now!


    I hope you all approve


  55. “DEE”
    We have to PROTECT HER from CNN!!
    They want to FIND HER after Obama’s SPEECH!!
    They actually said they must have found “THE ONLY

  56. Thank you, Riverdaughter

    Thank you, all Conflucians

    good night and peaceful sleep

  57. RD, I’m not surprised that Hillary chose the title of this particular piece for her shout-out. As I read it, I was struck by the similarity of feeling, if not of exact words, to the valedictory speech Hillary gave at Wellesley many years ago. I imagine she saw some of her younger self in your writing and that’s why the title stayed in her mind. Congratulations.

  58. How amazing that she referenced RD’s title. It’s been a long day with a lot of emotional ups and downs.

    I hope everyone sleeps well. Tomorrow promises to be another interest one.

    Mountain Sage

  59. Jean, please see previous post by Katiebird, “A Safe Refuge”. This is a PUMA safe refuge site. Site owners set the rules. You want to come on and talk, you abide by the rules.

  60. wow, it almost gave me whiplash when Hillary said that, I jerked my head around so quickly. RD, I would think it must have taken your breath away, hearing Hillary utter that phrase. You obviously connected with her in some’gut’ way. What a compliment!

  61. Hillary’s message was a Trifecta:

    1. The message of Harriet Tubman reminded us that women continue to struggle, and are harrassed and hounded, but to never stop…

    2..Hillary totally understands the AA struggle for equality and compares their struggle to what is happening now as the continuation for woman’s suffrage ans the ongoing struggle for the AA community: Translation SHE IS NOT A RACIST…

    3. Hillary is telling us that the way to victory is to remain connected, continue a covert operation underground to offer safe haven for her downtrodden supporters, and persevere, never giving up or stopping. That is the only way to freedom and to rise above the corruption now within the DNC.

    Our radar is on, our antennaes up, and we “Quakers” will be there for each other until WE HAVE OVERCOME…as MLK declared to his oppressed..

    She delivered that message with conviction, such strong fierce passion, and a fire in her belly…and I feel that in some strange way…Stephanie Tubbs-Jones was speaking to us through Hillary

    I believe that with my every being…………..

  62. RD,,,,I read this post twice, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pant Suit” and was just amazed by your vision and how your words create three dimensional pictures…you take us there and touch the heart.

    When I heard Hillary in her speech…say :The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pant Suit,” I knew it was something special and then reading here tonight I see that it was a very deep connection with her…it was Hillary’s way of saying keep going..I know what you are doing and then she followed it with Harriet Tubman Davis…”Don’t Give Up.”

    Wow…and thankyou Swanspirit for Harriet Tubman’s words:
    “Tell The Women To Stand Together” and
    Stand Together We Will!!
    I Have Promises To Keep and
    Miles To Go Before I Sleep

  63. BTW, sisters, make sure you update your social security cards, driver’s licenses and voter registration ID to be consistent before going to vote. Karl’s not finished yet./

    Bet you feel you were naive back then. Bet you feel you’ve woken up now….

    Voter Fraud is endemic to both Parties. They’ll both happily do whatever they’re allowed to get away with, by the voters, and by the Institutions.

  64. NYT gets the reference – wrong:

    She sprinkled her opening remarks with personal touches, delighting the crowd by thanking “my supporters, my champions — my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits,” a reference to her signature sartorial style.


  65. Amen, RD, amen. Hugs to you and my Hire Heels sisters out there. Wish I could be there with you.

  66. The NewYawkTimes doesn’t fact check, Google’s too difficult apparently, ha.

  67. Congratulations to Riverdaughter and to all PUMAs!

    Thank you for the repost of a fabulous essay.
    These words give strength and support to all persons
    fighting for equality.
    Thank you Hillary Clinton.

  68. I hope that Elizabeth Joyce, who spoke to Larry King about the PUMA cause, will not get plastered by the same trollers and hatemailers for being brave enough to go on national television and speak before the country about how Obama expects Hillary voters to just fall in line like the Waffen-SS on parade. Hillary made poingant points about how Obama’s healthcare coverage does not go far enough, and how his plan to extricate forces from Iraq is only generalized, and does not go into specifics of drawing down units in an organized fashion during her campaign, yet Obama has not changed his position a single whit. I voted for Hillary in the New York primary primarily because I saw in her a way to change America that is smooth, and that is effective. Obama, as he has shown in victory over Clinton, just expects his positions to be set in stone from the first day he started campaigning, and tramples over the democratic process of the primaries to win a somewhat brokered election. McCain is a joke of a candidate, and completely out of touch with what America has become in the past 8 years, and thinks that old ladies and men who are hard pressed financially to pay their healthcare bills do not need or want Social Security, or that people want to have affordable healthcare. Yet, McCain’s incompetence doesn’t automatically compel me to vote for Obama, who has his own problems that he has to iron out within his platform and his campaign, and he must do so to gain my vote.

    True to CNN’s form, they have erased all record of Elizabeth Joyce from their site, only showing Republican talking heads as proof that Larry King had a show last night.

  69. Just got my Nation Mag update…They are totally not getting the PUMA thing, poor dears:

    magazine at http://www.aapf.org.

    I thought I might find some PUMAs at the Equalitea– like every other journalist here, I want to track down those elusive felines. (Later I learn they have spent the day hanging with Chris Matthews, getting enormous amounts of exposure and making women look like lunatics.) In the powder room I run into Ellie Smeal and Mavis Leno. “What about those PUMAs?” I ask.

    “There has to be some reality here,” Ellie says exasperatedly. “Personally I think a lot of these people were McCain supporters all along. I know plenty of women who gave heart and soul to Hillary who are with Obama now.”

    “You’d think none of them ever worked in an office,” adds Mavis. “You have to compromise!”

    Smeal herself is totally on board with Obama: “This is a progressive, positive ticket.” She heaps praise on Biden, whom she has known for years as a friend of feminism, a supporter of women in his own family, and an all-around wonderful person, who is “deeply, deeply against the war.”

    More later….

    Comments (40)

    “Personally I think a lot of these people were McCain supporters all along.”

    I have a feeling, if somebody looks into it, that six months from now, we discover that a lot of the PUMA “leadership”…

    have ties to the GOP!

  70. bitter much anyone?

  71. […] ridicule and persecution. To top it all off, she actually referenced a post written by RD called The Sisterhood of the travelling pantsuit (listen for RD’s scream in the […]

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