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    • The NYTimes Reveals More Than It Means
      Watch this video. It’s only 39 seconds. It’s worth it. What’s interesting to me about this video is NOT what Bernie says, it’s the reaction. It’s how genuinely uncomfortable the people interviewing him (The NYTimes editors) are. They really think he’s saying something terrible. Something awkward. Something embarrassing. What is he saying? “I ignore the […] […]
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Women Are to Blame For Hillary’s Loss. What Else is New?

As if we want to be reminded of the 2008 election, Rebecca Traister has just written a book expressing her desire for a “Sarah Palin of the Left” and letting us in on the fact that Hillary Clinton’s run for the Presidency was historic, she was the first woman to win a presidential primary, and she won more primary votes than any other presidential candidate in history, man or woman. OMG, no way! The book is called Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women.

According to Jezebel, this is the book we’ve been waiting for.

Rebecca Traister: As often happened at lunches about Hillary, within moments there was a furious conflagration about how young women didn’t know anything about feminism. I found that the election offered a sort of match that lit what was already pretty dry tinder. It wasn’t so much that Hillary made different generations of women angry at each other. It’s that Hillary gave them the excuse to have the fight they’d been spoiling to have for a very long time.

Cat Fight! Whooooop! Let’s watch the ladies get crazy!

Traisier goes on to spout the usual propoganda about Hillary’s bad campaign, Mark Penn, Raycists, Obama was more inspiring and blah blah blah, and then finally gets to the root of the problem as to why Hillary and her supporters were such epic losers.

You could go back and hear the same conversations around the foundation of the feminist and lefty blogosphere and hear young women saying, ‘Well, the women of the traditional feminist organizations aren’t listening to us, so we’re moving into our own realms.” Some of the older women — I’m using older women and young women very broadly, I don’t meant to be talking in derisive generalizations — you could hear them say, “These young women don’t take their rights seriously, they blog all day, they’re not activists.”

So in the end, Hillary lost because of a giant cat fight between third wavers, who are bratty and didn’t want to listen to their mommies and old second wave crustaceans who just wanted to call their daughters unappreciative of the rights they got for them.

Wow. I was under the impression that Hillary lost because delegates were stolen from her and the party refused to have a fair nominating process because they wanted a race baiting empty suit that would allow them to keep lining their pockets with cash from the pharmaceutical and financial industries. But apparently it’s much more complex than that. Actually, it has much more to do with my relationship with my mother.

I should use this opportunity to tell you something about my mom. She had me when she was thirty three. Hillary was the same age when she had Chelsea. I love my mother to death. I’m crazy about her and she’s crazy about me, but I was only partly raised by her. She has bipolar depression and severe anxiety and when I was six and she and my father had been divorced for a couple of years, she had a nervous breakdown and checked into the loony bin. My brothers and sister and I were almost put into foster care, but instead we went to live with my father and step mother (Foster care would have preferable), and from then on, we only saw her periodically on visitation.

I suppose I could be categorized as having very bad “mommy issues.” That has nothing to do with anything, but since we’ve all ready delved so deep into trashy Freudian psychobabble, I can say with absolute certainty that Traister is talking out of her ass. I find myself seeking out the approval and affection of older women more because of my complicated relationship with my mom.

Traister is simplistic and conformist in her musings, and while she is quick to put blame on young women, she has high praise for young men.

At the time, I wrote about what I perceived as a complicated misogynist vibe coming from some of the young male Obama devotees in the last stages of the primary cycle. I think one of the reasons that I was so struck by it — and this is not to give some pass to all younger men — is that there is such a marked generational change among men. There’s more of an awareness of gender, they’re often raised by feminist moms and working moms. Men who are [at least] used to the idea of equally splitting domestic duties; they’re active fathers.

I had actually come to expect much more from young men. We’re very lucky to live with a new generation of men, and I think our kids will be luckier still. But this was an instance in which some old attitudes seemed to bubble up among younger men.

See? The next generation of kids will be so lucky to be raised by Obots.

Dig it: What if young women who supported Obama weren’t trying to thumb their nose at their mothers? What if they were seeking the approval of their fathers? When I was small I would sometimes pretend to dislike Hillary and other assertive women. I thought my dad might give me a hug if I pretended to agree with him about stuff.

But no, we women “asked for it.” Traister blames women for blaming other women for what happened to the Secretary of State. She falls into the timeless “divide and conquer” trap that the Patriarchy sets up for us. Instead of uniting over our common interest: equality, feminists and more specifically mothers and daughters are pitted against one another over things like choice and porn and made to believe that we are our own worst enemy. I am constantly lurking on threads, on Clinton friendly threads no less, that have plenty to say about the lack of authenticity of “young feminists.”

And really, what is that? Plenty of young women supported Hillary and plenty of older women supported Obama. I’m twenty years old. I like doing my hair and getting my nails done and tanning, and I’m a feminist because I believe in equality. I am not a “third wave” feminist. I’m a feminist. I’m not a “fun feminist.” I’m a feminist. I’m not a white feminist. I’m a feminist. I’m not a pro choice feminist, I’m a feminist. I’m not a liberal feminist. I’m a feminist. I’m not a feminist Democrat. Honestly, I’m just a fricking feminist. That’s my only MO.

Every woman, old or young, is a feminist deep down, even if she doesn’t know it, because she is a human being. Feminism is about humanity. “Humanist” is a more appropriate term, but feminist is the one we have. Let’s stop putting labels on women. Let’s stop questioning each other’s choices. Let’s stop being so cruel to one another, and instead start working together.

And let’s not read Rebecca Traister’s new book.

50 Responses

  1. This woman is an idiot. Great write-up b the way.

    The “bros before hoes” set is to be admired for their gender awareness? Oh my…

  2. Good Post. Glad you took time to give us your take on this book.

    And, BTW, it appears to this ‘crustacean’ feminist that far more male Obots than females had and still have “mommy” issues. Ditto the talking heads –the males most obviously but the females as well who crave acceptance by their successful male brethern.

    And, of course, the one with the biggest Mommy issue of all is Oprecious himself.

    Pfui.

  3. “Wow. I was under the impression that Hillary lost because delegates were stolen from her and the party refused to have a fair nominating process because they wanted a race baiting empty suit that would allow them to keep lining their pockets with cash from the pharmaceutical and financial industries.”

    Yeah that was what I thought too, LittleIsis. But of course it must be the fault of all those bitchy females who do not know how to comport themselves politically.

    Aaarrrgh. How can these people re-write history like this with a straight face? And how can they not see the continued sexism?

    • Spot on.

      • Yes, but I also think it is wise to stay informed of such writers as Traister and her assessment of the 2008 Dem primary — even if we don’t agree with her basic argument (i.e. that women are to blame for HRC’s primary “loss).” BTW, This does not mean we should buy Traister’s book.

        I certainly agree that “feminism” — whatever brand one ascribes to — needs to keep the issue of patriarchy/ies front and center. Even at the university level, this issue is rarely dealt with anymore in gender and womens studies departments. It’s all about the West and about political economy and the market — i.e about “social justice,” that is, about “Marxist feminism.” (In some cases, I’ve seen where students aren’t even required to write about women per se in such courses! ) Question of political economy are important, certainly, but when other issues concerning women are shoved aside because they are seen as “not so pressing” then feminism as political thought has lost its way, in my view. (I once attended a graduate course on global feminism where the questions of gender and patriarchy weren’t even dealt with. When asked why this was so, our instructors didn’t really have a answer, but assured us that it would be included the next time the course was offered.)

  4. Also, many women in my age group(mid-30’s) are fond of saying, “I’m not a feminist but…” I don’t know about not being listened to by the older set. Many woman I know simply don’t want to associate themselves with being feminist at all.

    • Yeah, I never got that. At all. “I’m not a feminist, but…”
      Huh? How can you not be a feminist? Feminism is simply a belief in equality between the sexes. How can you not believe in that? Do these gals seriously buy into the hairy armpit/lesbian stereotype or what?

      • I know, isn’t it crazy? It’s like they are embarrassed by equality or something.

        • Oh, you got that right. Once upon a not-so-long-ago time, even good, stand-up fighters in the global human rights movement spoke with terminology that shunted the more troublesomely ICKY elements of humankind into a sideshow tent.

          Ergo, human rights AND women’s rights, gay rights etc.

          We’ll win one brick at a time if we have to, but — rather, and …

          We. Will. Win.

      • Never could figure out why it was OK for some persons to leave their natural body hair and not others. But then I grew up TV-deprived.

  5. Uh, yeah. I always hear about how awesome this new anti-racist, anti-homophobia, pro-woman generation of guys is. Problem is, I rarely meet any. I know some nice people, sure, but nothing changes that much and a lot of them have attitudes that haven’t really changed in 85 years. Rebecca can see how ugly and woman-hating our pop culture is, right? Who does she imagine is consuming it, fleas? Why do they keep making it if it’s so out of step with how amazing we are? She sounds like she’s being hoodwinked and bamboozled by on-their-best-behavior Obots coming to take out her daughter.

  6. thanks, isis (hi! btw).

    I’ve always been a little confused and bothered by this *wave* thing. I’ve considered myself a feminist since my teens in the 60s and never thought of myself as belonging to some different group than the feminists who fought for the vote; rather, I considered us all sisters in an ongoing movement.

    honestly, my feeling is that Rebecca Walker didn’t get along with her mother, Alice, and wanted her feminism to be different from mom’s, so she invented *waves* and for some reason lots of people not only accepted the idea, but pretended it had always existed (like in the 60s we had wanted to separate ourselves from the feminists who came before us – as if!).

    I just don’t get it.

    • Hi Kiki! I never understood the “wave” thing either. My women’s studies professor was an Obot and she was very big on teaching us about the “waves.”

      • I have to say until the primaries I never heard about the ‘waves’ of feminism either.

        • The “wave thing,” basically amounts to the different historical developments and trends in U.S. feminism/s. I have no problem speaking about feminism in these academic terms, but, as some of you so rightly point out, such discourse can be divisive. For years much has been said about what has been gained by looking at feminism in such terms (i.e. as historical waves, which in turn, raises question about inclusivity). But perhaps it is now time to ask what has been lost and how such discourse works against us as women? In any case, since 2008 the whole question of U.S. feminism has to be rethought, in my view — and this may not be a bad thing, ultimately!

  7. I read an excerpt earlier today. She lost me when she repeatedly discussed the “Hillary deadenders”.

  8. Dig it: What if young women who supported Obama weren’t trying to thumb their nose at their mothers? What if they were seeking the approval of their fathers

    Ding ding ding ding ding! I have as much of a problem with 3rd wavers as anyone, because they’re just annoying, but I don’t think for a second that they’re trying to get back at Mommy. Why does Rachel Maddow have a show? Because she did what she had to do to come across as non-threatening and acceptable to be taken in (provisionally) to the club. The Amanda Marcottes of the world are annoying, but they’re not the gatekeepers.

  9. I think the young male voter in 2008 was defined by an apparent man-crush on Obama resistent to reason.

    • There were a whole lot of “feminists” supporting him too, even in the primaries.

      • wasn’t he briely what a feminist looked like? whew, glad we got through that particular wave!

      • I find the ones who supported him didn’t believe sexism existed anymore, because they didn’t experience it.

        • I found that they refused to see it, even though they could spot “racism” from 100 miles away at midnight through dense fog.

          • yeah, racism that can be spotted 100 miles away, through a thick fog, when you turn your head to the right 30 degrees and squint in to a mirror standing backwards…… That kind of racism, the kind that had me labeled racist even though I had spent years in an “interracial” (there are not races, just the human race) relationship. I no longer charge people with racism unless it is clear. No more accusing people because something they said while galloping past on a horse, and talking through a heavy mask might possibly, if twisted in to a pretzel, constitute racism.

  10. We’re very lucky to live with a new generation of men…

    Oh, go grovel on the floor in front of them some more, Ms. Traister.

    • She means the ones that wear the C t-shirts, right? Yea, lucky that.

      • Plant a baby monitor in the room, see what they say about you when you leave, and get back to me, Rebecca. Or, just watch Countdown and read Andrew Sullivan, you’ll begin to get an inkling. Oh, it may take you longer to figure out than what woman won the first primary, but…..

        • Most don’t get it until they finally realized it means them too…whatever pile on of criticism they join in towards another woman , however ” supportive” they are to the men in their lives in this bashing of other women , it will not buy you a pass. To those you see doing this to another woman , it means you too dear. Wake up. Your aiding them in their expressions of hate will not save you from it . Standing up for ALL women might .

    • Traister is delusional. There is no other explanation for her contortions about how great and smart the young men of today are…. and how hung up the young women are.

      Her whole thesis, in fact, is not only delusional. It’s insulting. To my own sons and daughters … who all supported the same candidate for 2008’s primary.

  11. Sounds to me like she thinks she’s got the right order of things, and wants you to accept it………screw that dish.

    Thanks for helping me “change my mind” about buying her book.

  12. (((waving))) Hello Littleisis…(((hugs))) 🙂

  13. It’s my fault because I have a vajayjay.

  14. If my choice in 2012 is Obama vs Palin, I’m voting for Palin. I know that much now.

  15. thank you, littleisis, for this great post. somehow by changing the last two letters of feminine to feminist, the opposite meaning was created. i think it may have happened when the adjective bra-burning was added. all those women throwing off their shackles was scary, think of it, all those uncontrolled boobs jiggling around. you have to realize that in the sixties, women were still wearing girdles as well, and only sluts didnt wear them. which doesnt explain why marilyn monroe was such an icon, cause her lack of underwear was a given, and men loved her. i guess it doesnt have to make sense, it is just that the word feminist has had enough mud slung at it so that it has some permanent negative connotation and maybe we should move on and leave the word behind like we did with groovy. i like the word humanist, it is so open and positive.

  16. I don’t think the hurt from Hillary’s not in the WH ( I don’t want to say loss because she didn’t) will not go away till some one publically acknowledge what happened. And the facts about her winning the most votes and all that became a well known facts. two years later and still hurts and if someone says get over it I get enraged.

    • Yes, ownaa – I too still get enraged – if it was just me that got hurt by it that would be one thing – but what happened hurt our country, it made a mockery of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Someone needs to be held accountable for the mess they’ve made of our government, economy, and the whole election process.

      • to me it is just like the GE in 2000. No I will not get over it and the DNC better never do it again. Obama, in my book, will have an asterisk by his name just as Bush will.

  17. Littleisis, this is a terrific post!

    Perhaps it’s time for us to write our own book about how it really happened with quotes from those of us who were there and witnessed the caucus fraud, convention conniving and out and out disenfranchisement of American citizens all over our country.

    Lord knows, the phoney, baloney Obots have written and spread enough lies. They just couldn’t deal with the fact that a woman could beat their “suave, articulate, young guy.” They just couldn’t take it.

    So let’s write the book of what really happened.

    Yes, Hillary did win – she was a great candidate, she pulled in more votes than we could imagine and they still took it away from her.

  18. The “wave thing,” basically amounts to the different historical developments and trends in U.S. feminism/s. I have no problem speaking about feminism in these academic terms, but, as some of you so rightly point out, such discourse can be divisive. For years much has been said about what has been gained by looking at feminism in such terms (i.e. as historical waves, which in turn, raises question about inclusivity). But perhaps it is now time to ask what has been lost and how such discourse works against us as women? In any case, since 2008 the whole question of U.S. feminism has to be rethought, in my view — and this may not be a bad thing, ultimately!

    xx

  19. Terrific post, my only disagreement would be on the term humanist since so many third wavers (who to me are just women who don’t want to piss off their boy friends) use it to say that feminist goals have been reached and we greedy selfish old feminists should stop caring more about women’s issues than human issues… in other wards “get to the back of the bus. If you were a real woman you would be worrying about all the boys not going to college, rather than rejoicing that women are getting PHDs in record numbers.

    • I consider myself a feminist and a humanist… I don’t really give a flip what thirdwavers say. To my mind:

      Feminism is the space to talk about women’s rights being human rights.

      Humanism is the place to talk about human rights being women’s rights.

  20. Honk, honk

  21. One of the big lies of the Obama primary campaign was that all young people were automatically drawn to his campaign. Hillary in fact won the youth vote in Massachusetts in California.
    I remember watching CNN in the middle of the night on Super Tuesday, and a British reporter chose these young girls to interview, and was practically trying to make them say they liked Obama. They were literally like, ‘I think the media says this blah blah blah.’
    You can’t get good analysis out of these Obots, because they only think in preconceived political narratives. They don’t seem to have any actual critical thinking skills what so ever.

  22. I stopped saying, “I’m a feminist, BUT … ” way back in college (back in the day) because I saw the self-hipstering Politically Incorrect movement for what it was, essentially, a way for the same old Same Olds to get the genies back in the bottle.

    You know, if they couldn’t hilariously push those pesky [feminazis, wayyyy-out-gays, ethnic types, enemy creed du jour, etc.] back where we (humorlessly) belonged, why not get us to (humorlessly) do it ourselves and save them the trouble.

    So I replaced, “I’m a feminist, BUT … ” with, “Yeah, I’m a feminist. Why aren’t YOU?”

    I enjoy Traister’s POV and commentary on a variety of topics, not just doing clean-up on Aisle Pink, and look forward to reading the book.

    I also don’t believe in the blurred notion that all feminists, never mind women of any stripe, are tethered to the proverbial Giant Chick Brain. (Don’t snort: it’s been CW and SOP in the mainstream since I was a mere Chicklet.)

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