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Hypocrite Watch: NOW’s Kim Gandy Opines about Misogyny

Kim Gandy

Kim Gandy

Of course it has nothing to do with Obama, Favreau, or the shocking media misogyny that went on during the 2008 election season, but still…it’s something. MTV asked the President of NOW, Kim Gandy to explain why so many people–even women–are blaming pop singer Rihanna for getting beaten up by her boyfriend, R&B star Chris Brown.

The New York Daily News reports that Rihanna told police that the recent incident was not the first time Brown had physically abused her. Some background:

…the shocking fight that landed Rihanna in the hospital ignited when Brown got a suggestive text message from another young woman following a pre-Grammy party Saturday night.

“He got a booty call. He got a text. Rihanna saw it and she got upset. They started to argue. She got out of the car. He wanted her to get back in, so he grabbed her,” the well-placed music industry source said.

“She pulled away. That’s when she’s told people he hit her,” the source said.

Rihanna, 20, had “visible injuries” when cops arrived, and she’s been cooperating with the investigation while freezing out Brown, the source said.

When Rihanna gave him the cold shoulder, Brown’s friends passed along signs of remorse, saying the 19-year-old R&B sensation “feels very bad.”

Brown, meanwhile, is due for another interview with investigators building a case against her boyfriend. He was booked on suspicion of making criminal threats Sunday night and released on $50,000 bail.

According to TMZ’s review of the police report, Rihanna took the keys out of the ignition of the couple’s rented Lamborghini and enraged Brown when she “faked a call” to someone during the fight, saying something like “he’s dropping me off,” and “make sure the cops are there.”

That’s when Brown spat out, “I’m going to kill you,” TMZ reports, citing the police report.

Continue reading

Kim Gandy is no Mary Anderson

(Cross-posted from Heidi Li’s Potpourri – if you enjoy the historical part of this post you might also enjoy this one from Potpourri)

I have been given to understand that a) Kim Gandy, currently President of N.O.W. (National Organization for Women) wants to become head of the Women’s Bureau at the Department of Labor and that b) today, February 8, 2009, a number of bloggers will be discussing whether appointing her to the job is a good idea. That Ms. Gandy wants the job is a total rumor to me; if she does, I can’t say that the choice thrills me.

The choice of Gandy does not thrill me because she holds great power at N.O.W. (from the N.O.W. site: “Gandy also is president of the NOW Foundation, chair of NOW’s Political Action Committees, and serves as the principal spokesperson for all three entities”; and I think she used that power to have N.O.W. sell women down the river when N.O.W. broke with its usual practice and made a general election presidential endorsement, picking Barack Obama, somebody who used and tolerated sexism and misogyny to gain the Democratic Party’s nomination. I use the expression “sold women down the river” with all its metaphorical baggage: the image of humans being treated like chattel sold down to the Delta to be auctioned off. I think N.O.W. had very little evidence of Barack Obama’s commitment to women’s empowerment, little evidence of even his commitment to women’s reproductive rights (the usual excuse used by mainstream women’s groups to go out of their way to support his candidacy). And still, under the leadership of Gandy, N.O.W. went out of its way to auction off women’s votes, encouraging them to turn out and make sure this man, who never once denounced the nutcrackers and the media comments and the misogynistic rappers singing him into office, became President of the United States of America.

On the other side of the ledger, Kim Gandy has clearly spent the better part of her life working on issues important to women; she’s probably quite knowledgeable about working conditions for women and in a position to hire high quality staff. So Gandy is not a bad person and she’s not anti-woman. But she made a Faustian bargain at high profile moment. The dynamics of the general election were such that women’s votes really mattered. And lots of women were and still are furious at the Democratic Party for depriving Hillary Rodham Clinton of an equal opportunity to win the nomination at the Denver Convention by abiding by the Party’s own rules and traditions. Under these circumstances, N.O.W. should have remained agnostic. As an organization that does not usually trade in presidential endorsements, refraining from making one would not have made news. Going out of its way to endorse Obama is what made news, and Gandy made that decision. In a year when every poll showed any generic Democrat beating John McCain and almost every poll consistently predicted Obama beating McCain, there really was no reason – even for those who believed that McCain would be a worse president for women than Obama – for women’s organizations to line up behind Obama. The only reason to do so would be fear of reprisal if they did not; or if their leaders hoped for a seat within the administration after the election. N.O.W. and, if rumor is correct, Ms. Gandy acted for the latter reasons.

I believe that once a person shows a capacity for major betrayal – in public or private life – that person cannot be safely relied upon to act in a reasonably trustworthy way again. So I was not surprised that it turned out that Bill Richardson had apparently not been totally forthcoming with the Obama administration about the corruption charges against him back in New Mexico. If Richardson would deceive the Clintons to further his aims, why would he not do the same to Obama?

If Kim Gandy was willing to sell out women who expected really very little of her – just that she stick with usual practice and show organizational restraint in an election that was wracking many women with distress – I can easily predict that she will sell out women who expect harder things of her, such as real fighting for women’s interests in an economy that is bad for everybody but worst for women.

That said, making a deal with the devil does not make Kim Gandy the devil. Of course neither does it make her another Mary Anderson, the first director of the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor.

Mary Anderson (served 1920 – 1944)

Ander2

The first “up from the ranks” labor woman to head an executive department of the Federal Government, Mary Anderson directed the Women’s Bureau for nearly 25 years, leading efforts to win better wages, hours and working condition for women. She served for five presidents and, during her tenure, saw the ranks of women workers more than double.

Women’s Bureau, Director’s Gallery

“As the world evolves, so too does the growing role of women who are proving their infinite capabilities in today’s complex workplace, and exhibiting a new usefulness now and for the future.”

Mary Anderson Signaturefrom the Labor Hall of Fame citation inducting Mary Anderson

Also from that citation:

From a domestic worker to factory employee to trade union leader, Swedish-born Mary Anderson was a tireless champion of women in the workplace. Director of the Women’s Bureau for a quarter century, she was the most influential of all women in Federal service. Her leadership in fact-finding and standards-setting established her as the Nation’s foremost authority in the struggle for women’s rights and the improvement of their lives and working conditions.

At the start of the 20th century the Women’s Bureau was lead by a woman whose commitment to women’s equal opportunity in the workplace transcended party politics, Why should we expect anything less from the Director appointed at the start of the 21st century?

(Excerpted at 51 Percent)

Obama and the SOS selection: What is he up to?

It should come as no surprise that I don’t trust Obama.  Not. One. Bit.

I don’t like the corrupt, “slash and burn” way he ran his campagin.  I don’t like the deal he made with the DNC (yes, Howard, we think you’re a liar).  I don’t like the way he rode his way to the nomination and presidency by using racism as a weapon and misogyny to ridicule and diminish his female rivals.  I don’t like his speaking style, his High Broderism or the fact that he is already a failed president in my book for failing to anticipate the financial mess and proatively doing something about it instead of prancing around Europe as the Fresh Prince of Bill Ayers (H/T myiq2xu).  While Hillary was trying her best to actually *do* something about the bailout bill, Obama just couldn’t be bothered with suspending his campaign to take care of that important business.  He just expected that Congress would “get it done”.  Thank you Pre-failed President Elect Obama.

So, it should come as no surprise that I do not trust what is going on with the persistent rumors that Hillary Clinton is being considered for Secretary of State.  Actually, its more of a rumor, considering I just got a “push” email from Archad Hasan of DFA, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Obama must be pretty anxious about the upcoming Senate session if he is trying this hard to get Hillary out of there.  Either that or he has a woman problem.  Or both.  I’m going with both, since his campaign repeatledly belittled her foreign policy experience while she was First Lady, women’s accomplishments ebing inconsequential at best and a mere sideshow to a man’s at worst.  Let’s imagine what would happen if Hillary was allowed to make this decision without all of the pressure that the media is about to rain down on her to “guilt” her into taking this position:

  1. She has to work for Obama.  He would be her boss. Well, that right there is in the minus category.  I don’t care what stupid Lincoln narrative his campaign is pushing, suggesting Obama is doing the same as Honest Abe by hiring his rivals for his cabinet.  Obama is NOT anything like Lincoln, who from what I have read was an extremely principled man.
  2. If Obama asks her to do something stupid or counterproductive, she has three choices: do it and look as powerless as Condi Rice, not do it and get fired or resign.
  3. If she takes SOS, she is no longer a Senator and her chances of ever being elected to anything again approach the limit of minus infinity.  (The BFF is amazed I remember calculus given that I can’t do simple addition in my head)
  4. The issues that she was planning to champion in the Senate are officially DOA.

Ding! Ding! Ding!

I think we have a winner in item 4.  If she is no longer in the Senate making noise and legislation, he has no competition for the limelight. If she is SOS, the minute she steps out of line, her ass is glass and he tosses her out.  The media is just waiting for her to screw up so they can stick her with the knives they are already sharpening in gleeful anticipation.

Women aren’t that stupid, Barack.  You think you can knock out two birds with one stone but even if I had no power in the Senate, I wouldn’t take SOS for anything if I were Hillary Clinton.  I’m betting she turned you down flat.  Otherwise, why would your personal army of droogs in the DFA start circulating this stupid email?

DFA Member –

The media has been filled with pundits and talking heads guessing who Barack will pick for his cabinet. I keep hearing one thing and then another about every position you can think of and that got me to thinking…

Why not make a game of it?

So, take a few minutes and tell us who you want our next President to pick for Secretary of State, Attorney General, Defense Secretary, or to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR CHOICES

You can pick who you think Obama will actually choose too. And, if you get all four of them right, you just might win a free “You Have the Power” T-shirt from DFA.

Who doesn’t want to win something free?

So, stop by the website this weekend and make your choices. If you submit your vote, we’ll send you an update once Obama makes his choices.

-Arshad

Arshad Hasan, Executive Director
Democracy for America

And here are the all-to-predictable results of the SOS question, where Hillary’s name is always at the top of the selection list:

Current Top Choices:

Will pick results:
Hillary Clinton
Bill Richardson
John Kerry
Tom Daschle
Richard Holbrooke
Chuck Hagel
Richard Lugar
Sam Nunn
Hilary Clinton
Anthony Zinni
Should pick results:
Hillary Clinton
Bill Richardson
John Kerry
Richard Holbrooke
Tom Daschle
Chuck Hagel
Richard Lugar
Sam Nunn
Anthony Zinni
Dennis Kucinich

Do people really fall for this crap? Well, given the current election results, yes. But it looks like NOW is finally coming out of its Kool-Aid induced stupor, probably because Amy Siskind of The New Agenda is actually in charge of a good portion of the women’s movement. From the Politico’s Will Men Dominate the Obama Administration? (as if the answer isn’t already obvious), NOW’s Kim Gandy says, “I agree with those who are concerned that it would have been nice to see more women”.

Well, there’s your problem right there, Kim. Women with real power do not settle for “nice”. Nice is what we want when we go shopping for clothes or boyfriends. But let this be a lesson to you. Next time a man running against a woman asks for your support, hold his feet to the fire before you give it to him. You know, “Don’t hand me no lines and keep your hands to yourself”? Or better yet, give it to the woman because she will be more likely to be responsive to the concerns of women. Jeez! I mean, it seems so obvious it’s amazing that Gandy couldn’t see it, what with all the misogyny in the way. Thank God for Amy or I’d completely lose it with the idiots from NOW and NARAL. But I digress.

It’s time we pushed back against this SOS thing. I could be wrong but I don’t think there’s anything in it for Clinton, not that she wouldn’t bring her usual standard of excellence, intelligence and dedication to the job. Besides, she’s given enough to the failed presidency of Barack Obama. Let someone else step up to the plate and be the perpetual scapegoat. Hillary’s got health care and equal pay to worry about.

Let Obama do the work for a change.