Week Three, Day Four
Netzach of Tiferet
A new Gallup poll shows that Barack Obama would do nearly as well as Hillary Clinton among Jewish voters in November.
According to the poll, Clinton would win 66 percent of the Jewish vote versus 27 percent for John McCain in a general-election matchup. Obama would do nearly as well, winning 61 percent to McCain’s 32 percent.
But, still, I just can’t get all the way on the bandwagon. It’s not that I don’t like Obama, but I’m still not convinced that he’s all so much greater than Hil. but that’s not all of it, really. Rebecca Traister said it very well ( and was referenced in this week’s Nation in an article about how Clinton’s using race really is troubling) some time ago in noting how there’s more than just a whiff of real misogyny in the gleeful bandwagoning of Obama.
I’m not inclined to vote for Clinton just because she’s a woman (nor, I must admit, for Obama because he’s African American; I still mourn for Edwards), but I can’t just quite move on from the underlying weirdness of the way so many of my progressive friends -the male ones mostly- talk about Clinton. Usually it’s not in such stark terms as the crazy righties do, they aren’t buying the Hilary toilet plungers or anything, but there is that underlying discomfort which itself is something that they are uncomfortable with, but instead of addressing that problem, it can be disguised by some genuine problems with her policies and campaign style.
Traister nails a lot of it head on:
O’Brien said, “With straight white male progressive friends, I feel something that makes me viscerally angry and afraid — the viciousness of the rebuttals to the suggestion that [Obama’s and Clinton’s] policies are roughly equal or that Clinton’s have some benefits to them, the outright dismissal of any support of her, the impossibility of having a nuanced conversation … The whole ‘Hillary Clinton is a monster’ theme is so virulent.”
Alex Seggerman, a 24-year-old art history Ph.D. student at Yale and an Obama voter, said, “I don’t think anyone in my peer group, including my parents and my friends, would be comfortable saying, ‘I’m not ready for a woman president.’ They would be ostracized. Saying, ‘She’s had plastic surgery’ or ‘Her attitude is off-putting’ are fine. But these are really expressions of some deeper issues with the fact that she’s a woman.”
…Valenti continued, “Because their friends were not being specifically sexist, or saying something that was tangibly misogynistic, they were having a hard time talking about the sexism of it.” Valenti confirmed that this “Feminine Mystique”-y problem that has no name was familiar to her. “I spoke to a guy friend who said, ‘You’re being ridiculous. I’m not not voting for her because she’s a woman; I’m not voting for her because she’s a bitch!’ He could not see the connection between the two things at all.” Valenti said he explained away his comment by declaring, “I mean ‘a bitch’ in the sense that she’s not good on this or that issue.”
I don’t like the whole oppression olympics. I don’t like it when Jews do it, and I don’t like it among any other groups, either, but I’m definitely not alone in wondering why there’s no real answers -other than the sort of nutty first wave “you must vote with your ovaries”- to how we can end the divide and conquer between the race and gender camps, without having one side or the other have to continue to suffer along with the same old crap.
IN the meantime, since we still live in a world where things like this are firsts, let’s be proud of them.JTA reports on Alysa Stanton-Ogulnick, who reportedly will become the the first black female Reform rabbi next May, when she is ordained at the Cincinnati campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
Glad ta meetcha.