Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Gender struck...

A fascinating piece came across a bitch’s computer screen a while back. A bitch set it aside because my de-smokified brain was having some issues digesting it…but I woke up this morning and the topic of women in politics was top of mind again.

The news that the United States of America ranks 68th in the world when it comes to female representation in national parliaments is a motherfucking shame.

We’re not even talking about evaluating America on women elected to the highest office of the land.

Don’t get me started.

Lawd have mercy.

Sigh.

No, a bitch is talking about women elected to national parliaments…which would be our House of Representatives and Senate.

Gender Struck...
Y’all, I can’t tell you how many times a group of women have related their frustration with an elected official only to dismiss the notion of a woman being able to do the same job.

It hasn’t gone back to that…it never really left that.

Decades of anti-feminist propaganda have resulted in a gender-based version of color struck behavior.

Mmmhmmm.

My Grandmother, Gawd rest her soul, was color struck beyond all repair. She used to sit around and talk about how white folks hair was 'good' hair…how lucky so and so was because her child was born light…how we all needed to stay out of the sun lest we get darker. This view was the result of her having grown up in and era of anti-black propaganda. Dark was evil…fair was pure…lighter complexion having blacks were more socially accepted…dark blacks were subject to more abuse. She came of age in 1920’s Mississippi and the lines were sharp as hell.

But I didn’t realize how far her color struckness went until Jesse Jackson ran for President in the early 1980’s. My father was active in the campaign, so our family was all up on the shit. But my Grandmother was beyond dismissive of Jackson’s run.

Now, if she had been against Jackson’s campaign because of a policy stand she disagreed with that would have been one thing. My Grandmother was a wise woman and educated as well. She could have denounced Jackson on policy…but she didn’t. She denounced his run for President at face value…literally. There simply was no way a black man could be more qualified than a white man.

Years later I would wonder at the impact this self hatred had on my Mother and Aunts. How did it impact their perception of self…of their prospects…of their place in the world?

And thoughts of my beloved Grandmother came to mind when I read the news that America was failing badly in gender diversity in elected office.

It’s not a direct comparison, but rather a curiously similar execution.

Watching Laura Bush gaze adoringly at her husband…listening to Condi Rice vehemently defend Bush…suffering through Ann Coulter defending anything conservative, white and male…all of that layers on and honestly is sad as hell.

A bitch doesn’t even like those women.

Jesus!

But why the hell are they propping up some sorry assed excuse for a developed mind rather than taking the lead and executing flawed policy better than he ever thought to execute flawed policy (wink)?

Why stand three steps behind him?

Sigh.

Well, I have come to the conclusion that some women are gender struck.

And it must end. You have to run to not get elected! And you have to not get elected to illuminate the real reason why folks don’t want to vote for women.

So, a bitch is sending out a call to action.

Don’t support Hillary? Fine. But don’t hide behind some gender struck bullshit that she’s unelectable because she is a woman. She’s unelectable because she won’t pass the Democratic Primary litmus test, jumped the gun by pandering off key and out of step to the conservative right two years out and appears unprincipled on core liberal values…and that’s about policy not biology.

Can’t find anyone running worth your vote? That’s your call to run! And that goes for all y’all. Get your minority ass up, file the paperwork and hit the streets!

Get to it and a bitch will join you.

Because a representative democracy with lacks diversity isn’t a representative democracy.

The glass ceiling doesn’t disappear just because you stopped kicking at it…

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to work on your campaign, neopthe!

Shark-fu said...

Ha, C-Money. I'm onto you, woman.

Yeah, yeah...so mayhap a bitch should run for something local, huh?

Tina said...

I have a theory that we should do away with elections altogether. Just pull the names of our officials out of a hat. We'd have a much more "representative" democracy - there'd be women and all sorts of other minorities running around up there on Capitol Hill.

Put it this way - it couldn't be any worse than the millionaire white boys club we got up there now!

Homer said...

I thinks things are going to change relatively soon. Did you see the article in the NY Times on how women are out-performing men at most universities, and that more women are attending college and graduating than males. These young women are building social networks and realizing that they can do anything. I'm hoping for a better things to come!

SkeptikOne said...

women have outnumbered men in this country since 1992, yet we still keep electing these fools who continue to put forth suicidal programs for out people. I am particularly offended by the talk of running Condi against Hilary as if they are not good enough to compete against men or mount a winnable election against a man, any man..

~Macarena~ said...

There is a beautiful documentary about Ali wherein he gives a speech about how the English language makes "white" synonymous with "good" and "black" synonymous with "bad." There are cowboy hats. He goes through a long list, including "White Rain," and winds up..."The White House."

schlecht said...

I vounteered on a campaign for Mary Landrieu when she was running for Senator of Louisiana in 1996. I was at a rally for Mary and some guy comes up to me and says "Mary should be at home raising her kids, not running for office."

Ellen said...

I would love to be able to vote a bitch into office. If you can't get support in your neck, could you come to Philly and run???

Anonymous said...

excellent, eloquent, intelligent words.

pear said...

I'm tired of waiting for change. I'm taking my children and leaving this hellish place.

El G├╝ero said...

I am so waiting for you to announce your candidacy!

Rodney said...

Woman, your grandmother lives on in mine. The last time I was home she was going on about colored people. I asked what color. Her response...

"Niggaz!"

I shook my head.

I announced my candidacy and ran (unsuccessfully) for city council some years ago. I don't have the stomach for politics, but I will knock on doors for YOU!

Akasha said...

I love Tina's idea. It harkens back to how the Athenians ran their"flawed" democracy. I use the word flawed because they did not allow women or slaves to vote. Anyway, they pulled lots. Each lot represented a man, therefore, each man could be leader. I think throwing names into a hat is brilliant it would be better probably than what we have now.What is up with men thinking they are born to lead, that because they are male the are natural leaders. And what is up with women who believe this as well? Madness. The brainwashing is amazing!

I am in the midst of learning more about running for office. I am looking into it to see if it is something I want to really do. I think everyone should consider running and if so inclined, run.

Have you read any of Susan Faludi's work? She wrote Backlash and Stiffed. She touches on the matter of genderism in these books. Good stuff.

New Millennium Nigga said...

Found your blog and loved this entry. I can't wait to read more as I can tell already that you are "about it."

Don't know your views on the controversial "n-word," but I hope that you'll take an open heart and mind by to check out some of my Musings. I think we have a lot in common.

Lawd knows Black men and women would be wise to work together...on anything...even if it does start with the simple exchange of ideas via blogs.

B. Kitty said...

You run for office and I'll put my checkbook and my footwork behind you, baby.

Thtis Kitty's got your back.

Shark-fu said...

NMN...
Oh my! Well, a bitch does not use the n-word...had that one slung at me in anger too often to embrace it...but thumbs up on the sharing of thoughts and ideas.

A bitch is down for that.

Anonymous said...

You are a Godess!! I love your writing and wouldn't hesitate to vote for you if you run for office. Long time reader (since one of your first posts, really)..but my first time leaving a comment here. Keep posting!

It's Me, Maven... said...

I wonder if/when the ERA ever gets passed, if this would change re: female represenation.

Most Americans tend to turn their nose up at other (sometimes third-world) countries, (some) countries which (may) have had a history of being oppressive to women; however, these countries (third world, or in turmoil) all have had women in their highest office as president/prime minister/interim rulers at one time or another:

Argentina
Bangladesh*
Bolivia
Burundi
Central African Republic
Chile*
Dominica
Ecuador
Georgia
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
India
Indonesia
Pakistan
Philippines*
Israel
Jamaica*
Liberia*
Macedonia
Mozambique*
Nicaragua
Rwanda
Sao Tome & Principe
Senegal
Sri Lanka
South Korea*
Turkey
Yugoslavia

* Denotes women in power, currently.

It's astounding isn't it? A world super power and a woman has yet to be elected? I think the "Good Ol' Boy Network" would be shakin' in their boots with a good old fashioned dose of POONANY POWER.

Eddie said...

I like to think I'd vote for the person whose political views most closely resemble mine, and who can get me to believe in that person-- whether said person is black, white, Latino, Asian, male, or female. And if a female candidate for President fit that bill, I'd vote for her.

But I wouldn't vote for Condoleeza Rice *or* Hillary Clinton, whether they were running against each other, or running against a man. Though they're on opposite ends of the political spectrum, I couldn't disagree with either of their politics more if I tried.

belledame222 said...

In a screwed-up sort of way I actually find this sort of encouraging, in the same way I do when I hear stuff about how much better this country's health insurance/crime rates/lgbt rights/what have you are. i think: hey, at least it's better *somewhere.* which means it's not impossible.

also: hey, can I move?...