When I wrote the post entitled “The 30% Solution: Why Democratic Women Are Voting for McCain/Palin” in 2008, I had no idea that people would find the idea so appealing. It made sense to me, though, to try another approach to gaining women’s equality other than looking towards traditional feminism. As I’m sure we remember, 2008 was a difficult time to be both a feminist and a Clinton supporter. We saw “non-partisan” organization after organization display a level of cowardice and co-option that few could credit and even fewer could accept. NOW, NARAL, Emily’s List, Ms. Magazine and so many other venerable institutions remained shamefully silent while the woman who should have been their chosen candidate was subjected to relentless sexist attacks by the media and by the Obama faction of the Democratic Party. Whether it was Obama taking the stage to “99 Problems and a Bitch Ain’t One,” or Tucker Carlson saying Hillary’s voice made him cross his legs, or Keith Olbermann saying he wanted a delegate to take Hillary into a room and only one of them should come out, we all waited in vain for someone, anyone, to finally step forward and say “ENOUGH!” And when Sarah Palin became the VP candidate, the gloves really came off, as these so-called “feminists” used Palin’s anti-feminist positions as an excuse to attack her in just as sexist a manner as Hillary. After all of this, Ms. Magazine had the unmitigated gall to put Barack Obama on its cover as the very definition of feminism. How utterly pathetic could a movement get?
So, traditional feminism was an epic fail. Why not try something new? Getting to 30% seemed to have worked in so many other countries. And, it also seemed that there was a lot of energy behind the idea. A new feminist organization, the New Agenda, was forming to promote solidarity amongst women and gain 30%, leading to 50%, representation in the government. They asked me to blog at their site, and I agreed. At first.
I don't want to get into slagging on New Agenda. I liked the idea of them but I just couldn't find a common ground with them. I enjoyed the essay (that's just an excerpt) because it pin-pointed so many issues she had with New Agenda that were similar to the ones I had (although I only had my issues as a reader -- I never wrote for New Agenda).
I think they're sincere. I think they mean well. I wish them luck. But they just did not speak to me.
I don't think it was just the choice issue -- although I'm completely 100% pro-abortion. I also took issue with some basic feminist premises being unfamiliar to the group.
I lost the bulk of what I wrote. Sometimes this laptop gets on my nerves. Anyway, use the link to read in full if you're interested in the topic.
I enjoyed reading it and I think you will as well.
"Editorial: Fairytales die hard (Ava and C.I.)" (Ava and C.I., The Third Estate Sunday Review):
He was never a great communicator. When he began falling back on the excuse that he communicated poorly -- as the mid-terms approached and after -- many in the press began going along with him but insisting this was a new development. It wasn't.
Barack won the 2008 general election not by a landslide -- electoral or popular. Anyone claiming otherwise is confessing to ignorance of presidential electoral history in this country. With his co-horts demonizing Sarah Palin (even those who, like Katha Pollitt, privately confessed Palin was able to communicate) and the economy going into meltdown, with 'jokes' about McCain's age and a press that refused to explore or question Barack, he squeaked across in an election that everyone called for the Democrats back in 2007, long before the nominee was known, for the simple reason that Bully Boy Bush had destroyed the country and 2008 would be a referendum on the Bush policies (for voters it would be, turns out Barack would be a continuation of those policies).
And what the mid-terms really did was remind the United States, specifically the press, what a squeaker Barack's win in 2008 actually was. The honest ones among us might be able to admit he never really came across to most Americans. He was a blank slate upon which dreams and hopes were projected. He was never a full bodied person (as we noted in our 2008, 2009 and 2010 criticism of Saturday Night Live's portrayals of Barack). Today, we're being told that Barack will communicate better now. The future is always hopeful for Barack. Especially if you ignore both the past and reality. August 31, 2008, we covered the press coverage of the DNC convention in Denver and noted this stand-out moment:
For example, US Senator Chuck Schumer was asked about the polling which consistently does not look the way it should for a sure thing Barack win in November. Schumer insisted that it would change as people got to know Barack. Judy Woodruff rightly responded, "But he's been campaigning, with all due respect, for a year and a half."
I love that piece. I asked when they clicked on Judy Woodruff's comment last week because I knew the 'great communicator is lost' nonsense was getting on their nerves. They said they couldn't remember when they weren't talking about that point Judy Woodruff was making in the summer of 2008. It is so perfect and really does point to the fact that he never sealed the deal.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):