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Archive for May, 2008

Hillary Sexism Watch*

Posted by pocochina on May 26, 2008

*any merit to this post is dedicated to Liss, who I swear deserves a break from the 101-part HSW.

These two stories are, as ABC wants me to believe, on the Political Radar:

Bill Clinton Has “Never Seen a Candidate Treated So Disrespectfully Just for Running”

Clinton Sheds Pantsuits for Puerto Rico

Wow!  There’s sure a lot going on, on the Political Radar!

WJC, doing the decent thing by his candidate, is calling out the media for its shockingly poor treatment she’s receiving.  The Big Manly Man gets the political story, doing work on the campaign trail.  For the record, I’m pretty proud to have supported (shut up!  I SO voted for him in the Nickelodeon poll!) WJC, who after it all is still in politics, standing up for his wife and against the forces so resentful of women in politics.

The actual candidate, however, is treated with no such respect. There’s a terribly interesting and important (to those of us who care about issues particular to the Hispanic-American segment of the electorate, anyway) narrative of Senator Clinton in Puerto Rico, because many of her constituents are Puerto Rican, she’s been performing well among Hispanic voters, and finally, PR gets a say in the selection of a candidate!  But what’s really important is the sexualized image of her “shed[ding] pantsuits for PR” – particularly in an “otherized” locale, in a community of brown people.   You know, perhaps she really is happier and more effective in “…a pink floral tunic, white Capri pants, and what appeared to be Feragamo white leather slides,” but we’ll never know, because she’s not actually on vacation, she’s campaigning for the presidency of the United States, and I think the Senator would far prefer it to be reported that she spoke to issues specific to PR, rather than that her campaign stop turned into some shameful product placement, with tongue not-particularly-far-in-cheek references to sex work.

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Posted in clinton, feminism | Leave a Comment »

on RFK

Posted by pocochina on May 25, 2008

I’m not going to talk about how the Rites of the All-High Masons of Media and Internet Communications have fully jumped the shark on this one.  Corrente did that already, and much better than I will, as did the brilliant Anglachel.

I’m not going to talk about how what Senator Clinton said was, in fact, rock-solid historical fact, as Riverdaughter and Red have already done, or that we are utterly foolish to construe it otherwise, as RFK, Jr.’s statement is far more important than anything from me could ever be.

What astounds me is that everyone in the world is so utterly convinced not just that there are historical parallels, but that the historical parallel in question is Senator Obama.  This is partially, of course, a function of the fact that I’ve never bought the myth that Senator Obama’s youth and virility automatically make him the missing Kennedy brother.  Neither candidate is Bobby Kennedy, nor should they be, not because I don’t find RFK deeply admirable – I do – but because they do not need to be specters of the past to be impressive.  If you think your candidate must be someone else reincarnated to be acceptable, perhaps you should rethink your choice of candidate.  If I were playing that game, however, I’d point out that no matter how many times you hold hands beneath a full moon with your fraternity brothers and chant over your director’s cut of Thirteen Days, stacked atop your updated edition of The Audacity of Hope, you won’t change the fact that RFK was widely perceived as the junior partner in a political dynasty, someone whose critics could only stammer that he was “ruthless” and did not shiver their timbers with his public speaking, though his devotion to justice was clear as a bell, that he bothered to show up in Appalachia, or that he’d actually won the California primary, so that particular historical narrative quite simply does not stand up to the facts, just to your squishy smooshy feelings, and you should think about that next time you accuse Clinton supporters of vagina voting.

I am not surprised, not in the least, that RFK is on Senator Clinton’s mind.  Not just because she is old enough to remember the pain of that moment and that, as Riverdaughter says so brilliantly in the post cited above,* it’s branded into our political consciousness that in 1968, the Democratic primary went until June, and California had its say, but because she is all to aware that she walks in his shoes.  It is not taboo in our public discourse, as the Actor Poorly Portraying Edward Murrow would have us believe, to mention assassination.  (Especially classy coming from you, Keith, you fucking scumbag.)  It is in fact a joke to many people wielding far too much power in our public discourse.  Such jokes are not just jokes. They function to desensitize the listener to the possibility of violence against her person.

She is not thinking of RFK because she wishes that fate on anyone.  This is patently clear.  She is thinking of Robert Kennedy because a supposed liberal commentator jokes about someone taking her into a room and “only he comes out,” because an elected representative suggests that she should be content with drowning lest we shoot her, because these are but the tip of the iceburg, the ones that got caught, but she and her ever-vigilant Secret Service detail know that they are heard by people who do not just think this is funny, but deadly serious.  She wasn’t just talking about history.   She, no less (and, if our news media’s threats were to be taken seriously, quite possibly more) than Senator Obama, must know that there are many who wish her the worst harm possible.  She must stare, some nights on the plane, when her eyes glaze over at tomorrow’s schedule, at her protection and wonder if they have practiced lately, wonder if they ran today, if they slept enough, if, if, if.  I can’t even describe my anger at everyone, fauxgressive, conservative, or apathetic, who screeches today about her evil intent but has laughed off the threats on her life, except to say that it is cold and it is fierce.

Senator Clinton was not calling for harm to befall Senator Obama.  She was referencing history, but she was not just doing that.  She was talking about the chill she must feel, at that which is a “joke” to the chattering classes, though she hides it well, when Sirhan Sirhan lifts up her hair and murmurs in her ear.

*I cite things so anyone reading can understand what I am saying.  If there are any jackass comments to this entry that contribute nothing except that the reader doesn’t understand how to click a hyperlink, I will hold said jackassery up for derision.

Posted in clinton, feminism, politics | Leave a Comment »

Blog Against Homophobia Day

Posted by pocochina on May 17, 2008

Normally, I’m really, really bad about blogswarm days.  I just forget, and they’re always the same day I have to hand something in, and I’m not very good at doing what I’m told.  That said, thanks to Her Majesty, I’ve just heard about Blog Against Homophobia Day, and it’s a Saturday in the summer, so I only have one major project to be working on.

I could write about the hate and ugliness of homophobia.  I could write about how it’s tied inexorably in with hostility towards reproductive rights and women’s equality because someone who is gay and out is flouting conventional gender roles, and refusing our puritanical shame and loathing towards sexual pleasure.  I could write about our long and horrible history of hate crime towards LGBTQ individuals, a history that continues to this day.  I could write about the utter shame and horror of executions of gay individuals, of the American government’s failure to even recognize this problem, and of European countries turning an uncaring eye and refusing asylum.

But this is a joyful week, made bittersweet both by how far we have yet to go, and by those fighters and allies along the way who did not live to see the California Supreme Court take a stand for justice and equality and human rights and we fighters and allies who are here must scream at the top of our lungs that these are true American values.  So I’d rather reflect on victory, right now.

I know there’s a perception that gay marriage is a middle-class issue.  I want to be on the record as saying I appreciate the importance of other queer rights issues – ENDA, hate crimes legislation, pay equality for women (which has twice the impact on lesbian couples) – but that this could not be farther from a distinctly middle-class issue.  Those rights and benefits which come with marriage are most important for couples who are not wealthy. Your partner’s social security means more when neither of you has a 401(k).  Those benefits  and responsibilities that couples get by way of marriage can be poorly imitated, but only by long  hours by a diligent and talented – and therefore expensive – attorney, as well as a probably-expensive move to a state where even those second-class rights are available.

The reason middle-class couples are the ones filing marriage equality suits isn’t that it’s some vanity issue.  It’s that gay rights organizations are strategic, and thank God they are, or we wouldn’t have even made the progress that we’ve made so far.  Two people who cohabitate and can’t afford to have jumped through the hoops granting power of attorney, or who don’t have assets to write into a will, might not be considered as committed to each other as couples who have done those things.  They know, in short, that they need a paper trail to prove their love.  Het privilege lets some observers ignore this aspect of the marriage equality battle, but I don’t think we should.  Yes, it is classist, but that doesn’t mean that the marriage equality movement is classist, it means that gay rights groups are attempting to gain rights for everyone are doing the best they can within a classist court system, which considers expensive legal expressions of commitment to be worth more than private but unpriced interpersonal commitment.  I don’t like it, of course not, but I also will not blame the marriage equality movement for the injustices inherent to the American legal system, because that’s fucking victim-blaming, to expect a marginalized group to fix everyone’s problems before getting any sort of chance to fix their own.  I’m always grateful for intersectional criticism of the progressive movement, I just don’t think it’s on point here.

What I am not saying is that marriage is necessarily for everyone.  I am not saying there is not merit in radical queer theory – this couldn’t be farther from the truth.  I am saying that equality under the law – the choice to get married – ought to be available to gay and lesbian Americans, and that this choice is especially critical for working-class couples.

While I’m here, I want to say, I am terribly glad I took Pizza Diavola’s suggestion to read the stories of the CA plaintiffs.   They have shared stories of better and worse, of sickness and health, of thinking daily of the deaths of themselves or their loved ones; they have told their utterly human stories to the world, and to a courtroom, so that others might have less fear and more joy.  They are heroes.

This is how we fight homophobia.  By celebrating the humanity and courage of the gay rights movement; by taking this moment to take some heart and move forward.

Posted in lgbtq | Leave a Comment »

Very Serious Lists

Posted by pocochina on May 14, 2008

Things that are important to NARAL Pro-Choice America:

1.  Ensuring that women make prayerful decisions about abortions.
2.  Stark and pronounced disrespect for LGBTQ voters.
3.  Support for parental consent laws.  (Yes, really.)
4.  A puerile, vicious propensity to make period jokes.
5.  A public, bad-for-women man-crush on John Roberts.

Things that are not important to NARAL Pro-Choice America:

1.  Plan B OTC.
2.  Title X Funding.
3.  A public pledge to pass legislation which would protect abortion rights even if Roe were overturned.
4.  The Prevention First Act.
5.  The ability to speak to and about women like we are, you know, people.

Good job, assholes.  I can’t fucking wait until you call me begging for money.

ETA a comment I left with the Apostate’s succinct and apt post about the issue:  What just crushes me with the irony is the statement that “every day that passes, Sen. McCain gets a free ride on the issue of choice. That free ride ends today.” They’re the ones giving him the free ride. They are a pro-choice advocacy group, and giving McCain hell is their job. Instead of issuing a press release about McCain, they decided to beat up on Clinton. Why? Because beating up on Clinton gets you more attention than actually advocating for your issues. Shame.

Posted in abortion, feminism, idiots | Leave a Comment »

AAAAAH

Posted by pocochina on May 10, 2008

Another funny, funny, FUNNY Fatal Attraction quip. (H/t)

This time from an ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE.  A DEMOCRAT.

When asked about whether Clinton should drop out of the race on Fox 13’s “Good Morning Memphis” program today, [U. S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Memphis)] said: “Glenn Close should have stayed in that tub.”

Haaaaahahahaha, because that bitch wouldn’t die, she should have just drowned so we don’t have to shoot her!  See, how funny that is?  Don’t you just feel inspired?!  FEEL THE UNITY, ASSHOLES!

Fuck him, fuck everyone who laughs at that joke, and fuck the DCCC when they give his ridiculous ass funding to run for re-election.

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let’s do the time warp again!

Posted by pocochina on May 9, 2008

Anything short of full representation for Florida and Michigan is in NO WAY a good idea.
Read the rest of this entry »

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open letter

Posted by pocochina on May 7, 2008

To:  The Estate of Eleanor Stegeberg
From:  Pocochina
Re:  Your Asshole Husband

I feel it is my personal and professional duty to inform you that decedent’s husband is a sexist piece of crap, who should just shut the fuck up, for the good of the country and party.  Of course, I will hold him, and decedent, in my heart for all of my days as one inseparable unit, a two-headed anti-my-candidate monster, if you will, but that doesn’t mean he has any right to be speaking in public like he was people and shit.  I mean, really, next they will be wanting the vote and everything.

You’re probably wondering, why am I writing this letter to you?  I mean, you’re not him, you’re a whole other person.  This estate may have had some influence over his decision, maybe, maybe not, but we don’t know, so I’m going to talk to you.  As George has just taught me, you’re not just responsible for his decisions, you are the appropriate person to whom to take my concerns.

You might also be wondering, why have I chosen to write this in a public forum, on my livejournal, rather than appealing privately, by phone or letter, to either the estate or to Mr McGovern himself.  This could, after all, potentially be embarrassing to the party.  The press meme, after all, has been that the Democrats are eating each other alive, and a public betrayal which throws red meat to this idiotic meme can only increase this problem that the press and DNC have dreamed up.  It kind of looks like all I really want is attention and feedback from people who I am sure will agree with me, rather than something which could be beneficial to any actual convictions I may or may not be espousing.  Also, of course, the fact that all over the internet, people have been saying the exact same thing I am saying is in no way indicative of a skewed perception that my statements are Way More Important than theirs, which is why it’s very important that I have this conversation with you.  Rather than him.  The person involved.  In a public forum.  However, my clear desire for attention is far, far less important than the fact that this guy needs to stop doing his freaking job the way he sees fit, and start doing it the way I see fit, which is not to do it at all.  Seriously.  Just make him shut up already.  Please.

Posted in feminism, idiots, politics | Leave a Comment »