In US politics this morning, women are the story. An AP article this morning tries to make sense out of last night. But it just doesn't get it and AP's far from the only one still not getting it. As two who told you what was coming two years ago, we're wondering if some are being intentionally dense?
AP wants to offer, "Ironically, Boxer's victory and that of fellow California Sen. Dianne Feinstein in 1992 were standout events in an election year that sent record numbers of women to Congress, many of them Democrats. Scores of women were enraged by the predominantly male Senate's treatment of Anita Hill during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; that anger translated into female candidates running for Congress." The gender quake following the Hill-Thomas hearings were a surprise . . . only if you never listened to women. A lot of men and a number of women ignored what was happening in the last cycle.
At Third, in 2008, we dealt with the women who played dumb and how they only rendered themselves useless in the process with "The Vagina Strikes Back! (Ava and C.I.)" and the picture that told the story of 2008, that tells the story of today, ran with the article.
Anita Hill was subjected to sexist treatment. It led to a gender quake. Sarah Palin was subjected to sexist treatment and you're seeing similar waves.
For those who've forgotten, Palin was 'only' a governor for two years (as opposed to Barack who was only a US Senator for . . . two years). Lots of crap like that was offered. She's governor of a small (population) state! All this b.s. that you never hear when they discuss the men. Palin was targeted with sexism non-stop and that included the assumption that Palin as vice president would control the country (fear of women and fear of the vagina is what that translated as).
Sarah Palin stood up throughout that. She inspired many women. In the photo above, she's surrounded by young women and some of those girls she inspired will run in the future. Some adults saw what was happening to her and they're running now.
When Geraldine Ferraro made the Democratic Party's presidential ticket in 1984, it was a victory for all women. Not just Democratic women. It was amazing to watch as women 'leaders' in 2008 did the bidding of men and trashed Sarah. No one had to vote for Palin to admire her endurance and strength. But that got lost and we got women (Gloria) denying that assertions that Palin should be at home with her special-needs son was sexism and we got Robin Morgan spewing non-stop sexism.
In doing so, they created a Sarah Palin to the public that only Sarah Palin can destroy. The left has certainly tried to destroy her and they just build her up. And use her to make money. Look at The Progressive. Bad enough that they had to put her in a miniskirt on the cover of their allegedly liberal publication. Palin's never worn a mini-skirt to any political function. But as bad as that was, they use that cover to try to drum up subscriptions. (Matthew Rothschild, as Pat Benatar once advised, "Stop using sex as a weapon" and click here if you missed that cover and the magazine's use of it for subscriptions).
They could have ignored her but they were so drawn to her (she is charismatic) and so some kept trashing her and attacking her and only succeeded in building her up. Not just with Republicans but with those who have a low taste for gender-based attacks.
Again, only Palin can destroy her image now. And all that sexism meant that women were going to step up. Which is how you get the California races which are all about the women.
Meg Whitman won the GOP's nomination for governor. Amazing feat on her part. She worked hard, she got out there, she did it. Congratulations to her. We're voting for Jerry Brown because we know Jerry and we prioritize similarly; however, Meg's earned applause for her win.
So has Carly Fiorina.
Carly won the GOP Senate nomination and will square off against Barbara Boxer in the fall. Good for her. With both Meg and Carly, you may have noticed more than a whiff of sexism in the coverage. For example, these women who made their names in business were often slammed for . . . being successful in business. Strange because we're not, for example, remembering similar press on Michael Bloomberg when he ran for mayor in that heavily covered (because NYC thinks it's the center of the world) campaign. Is it 'unnatural' for women to be successful in business? If you bought into that stereotype -- and judging by the coverage, a number in the press did -- Meg and Carly and their wins say, "No, it's not." Good for both of them.
And in Carly, Barbara Boxer has a worthy adversary. Maybe it'll force her to remember her roots? As it stands, if voting took place today, we'd be voting for Duane Roberts, the Green candidate. Why? We're tired of Boxer. We're tired of her attacks on citizens. She got snippy on NPR (The Diane Rehm Show) with a caller who pointed out Nouri al-Maliki had been talking about asking US forces to stay beyond 2011. She snapped at the caller and claimed he didn't know what he was talking about when she didn't know what she was talking about. She didn't even know that Nouri had been in the US making those statements only weeks before her appearance on The Diane Rehm Show. What an idiot. And she's been attacking GetEQUAL when she damn sure should have been leading on the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Instead, she thinks the thing to do is to insult them in front of a room full of people. We're not in the mood for six more years of that, Barbara Boxer. She can get her s**t together or she can leave office and, judging by the polling, we're not the only ones who feel that way.
Barbara's led on nothing. She certainly hasn't led on ending sexual assault in the military. US House Rep Jane Harman has led on that.
Thank you for that strong leadership, Jane, and congratulations on your win.
Jane faced off against perennial challenger Marcy Winograd.
Marcy's a campaign lesson for Barbara if she wants to learn it: Don't turn your campaign over to men.
Marcy turned her campaign over to men and turns out Norman Solomon's pet princess can't win. She couldn't win in 2006, she couldn't win in 2008 and she couldn't win in 2010. B-b-but she campaigned just like a man! She certainly did. But California has a large number of women voters. Her rants -- which bordered on screamfests -- in 2009 on KPFK were legendary in their ability to alienate prospective supporters. Despite having Lila Garrett use the public airwaves (one hour each week, Connect The Dots with Lila Garrett) to pimp Marcy's campaign and book her monthly, it was all for naught.
Marcy couldn't be bothered with 'women's issues' -- no, she wanted to 'tackle' 'big issues.' The ones the men in charge of advising her just knew were 'winners.'
Like her never ending verbal assault on Israel?
Men in her campaign's top levels just knew Marcy would sail into office on this issue because what's more important to southwestern Los Angeles than a US House Rep focused on Israel?
Marcy and her fools never got it. Harman's got seniority. She brings home plenty of bacon. You want to kick her out, you better explain how you're going to work for the people of district 36.
Marcy had two answers: Israel and Barack. She was going to take on Israel. And, if elected, she insisted on air to Lila, she'd be there in Congress to defend Barack.
That's the most pressing issue on district 36's mind?
That their representative defend Barack?
Marcy and her male brain trust apparently don't believe in polls because Marcy polled lowest on those two 'winning' stands (Israel and Barack). On the former, they felt it was a bit above the paygrade of a freshman Congress member, on the latter, they expressed they were looking for someone to stand up for them in DC. Barack, they assumed, already had his own end taken care of.
Go to Jane's campaign site right now. Let the main page scroll through five options and notice there's Jane and . . . a lot of women. Go to Marcy's and notice that she's got girls and moms. Marcy, that's the only roles you see women in or that was your male brain trust misadvising you yet again?
Blanche Lincoln, congratulations on your hard earned win. Blanche reminds us of many things. First, that she's a fighter and that women can be that. Second, that these 'progressives' certainly do love to attack women. Are we really not supposed to notice, P(athetic) Democrats of America, who you target repeatedly? Are we never supposed to notice that Hillary Clinton, for example, was bird dogged by CODESTINK but not Barack when both were in the Senate and voting the exact same way on the wars? Are we not supposed to notice that Tim Carpenter and his PDA crew (that includes you, David Swanson) are sexist pigs who repeatedly attack women?
With Blanche, they got a cover boy to run against her. They pumped a ton of money into the race and she didn't run from them. She fought back and fought off their primary challenge proving that a strong woman can take on even a heavily funded male model. Good for Blanche.
Sharron Angle won the GOP primary to face off against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this November. And she didn't win her race by shying away or trying to be dainty. She got out there and fought. Good for her.
The women who won were fighters. And that's in large part due to the fact that, in 2008, we had very little leadership. We had Marie Cocco and that was basically it. Marie stood alone in repeatedly calling out sexism aimed at women -- regardless of whom the woman was, regardless of the woman's party.
In 2008, a lot of 'feminist' leaders seemed determined to send a message of: Some women deserve the sexist treatment.
And 'some women' deserve to get raped?
Leadership was strongly lacking in 2008. Women -- of all political stripes -- have had enough. And this isn't, before some man frets, a "male bashing" stance. Honestly, fellows, you aren't the center of every minute. No, what women are responding to most of all -- and why there is the growing climate of disgust with the way things are -- is that our leaders, or own gender leaders -- refused to stand up for women in 2008. Whether it was the appalling way in which NOW, Women's Media Center, et all ignored Cynthia McKinney's presidential run (on an all female ticket, her running mate was Rosa Clemente) or the way they either stayed silent during sexist attacks or added their own, it was disgusting. And it demonstrated that things needed to change.
We applaud all the women who won last night. (Which includes more than we've addressed above.) There is no one women's voice. All of you are showing the nation just how varied and, especially, how strong women are.
-- Ava and C.I.
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