>I’m too young to have remembered the feminist movement that started in the 60s and the 70s. However, I still do remember the impact Gloria Steinem has had on the women’s rights movement.
No matter how you feel about feminism, her recent op-ed in the New York Times is one that should be read by anyone who’s interested in the race and gender question in the presidential race.
So why is the sex barrier not taken as seriously as the racial one? The reasons are as pervasive as the air we breathe: because sexism is still confused with nature as racism once was; because anything that affects males is seen as more serious than anything that affects “only” the female half of the human race; because children are still raised mostly by women (to put it mildly) so men especially tend to feel they are regressing to childhood when dealing with a powerful woman; because racism stereotyped black men as more “masculine” for so long that some white men find their presence to be masculinity-affirming (as long as there aren’t too many of them); and because there is still no “right” way to be a woman in public power without being considered a you-know-what.
While I love Sen. Obama, I’m hesitantly supporting Sen. Clinton. I want to support Obama. However, I find myself being let down by him every time I hear him speak. While the hope and courage message is inspiring, I find myself wondering if that’s all his campaign is about. I find myself wondering if Obama is relying on a Kennedyesque myth that seems outdated.
Let me be clear: I’m not supporting Obama because I believe he’s not black enough. That’s a myth created by conservatives to further perpetuate the myth that all blacks are hung up on the race issue. It’s a myth that further criticizes us “lowly” blacks who continue to rely on the old stalwarts (read: Clintons, Kennedys) and big government policies of the Democratic Part.
If Obama does get the nomination, I will support him. After all, Obama and Clinton are pretty much in tune with each other when it comes to policy. Also, if he gives another speech like he did in 2004, it would make my year.
For now, like Steinem, I will take my chances on a woman who is seen as divisive because of her gender over a man who is seen as unifying because of his race.