Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Will someone please explain to me...


...why anyone is surprised that Hillary won New Hampshire ? "Shocking Win" ? Au contraire. Perhaps the press did not count on the backlash, not confined to gender, catalyzed by writing her off, calling her a cry-baby, grinning all too openly about the iron my shirt signs. Why did we not have headlines of the sort that greeted Obama's Iowa victory ? Rodham-Clinton's win is just as "historic," just as much a break through moment for the nation. We as a people should be celebrating that our nation has finally set in motion the possibility that a black man or a white woman has a real chance to be president. What Hillary accomplished no woman has ever accomplished before. I felt the gap between myself and Chelsea, the first daughter in history to stand next to her MOTHER as she celebrated winning a presidential primary. What a different world will be hers in her middle age (I hope)! I was young when reporters followed Geraldine Ferraro around the supermarket to see if she used bargain coupons. I remember. And we are not going back.

2 comments:

John B. said...

It's a nice problem to have, but it is a problem: built into the narrative of elections is, well, election. Eventually, people will have to choose, and choosing carries with it an implicit valorizing. Personally, I'd prefer this election not be discussed in terms of identity politics--that's not a road the Democrats want to head down, especially in a year when the Republicans are vulnerable and divided.

I assume you saw the Gloria Steinam column yesterday? I read someone who asked a pertinent question in response to Steinam's implicit claim that the injustices suffered by women should have a larger claim on our collective guilt than racism: How is a black woman supposed to feel after reading that?

Both candidates are aware of the history they embody--both the past and, via their candidacies, the chance to begin to say, That stuff is in the past. Obama, so far as I can tell, is not running as a black man; Clinton, so far as I can tell, isn't running as a woman. I happen to support Obama, but not because I'm black (I'm not) or don't want a woman for president, and not because I dislike Clinton (I don't). But you see all that verbiage, like a machete hacking through a bunch of stuff that, by now, shouldn't matter? Ugh.

Sorry about all this. I do believe you when you say "we're not going back." If what you're implying is that we're in a post-feminist moment, then sign me up. I just wish the Powers That Be would see it that way, too, just as (finally) the media seems to recognize that Obama is running a post-race campaign.

Steve said...

Hear, hear! I agree. And stuff.

The real reason I'm commenting, though, is that I'd like to know where the Phenomenal Field quote in your header comes from. Merleau-Ponty directly or...? I stuck it into a piece of writing and wanted proper source-age. Thanks!

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