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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Women in Politics: Same as It Ever Was

posted by on May 8 at 15:23 PM

Violet Socks at Reclusive Leftist—probably the most ardent Clinton supporter on the Internet after Robin Morgan—has a post up today explaining why she won’t vote for Obama even if he’s the nominee. And while I don’t agree with her conclusions—as I wrote this week, I think it’s time for Democrats to unite around a nominee and get to work building the case against McCain—her reasons for sticking it out with Clinton struck a chord.

Imagine this scenario:

The shoe is on the other foot, and Obama, not Hillary, is the punching bag of the media — a media that is blatantly and unapologetically racist. And I do mean blatant. Jokes every night on the cable news shows about Obama’s hair and his fondness for fried chicken. Pundits laughing about what a problem uppity Negroes are.

Across the country, racists openly ridicule Obama and his candidacy. In mainstream stores there are gag gifts playing on racist themes: maybe a (water)Melon Baller with Obama’s head on the handle, maybe a Barack Obama Shoeshine Set — you get the picture. 501c groups invoke the most grotesque racist slurs with their advertising; T-shirts say “Quit Running for President and Shine My Shoes!” Anybody who protests is branded a fool and a spoilsport.

Online, Hillary’s supporters constantly refer to Obama and his supporters as n—–s and c— -s and all the other epithets I refuse to type out. Blogger Boyz blog about those stupid lazy Negroes who are still wallowing in memories of the Civil Rights era, too dumb to get with the program and vote for Hillary.

And the lies: Obama is constantly lied about, belittled, demeaned. His record is distorted, his character impugned. Every day the pundits and the Blogger Boyz urge him to drop out of the race, to remember his place, to give up his seat to the white woman. All in the interest of “party unity.”

And nary a word of reproach from Hillary herself. No denunciation at all of the relentless racism. In fact, she actually cracks a few racist remarks herself, albeit subtle ones. She jokes and nods with the media about “letting” Obama run as long as he wants to. And when she makes speeches about American values, she talks a lot about women’s rights but never mentions civil rights. She’s strikingly silent on the subject. Even when she delivers a major address on the importance of rooting out bigotry, she neglects to mention racism at all.

And the Democratic Party goes along with all this, pushing Hillary as the nominee, ignoring the anger of African-American voters, smugly assuming that they’ll “come back to the fold” by November. After all, say the pundits and the Blogger Boyz, where else are they going to go? The Republicans are even worse.

I’ve said it before—but because some Slog readers seem to still think I believe any attack on Clinton is a sexist attack, I’ll say it again: The misogyny from the media, from supposedly liberal blogger doodz , commenters on this blog, and just about everywhere during this campaign has been despicable. This kind of shit ought to be behind us: Hillary Clinton is a bitch. A big ol’ bitchy bitch. And a cunt. A “big fucking whore.” Fortunately, you can “call a woman anything.” She’s “Nurse Ratched.” She’ll castrate you if she gets a chance. She would like that. She’s a “She-Devil.” She’s a madam, and her daughter’s a whore. She’s frigid, and she can’t give head. She’s a “She-Devil.” A lesbian. A nag. When things get tough, she cries like a big dumb GIRL. In fact, she’s just that — a “little girl.” In FACT, she wants to “cry her way to the White House.” To be, ahem, “Crybaby-in-Chief.” That proves that she’s not tough enough. But she’s also not feminine enough. She’s “screechy.” She’s an “aging, resentful female.” She’s “Sister Frigidaire.” She really ought to quit running for President and stick to housework. She basically spent her entire times as First Lady going to tea parties. She’s a monster whojust won’t die. In fact, she really should just die. You can buy a urinal target with her face on it to express what you really think of her. OMG she’s got claws! She’s crazy. In fact, she’s a lunatic. She’s petty and vindictive and entitled. She’s a washed-up old hag. She’s “everybody’s first wifestanding outside probate court.” She’s a “scolding mother.” She’s shrillshrillshrill. She can’t take it when people are mean to her. She’s a “hellish housewife.” She’s Tanya Harding. She CAN’T be President, what with the mood swings and the menses.Any woman who votes for her is voting with her vagina, not her brain. Women only like Hillary because she’s a fellow Vagina-American. And because they vote with their feelings. Frankly, anyone who still thinks we need “feminine role models” should get over it and move on, already. Oh, and men who supporters are castratos in the eunuch chorus. You shouldn’t make her President because she wants it too much. She’s totally just banking on support from ugly old feminists. And she looooves to “play the victim.” She cackles! And cackles. And cackles. It’s like she’s a witch or something! She’s definitely“witchy.” And now you can buy her cackle as your ring tone. Her voice, too, is “grating”—like “fingernails on a blackboard” to “some men.” She’s hiding behind her gender. She isn’t a “convincing mom” because she’s too strident. She never did anything on her own. Her husband keeps her on a leash. She hates men. Her campaign is a “catfight.” She makes people want to kill themselves, is like a “domineering mother,” and is cold. And OMG she has boobies! All of which are reasons to hate her. (And boy, could I go on.)

Oh, and if you even mention any of this, you’re either silly or a bad person.

So yeah, while I’m ready to get on the Obama welcome wagon, I’m also angry. And I’m not ready to “get over” the blatant, ugly misogyny that so many Democrats—Democrats!—have displayed throughout this campaign, thank you very fucking much. (Of course, Republican shitbags did plenty of dishing, too, but the sexist statements by Democrats and otherwise liberal columnists have been the most disappointing). You can’t be intellectually honest if you give lip service to “equality” in one breath and guffaw at how “caustic” and “shrill” Clinton is in the next.

I’m fiercely disappointed in many of my fellow Americans. I’ve long hoped that the daughters of the generation that follows mine would grow up thinking that even they could be President someday. If I ever have a daughter someday, I’ll tell her that, just as my parents did. But after seeing what happened to Hillary, I doubt they’ll have reason to believe it.

RSS icon Comments


I stopped reading this after I realized that Erica needs to go to some therapy. Seriously, Erica, you need some help. Please get some.

I mean talk about a linkfest!

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | May 8, 2008 3:29 PM

Wow. This is a Fnarfest of links.

That said, Violet Socks needs to realize that a vote for Hundred Years War Against Women McCain won't make her happy, and not voting won't either.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 8, 2008 3:33 PM

Let it go.

Seriously, why are you playing this passive/agressive little game where you attack, then play the victim.

You, much like Hillary, are emberassing yourself and damaging your credibility as a writer.

Posted by Jeff | May 8, 2008 3:38 PM

boy, a certain subset of feminist bloggers sure have shit the bed with this election cycle. shakesville is virtually unreadable at this point. as is this Slog post. i am sympathetic to the kind of treatment ECB gets on the slog, but sheesh, what a toxic swill of self-serving victimhood.

hopefully this'll be Erica's last ragegasm now that it's clear hillary is toast.

Posted by brett | May 8, 2008 3:39 PM

There's a fundamental flaw in your argument, which is that Ms. Clinton does, in fact, possess many of the wide array of negative character traits she's accused of. It is sexist to automatically call a woman a bitch, without regard to whether she is one or not; but it is also possible to be a bitch. If you're not willing to see how the pressure of the campaign has brought out the worst in her, that's your problem, not Obama's.

It is also ridiculous in the extreme to attribute to Obama the opinions of random nutjobs on the web. Not voting for him because some of his supporters are idiots -- especially in the blogosphere, and the talking-head TV arena, where loudmouthed idiocy is frequently the only thing on offer -- is really stupid.

If the difficulties of a woman in politics were as extreme as you pretend, Clinton would never have become a Senator. And the fact is, she DID become a Senator because she was married to a powerful man. But you have a double standard there -- accusing a woman of riding her husband's coattails is sexist EVEN IF ITS TRUE.

Posted by Fnarf | May 8, 2008 3:40 PM

Y'know Erica, Charles made an interesting post about the concept of ressentiment earlier in the week. You might want to read it, I think it might have some application here.

Posted by Chris B | May 8, 2008 3:40 PM

hell hath no fury like a .....

awww, *snap*, girlfriend.

Posted by pissy mcslogbot | May 8, 2008 3:40 PM

They're called paragraph breaks. They make it possible to read what you're writing.

Use 'em, I promise you'll like 'em.

Posted by Graham | May 8, 2008 3:41 PM

i was surprised, too, at the numerous sexist (or sexist sounding) attacks that appeared on slog alone.

but i'm not sure it's a good game to play, who got it worse, the black man or the white woman. for some reason, it seems like it is unacceptable to vocalize racist views but acceptable to voice sexist views. i'm not sure that means there isn't racism going on. in fact, i know there is.

i'm upset by all the sexist remarks, and wish they would stop. i find them worse then the stretches ECB would take to make obama look bad (even found in her post here -- though they upset me as well.

clinton is a qualified candidate for pres, as is obama. voting for either was fine.

Posted by infrequent | May 8, 2008 3:46 PM

Nicely demonstrated, Erica. Strong work here.

Posted by Megan | May 8, 2008 3:47 PM

Amen, ECB... Amen...

Posted by Yep... | May 8, 2008 3:47 PM

Erica, I hope you feel better after posting that. Unfortunately, because you pointed all of this stuff out again, I'm just even more angry about the level of misogyny that is socially acceptible, especially among young Democrats. It doesn't seem to be confined to Hillary, either--I've seen a (granted, this is anecdotal) surge of sexism, intimidation, and hateful speech against women and girls lately. Oh, but it's FUNNY, because it's meant to be IRONIC, and said by self-satisfied wanna-be hipsters. Ha. Ha. No.

If I were to go to Slog happy (I won't, because I lurk too much and post too little...and I am a wuss), I would buy you a giant beer. Or whatever it is you drink.

Posted by Shannonymous | May 8, 2008 3:48 PM

What happened to all the crap about standing heat and getting out of the kitchen?

Posted by heat | May 8, 2008 3:49 PM

Thanks ECB, great post.

Also, worst Fnarf comment I've ever read.

Posted by poppy | May 8, 2008 3:51 PM

I actually agree with this post - the sexism that has been displayed (and it's not like it's been particularly ramped up during the campaign, it's always there) has been really vile. But what I don't understand is why Hillary herself has not spoken out against it. I mean way before Obama's speech in Philadelphia, I was really expecting/hoping for something similar for Hillary, and it never came.

On the contrary, it seemed from the outset that she was actually prepared to embrace a good amount of the sexism that was out there. From branding herself "Hillary" rather than "Cliniton" and her very first slogan of "Let the Conversation Begin!", I have not really seen her as someone who was going to do much to present a progressive ant-sexist set of values and behaviors to the public. Which is one of the things that turned me off to her.

Posted by quilsone | May 8, 2008 3:51 PM
but because some Slog readers seem to still think I believe any attack on Clinton is a sexist attack

Perhaps that's because a person is sometimes labeled "petty" or "vindictive" because they really are petty or vindictive, not because they're female.

Anyways, this is all bullshit, because anyone who has hung out, for example, at Taylor Marsh, Hillaryis44 or No Quarter has seen plenty of truly awful, and often plenty racist, bile tossed at Obama and anyone at all who supports him. You just wouldn't register any of that, because of your own cognitive biases.

Posted by youknowitstrue | May 8, 2008 3:54 PM

To belittle Erica's post with flippancy underscores the very real sentiments that Violet Socks writes about. I disagree with her ultimate decision not to support Obama as a protest against Democratic Party culture. However, I agree that the level of vitriol levied at feminists, Erica C. Barnett, and Clinton supporters undermines the most appealing aspect of Obama's candidacy: his call for unity. It is sad to see open-minded people that fail to perceive that they, too, have blind spots. That is privilege.

Posted by Bub | May 8, 2008 3:54 PM

It is absolutely true that Senator Clinton has had to put up with A LOT of unconscionably sexist and misogynist comments, not just in this election cycle, but for the last 20-odd years. For that I sympathise with her and agree wholeheartedly that she should not have to listen to, let alone put up with, nonsense like that.

However, that has nothing to do with supporting Obama's eventual candidacy. He has never attacked her for her gender, while she has not hesitated to attack him for his race. Furthermore, the people who have given Clinton so much crap about her gender are the very people (namely the mainstream press) who gave Obama so much crap about Rev. Wright, Farrakhan, Ayers, and other race-themed bullshit. It has not been Obama or his supporters who have done that to Clinton. Senator Clinton lost this primary all on her own, with her abject refusal to apologize for her Iraq War authorization, her obvious distaste for the liberal base of the party, and her misreading of the electorate. None of that has anything to do with her gender. For women to continue to make that argument, and to use it to justify their intention to not support Obama in November, is idiotic and absurd.

Posted by Jason E | May 8, 2008 3:54 PM

Violet Socks not voting for Obama out of personal pique means she's actively not voting against little issues like a potential repeal of Roe v. Wade, continued gender-based inequality in payscales and other things McCain represents. Doesn't that kind of undermine her whole feminist argument? At the very least it shows some seriously misplaced priorities.

Posted by levide | May 8, 2008 3:55 PM

Totally agree, Erica. It's been disgusting.

Posted by Lola | May 8, 2008 3:55 PM

Yeah, society is sexist and women are discriminated against. And the solution to this is sitting out the election and letting someone you know is going to harm womens rights be elected to office out of spite over men who support Obama? Give me a fucking break. There's a reason why feminism has stalled: its most radical advocates have made the issue either/or, without any consideration for practical advancement.

Posted by Jay | May 8, 2008 3:56 PM

What Fnarf said.

I agree with you on the baseless attacks and misogynistic jokes and that she had a rough time of it. (Then again, everyone who's ever run for president has had a rough time of it, it's a rough business.) Still, it's undeniably true that there was a lot of really nasty shit slung her way. (Than again, everyone who's ever run for president has had a lot of really nasty shit slung their way.) Etc.

But you absolutely CAN be intellectually honest while talking about "equality" and thinking Clinton is "caustic" and "shrill." How are these things mutually exclusive? What if I think she's caustic and shrill? That means I hate women? Please.

This kind of shit where it's never ok to criticize a certain class of people does nothing for equality. Again, I'm not saying she wasn't treated unfairly, but this is weak.

Posted by Carcacacacaca | May 8, 2008 3:57 PM


Let’s see how far Women's rights get under a Supreme Court picked by McCain.

A lot of people without a lot of brain cells who had never been engaged in pollitics before said a lot of stupid things on both sides of this debate. Draw a line under it, and let's focus on the important things - like keeping the supreme court balanced.

Posted by Paul | May 8, 2008 3:58 PM

I think I've heard of this before. Yeah, I think it's called "Cutting off your nose to spite your face" I hear it's always a great thing to do.

Posted by F | May 8, 2008 3:58 PM

In short, Violet Socks is a fucking snotty-nosed idiot who deserves Republican government.

Posted by Jay | May 8, 2008 3:58 PM

It doesn't surprise me to see that these so-called feminists want to let Obama lose and to help McCain become President so he can make a new Supreme Court that will overturn Roe v Wade, or he can slash funding for mothers and children, and let his Justice Department ignore gender discrimination.

Erica C. Barnett and her ilk are fake feminists. It's all about maximizing the suffering and victimhood of women so they have something to write about. Victimology is the only thing that gives these so-called feminists any platform to demand attention for themselves. Not for their cause. Not for women. For themselves.

Get. Help. Erica.

Posted by elenchos | May 8, 2008 3:58 PM

Right f*ckin' on Erica. You encapsulated everything I've been thinking and feeling about this election cycle. Of course, I'll get on the Obama bus to defeat the Repubs, but the Hillary discourse has been appalling.

Posted by CondimentGrrl | May 8, 2008 3:59 PM

Seriously ECB. This has nothing to do with women, or the ability for a woman to become President.

This is about Hillary.

She is a bitch. Period. She is also all of the words you listed in your article. You have to realize that you are living in this special little liberal bubble of this part of the country to understand the depths of peoples hate for her.

Look at the types of people who are supporting her. Maybe you are also one, but somehow I don't believe that. Most of them are desperate. Most of them are gullible. Most of them enjoy being pandered to.

Hillary has literally tried every single possible thing in the political book, plus she has invented whole new ways of trying to smear someone into losing.

She has no morals, no conviction, no tact, no soul.

I'm truly thankful that she didn't get the nomination. She is that dangerous for our country.

Your support for her has damaged your credibility to Erica. I truly surprised you let yourself be taken down with her to the extent you have.

Posted by Reality Check | May 8, 2008 3:59 PM

ECB - this really made me think; thanks for posting it.

Posted by bohica | May 8, 2008 3:59 PM

Yeah, the whole Reverend Wright thing wasn't "appalling" race baiting.

Posted by Jay | May 8, 2008 4:00 PM

This whole "I'm taking my ball and going home" routine sounds exactly as petty and self-defeating as it did when we were all six years old on the playground.

Posted by flamingbanjo | May 8, 2008 4:01 PM

My favorite quote from that site: "Could we take over the green party, us escaping vagina americans?"

Aren't all Americans Vagina-Americans, given that's where we all came from?

Posted by F | May 8, 2008 4:02 PM

@5: Where did Erica say anything about Obama, other than the fact that she is now supporting him? And if someone is bitch (rather subjective term, isn't it?), how is it appropriate for people who have never met her to call her that publicly, expecting it to be a convincing reason she shouldn't be voted for?

Posted by Aislinn | May 8, 2008 4:02 PM
But after seeing what happened to Hillary, I doubt they’ll have reason to believe it.

In order for this statement to hold true, it would have to be obvious that Hillary lost because she's a woman and because of misogynistic attacks against her. I haven't seen any evidence of this. In fact, she keeps touting her appeal to blue collar whites. Are blue collar white men more feminist than a number of other Democratic constituencies?

Posted by keshmeshi | May 8, 2008 4:02 PM

I'll say it, Erica and Violet Socks have a very solid point. I'm a feminist and am deeply troubled by all these attacks on Hillary's gender. However, I still can't say I was ever on Hillary's bandwagon simply because of the enormous hate machine already constructed and road tested to attack her. She has name recognition, but with that comes a ton of baggage - none of it deserved - from the Clinton baggage carousel.

Just because Hillary couldn't defeat the haters by no means reflects on all woman-kind's presidential chances. If a smart female senator or governor emerges in the next election cycle, I have no doubt she would have a very legitimate shot at the office.

It's true in 2008 we should be past the gender thing, but even still, we have to run before we can fly. And I think Hillary has actually opened the door for the next female candidate.

Posted by Henrietta | May 8, 2008 4:03 PM

Those links are are obsessive and excessive. It's true she was/ is treated in a sexist way. But her pulling racist crap on Obama and threatening to implode the Democratic Party for her own ego doesn't make her much of a victim to rally around.

Posted by Trevor | May 8, 2008 4:04 PM

Vote Verde!! Recycle your vote for change!

The Liberal Media strikes again!

Posted by violent verde | May 8, 2008 4:04 PM

Ahh, Fnarf's privilege is showing. As is Wil Wheaton's.

Posted by elm | May 8, 2008 4:07 PM

Oh, well. I guess Violet Socks will just remain firmly in the camp of the Hard-Working White Americans (TM) and their self-proclaimed candidate, who would certainly never seek to benefit from bigotry.

Posted by tsm | May 8, 2008 4:07 PM

Jason E:

Good post.

Is the claim that Clinton has been victimized for her gender more than Obama has been victimized for his race?

Is the claim, even further, that this competition of victimhood is somehow relevant to who is the better candidate? To who "deserves" the election, but had it unfairly taken away?

Obama and Clinton won on their merits. Black Americans may have overwhelmingly voted for Obama, but there's little evidence that men refused to vote for Clinton, though there's plenty of evidence that whites (men and women) refused to vote for Obama.

So if we're arguing about victimhood on the basis of who would have won if bias weren't a factor, I don't think that aids Clinton's argument.

If, however, we're simply arguing about victimhood because it allows us to divert attention from more important issues--like who is, in fact, the better candidate--that's just pathetic.

Posted by Dan | May 8, 2008 4:07 PM

Erica, Clinton fans, etc.

Let's say Condi Rice gets the Republican nom next time around, would you vote for her too? Just because she's a woman? A black woman?

Put your money where your mouth is. Clinton lost because she ran a terrible campaign, not becuase she is a woman.

Posted by Jeff | May 8, 2008 4:08 PM

Erica, please come to Slog Happy so I can buy you a drink. I agree so much with this post.

Men, like Fnarf, think its ok to make derrogatory comments, cause "Hey! She's totally like that!". Sorry Fnarf, do you know Mrs. Clinton? Are you too pals? Where are you getting this from? The media?? Because they are so accurate???? I am sure you don't hate women, Fnarf (and others), but you are basing your thoughts from the media, who are biased. You are basing your ideas from a society that puts down women. I am sure they'd be accurate.

It reminds me of rascist people I know that say "well there are black people and there are N---". And so they think that when a black person is "rude" or "mean" they can call them a N---.

Guess what, that is WRONG. We can all agree on that, right???? And they are Rascist. We can agree on that??? And they are fucks.

And so are all of you for saying the horrible shit you have and thought it was funny or "accurate". You are fuckers.

And so is Obama, for not rising above that, or even addressing it. Which is the biggest thing. It is so true that he sat idly by and let them do that. So fuck him.

But I guess I'll vote for him.

Posted by Original Monique | May 8, 2008 4:08 PM

I don't hate Hillary because she's a woman- I hate her (campaign) for stooping to the lowest common denominator at every turn. I hate her for insinuating McCain is a better choice then Obama. I hate her for acting demure when asked the Obama/Muslim question. I hate her for lying about her experience (which, in reference to Bosnia, she fucking DID).

For those reasons I hate her- but I especially despise the fact that she could get a pass for such despicable behavior from feminists just because she has a vagina... and you can be damn sure if the tables had been turned, I'd be voting for Hillary right now.

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | May 8, 2008 4:08 PM

Well said, Erica. And I for one WILL be voting for McCain. Fuck you, Obamaites. Even now you can't give it a rest.

Posted by Polythene Pam | May 8, 2008 4:09 PM

Being a liar is gender-neutral, as is smearing your opponent with the most blatant opportunism, as is being a consummate insider. That's why she lost - at least, that's why she lost me. I think you point out a lot of dynamics that are real, Erica, and worthy of examination and condemnation. But not one of them makes Senator Clinton any better than she is. Add 'delusional' to that list as of Tuesday.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | May 8, 2008 4:10 PM

Yeah, it's not that she hasn't been subject to sexist bullshit, but as several have said, this doesn't mean that she's not, in fact, many of the things that people have accused her of.

I find her personality to be COMPLETELY unappealing. And I'm one of those chicks who gets in trouble for not being "feminine" (ie. nice, deferential, inoffensive) in the way I communicate. I don't care. I come from a family of strong, loud women. And I like abrasive people! But Clinton isn't abrasive in an honest, take-it-or-leave-it sort of way. She's abrasive in a clueless, fake sort of way. Her political pandering is transparent and nauseating.

I don't think poorly of her because she's female. I think poorly of her because she's a liar, and a bad one at that. She's part of the political machine. To vote for her because she's female and I feel sorry for her because she's been subjected to so much misogynistic bullshit. . . boo hoo. . .THAT would be sexist.

Posted by violet_dagrinder | May 8, 2008 4:10 PM

the creepiest thing about Violet Socks' post is the obvious glee with which she enumerates the many racist tropes that "should've" faced Obama.

it's as if her feminism and this election cycle have somehow mutated to transform her a vicarious bigot (all in the name of anti-misogyny, of course.)

and why don't you see geriatrics posting huge linkdumps about the many times people have called mccain a "geezer" or metrosexuals decrying John Edwards being called a "prettyboy" and "Breck girl"?

i'll tell you why-because unlike Violet Socks, they don't need to broadcast victimhood to justify their Womens Studies degrees.

Posted by brett | May 8, 2008 4:10 PM

Hillary is none of the epithets mentioned in ECB's post. She's just a politician fighting for a lost cause, and using the same tactics that all politicians eventually use (whether equipped with testicles, ovaries, or neither) when making a desparate attempt to salvage the unsalvageable.

Posted by Spoogie | May 8, 2008 4:10 PM

Except Ms. Clinton really IS a screechy entitled vindictive bitch. Nancy Pelosi isn't. Chris Gregoire isn't. Neither of our senators is. See how that works? It's possible to dislike someone based on her actual personality rather than her reproductive plumbing.

Posted by pox | May 8, 2008 4:11 PM

41: You could shred this post and use it for compost.

Posted by Jay | May 8, 2008 4:11 PM

The comments on the Violet Socks post are really over the top.

It really is incredible to me to see the way that Hillary's supporters have become so extreme and myopic. Though I have seen no direct evidence of it, it is very difficult for me not to believe that her campaign's rhetoric has not done all that it can to encourage this kind of rage. Very sad to me.

Posted by quisone | May 8, 2008 4:11 PM

Erica and other Hillary Supporters, I understand. I really do. But I ask a sincere question which I would love to hear your thoughts on.

In her acceptance speech for Indiana Hillary spoke that whoever wins the nominations the other candidate should get behind the winner. Assuming Hillary were to support Obama, would you then support Obama? Or not even then?

Posted by D. | May 8, 2008 4:12 PM
And so is Obama, for not rising above that, or even addressing it. Which is the biggest thing. It is so true that he sat idly by and let them do that. So fuck him.

As opposed to Hillary, by contrast, who never sought to quietly benefit from popular attitudes on race. No, she wouldn't stand for that! Inconceivable!

Posted by tsm | May 8, 2008 4:13 PM

Hillary represents none of the epithets mentioned in ECB's post. She's just like any other politician, whether equipped with testicles, ovaries, or neither, who is trying desperately to salvage the unsalvageable. And it's wearing a little thin.

Posted by Spoogie | May 8, 2008 4:15 PM


Mentioning privilege in connection with Clinton or Obama is a crock of shit. They both had plenty of opportunities in life, none of which have to do with the outcome of this race.

Posted by F | May 8, 2008 4:15 PM

Well, given that this part

And nary a word of reproach from Hillary herself. No denunciation at all of the relentless racism. In fact, she actually cracks a few racist remarks herself, albeit subtle ones. She jokes and nods with the media about “letting” Obama run as long as he wants to. And when she makes speeches about American values, she talks a lot about women’s rights but never mentions civil rights. She’s strikingly silent on the subject. Even when she delivers a major address on the importance of rooting out bigotry, she neglects to mention racism at all.

actually did happen, except for the part about her making speeches addressing bigotry, it is hard for me to work up too many tears for her candidacy. She and her people got down in the mud, so they have no grounds for whining now.

There's been plenty of racism, a whole lot of sexism, and a giant truckload of ugliness, but the people have spoken and they chose Barack Obama. That's politics. Accept your defeats with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.

Posted by brklyngrl | May 8, 2008 4:16 PM

Well said, Erica. And I for one WILL be voting for McCain. Fuck you, Obamaites. Even now you can't give it a rest.
Posted by Polythene Pam

Really? Good for you. This proves that liberal feminists are really just a bunch of self-hating freaks. Do you really think 4 years of McCain is going to help your cause? I hope you settle down and realize how ridiculous this makes you seem.

Posted by Jeff | May 8, 2008 4:16 PM

I agree that Clinton has been treated in a sexist manner (just as Obama has been treated in a racist manner particularly with the angry black pastor and secret muslim memes). However, I think that to conflate a blatantly sexist attack (the housewife thing) with general negative opinion (she's vindictive) weakens your overall argument. Since there ARE valid reasons to think she's vindictive (I think there would be muttering that she was only staying in the race to sink Obama's chances and run again in'12 even if she had a beard down to her knees), you risk having people mentally assign the same...lack of impartiality to all your points without really thinking about them.

Posted by Beguine | May 8, 2008 4:17 PM

I call bullshit on that.

Men are frequently castigated as dicks, assholes, bastards, cock suckers, etc and you don't see men bitching about sexist attacks. (yep, I said bitching; I really think in this day and age, we need to consider the verb form of that word, non-gender specific).

Yes, there ARE nasty, vicious attacks on Hillary that crossover to misogny and you listed quite a few of them. But I don't think referring to Hillary as a "she-devil" or "Nurse Ratched" or "shrill" or "lunatic" really crosses the line of misogyny. Male candidates get called similar or worse, and no one bats an eye. And not supporting Hillary or not liking Hillary or even saying mean shit about Hillary doesn't mean you hate women and won't support a woman for president.

Posted by michael strangeways | May 8, 2008 4:18 PM

face it: she is the SINGLE most politically polarizing figure other than W. she doesn't deserve the nomination, and she wouldn't win if she got it.

Posted by brett | May 8, 2008 4:18 PM

ECB, as I've mentioned in January to various people, if it was Pelosi vs Clinton for the Democratic nomination instead of Obama, I'd be voting for Pelosi over Clinton. If it was Pelosi overtaking Clinton, I don't think she'd get the same harsh criticism as Clinton.

I'm basically saying Clinton has a past that garnishes the criticism that's been going around.

America's ready for a female president, but it's not Hillary. It may well be someone from Obama's generation and latter that will be the first female president. I'm sure the day that a viable and promising female candidate runs for president, she might probably get the same shit (jealousy) from the baby-boomer generation of women that Obama's getting from the civil-rights era blacks.

Posted by apres_moi | May 8, 2008 4:18 PM

Jeff: Um. No, it makes (or at least might make) *Polythene Pam* a self-hating freak. See, s/he doesn't speak for all liberal feminists. Weird, huh?

Posted by leek | May 8, 2008 4:18 PM

Sloggers swung me toward McCain a looong time ago. I said it once, and here it is again: Dream on, white idiots, if you think electing Obama is going to make you "all right" with black folks - it won't.

Posted by Jason | May 8, 2008 4:19 PM

I have to agree with ECB on this one. It's like the hipsters throwing "Mexican Parties" and dressing up in ponchos, fake mustaches and sombreros, or fried chicken and 40's parties in NY, or the "ironic" misogyny of some Indie music (The Teenagers, et al.) or the making fun of gays and lesbians but it's cool cause it's ironic and whole list of other stupid shit supposedly smart liberal things people do, who should no better. It's like how old Sarah Silverman shtick has gotten. Just because you claim to be "joking" and self-aware, at the end of the day the shit is still just bigoted and not very funny. I think what ECB is driving at is that some bloggers (looking directly at Aravosis) have become monsters in their quest to prop up Obama by bringing down Hillary. Americablog has done more to divide the party (at least those who read political blogs) than Hillary ever has. There not mad that Hillary has stayed in the race, but rather that she was so close to winning and that she has the NERVE to follow through on what she believes in. This "my way or the highway" liberal bickering is the true enemy to the party, not Hillary.

Posted by wow | May 8, 2008 4:20 PM

Clinton fans of America, I promise to not be a douche and taunt and rub it in if you promise to stop throwing tantrums.

Posted by deal? | May 8, 2008 4:20 PM

Here's a bunch of reasons Hillary supporters should not jump ship from the Dem party:

While I can see why you would be upset at general bias, Barack Obama was not the cause of that bias. In fact he made a point to tell her to stay in as long as she wanted to, emphasized their friendship in speeches, and never said anything to or of her that could be construed as sexist. He obviously didn't agree with all of her policy ideas, and many of her campaign tactics, but frankly that's what an election should be about anyway. So why blame him?

Moreover, the two candidates' stances on a wide variety of issues is similar or identical. If you agree with Clinton's policy ideas and were not just voting for her because of her gender (which would in of itself be sexist), then he is the best candidate. If John McCain appoints judges to overturn Roe v. Wade as a result of a feminist boycott, well, you could press shirts with that kind of irony.

Not everyone who votes against Obama is a racist and not everyone who votes against Clinton is a sexist. Surely some people are! But to lump everyone together like that is counterproductive because it insults your allies. All of the falsely-accused will stop listening to reasonable feminists.

Finally, please consider the possibility that while there's certainly a LOT of misogyny that has been spewed, a lot of people really, honestly, just thought Obama was a better option on purely merit-based grounds.

Posted by Steve | May 8, 2008 4:21 PM

@42/Original Monique:

Men, like Fnarf, think its ok to make derrogatory comments, cause "Hey! She's totally like that!"

I'm not sure I see what's wrong with this, and I'm not sure the parallel to the racial epithets Obama might have been called is valid.

The reason is simple: "bitch" has a specific meaning with respect to personality (similar to "cock" or "dick") which, to my knowledge, is not true of "n___er" (though perhaps it did have a specific meaning at some point in time).

As a result, calling someone the latter is akin to saying, "He's black, and that's bad." Of course that's racist--it's implying dislike because of race.

But "bitch" and "dick" appear, to me, to be descriptive terms that happen to be gender-specific (a female "dick" is a "bitch", and vice versa)--sort of like "policeman" and "policewoman."

Calling someone a "bitch" doesn't imply that you dislike her because she's female (unlike calling someone a "n___er" or a "k_ke"). Calling someone a "bitch", at least in my use, implies she's a female person with various personality traits (catty, moody, rude or unpleasant--fairly similar to "dick" for men, I think).

Granted, I'm not an etymologist. But I will say that when I use the word "bitch" (or "dick"), I'm not trying to imply dislike because of gender. If it's simply a gender-specific term, is it still sexist? Is it equivalent to those racial epithets?

Posted by Dan | May 8, 2008 4:22 PM

God, she is a bitch. And I absolutely adore her for it. Being called a bitch is the best part of my day.

Posted by el | May 8, 2008 4:25 PM

I love this; Women who are actively calling themselves feminists wont vote for Obama and will passively increase the chance McCain gets elected. especially when they damn well know there are supreme court justices that will keel over and die during the term and they damn well know mccain will nominate someone less than friendly to abortion.

So really taking your ball and going home only to have it popped at some point later is stupid.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | May 8, 2008 4:26 PM

Please don't identify Sullivan and Aravosis with the rest of the Obama supporters. Those guys are total bitches.

Posted by F | May 8, 2008 4:26 PM

Disappointed too. I am. I suppose it's interesting, at least, to learn and wonder about what is/isn't acceptable public discourse in 2008.

Posted by umvue | May 8, 2008 4:27 PM

Good post, Erica. As a man, I am appalled and ashamed at the viscous, misogynistic attacks on Hillary Clinton - and you.

Posted by crazycatguy | May 8, 2008 4:29 PM

I thought @19 said it best.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 8, 2008 4:30 PM

69: Men advancing and defending the rights of women is sooooooo sexist!

Posted by Jay | May 8, 2008 4:30 PM

@44 - Pam, you are a total dick.

Posted by Mahtli69 | May 8, 2008 4:31 PM

Republicans are cackling with glee right now. And if they could get Nader back in to sop up these votes, it would be the trifecta. They'd probably soil themselves.

Posted by F | May 8, 2008 4:32 PM

There have been a lot of ugly things said about HRC and ECB has every right to bring it up and all folks who engaged in demeaning HRC for things other than actual political issues need to own it. Same of course goes for anti-Obamans. I am still very a HRC admirer and would vote for her in November, but I am also a staunch Democrat and will of course vote for Obama when the time comes. I don't think the nomination process has hurt the Democrats in the least and am proud to be a member of a party that can keep the choices open for so long.

Posted by inkweary | May 8, 2008 4:32 PM

What's really striking about Violet Socks is the darkness and pessimism of her writing. Barnett echos it with her title "same as it ever was." Really, it's the same? You mean a woman making a good run as the presidency is just more of the same? Where's the optimism? The wonder at the fact that a black man and white woman are competing for the highest nomination in the nation? Where's the joy at how unprecedented this all is? It's not more of the same. Just thirty years ago, a woman getting this close to the white house would have been unthinkable. And I'm supposed to believe this is all the same old story? Women may face sexism, discrimination and grave threats to their personal rights, but it's not the same as it always was. Not even close.

Posted by Jay | May 8, 2008 4:37 PM

Erica. I don't see it. You're saying it's easier to be elected as a black man than a white woman, using Obama and Clinton as the test case. Bias foils the female, while the male rides to glory.

But it's Clinton's individual qualities I dislike, not her sex. She teeters on the edge of being a Republican. She certainly exploits and misleads like one. Regina Hackett

Posted by regina hackett | May 8, 2008 4:38 PM

I think you need to take a deep breath, and STEP AWAY FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE. This has been a heated campaign and it has brought out nastiness on both sides. We need to remember that Obama is not calling Clinton a c*nt and Clinton is not calling Obama a n*gger. These are people saying things online because it is nice and anonymous, and they do not represent the majority of supporters for either candidate. It only takes a matter of minutes to post on several blogs, after all.
Also, not voting for Obama in the GE only insures that we can kiss Roe v. Wade goodbye. Plus four more years of gay bashing, war, and screwing the middle class. UNITY!!

Posted by Tania | May 8, 2008 4:39 PM

While I don't like HRC (or ECB) and I'm glad this is finally sort of over, I have to agree that the vitriolic sexism coming from the "Progressive" Democratics has been disgusting. I really do not want to be lumped in with Obama supporters who think it is OK to call Clinton a "bitch" or a "cunt." You can criticize a candidate very strongly -- you can call her unethical, immoral, underhanded, slimy, whatever -- but words like "bitch" and "cunt" are not discourse. They are name-calling, pure and simple, and it is sexist and disgusting.

Posted by twee | May 8, 2008 4:39 PM

I don't think the GOP's cackling. I think they are afraid of going agaisnt a black candidate. They know the state GOP parties in certain states will use the race card and forever have the GOP branded as racists for generations to come.

Remember all the racist negative campaigning against TN congressman Harold Ford? Well consider that a light spanking compared to what they probably have in store for Obama by using the Race card and risk damaging the Republican party.

The GOP was looking forward to going against Clinton because of all of her baggage from her husband's administration.

Posted by apres_moi | May 8, 2008 4:39 PM

i'm continually fascinated by what hillary clinton brings out in people. this debate is engrossing and hilarious. everyone's going crazy. hey whiny people saying "but she is a bitch!": you sound dumb. of course there was underlying (and sometimes blatant) misogyny in the media coverage, and if you missed it it's because you missed out on brains. just watch jay leno's many monologue videos of a hillary lookalike fucking or making out with or seducing various people, including obama. and feminists who are honestly suggesting letting john "my wife is a trollop* and a cunt* and i can't wait to get a supreme court opening" mccain win are sooooo fucking lame. give it a little time, blow off some steam, then your fellow vaginal-americans need you in november, no matter how upset you are right now. my vag and yours can't afford to lose lefty women to political apathy. good post, ecb, and thanks for standing up to the shitstorm every day.
*his words, 'member?

Posted by anna | May 8, 2008 4:40 PM

Jeff @ 57:
"This proves that liberal feminists are really just a bunch of self-hating freaks."

As someone who could easily be described as a liberal feminist, I think that you are wrong and that Polythene Pam deserves whatever shit this country would go through with a McCain presidency. All her comment proves is that she is a "self-hating freak". Leave the rest of us out of it.

Posted by Lesley | May 8, 2008 4:40 PM

This post speaks more about the privileged expectations of white liberal middle and upper middle class women than it does about misogyny and sexism from men. It started back when Gloria Steinem wrote her endorsement piece in the New York Times, railing against sexism and discussing the black male’s ability to vote before women as clear evidence of gender, not race, as one of the bigger hurdles in this campaign. It is as if she fast forwarded through lynching, Jim crow, segregation and all the decades of voter intimidation tactics (poll tax anyone?), and went right to Obama.
So now here we are, and Erica and Violet once again talk about sexism as if they and other white women in their class have been the greatest victims in history. The current state of feminism revolves around college educated white women, and some older women from the 60’s still carrying with them the sense that they, above all others, are victims. Ignore the fact that these women graduate from college more, have better health care access, and live longer than any other group. Instead, let’s focus all our attention on Hillary Clinton as surrogate every woman, and insist she is being deprived her rightly place as First Female President, and Ultimate Woman.

Posted by hal | May 8, 2008 4:40 PM

The real issue here is that the internet has made it far easier for a bunch of bitches and dicks with personality disorders to think they're speaking on behalf of huge volumes of people when disparaging a candidate, when in reality they're just assholes with blogs that other assholes with blogs are linking to in a big circle-jerk, all in order to show how much of an ass the other side is.

Seriously here, we're talking about a fraction of a percentage of supporters on either side who are vocal dipshits. Not the candidates themselves, and not most of their base.

Posted by Sevenless | May 8, 2008 4:42 PM

87: Welcome to internet discourse!

Posted by Jay | May 8, 2008 4:44 PM

if obama sucks for not addressing sexism, then doesn't hillary suck for not addressing it either? or maybe she sucks twice as hard for also not addressing [and let's face it, outright exploiting] racism? i agree hillary's been subject to a lot of sexist criticism, but it's beyond unfair for violet to hold obama's feet to the fire for not addressing it when hillary never bothered to do so either.

and one other somewhat tangential thing that really bothers me: tina fey getting a shout-out from hillary for calling her a bitch, and claiming that women have to be bitches in order to get things done. this is one of the most harmful -- not to mention patently false -- stereotypes about women in positions of power. it would be nice to try and put it to rest, rather than leveraging it for political gain.

Posted by brandon | May 8, 2008 4:44 PM

You're fucking high.

People weren't automatically castigating Hillary when she announced her campaign.

And why is calling her a bitch worse than calling Bush a prick? Or a cocksucker?

Notice that people don't use language like this when talking about Pelosi, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, or Christie Todd Whitman.

Plenty of women make it in politics without having insults hurled their way.

Clinton earned every last insult through her relentlessly negative campaigning, and willingness to go to the gutter every time.

Jeez, I dunno - I guess some of us bitter eggheads are pretty fucking pissed to see someone who's supposedly on the left talking about how only hard-working white people matter.

Even women call other women bitches - I've seen it first-hand.

Posted by AMB | May 8, 2008 4:45 PM

look at all these posts?!?! it's crazy what this topic brings out.

i bet there will even be another comment after this one, in





Posted by infrequent | May 8, 2008 4:46 PM

Oh, and tl;dr.

Posted by AMB | May 8, 2008 4:46 PM

Wasn't "bitch" supposed to have been reclaimed? What with all the third wave feminism manifestos and magazines that come with the word emblazoned on their covers.

Posted by Jay | May 8, 2008 4:47 PM

There has been racism-a-plenty levelled at Obama and not just from the Right. Hillary and Bill stepped into "uppity negro" territory often and voraciously in their critiques of Obama.

I agree about the knew-jerk sexist language with Clinton, as well, but it happened the other way around just not as blatant as "shine my shoes". Even in 1965 racism was subtler than that among Democrats in the North at least.

Even you, Erica, stepped into some dodgy territory when you used terms like "creepy" "Kool Aid" and "naive followers" to describe common aspects of the African-American Church. Just because a white girl like you isn't familiar with call and response, doesn't make it "creepy".

Posted by Jason | May 8, 2008 4:47 PM

bitch is empowering when it sells cosmetics or clothing in magazines but demeaning when used against a woman running for president who is unethical, incompetent and out to lunch.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | May 8, 2008 4:48 PM


if obama sucks for not addressing sexism, then doesn't hillary suck for not addressing it either? or maybe she sucks twice as hard for also not addressing [and let's face it, outright exploiting] racism?

After Obama gave his speech on race relations back in March, I was expecting Hillary to come out talking about Sexism. Obama opened the door for her to talk about it. Many people, including the MSM, were expecting her to talk about as well as chastize the media over the whole Wright issue. Instead, she just stayed silent.

ECB, Hillary's loss was based on many mistakes she made and many missed opportunities that Obama opened for her.

Posted by apres_moi | May 8, 2008 4:50 PM

@81 (or ECB or anyone else) - Yes, there has been a great deal of sexism in this campaign, but I don't recall any high-profile progressive Democrats saying those things. That mess of links above all seem to be relating to quotes attributable to right wingers or Chris Matthews or Maureen Dowd. Hardly progressive Democrats. So who are these progressive Democrats who have said such horrible things?

Posted by sleestak | May 8, 2008 4:50 PM

95: That's because Hillary has tried very hard to seem like a macho masculine stereotype who can take it and dish it out. Gender, like race, would actually be used against her if pushed too far. Sadly, I understand her motives. Obama was really pushed to address race and was expected to do it. Clinton didn't want that kind of spotlight on her sex.

Posted by Jay | May 8, 2008 4:52 PM

PS: This is a great article about sexism and racism in this campaign. I love how she talks about how Hillary, though the object of sexism, has also played the gender card to her advantage and played the race card against Obama.

Posted by Jason | May 8, 2008 4:54 PM

@93 Kool Aid, naive followers, et al. are references to Jonestown (Jim Jones). Not an African-American church.

Posted by Shannonymous | May 8, 2008 4:56 PM

Anna, Monique -- I never said that there aren't sexist responses to Clinton. I merely said that NOT ALL negative responses to her are sexist. Is Chris Matthews a worthless bag of pancake batter? Yes, he is. But that doesn't mean that every criticism of Clinton is unfounded.

For an example of how to be a successful woman in politics, look at Patty Murray. When she first started, the abuse was never-ending; she was an "airhead", a "mom in tennis shoes", who had no business being where she was (and how on earth did she get there, anyways? She wasn't married to a President, she didn't have a senate seat groomed for her.) But what she did was ignore the noise, and quietly set to work the way she always has, and became one of the most effective senators in Washington. And no one calls her a bitch anymore, because she doesn't exude entitlement, and she doesn't constantly lean on the horn. She's not vicious and divisive, and when backed in a corner she doesn't start drinking shots and blithering about "hard-working white Americans".

See how that works?

Yes, it's true, she's not President either. But no one gets to be President just because they think they deserve it. Clinton did, and does.

I'll cut her slack on that, because she's been focused on that goal for ten years (not 35, like she claims). Of course it hurts to work hard for something for a long time, and fail to get it. But Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney and Joe Biden hurt that same way, too -- Dick Gephardt hurts more than all of them put together. But you don't hear him (or rather, his supporters) whining about it like this.

Posted by Fnarf | May 8, 2008 4:57 PM

While many knuckle-draggers have made disparaging references to Hillary's gender when they choose to insult her, it's also true that much of what's been said is a response to her specifically. Often, her gender is immaterial to these people, even if it was used to insult her.

You call that sexism. I call it a cheap shot, because it's not truly sexism, as in, "I hate you because you're a woman." It's "I hate you, and you happen to be a woman, so I'll go ahead and use that when I insult you." It's still reprehensible, but it's not the grand societal malady you seem to think it is.

I mean, do people call Patty Murray or Christine Gregoire bitches with anything close to that level of virulence and frequency? No. That's because--as people--they aren't hated like Hillary.

It's unfortunate that some folks feel compelled to take such pathetically cheap shots, and yes, the world will be a better place when that shit doesn't happen. But it's not some systemic, anti-woman thing. It's her, specifically.

Sure, there are assholes out there that would never vote for Hillary becase she's a woman, and women are not fit to be president in their ape-like minds. But answer me this:

Are there more people who would not vote for someone purely because they're a woman than there are people who would not vote for someone purely because they're black?

If you think the answer is "yes," I feel sorry for your lack of perspective.

Posted by Matthew | May 8, 2008 4:58 PM

#99: Exactly. And comparing common techniques of the African-American Church to Jim Jones' followers is patronizing at best, racist at worst.

Posted by Jason | May 8, 2008 5:00 PM

Speaking of privilege, what are the demographics of feminists who can afford to ignore the election cycle (or vote McCain!) with the possible consequences? Will all women equally feel the consequences of the rollback of reproductive freedom?

You ALL realize that WoC are deserting mainstream feminism because they think white women don't give a shit about them don't you? Get a fucking grip.

From the missing link "She jokes and nods with the media about “letting” Obama run as long as he wants to." That's just bullshit. Obama has behaved entirely appropriately regarding Clinton's run. There's no free pass to avoid the criticism that you "should" drop out in a primary. So really I'm sorry for the nitpick but that's the world you step into when you claim your opponents are sexist (or racist or whatever.)

Let's just re-iterate two things. 1, Obama has had to run a campaign diligently avoids talking about identity politics and 2, Clinton has used the identity politics of women and *whites* more than anyone else in the campaign.

Posted by daniel | May 8, 2008 5:02 PM

Say what you will about ECB, but damn, can she get the comments on Slog. Judging by page views and posts, she's a hero. By content, not so much.

Posted by falcon1 | May 8, 2008 5:05 PM

#99: That's the point. Comparing Obama's followers to naive, simple-minded, easily-swayed cult-followers (even though I believe Obama fared 2 to 1 better with university graduates) veers into "stupid negro" territory. As did the constant "of course he's getting the black vote" comments as if black people are so naive and simple that they will vote for someone based solely on his skin color, not issues.

Posted by AMyK | May 8, 2008 5:05 PM

@89 Wow, very impressive reasoning. Half of them aren't even the first women to achieve that status, and at least one never underwent public scrutiny via campaigning. Basically what you have said is thus: (excuse the rather poor syllogism that follows)

1. When A ran for office, X happened.
2. When B, C, D, E, Z+1 and LL ran/was appointed to office, I'm not actually sure what happened, because all i did was write a list of women who are in leadership in districts/states where i don't vote, and, well since I never heard one of them called a bitch thus it must not have happened.

Conclusion: X happened because A is a bitch.

Posted by el | May 8, 2008 5:05 PM

I'm sorry, but this is insane. Hillary Clinton is quite possibly THE worst human being to run for President on the Democratic ticket EVER. She's not just a little disagreeable, she's not controversial, she's a race-baiting liar who managed to lose an election that was a sure thing just a year ago, while going tens of millions of dollars into debt. She belongs to a crazy right-wing cult in DC and is best friends with all the rich, crazy, right-wing lunatics who used to hound her. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Quite simply, any woman who supports Clinton is out of her mind. This is what you want your daughters to be when they grow up? If so, what in the world is wrong with you?

Get over your damage and deal with reality!

Posted by whatevernevermind | May 8, 2008 5:06 PM

Actually, I think people do call Dianne Feinstein a bitch. And speaking of non-progressive Democrats...

Posted by leek | May 8, 2008 5:08 PM

I thought Tania had a very good point in her post @80.

That said, remember that, should you go to the SLOG happy hour at Moe's tonight at 6 (downstairs) most of the people who are posting nastygrams actually get along pretty well in person.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 8, 2008 5:11 PM

Face it Erica: When it comes to Clinton, you're a single-issue voter based on the fact that she's a woman. There's hardly anything she or anyone else could do to change that.

Yes, the frat boys on Hardball are sexist assholes. That's not news and it's not a surprise. But why would that make anyone vote against Obama in the general election? That just doesn't make sense.

And while you bemoan the "internet doodz" that supposedly joined in the misogyny, I don't see any links in the hundred or so you dug up that prove that out. Sure, some jerks on the slog did, but that's the classic "some guy on the internet said something bad" dodge. I haven't seen any A-list male progressive bloggers that attacked or belittled Clinton because of her gender.

Get the fuck over it

Posted by bogus | May 8, 2008 5:14 PM

And I think that probably all those women cited have had some sexism thrown their way... because while I may disagree with this Violet person, there IS sexism out there aplenty and unfair double standards ARE getting applied to women candidates all the time. So to say that Pelosi or Whitman or Ginsburg has escaped scot-free is doubtlessly wrong.

It is definitely depressing to count up the instances of sexism applied to Hillary Clinton. But that doesn't mean she was the best candidate, and it doesn't mean I should support her because of said prejudice.

Posted by leek | May 8, 2008 5:16 PM

@102/105, I think you're missing my point. ECB didn't compare Jonestown to the AA churches; she used it as a comparison to Obama's political rallies. Calling ECB a racist because she drew lines from a political rally at Key Arena (a *rally filled with young whities* like myself) and Jonestown is really jumping the gun.

The rallies were inspirational and exciting, but they were preachy and kind of weird to look back on. BTW, I grew up Baptist, and I understand the AA church practices. I definitely would have noticed if she called my church a bunch of crazy, Kool-Aid-drinkin' bumpkins. But she didn't.

And what is this about people thinking that other women politicians are not called names and attacked because they are women? Have y'all missed all of the attacks against Patty Murray (and her damn tennis shoes), Christine Gregoire, and Maria Cantwell (who gets the job done, but everyone still calls her a bitch)?

Posted by Shannonymous | May 8, 2008 5:20 PM

#96: I wasn't referring to high-profile Democrats. I was referring to the countless comments on blogs (including this one) from Obama voters. I don't know how many times I've seen comments from Obama supporters along the lines of "she's as bad as any Republican" and in the next sentence calling her a "cunt" or "bitch." How's that for irony?

Posted by twee | May 8, 2008 5:23 PM

Well said Erica.

Posted by Wes | May 8, 2008 5:27 PM

Only women vs men, vegetarians vs meat eaters, and bike riders vs car drivers sparks this many comments.

Posted by Chalupa | May 8, 2008 5:30 PM


you forgot suicide-prevention bridge thingies too. This is a single pop-it compared to that display.

Posted by el | May 8, 2008 5:37 PM

Matthew at #101:
While your comments on gender are quite astute, it is shameful that you still feel the need to disparage "ape-like minds" and "knuckle draggers". I can assure you, that we are not all like that.
Exhibit A:

Good day, sir.

Posted by Chimpy Pooflinger III | May 8, 2008 5:42 PM

@109 - That's because we're all passive-aggressive Seattlites. When your back is to us, we flip you off.

Posted by Soupytwist | May 8, 2008 5:46 PM

That time of month huh Erica? Ever think, just once, of poppin' a Motrin before you go off?

Posted by Bob | May 8, 2008 5:49 PM

I love you, Erica.

Posted by schyphozoa | May 8, 2008 5:52 PM

@113 - I understand, but your initial post referred to "Progressive Democrats". Anyone who uses the language you describe is not a progressive.

Besides, my question still stands. Hillary herself used race-baiting tactics every chance she got. Obama never resorted to sexist remarks, and I'm not aware of any other high-profile Dem using them to describe Hillary. So on the one hand, we have complaints about misogynistic "Obama supporters" from message boards, and on the other we have Clinton herself using very clear racial messages.

ECB says that her anger is directed at "Democrats". I would like to see some examples of actual Democrats, not message board posters, using this language. And as Bogus @110 points out, none of the A-list progressive bloggers have used this language. So please give us some names.

Posted by sleestak | May 8, 2008 5:58 PM

Actually, the most terrifying idea in this post is the one that *bloggers* would/could have any influence on an actual human being's voting decisions.

"A-List Progressive Bloggers"? Isn't that like saying "Famous AM Radio Talk Show Callers" or "Respected Post Commenters"?

Posted by Peter F | May 8, 2008 6:13 PM

HRC is such a Dickhead!!!

there, is that better?

Posted by longball | May 8, 2008 6:54 PM

so violet's points made me really sad. mostly because using the argument that "letting a black man run for president opens him up to racism" is a sister argument to "letting gay people adopt opens their kids up to being made fun of." this protecting the "victim" mentality is overbearing, nonsensical, and discriminatory in and of itself.

i also agree with erica that too many sexist remarks and gender stereotyping catch-22's have been flung hillary's way. however, i also think that she was not a good candidate for the presidency, and eagerly await for the time when an intelligent, compassionate, woman runs for president and does not rely on pandering to "stupid white americans" to win votes

Posted by bridget | May 8, 2008 7:05 PM

This epitomizes why ECB gets so much grief. 75% of the links she posts and complaints she makes are legitmate examples of what she claims- much criticism of HRC has been misogynistic. But 25% of what she lists are legitmate criticisms of HRC, as they would be of any candidate, man or woman. By putting them together here she says all the people with legitmate criticisms are just like the misogynists. Its a totally passive aggressive way of putting down people who disagree with her.

Posted by mikeblanco | May 8, 2008 8:14 PM

It will be funny to read what those who spewed the most vitriol and sunk to Sean Hannity depths of hysterical conspiracy theories and self-righteous grandstanding -- like Kos, Dan Savage, Sully, Americablog, etc -- have to say about her when Obama asks her to be his VP. And that's going to happen. I know the highly-evolved Hillary Haters cannot comprehend it happening, but it will, sweetie. And you're gonna have to eat your words -- all 250 Clinton-bashing blogs-worth. Obama is a politician, first and foremost. He was marketed brilliantly as Super Change Man -- and y'all bought it -- but at the end of the day, he, just like Clinton, is playing off a script written by a team of writers. He wants to win.

Listen to both campaign's rhetoric in the next few weeks, starting w/ today. He needs her supporters -- y'know, those millions of pesky votes that went her way. What was it? Oh yeah, within a percentage point or two of the amount he received. Superdelegates will push this idea to mend the party and make everyone as happy as possible, given the facts. This will push his general election chances in OH, FL and PA (where Clinton currently leads McCain in polls and where he must win). Will she take the VP slot? Most likely. The first female VP in history. A First Lady ascending to the heights only occupied previously by men. She keeps a strong legacy. She holds on to that "power-hungry" status the far-right AND far-left loves to label her. Obama makes history. She makes history. She can run again in 8 years if she wants. So, she'll stay in to win a few more states and then bow out on a high note, knowing that she won important states and nearly had as many votes. He will offer. She will accept.

Expect to see some groveling and apologies from both camps as they kiss and make up.

And one can only hope that those sites who spewed the most vitriol -- available and for review daily on Slog, Sully, Kos, Americablog and all the other sites that lost credibilty the past few months -- will offer their own apologies for creating such a toxic environment against those who dared to differ in their own party. Of course, they will never see their role in all the douchbaggery, but that's typical of the narcissistic behavior displayed the past 6 months.

I look forward to watching them all wave their Obama/Clinton signs high in the air. Gonna be HILARZ!

Posted by TJ | May 8, 2008 8:30 PM

126: I think you're just a little too sure there TJ.

Posted by Jay | May 8, 2008 8:57 PM

I'm saying that as someone who'd like to see that ticket.

Posted by Jay | May 8, 2008 8:58 PM

i noticed a trend about six months ago, when the Obama race-baiting started to kick into gear. and i couldn't help noticing that madame hills started it. more specifically, her over-zealous and over-compensating husband, who i was a huge fan of about....oh, six months ago. the arguments for singular mistreatment are being ignored by many, and no one wants to cover a story about how bad everyone is treating the senator from new york, because let's face it, this mudslinging contest started because the "turn" that she "deserved" began to look less and less like a sure thing, and the hillary clinton campaign went virulently negative on one of the most promising and inspiring politicians that my generation has ever seen.

brett makes an excellent point in comment #5: if a person was in fact not possessive of the qualities which others claim they have, then i suppose some piece of this argument would be more convincing. all the same, as a Black lesbian (do not read radical) feminist who was all set for another Clinton in the White House last May, i have come to realize a few things.

you can't always expect things to work out the way you want to, but hoping that they work out for the best is our birthright. if you'd ever been victim of racial prejudice or been called a n-----r or been referred to as a "stupid c--t" because you voiced an opinion, it's easy to become jaded and slide into bitterness. this post to me reeks of bitterness. as a matter of fact, almost every democrat that i have known or met in recent years has been bitter. that's what eight years under an idiot will do to you. this bitterness is also indicative of every hillary clinton supporter i've met, and i don't really understand that.

any reference to specific non-racialized coverage of obama must be on blogs that i don't read. or in news wires that i don't read. because, um, i'm pretty sure we just spend three months vetting obama's pastor. who, last i checked, is NOT running for president. the speech he gave denouncing rev. wright made my heart ache for this man who's never met me, because that inherently inexplicable relationship between a pastor and parishioner is hard for so many people to grasp. it's truly like denouncing a member of your own family.

my friends and i are all about to graduate from college. most of circle is politically apathetic, but this democratic race going on for as long as it has put the idea of politics in their minds. i have been awestruck by how Barack Obama has aroused a near primordial passion for the potential greatness of this nation. i've had people who don't like reading anything call me up and tell me about how excited they are after reading "the audacity of hope."

my bottom line is this: this man is going to be our next president. you are faced with the option of continuing to exude enmity and contempt for the political process. or you can just have some damn hope. it's not hokey, and i resent feminists who imply that i've betrayed something by supporting the first ever African-American president, over the first ever female president. i choose my friends based on who they are, not the color of their skin, or their genitalia, or their sexual preference. i think it's shallow and juvenile to ignore substance in choosing your friends OR in choosing your president.

to be only concerned with making history is simply will get made regardless.

Posted by dani | May 8, 2008 10:16 PM

also, not to beat a dead horse, but isn't anyone else noticing that hillary is a republican?

i always thought democrats were for gun control. but i'm pretty sure that she has a mailer (in fact, i KNOW that she does) that states the following: "Barack Obama wants to take your guns"

Karl Rove would be proud.

Posted by dani | May 8, 2008 10:20 PM

Yeah @126 I think the reclusive leftist and her commenters will high up that list. Of course I don't think they would vote for Clinton if she were VP to "Barry". God what an amazing collection of racist white women.

FWIW though, if any of the sexist comments a la "Midol" were made in a similar racist fashion there would be a nuclear reaction of "delete that shit please". It's clearly more acceptable to be openly sexist than racist in certain circles.

Including the circles that leftist white feminists travel in. A subset of feminists while complaining that young white ladies won't call them feminist have invited their sisters of color to please leave the movement.

Do we even have to ask who black women will be voting for? Does the singular white voice of feminism give a shit?

Posted by daniel | May 8, 2008 10:22 PM

Hillary Clinton as VP. How very Shakespearian that would be.

I really used to like and respect Hillary Clinton. I loved her sassy I-don't-bake-cookies and I'm-no-Loretta-Lynn notoriety of the early days of Bill's campaign. I loved the intelligent life partner of Bill Clinton - a strong, idealistic woman who had worked on the Watergate prosecution - who would be her husband's equal and would straighten out health insurance. I loved the no-bullshit "vast right-wing conspiracy" Hillary, and I thought she handled her public humiliation of the whole Lewinsky affair with rare style and grace.

She was one of those first ladies, like Dolly Madison or Eleanor Roosevelt or Jackie Kennedy, who took the position beyond the usual Christmas tree and China pattern nonsense. And I was thrilled when ran for Senate and won. I thought she'd be a great president.

But then this campaign came along, and suddenly the wonderful, warm, intelligent and human Hillary Clinton became a parody of herself. She became the HR Director that comes to the company picnic and tries too hard to be "one of the gang", then gives everyone pink slips the next day. She was "candidate by committee", designed by people who have too much money, and have always had too much money, and are primarily interested in hanging onto that money, to supposedly represent poor people, whom they know nothing about.

The media didn't beat her: They tried the same stuff during her White House years, and weren't successful. This was her fault. She WAS bitchy. And shrill. And conniving. And desparate, slippery and amoral when it came to her self-interest.

If she had been a woman, instead of some awful pathetic thing trying desperately to make herself "as good as a man", she would have done a lot better - and would be the candidate today.

Sorry Erica. I share your hope that a woman will make it to the Oval Office one day. But I want that woman to be the right woman - Hillary was a poor substitute for that.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | May 8, 2008 10:35 PM

Women have made far more strides than black men. When was the last time a black man was ever considered for the prime-time anchor position on one of the big four TV stations? Katie Couric is the host of CBS. Locally we have Gene Enderson, the only black men we have around here seem to be the weathermen and not the anchor.

Hillary blew her campaign by lying (Bosnia), cheating (Michigan), and ignoring the rules that her campaign agreed to. If she had not felt the Presidency was hers for the taking. Instead she got bested by a new face who stood above the fray, played by the rules, focused on all 50 states (not just the big ones(, and managed to acquire donations from 150 million people from all walks of life.

Stop whining that she was beat by a man, she was beat by her own sense of self-righteousness and idea that the White House was hers for the taking.

Posted by Mysoginist | May 8, 2008 10:38 PM

I completely agree with your assessment of the sexism Hillary has faced in this campaign. All the things you cite are, indeed, sexist. It sucks a lot.

But Violet Socks's scenario is pretty much split between a) things that haven't happened because she's drawn a false equivalency (for example, "n****r" and "b***h" do not carry the same weight in our society, whether or not you think they should) and b) things that have actually happened. Just to cite one example, remember this article?:

Barack Obama: Bow to the woman, and take the vice presidency. Let our country heal. You will run in eight years and be unstoppable as a visionary world leader. You must pass through this filter first though: bow to the woman.
I may be wrong, but it seems from this post that Violet Socks is dismissing the incidence and seriousness of racism against Obama, and playing the Oppression Olympics, an offensive and dangerous game. If she intends to be an ally to people of color—I don't know if she does, but I think all feminists should—she should think hard about her white privilege (especially as it affects her ability to see racism) and the problems with these kinds of arguments. As a radical feminist and a white ally to women of color... well, that post makes me very uncomfortable.

Posted by Molly | May 8, 2008 11:02 PM

I spent two days digging up lost votes for Gregoire. I voted for and wholeheartedly support Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.

I've heard first hand stories of how harsh and abrasive Cantwell can be at times, even people using the B word. And she is a little centrist for my taste. BUT she never turns on the base of the Democratic party and spits on them. She's loyal to the Democratic Party and Democratic principals.
She's strong and fights for us.

Rejection of race-baiting IS a core contemporary Democratic Party principle. When Hillary Clinton embraced race-baiting, culminating with yesterday's undisguised "hard working Americans, white Americans" remarks, she *rejected* the core principles of the Democratic Party.

Obama NEVER endorsed misogyny or pandered to misogyny or attempted to incite subconscious misogyny.

Clinton supporters please try to understand this. The actions of Clinton herself turned me from a uncommited former Edwards supporter to an Obama supporter.

I CHALLENGE you to name two or even one act by Obama himself that attempted to incite misogyny in the voters. I haven't seen it yet. Haven't seen it.

Posted by cracked | May 8, 2008 11:07 PM

As a Hill-hater myself, I would like to point our that I don't dislike her because she's a woman; nor do I have a problem with a woman president.

I have a problem because she's a Clinton. Clintons lie, spin, cheat, line their pockets at others' expense and make the presidency (and now the Democratic party) their personal playground for their every-expanding ego-trip.

I suspect many Americans, who saw the fear-mongering of this campaign, who remember Hillary's healthcare fiasco back in Bill's first term, who remember Travelgate and Whitewater, who saw shameless pandering, fear-mongering, rumor mongering (suggesting slyly that Obama was a Muslim, etc.) race-baiting and every other ugly campaign strategy Clinton and her surrogates could threw at Obama for the sake of a few cheap votes, just simply hate her guts.

Yeah, I called her a bitch. Is that misogynistic? Or is it because she is foul human being and the antithesis of everything most admirable women stand for? (Golda Meir, Eleanor Roosevelt, etc.)

Why is it that women think Hillary is hated because she's a woman? Do you really think that's the issue?

Posted by Hank | May 8, 2008 11:18 PM

You have a point about all the sexism, but the implication that it proves a woman can't get elected president is clearly wrong. This misogynistic crap is pretty ignorable - I wouldn't actually have been aware of it if not for you, since I don't normally go to places where it's acceptable to say or write such things.

Clinton did extremely well but unfortunately for her Obama did even better. You can't be too disappointed with a race that's this close. If Obama wasn't in the race, Clinton would be the nominee.

Posted by Christopher | May 8, 2008 11:35 PM

64 said: I think what ECB is driving at is that some bloggers (looking directly at Aravosis) have become monsters in their quest to prop up Obama by bringing down Hillary. Americablog has done more to divide the party (at least those who read political blogs) than Hillary ever has.
I cannot agree more with the part @64 said about John at AmericaBlog. God, the incredible amount of hatred that is generated on AmericaBlog is disgusting and makes me embarrassed to be a Democrat. I won't be sending AmericaBlog a single cent, and I hope that his awful Republican attitude will just goes away. It is blogs like his that has seriously soured this election for me more than anything else. And on that note, GO OBAMA 08!

Posted by Bobby Rayette | May 9, 2008 12:12 AM

Maybe YOU are hung up on the sexist issue a little bit too much. I agree with Fnarf, for once. Maybe she is called those things because she comes off that way, NOT because she is a woman.

Take your displaced anger somewhere else, and really work on those resentment issues, huh?

Posted by Homo Will | May 9, 2008 6:51 AM


Huh? Some gay leaning political blog sours you on the election more than a former First Lady and Democratic presidential canditate saying that she is the candidate of "hard-working Americans, white Americans"?

Posted by mirror | May 9, 2008 7:27 AM

Erica, you are absolutely right. This election has brought out the misogynists in full force, and while I'm not surprised I'm disappointed.

This election has also brought out the racists, but not to the same degree--probably because sexism is much more accepted than racism in our society.

To the (men, mostly) who don't get it, it is possible to criticize the reprehensible behaviors of powerful women without making sexist attacks. Hillary Clinton is cynical, divisive, willing to trade in race-baiting bullshit, and out of touch with her actual chances of victory. You can say all that without resorting to calling her a bitch, making fun of her appearance, talking about her powers of castration, or whatever fucking crap is warping your minds from the inside out. Obama takes the high road most of the time, why can't you?

Posted by Cascadian | May 9, 2008 10:23 AM

"TeresaINPa says:

Ugh, I am so disgusted. My party is about to nominate, through nothing but stubborn ignorance, a man who I think is less qualified to run this country than even George Bush was.
Forget policy, do you really want a president who flips off his opponent and does an imitation of some asshole rapper because he got some tough questions in a debate? Do you really want a president who has never finished one office before running for the next?"

Oh feminist commentators are so refined and respectful and not racists!

Posted by daniel | May 9, 2008 10:34 AM

My question is this - have Violet and Erica only read feminist, liberal, or Democratic blogs? Have they not seen the racist, hateful, bigoted, and violent comments about and addressed to Senator Obama? Do they not recognize the racism in a lot of what Senator Clinton has been saying lately? Have they not heard the tone and the coded (yet transparent) language she uses?

What makes you think that Hillary Clinton is ENTITLED to the nomination or the job? There are far more people in this country who won't vote for Obama because he's black than won't vote for Clinton because she's a woman.

I feel really, and genuinely sorry for the plight of white womanhood in this country. The burdens of having endured slavery, and Jim Crowe laws, and lynching, and discrimination. I hate that they had to work cleaning the homes of black women who had the luxury of staying home, while their husbands worked low-paying menial jobs. I can't come close to understanding the pain white women must feel knowing their children will have much harder lives in this country than their black counterparts. The inferior schools, the inferior housing, the crime in their environments and just the daily stress of being a hated minority in a culture that tells them everything about them is bad.

I understand your anger. How dare this uppity negro not know his place and choose to run for president when it was Hillary's turn. And how DARE the American people vote for the candidate they believed in the most, rather than recognize that this white women is indeed superior to this black man. It's obvious that the cult of Obama has interfered with the thinking of American voters.

I'm sorry Violet. I'm sorry Erica. I'm sorry you have had to endure so much. So, if Obama gets the nomination, by all means vote for any caucasian alternative you choose. How much more damage could they do in four years - until Ste. Hillary can run again?

Posted by Stella Presley | May 9, 2008 11:33 AM

Oh my god, I can't believe how unsupportive these comments are! Christ, Erica, I've been vaguely following the whole slog community dynamics ("Erica as only Hillary supporter"), but I had no idea it was this bad. Pretty depressing, actually... no wonder Hillary had to fight so hard. At this point, I'm just impressed that Hillary came as far as she did. Which isn't a sentiment I'd have predicted a year ago, when I thought she was bound to come out on top in a race based on qualifications. I'm pretty damn disappointed in this country.
If you're in NYC in the next few weeks, I'll buy you a drink. Great, great post.

Posted by Katie | May 9, 2008 1:13 PM

What's clear from Violet and her posters and her poster's blogs (yeah I should be working) is that there's a cult of Hillary at least as bad as any cult of Obama. They're all for McCain (!) or a third party now. They're incredibly angry that a "less qualified" Obama even RAN against Clinton (yeah I know the hypocrisy is rank.) They're also pretty upset that Obama apparently said nice things about Roberts before voting against his confirmation.

They're angry all right. But it's clear that their anger blends smoothly between anger at sexism and just plain being pissed off that their candidate, their issues, their gender didn't win. They're really pissed that apparently blacks are more powerful than women in the democratic party. Some of them are interested in allying with Latinos in some sort of feminist race war.

p.s. What really would have helped Clinton is if there would have been some sort of literacy test for primary voters.

Posted by daniel | May 9, 2008 2:33 PM

Brava, Violet.

Count me among the Hillary supporters who won't vote in November if Obama is the nominee.

I'm sorry, but there is a point at which you have to say 'enough is enough.' I refuse to participate in an exercise that is so contrary to my values. Call me a "Vote Dodger" (as opposed to a draft dodger).

Am I actually worse off with a Democratic victory that affirms sexism than I would be with a Democratic loss that shows sexism is political poison?

The truth is that I, personally, am worse off with the former. This is ugly, but the truth is I'll be fine under a McCain administration if it should come to that. I should be able to surf the recession and keep myself out of any trouble that would necessitate invoking my constitutional rights. And frankly, comments like those from Jeff and the random assortment of morons here who just don't get it make me even less interested in showing concern for the issues near and dear to their hearts.

With a Democratic loss in November, maybe, just maybe in 2012 our political leaders will take women candidates and women voters a bit more seriously.

In short - screw you guys; I'm staying home.

Posted by Ciccina | May 12, 2008 1:00 PM

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