I like to think I am the kind of person who pays attention, who reads and listens to a variety of media.... who doesn't take for granted the daily newsreaders thirty second soundbites of information. But, apparently, even as diligent as I thought I was, I missed something big. Some really awful, really egregious, really unnecessary and totally retro comments made about Hillary Clinton by "prominent commentators" who, apparently, should be way less prominent.
I thank Judith Warner for first bringing this to my http://warner.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/05/woman-in-charge-women-who-charge/ in her June 5 column, which I was, sorry again, late reading. Then, today, the New York Times its own self came out with a story, finally, on the sexism http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/13/us/politics/13women.html?th&emc=th (Only a week later) And the Bill Press Show on Air America was on board with it this morning. I would also like to thank Katie Couric for speaking out, again somewhat late I think, but at least she said something.
I won't dignify any of the makers of those comments by spreading them around further. But needless to say feminism hasn't made the strides I had hoped by now or I had thought by now, the strides that made me a little lazy in keeping up the anger and the indignation that I should have held onto.
I guess more than thirty years of radical feminism has left me weary. Especially when I see young teenagers (including my own daughter) falling into the same traps we did in the seventies, before we discovered our own power, and I watch young women out in the work place who have no idea that all their benefits came at our expense and our hard work, and especially when I watch men, even smart, good men dismiss the idea of sexism in the media has old hat.
Apparently it is not old hat. It is old HATE. Men still feel threatened by powerful, intelligent women who want to do things that are, well, unseemly, like run for president.
I don't think Hillary's campaign was completely derailed by the media's comments, or even by the mainstream media's focusing on her cleavage and her laugh and her pantsuits and her husband, but it sure didn't help. It didn't help the Americans (and there plenty of them, God bless them) who still get most of their info from one channel at 6:30 at night, or watch Fox and think it really is fair and balanced instead of faux and biased. It didn't help because the media has made it okay to make fun of smart, interesting women for years and apparently we continue to be fair game.
I do apologize for being a little weary and a little tired of keeping up and missing some real important stuff out there. I wish we could just sit back and be sure of equality and lack of prejudice and fairness. But we can't. We know that now. We have always known it. So I ask all of you women out there, you who have worked in the trenches and made major inroads: throw off your exhaustion, have a cup of tea and fight your weariness. We have a lot of work to do.
Causes Lisa Solod Supports
Temple House of Israel, Staunton, Virginia, CASA