Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Where do women go from here?

This ended up being a rather long comment left on Jill's blog, that I decided was post worthy. One of the reasons I decided to join and support the New Agenda is because I believe we as a gender can do more to help all of us, that there are key issues that many of us believe in that transcend beyond the mere labeling of a party affiliation.

Women should support other women, it’s the main reason why there are not more women in office and some celebrate a mere 1% increase in DC. We don’t support our gender. The whole concept of women supporting women is what organizations like “She should run” are about, or at least what they were supposed to be about.

You can be a feminist and not support abortion, despite those that claim it is not so, it is. Groups like the New Agenda have been created for this specific purpose, to focus on how to improve the lives of women and their political impact/power while not allowing the issue of abortion which has been used to divide women for years to become an issue.

Some women did see that even a conservative like Palin would break the glass ceiling and make it easier for other women. It’s pure hypocrisy to not accept the fact that for some race was their primary motivation in supporting the presidency of Barack Obama but to ignore the fact that some women out there viewed gender the same as others did race.

Ironically some of the very same women who fought for us to have the right to vote, did not support abortion…While some would like to forget that historical tidbit it shows those of us who look at the real long term goals of having an equal representation of our gender in elected office that reflects the diversity of all women not just liberal pro-abortion women benefits us all.

It’s why I have pushed for all women to blog, not just liberal women or those who share my beliefs. It’s why I support all women who want to seek office, it does not necessarily mean that they will automatically get my vote, but I’d much rather have more women in office, no matter their party affiliation.

We as women have the opportunity to move forward or we can continue to allow and assist men to hold us to a different standard, to bash our gender as a whole and to continue to tell us to be good little girls and wait our turn. We can continue to allow abortion to be used as the dividing issue, and we can pretend that our party is better when it comes to women’s issues. We can as women write we “abhor” another woman not because she is some evil monster but because she has a different political ideology, one that a good portion of this nation also holds, which I guess suggests they should all be “abhorred” as well. We can continue pretend that we for some reason are better than “those women” and we are the only ones worthy of being elected.

As you can guess, I’m opting to be one of those who wants to move forward. I am realistic enough to know that the only reason there are not more women in power, from both parties, is because we as women have failed them. Considering how we treat our own, it’s not surprising.


Barga said...

Women should not support women simply because they are women. You should look at the candidates, not the gender/race/religion/barganess/etc.

Barga said...

forgot to check the box

Lisa Renee said...

I'm going to disagree with you because there are a variety of ways we can give support. As I wrote it doesn't always have to mean you would vote for the person, especially if they disagreed with you on a large number of political ideological issues.

How women need to support other women to me is more of a basic issue, believing that we as a gender should demand and expect that women candidates no matter their political affiliation will be treated the same as male candidates as far as media treatment, as far equal expectations as to what is deemed to be qualified or not qualified, etc.

Women are not represented in our government both state and nationally from either party because women of both parties and independents as well have actually made it more difficult.

The African American community has done a much better job than women have when it comes to rallying behind a person who at times may not support all of what they believe in but who they share a common bond with in this past election. The discussion began with "was Barack Obama black enough" with some concern in the black community that he would not be a champion of some of the issues they supported. Yet, many voted for him anyway, for them race was the primary issue.

Using Ohio as an example, Blackwell was not able to garner that type of support, had he won as governor he would have been the first African American to achieve that position. Which means this also demonstrates that it takes more than just race, just as it would take more than just gender.

That said, if you operate from a basic belief standpoint that you want our elected representation to be more in line with what our make up is as a nation as far as race or gender, then there are ways you can support those goals, even when you may disagree with a candidate, you can demand and expect that they not be automatically discounted or treated differently based on their race or gender.

Jason R. said...

Lisa Renee - I couldn't agree with you more had I said it myself. Too many bloggers, and too many blog readers, tear Sarah Palin apart precisely because she is a conservative woman.

How can you think that men are going to support women in the future, when women don't support their own gender. It is extremely disappointing to see so many rush to attack Palin simply because she is conservative.

As you stated, support does not mean your vote. If you didn't agree with John McCain and Sarah Palin than you should not have voted for them. But you also need not attack them in a way that you would not attack a man. We could generate quite a long list of things that females in the media and female bloggers attacked Palin on that simply would not have been brought up had she not been a woman.

Furthermore, get over it. They lost. Why the continued attack? Let her go back to Alaska and continue to be wildly popular like she was before.

Thanks again for this post!

Barga said...

are you telling me that men should support other men simply because they are men?

Jason R. said...

I'm saying that women should support women by not trying to tear them down based on questions that would never get asked of a man.

I don't think Lisa Renee was saying all women should vote for women.

Barga said...

i have never seen the question "panties or thongs"

Jason R. said...

Clinton was an idiot to ever answer that question.

Lisa Renee said...

Barga I wrote in my initial post:

it does not necessarily mean that they will automatically get my vote,

Then in the comments here I also wrote:

As I wrote it doesn't always have to mean you would vote for the person, especially if they disagreed with you on a large number of political ideological issues.

Men do typically vote for men, there are more men in office compared to the number of men that are of voting age than women. That's the whole point of this, men have controlled the government in part because women have helped to elect men at times over women.

Our system that is supposed to be "equal" is far from it, however, rather than be like some feminists and blame men for this? I realize the blame lies with women first.

Why did women get the right to vote? They banded together, even though they did not agree on issues such as abortion. They focused on their original goal, naively believing that women would continue to focus on women, to make sure that we did have an equal voice in our government.

Lisa Renee said...

I'd also point out while you have not seen "panties or thongs" you have also not seen it suggested that a father with young children can not be president or any elected office for that matter.

Jason R. said...

or stating and/or implying something about her parenting skills because her daughter got pregnant.

thinking she is a religious because she speaks of her beliefs.

dissecting every word she says. I mean come on...Obama said there are 57 states.

Jason R. said...

And what about the shirts that called her a "MILF"?

Barga said...

well, she is one

That said, are you seriously contending that what a small portion of the population says means that we are inherintly harming womens chances?

What about the Terrorist and nigger running? Yep, that is what a lot of people thought of Obama, yet I would argue that he was not harmed in the long run by it

Jason R. said...

You might say because he is a man and unfortunately this is still a game dominated by men.

Barga said...

Don't get me wrong, I am all for women, blacks, jews, muslims, gays, etc. getting into the game. My issue is merely in caring about what they are, not what they will do

Anonymous said...

Here is another example of an Ohio blogger obsessed with Palin even after the election is over.

Lisa Renee said...

Barga, that can't happen unless there is a basic system of support for women candidates, which does not exist. It's great to say you want to see more women, minorities, etc., in office but when the system from both parties creates the continual scenario where the majority of time it is not only men, but men who have been in power for quite some time or when it's just a few women and all that happens is they play revolving chairs? We don't move towards any real diversity.

Barga said...

women vote more then men, so i contend that your women are harming women
don't see the issue then

See, I look at pure democracy, the whim of the masses is what we should run under. I believe that if women are not elected, it is because the opponent is better, not because they are male
That might by my issue

Lisa Renee said...

Pure democracy does not exist, who runs for office and who does not run for office the majority of the time is not decided by the voters, it's decided by the backroom political games in both parties.

If an environment is allowed/created/promoted where women are questioned to the point where their parenting ability is a campaign issue, how many women do you really think would be encouraged to even consider it?

Then have to go up against the old boy's network that exists in both parties that women who know how the system work? Help keep other women out of office.

So, women don't support other women at the basic level and other women who actually know how the system works? Help keep women out of power. At times I wonder if it is their ego, where they actually don't want other women to be in power or to be in the media or to be any type of competition for them.

If it was a simple matter of the best candidate was the one each party put forward? We'd live in a totally different world...

Jill said...

This comment from Lisa Renee has defined me since McCain made his selection:

"As I wrote it doesn't always have to mean you would vote for the person, especially if they disagreed with you on a large number of political ideological issues."

Gov. Palin and I disagree not only on a large # but on nearly every single issue.

I will also note that nearly two years ago I wrote about how I was sure that Clinton wouldn't be the top of the ticket because too many people would never vote for her. And I was in that group until the Ohio primary, when I did vote for her.

Thanks for the link, Anonymous - my traffic is in total freefall - which is kind of fascinating to watch. I'm finding that the fewer people who read my blog, the more I like to write.

Jason - a couple of times you've left comments telling me that my criticism was biased. I responded at length both times - once had to do with my analysis of the special needs proposal and the other was just a couple of days ago. You never responded back so what do you want me to take away from that? That you are just shooting darts at me and what I write??

As Real Clear Politics and Gallup conclude today, Palin is a "divisive" figure. I'm not immune from reacting like a lot of other people. And my blog is a place where I've expressed my reactions.

I'm really not sure what you would expect. I write about David Brennan similarly, I write about my own state rep Josh Mandel the same way, I write about Kevin DeWine like that too.

I'm passionate about several topics. I'm not sure why you would want someone to be anything else.

Jason R. said...

Jill - When I first started reading blogs, which was really less than a year ago, yours was one the first that I came across and I really enjoyed it. It quickly became one of my favorites and I found myself going back several times a day to see what you had posted.

I liked your style of writing and I liked the passion behind your writing. I thought that it was an informative blog that was fun at the same time.

But since all of this with Gov. Palin, I just don't want to read the all-Palin all the time attacks. I thought it would end when the election was finished, but it hasn't. It just frustrates and disappoints me.

I agree 100% with Lisa Renee about women supporting other women, even those with which you do not agree. As a man who realizes that women are extremely underrepresented in all levels of government, I like to do what I can to lend my support as well. One way I can do that is by not questioning or attacking a female politician on issues that would not be raised were she a man.

Lisa Renee said...

The election is over, so it's pointless to go through all of what Palin has stated to demonstrate that I'm sure that there a few things she supports that you would Jill, that said, we as women can continue to demonstrate why women, especially mothers should never run for office or focus on what's next.

This election has not made it easier for women to seek the office of president, it's made it more difficult, for both Democrats and Republicans. I find that unfortunate. I also find it unfortunate that so many women have attacked Palin on things that they would not demand from men. Many have demonstrated that the double standard that we complain about men applying to us? Really isn't the fault of men...

I feared when Clinton ran that we as women would be our own worst enemy. We were, and with Palin the only thing that really changed was the level of vitrol. I've said repeatedly and I stand by the statement that we can never expect men to support us when we are not even willing to support each other. If we can not demonstrate we believe in a basic level of respect and human decency then we will never achieve anything. We will continue to be used by both political parties and by men, some of whom sit back and let us do their dirty work.

How many years have promises been made that have not been kept? How many years have been wasted blaming men when the reality is that the reason why we are not treated equally is because we continue to allow ourselves to not be treated as equals.

We have the votes, we have the consumer power, we have the numbers. We just don't have the guts...

Jill said...

Jason- How can I argue at all with what you've written there? I can't. I am only sorry that the way in which I've written about what concerns me has turned you off to the point of having been unable to write what you just did here sooner - or at least as specifically and directly to me.

I've felt the same way about some blogs but have just chosen to stop reading them or only read on a feed or whatever. I write what I write with that expectation of readers in mind - but maybe I should be more considerate. I promise to think about that, but I honestly can't guarantee what it would or will change - but, at least it will be in my mind more. Thank you for writing here what you did. I really appreciate it.

Jill said...

Lisa Renee,

I'm definitely left of center and Gov. Palin is definitely right of center. The alignment is minimal so I'm feeling okay when I say I differ with her on "nearly every single issue." Even on Israel, she is far too hawkish for me.

I don't see what's transpired as leading to either of these or only these two alternatives, as you write:

"...we as women can continue to demonstrate why women, especially mothers should never run for office or focus on what's next."

I respect what you believe to have happened, and the reasons why you believe what's happened and happening, as you see it, has in fact happened.

But I don't agree with your conclusions, I just don't.

I don't think it has to do with having the guts to support every single woman 100% of the time. For example, EMILY's List supported a horrific candidate in Tennessee which they've come to regret, all because she was a pro-choice woman. You can read more about it here if you're not familiar with what happened.

Again, that you, Jason or any other reader has expectations for what I write and how I write about it, is a good thing - bloggers often talk in terms of being self-correcting and using free speech to battle free speech.

But I'm going to assume, unless you say otherwise, that as far as this issue goes, you feel unable to respect my opinion on this matter. And that's your decision.

In doing so, however, I'm not sure how you aren't committing the very same thing - not supporting women simply because we are all women - by choosing to continuously point out that I don't think that we vote for women just because they're women while you think that we do need to vote for women just because they're women.

As for standing up for women, Gov. Palin included, I believe that the McCain campaign itself treated her in a horribly sexist manner - and I wrote about that. Just yesterday, I wrote a very clear comment on Buckeye State Blog because they were completely savaging Capri Cafaro, whom we know I have some serious reservations about.

But, again, I never have believed and I don't believe now that we vote for the women just because she's a woman and I do not believe that following that belief is the only reason, as you've written, that women do not hold more of our elected offices.

I appreciate the space for this dialogue but I think, essentially, we represent two very sizeable contingents, neither of which hold unfounded or ludicrous beliefs.

Barga said...

Question, are you basically saying:
sign the petition to get them on the ticket, then don't vote for them if you don't want them?

Anonymous said...


I must say that I find your post rather compelling. For the first time, I think that I'm starting to understand your point of view. I get it, and I have a story to support your point of view. Prior to the primary, I went out on a date with a girl who told me that she didn't believe a woman could be president because she believed that women were too emotional to make rational decisions. I, of course, disagreed with her and needless to say did not call again. I was actually offended by her comment, as a man (even though most women would be disgusted by the fact that I did not call again).

You are right, women are the only thing holding women back at this point. Men have moved on, adjusted, and are willing to accept women. Perhaps this is the biggest reason I have not understood your point of view, either that or the fact that you took it out on President-Elect Obama.

To be sure, you recently stated that you have no respect for me, and I have no respect for you. To be sure, I have a ton of respect for you, but I've lost some respect for you in your opposition to Obama. This man did not ask the media to take his side, though they did. I think you have a disrespect for the media which you took out on him and me. I thought you were unfair to him. Just look at all of your posts during the general election. How many were negative towards Obama and not at all negative towards McCain...all of them. Just try to take an objective look at yourself.

I respect you. I think what you do is great. But if Sarah Palin is the first woman to become POTUS, we are all in trouble.


Lisa Renee said...

Barga, I'm saying that would be one way, there are other ways but I would support signing a petition for someone that I was not necessarily going to vote for so that others would have that choice.

Kurt, I lost respect for you because of the way you've treated me, based on a series of attacks here and on Glass City that were based on a wrong assumption as well as some comments you made that were uncalled for.

I've never hidden what my motivation was or what drives me, especially here. On Glass City, it's not so much about my own personal opinion. I've written many posts and comments in the past about personal responsibility, extending it to this issue when it comes to gender. Believing deeply that we as women can either be that cliche, part of the problem or part of the solution. I've seen too many women become part of the problem, hence it's unfair to blame men solely for the position we find ourselves in. We allow sexism to happen, we allow women to not be encouraged to seek office, we allow other women to act just as badly as some of the men out there that we rail against.

We as women can either stop being so hypocritical, or we can continue to pretend that it's all out of our hands. Just being a woman is not enough of a reason to vote for someone, but it's also not enough of a reason to not vote for someone...

Jill said...

"Just being a woman is not enough of a reason to vote for someone,..."

I did not get the sense that you believed that, before reading your comment just before this one that had that phrase in it.

"but it's also not enough of a reason to not vote for someone..."

If the candidate being a woman is the only reason someone wouldn't vote for a candidate, I agree completely.

Lisa Renee said...

Jill, I've always been consistent in stating how I felt. I did not pretend that it was any different for voters to be voting for Obama just because he was black was any different from women voting based merely on gender. I did not agree with either as a personal action but I was not going to diss women for feeling as if that was wrong since it had been lauded that it was okay to do that if it was related to race. I've covered this extensively because it is a very simple, "if it's wrong, it's wrong". If it is wrong to vote based on race, then it is wrong to vote based on gender, but the reality is it was not only acceptable to vote based on race, it was expected...It was expected that blacks would vote for Obama and that some whites would not, merely based on race. It was acceptable to accuse someone of being racist if they did not vote for Obama, members of our party not only allowed this, but encouraged it.

That said, if candidates were similar and/or met some of your other personal political goals, and you were faced between a man and a woman, if you truly believed in the benefits of having a more diverse electoral representation, it would mean that you would vote for the woman or the minority candidate depending on what your goals were.

Bashing Palin just because she is a woman and treating her with total disrespect at a higher level than what has been done to male candidates is wrong. It's even more wrong to me when it's being done by women. It's counter productive and demonstrates that we as a gender are the real problem. We as Democrats allowed this to be done to Clinton, women who supported Obama even joined in the Clinton bashing.

We did not join together as a gender and do anything about the media coverage. Sure, a few of us blogged about it, but we had the power to send a message that it was wrong. Not only did we not send that message? We demonstrated we didn't even really believe in it, because few had the courage to stand up for their convictions when it was being done to Palin. They caught hell for it too, from their own...

Jill said...

Lisa Renee,

Could more people have spoken out about sexism in the media, throughout the course of the 2008 election cycle, in regard to Hillary, Palin and any other female candidate? I'm sure you are right that there are more who could have and that those who did could have done more.

I believe part of the problem was the McCain campaign's treatment of Palin and Palin's refusal to address how sexist it was. Saying that she chose to accept it doesn't cut it with me - it was sexist treatment of her nonetheless, treating her in ways they'd never treat a male candidate. Campbell Brown's monologue is one of the most memorable callings out of that sexism that I can think of.

However, when a candidate sends the signal that it's okay for the people who support her to treat her in a sexist way, it sure doesn't make it any easier for anyone else to say, "Hey! Stop that! It's sexist!" because Palin herself refused to - for whatever reason - act behind the scenes in such a way that showed that she was being treated precisely as any male candidate would have been.

I read what you're writing as saying that we can't speak out against sexism effectively unless we also supported Sarah Palin. That may be a wrong interpretation - I know you'll correct me if it is - but I do not equate calling something sexist with then also having to support Sarah Palin or any generic female candidate.

If your point is only that women failed women because women didn't call out sexism enough when Palin was a victim of it, I'm sure you could find a critical mass of women that didn't write about sexism as it was levied against Sarah Palin.

If your point is also that women failed women because by not voting for Sarah Palin because she is a woman and needs to be supported and so women continue to dig their own grave, I do not agree with that.

The fact that Palin allowed the sexism from w/in the McCain camp shouldn't matter insofar as any of us highlight sexism. But it sure sends a mixed message.

Barga said...

While I agree that we need to get more women, and younger people, and non-whites into the game, we need to make sure we are doing it because they are worth it, not because they are that person

That is my onlt concern

Anonymous said...


With respect, I don't think I've ever assumed anything wrongfully. I'll willfully acknowledge the possibility, but let's be honest here. You once told me that you had a feeling that Obama couldn't win, but he did. That you trusted your feelings over my rational thought. I thought in 2004 that Obama would be the next president, I backed him, and I was right. You said to me more recently that you didn't think it was possible. I can't find the quote, but I remember it. You have time and time again told me you know more about politics than me. I would highly question that if I were you. I know shit you wouldn't dream of knowing. The bottom line is that it is not a pure process. It is ugly, it is painful, and it is deceiving... despite your point of view. It all comes down to Woody Hayes football...those who have the better ground game shall win. I predict a Wilkowski landslide in 2009. How do I know, because he's already set the foundation.


Lisa Renee said...

Kurt, I never predicted who would win once the primary was over to you. On the Ohio bloggers list I did state I thought Obama would win. What I stated during the primary is what I still believe, that Clinton would have had a better chance based on a set of assumptions that did not include the media not asking questions. It was possible for McCain to win, he didn't...Those like you and Twila Page who wanted to gloat on it as well as imply I was racist were not right. The dynamics changed and no one predicted the Wall Street issue or what the media would do to Palin. They effectively helped this presidential race much more than anyone anticipated. It was not a given Obama was going to win, considering how much money he spent in Ohio and received less votes than Kerry? All I ever said was it would be close.

I do know more about politics than you do that's not an insult, it's based on hours and hours of work and experience. I've been doing this for years. If I pretended I knew more about the law than you did? I'd be wrong. As I've seen time and time again, you go for the insults and try to take things personally that were not even directed at you. Hence the whole attack bs once you disagreed with my not believing the way the media, especially our local media handled the campaign was right and not believing that Obama was going to follow through on his promises.

That's already starting...which means I could be like you and start pointing out how right I was. I'm not like you though, and I don't find it necessary to make everything about me, this always has been and will be much bigger than that.