Women Will No Longer Be Denied – by MadamaB

We Made Him Listen to Us!

We Made Him Listen to Us!

It’s happening – the promised awakening that resulted from the misogyny directed at both Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin during the election of 2008. Women are realizing that they are a force to be reckoned with, and that their power lies in standing strong to support other women.

Just look at Barack Obama’s executive order, signed on March 11, which created a White House Council on Women and Girls. Many Presidents have had similar councils, including Presidents Clinton, Kennedy and Roosevelt. This council was not part of the President’s original plans; but womens’ groups have been lobbying him to make this happen for several months. And lo and behold, it did!

Do I think that a lot of good will be done by this council? I have to say, I’m not too optimistic, considering that the person who’s leading it is Valerie Jarrett, whose only qualifications appear to be her long friendship with the President. Putting her in charge is similar to putting Dick Cheney in charge of the White House Committee on Terrorism, which had not one single meeting prior to 9/11. And although WomenCount and other organizations wanted the Council to be a Cabinet-level organization, it isn’t.

But in a way, it really doesn’t matter. What is key here is that Obama felt pressured into doing something, even if it appears to be more of a token gesture at this point. And why? Because women are flexing their political muscles, and doesn’t it feel good?

Besides which, there is no telling what will happen once Ms. Jarrett gets in a room with other women. I believe that every woman has a deep, undeniable connection with every other woman, which our patriarchal society does its best to suppress. But let’s face it: when a woman looks at another woman, she KNOWS that woman. On a basic level, that woman has gone through the same things she has; has suffered and triumphed over the same things, whether they be physical or emotional: menstruation, which can be horrible for many women; first love; losing her virginity; facing up to sexism at home, at school, and at work. That awareness is in Valerie Jarrett, too; although it would have been much better if she had been a true believer like Eleanor Roosevelt, President Kennedy’s choice to head up his council, there is no telling what she could become.

And speaking of becoming, it looks like Hillary Clinton might still become President someday. Seems she may have kept her political future alive by accepting the Secretary of State position.

When she agreed to serve as Barack Obama’s secretary of state, there was some question about what it would mean for Hillary Clinton’s political future – and more specifically, if she’d even have one.

Outside of the early days of the republic, secretaries of state do not have a track record of advancing to the presidency, or to any other prestigious elected posts. And they often don’t even last for a full presidential term, let alone two, meaning that Clinton risked finding herself out of a job – and without the public relevancy of a Senate seat to fall back on – long before the Democratic presidential nomination next comes open, presumably in 2016.

It seemed unfathomable that the ambitious Clinton, far too young (61) to be excluded from ’16 conversations, would do anything that might seriously jeopardize the possibility of running for president again some day, but already, less than two months after taking her new job, the logic behind Clinton’s move is coming into focus: A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released last week found that 59 percent of voters now have a favorable opinion of Clinton, with only 22 percent viewing her unfavorably – “an all-time high” for her, as the newspaper put it.

The article is entitled “Hillary 2016!”, but I say, “Hillary 2012!” I think assuming that Obama will be President for the next eight years is taking a little too much for granted. And should Our Girl indeed run in 2012, I have the perfect opponent for Hillary: Governor Sarah Palin!

If the Republican Party gets a grip and realizes that their love affair with Bobby Jindal is not reciprocated by the base of their constituents, they will realize that Governor Palin is the only candidate they have that has generated any excitement whatsoever in many years. She is, quite frankly, their only shot in 2012. If they take it, and if Obama implodes the way I think he will, then we may just have two strong, powerful and charismatic women running for President.

Before the Great Awakening of 2008, this would not have been possible. But now, we’re seriously considering a truly historic election – two women, representing both major parties. What would that race look like? Would there be fewer dirty tricks, more focus on the issues? Would the media try to destroy them both, or pick one over the other, or would bloviating misogynists like Keith Olbermann simply shut down, like the robots on Star Trek (the original) whose logic circuits were blown by an unacceptable paradigm?

Who knows what the future may bring, in these uncertain economic times, and with threats from abroad seeming to multiply every day? But one thing I believe is certain:

Women will no longer be denied.

And that’s a really, really good thing.

Cross-posted at Oooh, Nuance!

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Women Will No Longer Be Denied – by MadamaB

  1. I too am optimistic regarding the advancement of women’s power coming out of the 2008 election. Word is that there will be a vastly larger female candidate pool in future congressional elections. North Carolina elected its first female Governor. But there are new obstacles.

    With NARAL, NOW and other groups who kowtowed to the misogynist in chief in the name of political expediency, the new lesson is that women must form new institutions, and fast. Luckily that has already begun. Women Count, New Agenda, and 51 Percent have arisen to take the mantle of advancing the agenda of women’s rights in America. Let’s hope they grow stronger and come to suplant those organizations that are so willing to bend to the patriarchy that has reinforced the glass ceiling, despite all attempts to bring it down.

    Go forth and kick ass, ladies, and take us men with you!

  2. Shtuey – what a lovely comment. Thank you!

    Although I consider myself a radical feminist, I feel that men can and should be our partners in this effort. I know a lot of men, yourself included, who are very sympathetic and supportive of our efforts, and I honor and salute them for rising above their societal programming in order to do so.

  3. It’s just simple logic. Men have a lousy track record. It’s about time we heard from the majority.

  4. While I think it is great Bambi formed that council I find no real sincerity in his actions (I believe that Bambi has an almost psychotic hate of women vis a vis his book, not being at his mother’s bedside when he died and the horrible story about his grandmother and the panhandler.) especially in light of who is running it….Valerie Jarrett seems to have no experience in this matter beyond her friendship with Bambi.

    (I know from personal experience that Bambi has an abandonment issue….the affects are disastrous without therapy!)

    Bambi is not my husband who is the second male feminist I have known in my personal life, the first was my father, another Navy veteran…(shtuey you know how I feel about your support, you are the third man in my life! and give me encouragement.)

    By the way I was always a radical feminist and still am…and the age of nearly 50 still protesting and giving rousing speeches.

    As for Hillary, I will disagree with you. If she keeps with up with the anti-Israel works she is doing including the $1 million dollar scholarship to Palestinians including grants so they come to our country to go to school she could very well lose Jewish support in this country….now we have pledged $901 million dollars to the Palestinians….

    I liked your piece. Very well written and delivered with passion. I admire that. We can agree to disagree and still like each other’s post.

  5. SFIndie

    I’m afraid I’m not feeling very optimistic about this White House Council on Women and Girls. Obama felt pressured to do something so what did he do? He threw women a bone, patted us on the head, and told us to now go lay down and leave him alone. It’s another “sweetie” moment. And women like Kim Gandy (who does not represent feminism in any way, shape, or form as far as I’m concerned) sigh and bat their eyelashes and say how wonderful he is for the fleeting attention given.

    And where is the younger generation? By younger, I mean women like my four nieces, ages 21, 21, 35, and 37, each an avid Obama supporter. Not a one cognizant of, or caring about, the misogyny and sexism The Pretender and his campaign expressed during the past 2 years. I’m in my late 50s, and I feel like it’s back to square one with equal rights for women. And I’m tired. It takes all my energy to keep a roof over my head and food on the table (golden years? retirement? just fantasies now). Where’s the next generation of women willing to fight for equality?

    You wrote that you “believe that every woman has a deep, undeniable connection with every other woman…”. I thought so too at one time, but after the past election I no longer agree. Look at how some women treated Hillary and Sarah! And how long can we blame a patriarchal society for the way women treat themselves and other women? If we are ever to take back our power, we have to start accepting responsibility for our actions and our choices. We have to hold each other, and the men in our lives, accountable for our, and their, behavior.

    So, I’m not feeling overly optimistic that this President gives a flying rat’s a$$ about women. We’re just sweeties to him.

    I’m looking forward to 2012.

  6. I am in total agreement with SF. The One acknowledged women and now we can all go back to sleep, and as for circling the wagons and not attacking other women – I have no hope that will ever happen. sorry….

  7. I understand what you’re all sating. I couldn’t agree more about Obama and his hatred of women. I write about it all the time.

    But let me ask you this. Once you’ve decided that nothing’s ever going to change, where do you go from there?

    As for saying women will never support other women, that’s ignoring PUMA entirely. Why do you think a lot of us voted McPalin? And what about the New Agenda?

    I choose hope deliberately, because without it, no action is possible for me.

  8. My philosophy is that when you are dealing with an entity that is completely unresponsive to your needs and desires, the best thing to do is to turn, walk away, and create new entities. When they achieve critical mass, change happens. That’s what these new groups seem to be about.

    Forget the administration, Congress, and the rest. The real work is going to happen outside of that, and when ready the tipping point will be reached. That’s change I can believe in.

    The more power we give them by saying “you must change this” the more reason they have to withhold their hand. We can take that away and make them come to us by no longer playing their games.

  9. SFIndie

    MadamaB –

    I am not completely without hope. It’s just a bit buried right now under the emotional toll of the past year. And I am surrounded by Obots everywhere, so I sometimes give in to the pessimism (and a bit of despair).

    And yes, there are many women and men out there who are ready to create change; The New Agenda and 51% are perfect examples. And I hope, fervently, that these and other entities quickly reach the critical mass that Shtuey speaks of, because that’s when they/we will have the power to force change.

    I also agree with Shtuey that the change must happen outside of the administration and Congress. This White House Council on Women and Girls was created by people who have no interest in women and girls within an entity that promotes misogyny and sexism. I still maintain it’s a smoke screen offered to placate women while doing nothing.

    So, I will once again find that place within me that can hope. And I’ll start the fight for equality again, even if many of those I am fighting for don’t choose to recognize there’s still so much TO fight for.

    But I won’t give accolades to this administration for their pat on the head to sweeties everywhere, and I’ll never excuse the media for their hate-fest of Hillary and Sarah and, therefore, all women. And I will hold accountable women who play the sexism/misogyny game because they may be the biggest obstacle of all.

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