Monday, August 04, 2008

Dear Geraldine Ferraro: Shut up

And that goes for all the whining PUMAs who are still sore that La Hill didn't get the nomination. Ever since she pulled out of the campaign, they've been doing their best imitation of petulant second-graders. As in: "WAAAAAAAAAH! No fair! I wanted Hillary to win! I'm voting for McCain! Waaaaaaaaaah!" Act your age, will you please?

The really childish and offensive part is that these women are attempting to speak for American women (and, more specifically, American feminists) as a whole. From Politico:

Pamela Sumners, who directs the Missouri chapter of the abortion-rights group NARAL, added that Clinton “is now seen as the reigning dean of the women’s movement. It’s sort of Moses gets all the way to the mountain and doesn’t get to the promised land — and I think there would be people really angry about that.”

Excuse me. La Hill didn't reinvent herself as the avatar of American womanhood until rather late in her campaign, when she realized that The Uppity Negro Who Cannot Be Named was closer to those coveted primary votes than she was. Ms. Sumners and the PUMAs have let themselves be played like plastic kazoos. It's the most embarrassing spectacle since Courtney Love fooled rock fans into thinking she was some sort of strong, admirable feminist rocker, even as she was insulting and picking fights with all the other female musicians.

Besides, I thought Gloria Steinem was the reigning dean. She's certainly been at it longer than La Hill.

Anyway, the PUMAs aren't feminists. They're Hillary Clinton loyalists. Case in point: Geraldine Ferraro, who's become the Phil Gramm of Team Hillary. According to Ferraro, La Hill, and ONLY La Hill, would be an acceptable female VP candidate.

“If he picked Claire McCaskill or [Janet] Napolitano [or Kathleen] Sebelius, I think it would annoy women,” Ferraro said.

Ferraro added that “those are women who we spent our lifetime helping run for office” and that “a lot of us are not happy with these women for not supporting Hillary because they came to us for help based in large part on their gender.”

So they should endorse Hillary simply because she's female? Whether Sumner or Ferraro want to admit it or not, they've devalued Hillary Clinton as a candidate, implying that her gender is the only legitimate reason why anyone should support her. That's insulting to any female candidate.

Equally offensive is the concept of the VP nod as high school popularity contest. When she says "women" would be annoyed if Obama picked another woman, she really means that she would be annoyed, because--WAAAAAAAAH!--her candidate wasn't picked.

I may be an on-and-off feminist, but ironically, I'm suddenly "on" again thanks to the PUMAs. Because, folks? This is not feminism. Feminism is (at least as I understand it) a movement about progress and equality for all women. It is not about placing all one's faith in just one woman.

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