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“Gloria where have you been?”

January 8, 2008

Gloria Steinen has an op-ed in the NY Times, Women Are Never Front-Runners.

Well, yes and no.  The point she makes about Ms. Obama is neat, but kind of irrelevant.  She’s trying to say that it is because Ms. Obama is a woman that she couldn’t climb to where Barack has, but to me that only says that being a “minority” twice over (black woman) is harder than being only one minority class (black).  So i think the comparisons between Mr. Obama and Ms. Clinton are more relevant, and i kind of agree with most of them.

But i simply disagree when Steinem says, “what worries me is that he is seen as unifying by his race while she is seen as divisive by her sex.”  I think, for one, that he is seen as unifying for a lot of reasons that are not race and she divisive for many reasons which are not sex.  Because every now and then we like some politics in our politics.  I also just haven’t heard these people who think his race is a unifying factor.

She also makes some good points, particularly, “I’m not advocating a competition for who has it toughest. The caste systems of sex and race are interdependent and can only be uprooted together.” and, “This country can no longer afford to choose our leaders from a talent pool limited by sex, race, money, powerful fathers and paper degrees.”

I think, perhaps, that the sexism vs. racism (and i use “vs.” very loosely here, see quote above) thing may look significantly different to me because i live in the south, though.

I just looked it up, and the US is 12% African-American.  I’ve seen that number before (many times, even), and it blows my mind every time.  The stat for the city i grew up in is twice that (not to mention the part of the city i grew up in), and where i live now is over 40% African-American.  (aside: oddly both cities have the exact same white pop. by percent, and are very close to being “majority minority”)

Lady Brett
“Feminist Housewives” – Bitch and Animal

2 Comments leave one →
  1. linaria permalink
    January 8, 2008 7:29 pm

    You make a lot of good points and generally I agree, but I don’t think that your perspective is different because you live in the south– generally, across the US, concentrations of minorities center around urban areas.

  2. January 11, 2008 9:52 am

    hmm, that is true. i get the general impression from people i know who aren’t from the area that we really are a little bit more backwards, but it’s not something i can compare, not having lived anywhere else (except the UK, where there aren’t black people ;)

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