Posted by: mzbitca | May 11, 2009

Democrats: sucking just a little bit less than Republicans

Today at work, while trying to avoid doing anything remotely productive I read this article on Yahoo.  What I found interesting was all of the comments on sexism in our society and policital arenas it touched on and completely ignored which just goes to who how hard it is to have anything involving a nuanced conversation about sexism in our society.

Let’s Delve in shall we:

Women make up almost 51 percent of the U.S. population but less than 10 percent of the House and Senate GOP — a gender disconnect that could make the Republicans’ climb back to power even steeper than it would be otherwise

51% to less than 10%: it’s obvious they are going for the great contrast here, which is good, it definitely should be pointed out but what they don’t realize is that, mentioned later on in the article, the Democrats is not much better.  

Republican women in the House say they feel the problem — literally — when their male colleagues nudge them to the front of GOP press conferences to break up the solid lines of middle-aged white men in neckties.

Indeed, Rep. Kay Granger — the first and only Republican woman to represent Texas in the House — says Republican women have to work to make sure they’re even represented at public events in the first place. “We pass the word to make sure we’re there at this ceremony or that photo-op, because there are fewer of us and we’re spread more thinly,” Granger said. “We’re working in a very successful manner, and we want to make sure that’s shown.”

The first paragraph shows the Republican men blatantly using the women as nothing more than props.  “We let a few of you in, now get to the front and earn your keep.”  They discuss how they are manhandled by the men and are used as objects for photo ops.  However, when dealing with public events they must work amongst themselves to make sure they’re there and visible.  

 Twenty-two percent of House Democrats are women, but only 9.5 percent of House Republicans are. In the Senate, nearly 23 percent of the Democrats are women, but only 10 percent of the Republicans are.

This is the part of the article that makes me want to cry.  23% of Demorcat in the house and the Senate are women and that’s considered Awesome in comparison to the Republicans.  It’s still nowhere near women’s true representation in the population.  At leas the Republican party doesn’t pretend to care about true women’s issues (just how closely their monitoring their vaginas).  Meanwhile, Democrats throw out the Roe v. Wade carrot every election and waste no time in cutting family planning.  If you can say one thing about the republican party it’s that most of their public officials look like the base they appeal to.  Unlike Democrats who use their ability to scatter crumbs to the masses to get votes and then continue the status quo of rich white man telling others what to do because they know best.

Republican women are more reluctant to throw their hat in the ring because they don’t see a lot of women like themselves in leadership or on the news,” she said. “This idea that the GOP is just going to treat everyone fairly hasn’t worked. If the GOP wants more women, they’re going to have to do more than just recruit women. They need to urge them to run.”

Again, no concept that their basic platform does not create any type of comforting situation for women to run.  Women are supposed to be mothers and not earning as much as men and taking care of their family first.  Otherwise they are the dreaded Hilary Clinton.  Even part of the Republican party was willing to sell Gov. Palin down the river when the election was lost and they had the convenient vagina card to play.  Do I think Gov. Palin was a good candidate, absolutely not but to be fair she played by the Republican Party rules and was only scrutinized differently because of her sex.

While Palin provided a high-profile role model for Republican women thinking of running for office, her experience was a double-edged sword. Lawmakers say the rough treatment Palin received showcased the nastiness of modern campaigns and underscored the notion that women are susceptible to the charge that they’ve been picked to run because they’re a good demographic fit — and not because they’re the most qualified.

Again: appealing to the lowest common denominator and smear campaigns were made legitimate ways to win elections by the Republicans and to act shocked that the same names and barbs they threw at Hilary could be lobbed back at their candidate is absolute bullshit.  You can’t have the Republican Candidate once call a 13 year old girl ugly and then, 12 years later have him complain about the unfair focus on his running mate’s daughter. Also, in a party that complains about affirmative action up the ass and seems to not understand that people can make it on their merit how could they wonder why people think that’s the only reason they’d nominate a women.  Plus there’s that whole not supporting women friendly policies that would make it seem odd that a women would be a republican.

The problem is also geographical. As political realignment shifts the GOP territory south, Elder said female candidates are vying to get elected in a region least hospitable to women, while Democrats are getting elected in the West and Northeast — areas that are more welcoming to female candidates.

“In the South, women have done very poorly. There are big differences in terms of political culture,” said Debbie Walsh, director of Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics. “Change would mean letting in some voices that have not had a place at the table within the Republican Party. Right now the Democratic agenda is more in sync with women voters.”

I love how they talk like this is just about policy positions.  When whole areas of the electorate are adverse to women politicans that is a big fucking problem.  Something that deserves whole articles, not just an “oh this is the way it is” comment like it’s okay and legitimate for voters to not want a women in charge.  Only is sexism treated as something so whatever that something like this can be passed off as a statement of fact and not a fucked up sense of entitlement.



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