2.21.2008

Hos Before Bros? Who Knows...

This corporation has a strict 'bros before hos' policy.
~ 30 Rock (THE best comedy on TV today)

I am a woman. Obviously.

I vote. Also pretty apparent.

So, using what I recall as basic equation logic... does it follow that a voting woman automatically has to vote for a woman?

Must I apply the adage 'hos before bros' to this situation?

I’m all about Girl Power. Giving a boost to other members of my gender whenever possible. I belong to a women-only volunteer organization -- was even president of said group. Fact: Women are notoriously tough on other women (I can say that because (a) I am one and (b) I’ve witnessed this first-hand.) And I work really hard not to be one of those kinds of chicks. Empowerment. Support. Validation. All important to me.

Being as woman-centric as I am, I’ve been asked the following question more than once: "Aren’t you voting for Hillary?"

Hmmm. Do I have to vote for a woman candidate? Am I obligated by common physical composition to support the chick on the ballot?

Therein lies the rub. And the conundrum facing female voters this election season.

I say no.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hey, MSNBC, CNN, and yes, NOW (and doesn't that one hurt the most): I just got back from the big secret National Vagina Convention and we decided that women are in fact capable of independent thought and are not contractually obligated to check the box for the candidate with the box.
~ a very pithy and wise poster, screen name Francie Nolan, from Television without Pity.com

When I vote, I give serious time and thought to how and for whom I’m going to give my support. My choices are totally based on the person. Not gender. Not race. The person. Especially in such a critical election as the one before us.

I totally agree that this campaign season is groundbreaking, with two contenders sporting labels that heretofore have not been seen in viable candidates. It’s historical and I’m thrilled I have the opportunity to participate in this scene-changing election.

But I don’t vote based on labels.

Just because I have a vagina doesn’t mean I’m genetically obligated to vote for a candidate with a vagina.

Just because I’m a caucasian doesn’t mean I have to vote for the candidate that looks the most like me.

Just because I’m a WASP doesn’t mean I have to vote for the WASPy-ish candidate.

When it comes to shit like this, I think with my head and my heart, not my reproductive organs or the color of my skin or my religious preference or my ethnic background.

I vote for the person. And what she or he has to say. How they conduct themselves. What they believe in.

Frankly, I don’t need to vote for a woman to demonstrate that I support my gender. I put my time and my money where my mouth is on that one. I’m voting with an eye towards the future -- not for a fight that’s already been settled for the most part. In theory anyway. Believe me, I’m grateful to the thoughtful and smart women who came before me and fought to insure that I would and could be taken as seriously in any workplace as a man. I watched the news when I was a wee lass, seeing Betty Friedan and Bella Abzug with her fab hats, speaking on behalf of, well, me. Young as I was. I read the papers and newsmagazines -- Gloria Steinem was all over the place. I sang along with Helen Reddy... "I am woman/Hear me roar."

Too young to participate, but old enough to watch and appreciate.

Things are different now for my gender, in the workplace and in our American society. For the most part and if you're looking at the big picture...however, I will admit there are still issues. But that’s another rant for another day.

(Although take a look at this op-ed piece which argues that having a woman as president is unconstitutional. It’s good for a laugh.)

Anyway.

The things my peers and I are concerned about -- balancing work and family and money and self -- are issues relevant to both genders.

It’s not a woman thing. It’s not a man thing. It’s a person thing.

I would be doing myself and the country and yes, my gender, a disservice by automatically and rotely voting for Senator Clinton. The struggle to give women the right to vote would be seriously marginalized if mandates were placed, even informally and societally, on for whom we cast our vote. We’ve come too far for such insulting and demeaning histrionics.

And yes, the female vote is, once again, critical to the success of the candidates. Soccer moms, urbanistas, seniors, single chicks. All important. Wonder if Susan B. Anthony ever anticipated that our reproductive organs would become such hot commodities and bargaining chips when she helmed the suffragette movement... what would she say about all of this?

Hillary. She’s OK. But for me, Barack is better.

Plain and simple.

I wouldn’t be going too far out on a limb to say that whoever the Democratic nominee is in November will get my vote. That’s basically a given.

But right now, in the white-hot scrum of this electric Democratic primary, I’m on the side of the candidate that I think would be the best for our country.

That person just so happens to be a man.

I think I’m a better woman for supporting him.

Does feminist mean large unpleasant person who'll shout at you or someone who believes women are human beings. To me it's the latter, so I sign up.
~ Margaret Atwood

4 comments:

Wildhair said...

Amen, Sistah! I do believe there's an assumption that if you're a liberal thinking woman, that you'll automatically vote for a woman.

The graphics you've added reminded me of a couple icons I had floating around on photobucket. Click'em to see'em
http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m78/marissa65/icons%20for%20myspace/thOwner.gif
http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m78/marissa65/icons%20for%20myspace/Feminism2.jpg

Sprezzatura said...

You mean her tears didn't work on you? (But they were so convincing!) Have you no love for a sister in pain?

Sarcasm aside, I too have had it with the gynocentric world view. Does it not run counter to what the feminist movement started out as? Isn't voting for a woman - just because she's a woman and not because she represents my interests - sexist by its very nature? How does this type of voting further equality between the sexes? The way I see it, it doesn't.

The simple fact that I *can* vote for a woman shows we've come a long way. Baby.

Give me equal rights, not preferential treatment because I have boobs. Spectacular as they may be.

Elizabeth said...

After two elections with smart but wooden candidates, I started out as an Obama supporter because he was a more compelling candidate, as well as a good, smart man. But since the South Carolina race-baiting ugliness and this more recent "plagiarism" ridiculousness, I'm supporting Obama because he's running a better and more positive campaign.

citizen jane said...

Brava, ladies. Brava.

I knew I liked you both. This just confirms it.