Women’s Rights & Gender Progress

Dr. Socks, over at the Reclusive Leftist has a series of posts up reminding people of what they’re actually voting for if they vote for Obama. It’s good to remind ourselves at this critical time, and I encourage you to check her posts out. The fourth post in the series sparked quite a bit of discussion, and offered me an opportunity to revisit a post I wrote in July, one that I’m particularly proud of, called Eyes on the Prize. The post basically seeks to explain why there is cultural sensitivity toward issues of race and cultural resentment toward issues of gender. It basically boils down to patriarchy-approved educational indoctrination.

I spent a fair amount of the time this summer spinning the history narrative regarding women’s progress, hoping to inspire women to unite because that’s the only way women every make progress. Time and time again throughout our common national history racial progress has been pitted against gender progress as a means to diffuse the empowerment of one half of the population. I fear we are letting them do it to us once again. I saw early on that we needed fight back against that, but I was never successful in getting a major voice in the rhetorical development. People preferred posts that stirred them to emotional action, as opposed to rational action. That focus has led to additional credibility issues.

How might things be different today if we had done it differently? Imagine, if you will, if our protests had centered around women’s rights and gender progress. If instead of holding up PUMA signs, we’d held up signs with pictures like this:

You’re holding up this poster at a rally or a protest, and a journalist approaches you to ask you about it. What do you say? Of course you talk about how Alice Paul was arrested, you cite the night of terror, you talk about women’s rights and gender progress. You talk about the importance of and your dedication to the advancement of women. You talk about the 30% solution. You plant those seeds.

Can we really say we have planted the seeds? I don’t think so. We are, don’t forget, an Army of Monsters in the eyes of the media, and hence large segments of the population who don’t know any better. We fell into the trap I warned about in Eyes on the Prize. We let them stoke our fears and provoke our hysteria. We have been fractured since the Convention, when we should have been more focused than ever. We should have been at McCain and Palin rallies across America holding up posters with scenes from women’s history, building that wave, getting women to think about what happens when they unify to a purpose that serves them, however selfish the culture regards it–and the culture, make no mistake, will always regard it as selfish. It was our job to convince women of this, to show them the way, to fight back with real unity, thereby getting what we wanted and role modeling in the process. So far we have not been successful in this, and time continues to run out. We continue to fracture and lose focus.

They say hindsight is always 20/20. It may be too late. I don’t think this election can be called, and I don’t think the results will match with polls, but I’m not sure we’ll be successful. We may have a President-elect Obama in just over a week. I wish I had had more time, been pushier about getting my ideas heard and employed, but you can’t force people to pay attention to you. And I exhausted my energies trying to drive the history narrative, leaving me unable to visualize a branding angle with that history, which is clearly what we should have done, and a tack I’ll be pushing in the future as P&L shifts focus after the election. I’m more committed than ever to ending patriarchy, and I will pour my energies into getting a new agenda for women everywhere.


2 comments on “Women’s Rights & Gender Progress

  1. Ciardha says:

    I can feel it’s going to be close, like the AP poll (now just 1 point difference amongst registered voters) has. That’s why, despite Obots sneering that the polls they look at show a big point favor for Obama, they are amping up their attacks on not just the McCain/Palin backers but the McKinney/Clemente ones too. And see the Third party voters aren’t getting counted in these polls.

    I have a strong feeling there will be a definite percentage (quite possibly higher than in 2000) of liberal Democrats that will vote for either Nader or McKinney. Neither may reach quite that big goal of 5% each of the vote (where your party automatically gets on ballots in future elections) but it may come close. Because Nader is male, thus gets some news coverage about his campaign, he may get 5%.

    But I’ve seen more passion for the Green party amongst the grassroots- and not just 20 somethings like when Nader was the Green party candidate in 2000, but liberal feminist Democratic women in their later 30’s-50’s. The Green party supports the liberal human rights values that Obama/Biden most emphatically do not. And the Green party presidential candidate is an African American woman that the Democratic party messed over as a trial run to what they’d do to Hillary this election.

    Voting for McKinney is a vote for justice for liberal Democratic women. Mckinney might even garner that key 5% for the Greens. Nader got them 2.5% in 2000. (considerably less when he ran on as an independent in 2004) It’s a longshot that McKinney will garner that 5% (considering how the media have totally ignored her run. NPR finally did a 16 minute interview last week, but that’s the only mainstream media coverage she’s got.) but I’m really hoping she does.

    This is why the Obots are attacking PUMA Green party backers as well as PUMA McCain/Palin backers. Plus, every Green PUMA I know are blogging with anger about the sexism directed toward Palin by the media and by Obots. PUMA Greens won’t tolerate sexist attacks on women, because that’s part of the core message of feminism, even if you disagree with the woman politically, sexist attacks are unacceptable.

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