April 3, 2017

"I knew just what one of my graduate students meant when I asked her how millennial feminists saw Hillary and she said 'a white lady.'"

"A white woman herself, she wasn’t referring to the colour of Hillary’s skin, or even her racial politics, but rather what was perceived as her membership in the dominant class, all cleaned up and normalised, aligned with establishment power rather than the forces of resistance, and stylistically coded (her tightly coiffed hair; her neat, boring pantsuits; her circumspection) with her membership in that class. When I looked at Hillary, I saw someone very different – but I understood the basis for my student’s perception.... These young women... didn’t believe in sisterhood – a relic of a time when, as they had been told (often in women’s studies courses) privileged, white feminists clasped hands in imagined gender solidarity, ignoring racial injustice and the problems of the working class."

Writes the University of Kentucky gender studies professor Susan Bordo. (Bordo is American, despite that "colour" and "normalised" business in that extract, which is in the UK paper The Guardian. The book itself — "The Destruction of Hillary Clinton" — goes with "color" and "normalized.")

There's a lot going on in the phrase "relic of a time when, as they had been told (often in women’s studies courses) privileged, white feminists clasped hands in imagined gender solidarity, ignoring racial injustice and the problems of the working class." Was there really such a time?

I've closely watched feminism developing since 1970, when "Sexual Politics" was published. I remember when Ms. Magazine came out in 1970 that I thought it was for older women (pre-Boomer) who hadn't really caught up with the times and needed help with a kind of conventional married life that had nothing to do with me. And I remember criticisms of Ms.-level feminism coming from the left throughout the 70s and coming on strong in the 80s. The idea that feminism needed to take account of race and class was there all along as I remember.

So who's imagining? Bordo seems to be saying that there was a time — circa 1970? 1980? — when "privileged, white feminists" didn't think of themselves as privileged and white but that femaleness was a single and important category worth thinking about and these women gave themselves the room to go ahead and think about what women have in common instead of hobbling themselves with continual attention to the ways is which women differ from each other and belong in other meaningful categories.

I don't think what Hillary tried to do with sisterhood would have worked in those earlier eras either. It's one thing to say "sisterhood is powerful" when what you mean is that women, by recognizing what we have in common can, given our huge number, have an immense political effect and win many protections and benefits for ourselves. It's another thing for one political candidate to say all the women should vote for me because I'm a woman. I don't think sisterhood ever worked like that.

55 comments:

Achilles said...

Feminism long ago stopped being about female equality and became a tool of the globalists to divide us.

See Sarah Palin. See Kellyanne Conway. See Condoleezza Rice. Or pretty much any not hard leftist female. Pagila falls into that category because she isn't sufficiently beholden to the cause.

Division is their goal. It is just another cog in the racialist socialist machine. Stupid women fall for it all the time.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

They'd say you're a white lady too.

BarrySanders20 said...

Bourdo disagrees that Hill represents establishment power. Instead she sees someone very different. Nice of her to share that so I know we have different ideas of reality and I don't need to takes hers very seriously.

exiledonmainstreet said...

It wasn't Hillary's hair and pantsuits that sunk her, however much we enjoy making fun of her clothes, it was her corruption and incompetence.

Henry said...

Here is the subtitle the article:

In this extract from her book, Susan Bordo asks how the most qualified candidate ever to run for president lost the seemingly unloseable election

The question is answered before it is asked.

Clinton was a marginally qualified presidential candidate*. Yet her minions constantly told us she was the most, best, ever. This is how Trump became the honest candidate. Trump may be an epic dissembler, but he was never presented as anything other than what he obviously was. The opposition of establishment Republicans helped him a great deal. In contrast the coronation parade assembled by the Democratic party was clearly at odds with the object of their fawning. It was a case of the empresses' new pantsuit, but with the tailors as deceived as their mark.

* A short list of more qualified presidential candidates:
Mitt Romney
Al Gore
Bill Clinton
George HW Bush
Ronald Reagan
Richard Nixon
Lyndon Johnson
Eisenhower
* etc., etc., etc.

Just consider a relatively obscure president such as William Howard Taft:

Solicitor General
Judge for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
Civilian Governor of the Phillipines
Secretary of War

Or that movie actor, Ronald Reagan:

Baseball Radio Announcer
Movie Actor
Army Officer
President of the Screen Actor's Guild
Governor of California

George Grady said...

Henry said...

* A short list of more qualified presidential candidates:
Mitt Romney
Al Gore
Bill Clinton
George HW Bush
Ronald Reagan
Richard Nixon
Lyndon Johnson
Eisenhower
* etc., etc., etc.


You're overlooking the most important qualifications: a Democrat and a vagina.

Kevin said...

Wasn't sisterhood about banding together to ensure the woman would have an equal chance to advance, rather than being discriminated against because of her gender?

Did most women feel the need to band together to give Hillary an equal chance to advance?
Did most women feel Hillary was being discriminated against on the basis of her gender?

I don't think the conditions for "sisterhood" were present, given who was running.

mockturtle said...

University of Kentucky gender studies professor. Gender studies? I suppose that's right up there with women's studies and [no male studies] African-American studies, etc. WTF would a graduate in these 'studies' do with their degree [other than use it for toilet paper]?

mockturtle said...

Unlike 'brotherhood', 'sisterhood' simply doesn't exist.

Kevin said...

In addition, "sisterhood" certainly didn't apply when Sarah Palin was running, so the people most promoting sisterhood for Hillary had clearly demonstrated that in the political realm, at least, it didn't exist.

Gahrie said...

I will never respect feminism or feminists until they apologize and repudiate their actions when Slick Willy was caught with his pants down.

rhhardin said...

women, by recognizing what we have in common can, given our huge number, have an immense political effect and win many protections and benefits for ourselves.

Men make themselves out of obligations, women make themselves out of needs.

rhhardin said...

Choreographies pdf Feminism has marched in place for over a hundred years, with suggestions.

Derrida

WA-mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill Harshaw said...

Going way back, do the acronyms LOWV and AAUW mean anything to anyone here? They were organizations of feminists before the feminism of Frieden and Sontag. They didn't ignore issues of race and class IMO, but were definitely operating from "their membership in the dominant class."

(League of Women Voters and Association of American University Women)

YoungHegelian said...

....rather than the forces of resistance

Sometimes, when I'm in a really rotten mood, I wish that our self-righteous parlor-room Left actually get to feel the chain-mailed fist of true totalitarian state power used against them. Then they would understand the true moral courage that belongs to the folks who resisted, most often at the cost of their lives, the evils that those regimes wrought.

And then I know not to wish that upon anyone, & that far,far too many decent folks would get sucked down the maw with the snowflakes if it ever happened.

bagoh20 said...

In my adult life, feminism seems to have been obsessed with women getting into historically male positions only near the top, or at least prestigious ones: executives, politics, business owners, firemen, police, etc. Getting women into plumbing, garbage collection, ditch digging, or factory jobs, seemed much less important or fight-worthy even if that was what many were qualified for that would take them out of the horrors of working in the home. So yea, I'd say class was on the back burner, to put it in terms easily understood by all.

bagoh20 said...

Hillary has no sisters. She ate them in the nest.

Michael K said...

The feminists remind me of a dog preparing its place to sleep. It walks around and around to press down the grass (I assume this is an ancient instinct) and then it lies down in the small depression it has created.

They are creating an equivalent small burrow in which the only people will be left wing females. Probably "of color" of some sort.

Then they will watch "transgender females" win all the sporting events created for women to "win" things.

Men are already afraid to be in the same room with one of these nuts with the door closed.

The analogy is the old story of going down your hole and pulling the hole in after you. Nothing remains.

Earnest Prole said...

It's not so much the the feminism of the 1970s and 1980s was explicitly aligned with white women's interests as it was aligned with the interests of upper-middle-class professional women, which at the time did not include many minorities. That may be a distinction without a difference, but there you go.

Fernandinande said...

the University of Kentucky gender studies professor

They have gender in Kentucky?

Fritz said...

bagoh20 said...
Hillary has no sisters. She ate them in the nest.


Correction; she ate them in the womb.

jaydub said...

If you took all the lesbians out of the feminist movement, how many feminists would remain? Even 50% of the current total? I doubt it.

Crazy Jane said...

The millennials are right. Faux-sisterhood feminism was always a con to leverage already-powerful women into positions of greater power.

HRC embodies this. She knows nothing about the lives of women at the bottom of the heap. Her sales pitch amounted to plans for government programs that would assuage their misery and also assure that none could rise to compete for her crown.

David said...

No fair being so old you actually remember what happened.

WA-mom said...

Not sure when the Sisterhood started, but I believed it in the early 1980s. I was thrilled in 1981 when Reagan appointed Sandra Day O'Connor. And in the 1984 election, I seriously considered voting for Mondale just to support his choice of a woman VP candidate. In 1988 the movie "Working Girl" showed the middle of the end of the Sisterhood. Supporting Clinton after Monica Lewinski was the end of it.

I can't remember if all women were happy about Republicans nominating the first woman to the Supreme Court. I think not. So that hypocrisy could have been the beginning of the end of the Sisterhood.

Bob Loblaw said...

Does it really make sense, from a strategic standpoint, to alienate your largest demographic? White women have taken a lot of abuse from their erstwhile allies lately. At some point they're just going to say "fuck it" and go home. I'm no fan of social "justice" or feminism, so I'm perfectly willing to see them both sink beneath the waves of the American consciousness, but I really am curious what they think they're trying to accomplish with this sort of thing:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/24/sally-boynton-brown-dnc-chair-candidate-says-her-j/

Paco Wové said...

the empresses' new pantsuit

Great phrase. Must steal.

rehajm said...

Like these young ladies Tina Fey calls out white ladies, too. Tina Fey is a white lady that doesn't support other white ladies.

Madeline Albright, another white lady, says there's a special place in Hell for ladies who don't support each other. Ergo, Tina Fey is going to Hell.

In Hell, Season 2 of Kimmy Schmidt must play on a loop for eternity.

Achilles said...

bagoh20 said...
In my adult life, feminism seems to have been obsessed with women getting into historically male positions only near the top, or at least prestigious ones: executives, politics, business owners, firemen, police, etc. Getting women into plumbing, garbage collection, ditch digging, or factory jobs, seemed much less important or fight-worthy even if that was what many were qualified for that would take them out of the horrors of working in the home. So yea, I'd say class was on the back burner, to put it in terms easily understood by all.

Exactly. More they will never deal with the following issues:

Men are 5 times as likely to drop out of school.
Men are 10 times as likely to go to jail.
Men are 4 times more likely to die from suicide.(women "attempt" it 3 times more)
Almost twice as many women graduate from college as men.

Men work harder at higher stress jobs. Women are mad they make more money but they don't sacrifice their quality of life to make more money. One has needs, the other responsibilities. It bears out in the numbers.

Oso Negro said...

I have been in the northern reaches of the former Soviet Union for the past two weeks. I have to be honest, it is a pleasure to see white people everywhere. And white people who are pretty much over socialism. Well, sure there were the geezers with the Soviet flag outside of Lenin's tomb arguing with the kids. Let's be clear, there is nothing wrong with an ethnically diverse population, but white people are just fine. All by themselves. Living full, non-socialist lives. Imagine that.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Men and women are equal and complementary. I don't think that most women would put sex before character or throw out the baby for personal, let alone political progress.

mockturtle said...

Men work harder at higher stress jobs. Women are mad they make more money but they don't sacrifice their quality of life to make more money. One has needs, the other responsibilities. It bears out in the numbers.

Tell that to a nursing assistant in a dementia facility. One of the most physically and emotionally draining jobs imaginable and for barely more than minimum wage.

mockturtle said...

Oso Negro, I am long past apologizing for my race. I was born white and if some don't like it, tough shit.

Miss Fortune said...

I have never understood the whole "I have a vagina," way of thinking. I knew the feminism thing was bs way back when commie Betty Friedan wrote her stupid book. Where has it gotten our country or even women for that matter? Cream rises to the top. Unless you are AA hire, then sometimes other things rise to the top.

Bob Loblaw said...

Exactly. More they will never deal with the following issues:

Don't forget to include the huge imbalance in the justice system. Women are far less likely to get prison time and men get sentences three times as long as women for the same crimes.

madAsHell said...

Graduate students in gender studies?

This is why we need to fix the student loan situation.

Jeffrey Levin said...

I think its clearly evident that 3rd wave feminism died in the 1990's. See the comments from feminists regarding Bill Clinton's behaviour towards his interns and Nina Burkleigh of Time's comments on Bill Clinton and abortion.

southcentralpa said...

When did white women ignore the working class, etc.? (paraphrasing)

For further discussion: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2004/03/how-serfdom-saved-the-women-s-movement/302892/

Sebastian said...

"It's one thing to say "sisterhood is powerful" when what you mean is that women, by recognizing what we have in common can, given our huge number, have an immense political effect and win many protections and benefits for ourselves." Correct, feminism was always about winning "protections and benefits for ourselves."

But wait, middle-class white women already had it pretty good, especially after childbirth, the one rough thing women used to do, had been made manageable by inventive men. What further womanly "benefits" did they need or deserve? That ain't no "social justice."

Using gender to protect against race-baiting is just another Thing White People Like.

It is fun to see the sisterhood devolve into bitching. Unexpectedly!

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Not since the Progressive state of South Africa has institutional racism and sexism and abortion rites been established as the highest law of the land. The feminists can take pride in resurrecting the oldest institutions, trades, and wares. Throw another baby on the barbie, they're done.

n.n said...

Clinton did appear excessively peaked. Not quite albino. A broad spectrum of the rainbow, but rarely merry or gay. Perhaps she needs to go to Disneyland in sunny Cale'.

n.n said...

"She chose. She conceived. She aborted." did not resonate with the unPlanned voters. Another dynasty of dodos, delayed.

Achilles said...

mockturtle said...

Tell that to a nursing assistant in a dementia facility. One of the most physically and emotionally draining jobs imaginable and for barely more than minimum wage.

My wife did her 6 month tour as a nurse assistant right before she joined the Army to become an LPN. Now she is a BSN Home Health nurse.

It doesn't change what I said or how true it is.

Scott said...

In the Third Wave, feminists eat themselves, in a fascinating display of lesboautocannibalism.

Scott said...

Or is it autolesbocannibalism?

Inkling said...

Listen to the Seventies-era hit song, winnner of the Grammy Award for Best Female Vocal Performance: "I am woman, hear me roar" and you'll see how much has changed. That "roar" has become the carping, complaining, and whining that is best typlified by Hillary herself. Note too how atypical and sexualized the women are in this video adaptation. On that infamous 10-point scale of attractiveness, all its women are a 9+

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu4xpDuf84A

Note too the lines: "But I'm still an embryo, with a long, long way to go..." The song dates to 1971/1972, and thus predates the era that followed Roe v. Wade (1973), when support for legalized abortion became a rigid feminist dogma. It was still legitimate for women to indentify themselves with not just a fetus, but with a still earlier "embryo, with a long, long way to go." Note too what Wikipedia says about status of the singer, Helen Reddy, when it came out:

The new recording of the song was released as a single on the 22nd of the month, and Wald – who had worked the phones for 18 hours a day urging radio stations to play "I Don't Know How to Love Him" – again put his formidable promotional skills to use. He lined up gigs for Reddy – by now heavily pregnant with son Jordan – to sing on 19 TV talk and variety shows, and "women began calling radio stations and requesting the song, thereby forcing airplay."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_Woman


AllenS said...

Hillary didn't roar, she screeched, like fingernails on a blackboard.

AllenS said...

Anyway, what good did Hillary's vagina do her? Hell, BJ Clinton didn't even want any part of it eventually.

Andy Krause said...

"Win protections and benefits for ourselves."
Say it all.

Seeing Red said...

Feminism sent wymyn back to fainting couches and smelling salts.

wildswan said...

Whenever I see the men "leaving the building" so to speak and leaving a woman in charge I know the situation is doomed. So when Obama fled like Gauguin to Tahiti and ValJar moved into his Kalorama house, I knew that whatever had been going on was over. Women are loyal and don't assess situations in terms of what-do-I get-out-of this. They stay and become hysterical. They shout contradictory instructions - wiretaps show Trump contacted the Russians; no, there were no wiretaps; yes, there were legal wiretaps of Russian that, incidently, swept up Trump associates; no, Susan Rice did not know; yes, Susan Rice tried to protect the country. Meanwhile the men are quietly leaving and establishing themselves elsewhere.

Coming next: no, she didn't tell Obama the Russians were hijacking the election and how she knew, she didn't think it mattered.

Finally: a Farkas-level woman loyal to Susan Rice, driven mad by watching her chief sweat under TV lights while Trey Gowdy dissects her pitiful evasions and while Obama windsurfs, will hysterically shout out that Obama told Susan Rice to do it all. And Farkas-woman, being a Millennial will have a record on her cell phone or some other place obvious to Millennials and unknown to such as Susan Rice. The men, any who can be found and dragged from their burrows, will then hold up their hands, crying: I'm shocked, shocked, shocked. And go away.

Leaving the Obama-women with the baby. There will probably come to be a name for it - Obama-women syndrome where women are left by political "mentors" to go to jail for carrying out "mentor" wishes-suggestions (but not orders, "oh, no I never ORDERED that"). And still Obama-women remain loyal, covering up the crimes instead of cutting a deal. "He promoted me, gave me chance, I'm only sorry I wasn't worthy of it." Like Stockholm syndrome.Like pimp recruitment tactics.

Obama-Women, I'm embarrassed at how stupid you are being. You are in DC; you are not in Kansas now. This isn't marriage. This is abuse.

mockturtle said...

Leaving the Obama-women with the baby. There will probably come to be a name for it - Obama-women syndrome where women are left by political "mentors" to go to jail for carrying out "mentor" wishes-suggestions (but not orders, "oh, no I never ORDERED that"). And still Obama-women remain loyal, covering up the crimes instead of cutting a deal. "He promoted me, gave me chance, I'm only sorry I wasn't worthy of it." Like Stockholm syndrome.Like pimp recruitment tactics.

The Manson family comes to mind.