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Barack Obama and the Betrayal of All Women

January 29th, 2008 by Celeste Fremon

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It turns out that in our fair democracy in
the year 2008, we women have come so brilliantly far in our journey of political empowerment that we have no possible option but to vote for Hillary Clinton or face the certainty of being labeled Spitters in the Eye of Feminism.
And if a (gasp!) guy has the huevos to vote-for/endorse/say-something-pleasant-about Barack Obama, or any other candidate for that matter, why then it’s worse; he is a betrayer of women everywhere.

Or so said Marcia Pappas the president of the New York branch of the National Organization for Women in a press release this past Monday afternoon after Ted Kennedy announced his Obama endorsement. The Times Union had the story first. Then it migrated to a flabbergasted Ben Smith at Politico who printed the statement in it’s entirety because, as he pointed out, it is not easy to adequately excerpt or paraphrase. To wit:


“Women have just experienced the ultimate betrayal.
Senator Kennedy’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton’s opponent in the Democratic presidential primary campaign has really hit women hard. Women have forgiven Kennedy, stuck up for him, stood by him, hushed the fact that he was late in his support of Title IX, the ERA, the Family Leave and Medical Act to name a few. Women have buried their anger that his support for the compromises in No Child Left Behind and the Medicare bogus drug benefit brought us the passage of these flawed bills. We have thanked him for his ardent support of many civil rights bills, BUT women are always waiting in the wings.

“And now the greatest betrayal!
We are repaid with his abandonment! He’s picked the new guy over us. He’s joined the list of progressive white men who can’t or won’t handle the prospect of a woman president who is Hillary Clinton (they will of course say they support a woman president, just not “this” one). ‘They’ are Howard Dean and Jim Dean (Yup! That’s Howard’s brother) who run DFA (that’s the group and list from the Dean campaign that we women helped start and grow). They are Alternet, Progressive Democrats of America, democrats.com, Kucinich lovers and all the other groups that take women’s money, say they’ll do feminist and women’s rights issues one of these days, and conveniently forget to mention women and children when they talk about poverty or human needs or America’s future or whatever.

“This latest move by Kennedy, is so telling about the status of and respect for women’s rights, women’s voices, women’s equality, women’s authority and our ability – indeed, our obligation – to promote and earn and deserve and elect, unabashedly, a President that is the first woman after centuries of men who ‘know what’s best for us.’”

Okey-dokey.

Um…does this mean that all African American voters must vote for Obama or risk betraying their race? Just curious.


By Tuesday evening, Prez Marcia Pappas’ mouth-frother of a statement
had spread everywhere from the AP to Drudge. In response, the national headquarters of NOW issued an tepid little press release indicating that they supported women’s right to “express their opinions and exercise their right to vote.”

How nice.

Okay, Marcia, honey, listen up because I’m going to tell you what the guys and evidently the other NOW grrllls won’t: With your idiotic, female-demeaning, crazy-ass pronouncement you are helping to alienate an entire generation of women from the genuine cause of feminism. Because, see, young women with any brains and self respect seem to think—silly them!—that as intelligent, responsible adults they should the support the person whom they feel is the best candidate…..not the one with the correct combination of chromosomes.

Bottom line, next time you have the urge
to tell the rest of us how we ought to think/feel/act/vote: STFU!

Posted in Elections '08, Presidential race | 17 Comments »

17 Responses

  1. "reg" Says:

    “idiotic, demeaning, crazy-ass statement”

    God, I hope I haven’t been a bad influence…

  2. richard locicero Says:

    Oh I don’t know. Maybe this will boost her career the same way Tammy Bruce’s tirade did back in ’95.

    Doesn’t anyone at NOW read these things before they’re sent out?

  3. And Now This Says:

    At least the woman is honest. Meanwhile, 8 of 10 blacks in South Carolina voted for Obama, including many women who openly said it was because a black Pres candidate was a bigger milestone than a woman. There’s a black woman CNN reporter whose name I can’t recall, who documented this at some black hairdresser’s shops (and don’t be telling me that’s not a scientific survey, barbershops and hairdressers are where it’s at in the black community), and the customers were honest with her about this. This is just part of how racism is latent in the race, but anyone who acknowledges it is called a racist.

    So maybe this NOW bias is no different from the black or any bias. NOW has always had an openly pro-women agenda, like the NAACP promotes black people. What about groups like Women in Film which promote movies and companies with positive portrayals of women? What about NAACP Image Awards, the Black Music Awards, BET (Black Entertainment Television), even Starz/Black Cinema? As long as people feel these groups and awards are needed, NOW will just be lifting up the carpet to expose what everyone is trying to sweep under it.

  4. reg Says:

    I’m not aware that the NAACP has sent out any press releases condemning Maxine Waters, Charlie Rangel or Stephanie Tubbs Johnson as “betraying” black people because they support “the white lady” as Chris Rock artfully puts it.

    This is an “idiotic, crazyass” pronouncement from a bunch of self-absorbed, hysterical crackpots – signaling the desperation of some in the Clinton camp who assumed Hillary’s “entitled” – and to compare it to the “Black Music Awards” is the height of crazy-ass idiocy. It’s not “lifting up the carpet”, it’s crawling into the gutter. I’m sure one can find some rant from Obama supporters that’s equally unhinged, but for the New York chapter of NOW to send this strange press release out and put it on it’s website (I checked, just because I thought the thing was so over-the-top and nutty and might not have been “official”) shows that something is seriously wrong with that particular bunch.

    Meanwhile, check this out for some fresh air from the former Chicago NOW President:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVuMYKs8iJs

  5. Woody Says:

    When asked why he didn’t support another Clinton White House, Kennedy replied, “It would just continue another family dynasty in our government, and family dynasties end up with the sorriest family members as leaders,” after which he dropped his Scotch and passed out.

  6. ST Says:

    I’m a young multi-race (identified primarily as African-American) woman… who am I supposed to vote for? All I know is that Hillary annoys me and most other women I know (of all ethnicities)across the state are Republican or not voting Hillary on Super Tuesday.

    In no way does this reflect the majority of women in this country but I agree with Celeste that the statements above are pretty outlandish.

  7. Woody Says:

    Some women find it impossible to shut up. How would you like to be married to the head of NAG or to this WaPo writer? But, few things match a cat fight, so give ‘em hell, Celeste.

  8. And Now This Says:

    reg hates Hillary and Bill so openly and rabidly that anything he says on the Hillary-Obama race is utterly irrelevant ranting. You can be sure that if you say anything on behalf of the Evil Lady, you’ll get the same — as a “self-absorbed, hysterical crackpot” at best. (Unlike, say, Al Sharpton and all his pronouncements over the years, his rush to convict the Duke Three as being only a recent shining moment.) Woody, good take on Teddy — that’s about how much the hypocritical old fool’s endorsement is worth — he’s literally incoherent half the time. Obama supporters have been so desperate for him to take on JFK’s mantle, that they are desperately grateful for this Kennedy endorsement. Other Kennedys are supporting Hillary. Of course, they’re hysterical crackpots. Have at ‘em, reg — this blog is nothing without your own predictable, one-sided hysteria.

    I’m not supporting the NOW statement — we’ve been in a post-feminist era for at least 20 years, and they haven’t noticed yet. This sort of thing is why the 70′s generation has become largely irrelevant, and there’s the backlash of young girls admiring silly bimbos these days. They don’t see old battle-axes as very attractive role models. ST, if that’s the opinion of you and those you personally know, great — that your female acquaintances are either Republicans (now that’s a real minority for SoCal) or not voting for Hillary because she “annoys” them — but that certainly isn’t born out by polls or projections. Many women are able to look at what she represents and says more than her nasal twang or prejudices against her. And many are becoming more and more annoyed with Obama’s hypocrisy, as he becomes more revealed as peevish (like snubbing Hillary at the Address) and gets knocked off that pedestal of unquestioned sainthood/ JFK legacy he’s been placed on.

  9. reg Says:

    What took you so long to go off your rocker and spew venom after my pointing out you made some pretty foolish attempts at analogy ?

  10. reg Says:

    I hope when you were teaching English, you warned your students against the perils of using the straw-man rhetorical technique in their writing, a la your senselessly dragging Al Sharpton into the discussion in response to my specific criticisms of NOW’s hysteria and of your false analogies.

  11. richard locicero Says:

    Boys and girls! Let’s play nice! Woody go to your room!

  12. Guess Who Says:

    This sort of thing is why the 70’s generation has become largely irrelevant

    Different names but same comments about 70′s radicals, Che Guevara tee-shirts, Hugo Chavez, illegal aliens in West-Side schools and a being a berry, berry esmart world traveler.

  13. Reality Check Says:

    Well, someone has to break up the monotany of rantings by old leftists on their last, desperate gasp, and inject some sense of current reality. Although I must say, it’s gotten downright sad to watch this hysterical deconstruction going on before our eyes — epitomized by certain commenters on this blog, and especially by Marc Cooper in the L A Weeky.

    To see the anti-feminine, old feminists and their foul-mouthed male counterparts, going after each other with cleavers (to the amusement of the right, it’s no wonder young people are disgusted with the whole lot of them and see Obama as a breath of fresh air. IF only he were. For this election, “the politics of the possible” will win out.

    Hey, guys, in 8 years you’ll still just be pushing 70, about the same age McCain is now. Think of all the time that leaves you and the old, militant feminists to go after each other. If we’re lucky, you’ll neutralize each other by then.

  14. And Now This Says:

    Al Sharpton on Obama, from the Sept. issue of Vibe:
    (http://www.vibe.com/obama2007/08/sharpton_obama/

    Says Sharpton: “he early, created a lot of concerns for me…
    in Michigan, He…didn’t support a sister that was running for Mayor against Daly…” (but after they talked:) “He’s beginning to show more progress…a lot of improvement.”

    Sharpton goes on about how the cause is more important than the candidate, you vote for the cause and message, not the person.

    Q: “How important would it be to have a black President?”

    A: “It would be a great moment as long as the black candidate was supporting the interests that would inevitably help our people…I don’t assume that just because somebody is my color, they’re my kind.”

    In fact, this is one of the milder and more printable (and recent) interviews with Sharpton about Obama — this is about the much “improved” Obama after he began to see racial issues in the “correct” Al Sharpton/ Jesse Jackson (referred to in this interview as a paradigm) way.

    False analogies?

  15. reg Says:

    No, dragging in Sharpton was a “straw man” as a response. The NAACP and BET Music Awards allusions were “false analogies.”

    You’re critical faculties leave a lot to be desired.

  16. reg Says:

    sorry – “Your…”

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