Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I Am Woman, Hear Me Bore

A while back I wrote that, the historic quality of his campaign notwithstanding, I sort of wish Barack Obama wasn't black. For similar reasons I sort of wish Hillary Clinton wasn't a woman. I know several women who don't particularly like Hillary Clinton (at least not as compared to the other Democratic candidates) but are seriously considering voting for her because she's a woman. The first woman President! A long-sought opportunity to demonstrate how progressive our country has become!

The problem is, by voting for a woman simply because she's a woman. you've demonstrated exactly how progressive our country isn't. We should all take a note from the women's liberation movement, and remember that just as we shouldn't dismiss someone simply because of their gender, we also shouldn't give someone special consideration because of their gender.

The New York Times had a piece that summed this up nicely:

By choosing Mrs. Clinton, we are not denying Mr. Obama’s appeal or his gifts. The idea of the first African-American nominee of a major party also is exhilarating, and so is the prospect of the first woman nominee. “Firstness” is not a reason to choose. The times that false choice has been raised, more often by Mrs. Clinton, have tarnished the campaign.

This, unfortunately, was the best West Wing quote I could think of:

AMY: Who else are you considering?
JOSH: Mark Rothman and Robbie Gill.
AMY: Hmm.
JOSH: What?
AMY: I was just thinking Mark and Robbie are funny names for women.
JOSH: They're men.
AMY: I know.
JOSH: They happen to be men. They happen to be men.
AMY: You're not hiring enough women in senior positions for the campaign.

Man I hate Amy Gardener.

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