I didn’t know it would feel this bad. I didn’t know it would feel this personal. I’m all for a united Democratic party. But losing my last chance to see a woman in the White House feels like shit. [...]
Sexism is hard to see because most of it is so petty we don’t want to mention it. Nutcracker thighs? A novelty like that seems beneath contempt. But it isn’t one small offense that does women in — it’s the steady accretion of many offenses. It’s death by a thousand cuts. Even mentioning the problem seems ungracious. As women, we’re supposed to specialize in graciousness. And there isn’t a gracious way to talk about sexism. Perhaps there is no way to talk about sexism at all — which is the way sexists want it.
I will work my tail off for President Obama. We need a Democratic in the White House more than ever. But I can’t help feeling that we’ve buried a topic that needs unearthing. Please, Mr. Obama, turn your attention to sexism and tell us how you plan to address it. Then we can all be gracious with a good conscience.
I agree with Jong about the death of a thousand cuts, and on how sexism is made “unspeakable.” But I disagree with her on one point: I don’t believe Clinton was our “last chance” to see a woman elected President.
One thing I’ve been certain of my whole life is that no Jew could ever be elected President. The success of Obama and of Clinton (who just barely lost, and who probably would have won if she had opposed the Iraq war, or if she hadn’t listened to Mark Penn) has made me rethink that. I don’t think that racism, or sexism, or for that matter anti-semitism, have ceased to be barriers. But they’re no longer the insurmountable barriers they once were. Clinton was the first viable female candidate for President; but she won’t be the last.