Gender Weirdness in Elections 08: “The National Organization of One Woman”

You read the headline right. The following missive at the end of this article is one woman’s set of thoughts, presumed, for now, to be from N.O.W.

I still can barely believe that this is a legitimate communique from NOW.
I am still waiting for The Onion to own up as the writer of this missive.
Either that, or this is an example of get-down dirty agitation
or ?

Here is the missive. One that is so extreme, it beggars belief.
Like I said, I am still waiting for confirmation and re-confirmation that this originated from NOW.

Uneven coverage of all candidates: check.
Women’s concerns about childbearing health and other issues of mothers and daughters, not always as prominently and aggressively pursued: check

But reading and listening for subtext, which is what I do for a living for the past 38 years, the rest of this letter, appears to my analytic eye and ear, to actually to be a diatribe against Kennedy and Kucinich, and against NOW, rather than a sticking up for Hillary.

If the origin of this letter is true, NOW has become The National Organization of One Woman, instead of Women, plural.

If the origin of this letter has not been attributed accurately and is instead a monkey-wrenching by some misguided fool who thinks they are ‘helping’ their non-Hillary candidate–or Hillary– that too will come to the surface.

Stay tuned.

The putative statement from NOW:

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.

____
h/t Shaun Mullen

Author: DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

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13 Comments

  1. They don't speak for “women,” nor for “liberals,” nor for “Democrats.”

  2. “Will the NY chapter of the KKK portray Kennedy as a 'betrayer' for endorsing Obama over John Edwards … It's like Cheney and Bush attacking the patriotism of anyone who didn't want to go war or questioned whether there were WMDs…”

    http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/20

    [Superdestroyer, note the last selected comment here.]

    “Maybe they should put their weight (no pun intended) behind Condoleeza Rice! … The voters, to include women, are sending a clear message this election, that the good ole' boys network in DC is no longer wanted, and that closed minded groups with narrow politcal agendas, such as NOW, have no place in the future of this nation. … This is the problem the Democratic party now faces in general. For years they have divided everyone up into groups. All the minorities over here (and then subdivided them further; Black, Brown, Asian, Islander, Indian, etc). Now all the women over here (oh, and subdivide them too). Now all you GLTB over in that corner. Get the poor over here. Put the rich and well off over their, under the spot lite. ETC. Worked fine as long as you had some White Guy who could pander to all of the individual groups, feel their pain so to speak. Regardless of whether the annoited one actually ever did anything to solve the problem.
    Now you have 2 major candidates from 2 of the major subsets.”

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/01/28

  3. Ah, Dr. E, if only it were a hoax! Evidently, though, Ben Smith at the Politico confirmed it.

    NOW-NY also has an astounding press release on their website, comparing how Hillary has been treated by her opposition candidates to a “gang-bang”.

  4. How disheartening that NOW, instead of making this election about who would make a better president, instead chooses to make this election about gender.

    Consider the utter idiocy of NOW's argument. By choosing to endorse Barack Obama instead of Hillary Clinton, Senator Kennedy has betrayed ALL women. Why, because Hillary Clinton is a woman, and therefore, not supporting her must be a rebuke to all women.

    Yet, using NOW's tortured logic, one might argue that by refusing to endorse Barack Obama, NOW has betrayed African-Americans.

    I certainly hope that whoever made this unfortunate statement does not speak for the entire NOW organization, because it's not only idiotic. It's insulting. The idea that we should vote for a candidate based upon his/her gender . . . is this the type of “progressive” thought that NOW is encouraging nowadays?

    On a side note, what's so good about garnering Senator Kennedy's endorsement anyway? I mean, I realize that he's a powerful person in the Democratic Party, but he's a partisan, divisive figure, and his endorsement is not likely to help the Democratic nominee in the general election.

  5. I'm thoroughly disgusted at NOW-NY. And after watching chapter president Marcia Pappas on MSNBC, I damn near vomited. We have a proverb in Japan to describe people like Marcia Pappas:

    Baka wa shinanakya naoranai

    Which literally translates to “Unless an idiot dies, he won't be cured”. But we'll just go with the meaning of you can't cure stupidity. Don't want the 'Net police to think I want to ax Ms. Pappas. Just flog her with her own nonsense.

  6. Nic: Teddy's endorsement is about the Democratic primary and nothing more. Obama needs to beat Hillary on Tuesday. Come the general election there will be a whole new dose of spin and this endorsement will be but a footnote in history…

  7. It's times like these when a the gift of a coupon to the local sex shop comes in handy.

    Them's be mighty lonely women.

  8. thanks polimom; if all is as it seems, N.O.W headquarters truly is a fiat of one. I am still squinting at this. I put calls in to G. Steinem, both her home and office lines have been busy for hours. If I hear anything new, I will pass it on.

    Shika_one, thank you for the proverb and the translation; that's a good one. And, your differentiation about NOW-Ny is also a good one. There are many NOW chapters across the US. I imagine, if this pans out, we will hear from them. If this whole thing is true, and we do not hear from them; that'll be another story altogether.

    Idiosyncrat, I think to a huge group of women, it would be one of the most shameful footnotes indeed.

    cosmo, I swear you should do stand-up. You're funny

    nicrivera: disheartening, you named it. But let's not cooperate. Let's keep our hearts, ok. Fie on absurdist pronouncements

    DLS, you too I swear could be tag-team funny with cosmo.

    The odd thing about this missive 'from NOW' is that it reminds me of the same odd kind of screed that Judith Regan wrote defending her intent to publish OJ's book, IF I Did It… Too, there was this strange loud assertion that it was being done for the 'women' of the world.

    I have been contemplating both letters today. They are both filled with psychological cues that I feel fairly certain the writer may not have intended.

    The shrillness of the letter in question is puzzling to me; It has High Oratory in it (which incidentally Obama uses sometimes too, not nec a bad thing, but a noticeable departure from Standard English…) and sometimes this particular letter seems more Ego-look-at-me-as-I-Attack-Famous-Person, and Thereby-Hope-I-Am-Almost- Garunteed-to Be-Covered-by-Media… than substantive humane message meant to right a grievous wrong.

    Just my .02

    And the beat goes on.

    dr.e

  9. I just came from phone calls and from the NOW NY site. I see that many press releases carry Marcia Pappas byline, but this one in question carries no name, no byline. More oddly, each press release on the site is copyrighted and this one on NOW NY site is dated yesterday 1/28-08, but copyrighted: “Copyright 2005, NOW-NYS Inc.”

    See: http://www.nownys.org/pr_2008/pr_012808.html

    dr.e

  10. I'm with nicrivera – the jury is definitely out on just how helpful the endorsement from Ted Kennedy even is.

  11. Not to sound too cynical, what guarantees does NOW-NY figure they'd get that even Hillary as president would address women's issues anymore than any of the men? Do they honestly think that a woman president will magically get the ERA into the constitution?! From my vantage point (and my name should tip you off that I'm a woman), Hillary's only real women's concern in this election is for one particular woman, Hillary Clinton (i.e., winning).

  12. Ted Kennedy endorcing Hillary makes her look more centrist and less liberal, which will help her win. Women will determine the outcome of this election,and Hillary is the strongest woman to take on the old boys . We must help her get out the vote! I am extremely upset about Howard Dean against Hillary though, becuase I really like and admire him. We would have been much better off today had the democratic party chose him. I am convinced Hillary will prevail.

  13. Ted Kennedy endorcing Hillary makes her look more centrist and less liberal, which will help her win. Women will determine the outcome of this election,and Hillary is the strongest woman to take on the old boys . We must help her get out the vote! I am extremely upset about Howard Dean against Hillary though, becuase I really like and admire him. We would have been much better off today had the democratic party chose him. I am convinced Hillary will prevail.

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