Sunday, January 28, 2007

 

A Feminist Case for Getting the Women to Vote...for Hillary

Linda Hirshman is back. Linda – as in Linda “women who quit their jobs to stay home with their children were making a mistake” Hirsham (yeah, that one) – takes her self-important, still-retired analytical skills to assessing the prospects of Hilary Clinton’s presidential candidacy. You've Come a Long Way, Maybe

She opens with an observation that, had she stopped right there, would still probably had the blogosphere buzzing:

“Her success may very well turn on the decisions of millions of women sitting on their living room couches.”

Or may very well not…who knows? But she’s undoubtedly right that the votes of over half the electorate may play a role in electing our next president. What’s strange is that this (repeatedly) self-professed feminist seems to be making the case that the 19th Amendment was a mistake:

“In every election, there's a chance that women will be the decisive force that will elect someone who embraces their views. Yet they seem never to have done so, and I've never seen a satisfactory answer as to why. My own theory is that women don't decide elections because they're not rational political actors -- they don't make firm policy commitments and back the candidates who will move society in the direction they want it to go. Instead, they vote on impulse, and on elusive factors such as personality.”

Hey – don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just relaying the words of a bona-fide Feminist. Now in her defense there was research for this article; she “contacted half a dozen members of the Wednesday Morning Group, a D.C. area organization that provides speakers and programs mostly for stay-at-home moms”. Demographically, they were “a few white, married women.” Of that group, “[n]either the former teacher nor the retired television reporter read any newspapers at all” and “[m]ost of the women read People and Real Simple magazines.” Obviously she tapped into a group of deep thinkers that are representative of liberal Democrats everywhere. (Ed. Note: That last is my observation, not hers.)

It’s easy to mock Ms. Hirshman but her point here is simply that women have not been doing their job: Electing liberal Democrats. To get around this inconvenient truth of feminism, she subtly suggests portraying Ms. Clinton as “[a] suffering wife and mother whose campaign mysteriously unleashes attacks on her opponents”. Otherwise, she concludes, in a plaintive call to “Clinton advisers James Carville and Mark Penn” (and no comments, please, as to which gender a feminist icon like Hillary Clinton has turned to in this time of need): “Mark my words: Those who do not study women's history are doomed to repeat its failures.”

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