Now you don’t…
Ah..the wonderful world of patriarchical religion. Read more if you like at yahoo.
Now you don’t…
Ah..the wonderful world of patriarchical religion. Read more if you like at yahoo.
By Sandra Kobrin
(WOMENSENEWS)– As news of the “Eliot Mess” started to break on Monday, I looked at my husband and smiled.
“You know our deal,” I reminded him. “If anything like this happens to you don’t expect me to stand beside you and suffer public humiliation. You do something stupid like this, you’re on your own.”
Then we continued to watch Spitzer’s press conference.
“It looks like she’s reading his statement,” my husband said, as he studied Silda Wall Spitzer’s controlled response. He said her eyes were focused on her husband’s script.
“Probably so,” I answered. “I’m sure she was the last to know and is doing her best to know what’s going on this time.”
I, like everyone else, was stunned by the idea ofState’s Wall Street-busting crusading governor Elliot Spitzer apparently destroying his career by breaking the law and patronizing prostitutes.
Many of us in the news business, or the political business or the business business spent the day waiting for news of his resignation, pouring over the details of Spitzer’s D.C. assignation and replaying what may have been the world’s briefest press conference.
But as we talked among ourselves my friends and fellow journalists were saying it’s not just a question of what’s wrong with him. We’ were also asking “What’s up with her? What is she doing standing there by his side at the press conference?”
Aol Pops the Question
“Governor’s Wife Stands by Her Man” was one of‘s rotating home page headlines Tuesday. “Would You Do the Same Thing?”
Our answer: an unequivocal no. We all agree we’re suddenly tired of seeing the silent woman standing by.
In every case, of course, it’s the particular wife’s personal business how she sorts the matter out. But why should she appear at the face-to-face with the cameras’ glare? That seems to send the message that good wives are expected to put up with far too much.
As my colleagues, my family and I pored over the coverage Tuesday, one thing that popped out here was that “client 9”–the new moniker for the man once known as the Sheriff of Wall Street–was sometimes considered “difficult,” for the prostitutes at the Emperor’s Club, a high-end brothel where Spitzer had an account.
In the smoking tape made of the phone call between the prostitute and her “booker” after the encounter the booker said “client number 9” sometimes asked for things that weren’t always that “safe.”
The mind reels. In Victorian novels when asterisks are put in the place of curse words the reader spends much more time wondering what the real words might have been–and probably coming up with worse–than if they’d been spelled out. Thoughts of all kinds of kinky sex went through my mind.
But another colleague offered a possibility at once more obvious and more serious: condoms. Perhaps, she said, it meant that Spitzer refused to use a condom.
If so, then he’s put his wife in danger as well as the high-priced sex workers he apparently regularly patronizes. All of them should be seeking medical attention and testing, if they haven’t already.
Mixed Feelings Get Sorted Out
A friend told me that her feelings about women who stand by their men are somewhat mixed. While she admires loyalty and being a friend in need, she doesn’t like the idea that dishonest men are worth putting up with.
But when the question of condoms and safe sex came up she says she suddenly got the point. In this case the wife should have been given a doctor’s excuse to miss the photo session.
Why is it that our society is repulsed with lying and dishonesty in a public capacity but accepts lying and dishonesty in a marriage?
There are editorials flying and talking heads screaming for Spitzer’s resignation, but there’s no one screaming, “Hey Silda, walk away from that lying dirt bag who put your health at risk and your reputation in the toilet! Take the money and run. You’ll do fine on your own.”
Silda Wall Spitzer is a Harvard-educated lawyer and the founder and chair of the board of New York-based Children for Children, a nonprofit organization that fosters community involvement and social responsibility in young people. She has three daughters ranging in age from 14 to 18.
Well listen up Silda. You are entitled to your own decisions but you and your daughters don’t have to stay.
In any event, please don’t letbe your role model, even if your husband has endorsed her candidacy.
Yesterday, the presidential contender told reporters she was sending her best wishes and thoughts to the governor and to his family. Oh boy. I understand she didn’t want to lose a possible super delegate but, puh-lease.
Clinton is used to public humiliation; she was a doormat when it came to her philandering husband and his infidelities since he was Arkansas governor.
In‘s recent book on Clinton, “A Woman in Charge,” he writes that she really was the last to know the truth during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and livid when she found out.
In a 1992 interview, Clinton said she stayed with her husband because she loved and respected him. OK, but let’s see if Silda Spitzer is also contemplating a run for office.
Even Dina Matos McGreevey, the still-in-a custody-battle wife of formerGov. James McGreevey, has piped up. The author of “Silent Partner” bore up through the press conferences when McGreevey’s admitted a gay affair with a state employee and stood by him until he resigned three months later.
She says Silda is right to stand by her husband as she is protecting her daughters and shouldn’t be criticized.
Bull. The best way to protect a daughter is to be a role model and despise lying and dishonesty and divest from it in public as well as private life.
Federal prosecutors rarely charge clients in prostitution cases, generally seen as state crimes.
But the 1910 Mann Act makes it a crime to transport someone between states for the purpose of prostitution, and the woman Spitzer met up with traveled fromto .
Someone on the Web site of the Feminist Law Professors says this might be raised in the context of legal quid pro quo for the so-called DC Madam, whose sex workers consorted with Republicanlast year. He is not on trial but her trial begins April 7.
“As the DC Madam, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, is prosecuted in federal court for running a prostitution ring, it will be interesting to see how things develop with Governor Spitzer,” writes a contributor on the Feminist Law Professors site. “One of the DC Madam’s big gripes is that, though the government has the names and identities of plenty of her customers and *ahem* female contractors, only she–Deborah Jeane Palfrey–is being prosecuted.”
In a press statement Tuesday, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International said the recent revelations about Spitzer demonstrate that men who sexually exploit women come from all walks of life.
“Sexual exploitation has no place in a society that values equality for girls and women,” the statement read.
That’s the kind of thing a good wife, mother and presidential candidate should be saying around now too. –Sandra Kobrin is awriter and columnist.
I am particularly interested in the comments about Hillary and Dina Matos McGreevey. Why does a politician’s wife stand with him when he has committed an egregious affront, which particularly effects her life? What does that imply about our society? Why do the PR people think that her presence is a good idea?
Last week on NPR they spoke with a woman from Ohio named Jan who was a Hillary supporter and I stole the title of this post from her…
My mother just called, my grandmother woke her up and hollering with joy said, “She did it! She took Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island!” My mother cried.
I was in my car while this outcry of success took place, listening to NPR, wondering if I’d wake them up if I called to express my own joy. It’s not a delegte win but us Hillary supporters can breath a little easier.
And we are.
It’s a pretty incredible feeling, isn’t it? After our victories tonight we have the momentum, thanks to your will, determination, and hard work.
Some people were ready to count us out. But you and I proved them wrong, just as we have every time they tried to declare this race over prematurely. And we’re going to keep showing them exactly what we can do.
We’re going to do it for everyone across America who’s been counted out — but refused to be knocked out. For everyone who’s stumbled — but stood right back up. And for everyone who works hard — but never gives up.
I hope you enjoy our victories tonight as much as I am. We won this one together, and that makes it that much better. Thank you so very much for all you have done for our campaign. Let’s build on this remarkable momentum.
Thank you for everything you did to make this night possible.
All the best,
I say take the momentum and run! Hillary 2008.
So there is a lot of chatter about no youth following for Hillary but these videos argue otherwise:
This one doesn’t please the feminist in me, which arguable you could say about the previous one but it’s still worth checking out:
THIS ONE IS THE WINNER. I Love it!
Don’t be coerced by the press to jump on the Obama bandwagon. PEOPLE ARE JUST AS PASSIONATE ABOUT HILLARY!!!!! An election is not a popularity contest. We are not looking for the coolest or the “sexiest” candidate. (Although if you ask me Hillary is that too.) We are looking to elect the best leader. It takes a life time in politics to make a leader. Don’t be fooled. VOTE HILLARY!
Sorry, I’ve been so incommunicato lately. Busy with life… Feeling a little down about Hill’s campaign. Like I said earlier, I will support a democrat all the way but I really believe that Hillary is the best choice and I don’t perceive her as cold or frigid. I think she’s delightful…
Watch the moment:
I’m a die-hard. I love Hillary!!
Why is it that I hear about Obama and McCain all day long. I practically know when these guys take a pee, but no matter what I just don’t feel this way about Hillary….
It’s easy to blame it on her femininity but it may be that the press just doesn’t like her. who knows, but I say MORE HILLARY!!!
As far as I’m concerened Hillary continued to dominate the field this week. To be truthful, I don’t know about all of you but I am excited to enter a DNC with no definate canidate… Perhaps then we will all watch…
So here she is folks:
SO I HATE TO PASS ALONG MESSAGES SECOND HAND, ESPECIALLY WHEN I HAVEN’T WRITTEN IN A WHILE….BUT THIS IS WORTH IT.
Message from NOW PAC Chair Kim Gandy:
In a few hours, at 4:15 am to be exact, I’m headed out in the cold to yet another airport, this time to Chattanooga and then Knoxville, Tennessee to rally and speak for Hillary Clinton.
I’d go anywhere, any time, to shout from the rooftops that Hillary Clinton is the right choice for women, for our families, for our communities and for our future.
Here is why I care so much:
Hillary Clinton is a national leader of the highest order, with the strength and determination and experience to deliver real change to our country. She has been a leader on women’s rights and civil rights for over 30 years.
It is of special importance to me that Hillary is an unparalleled champion for women’s reproductive rights, justice and health. In fact, I’ve just signed a letter from many leaders: Martha Burk, Gloria Feldt, Cecelia Fire Thunder, Lulu Flores, Ellen Malcolm, Irene Natividad, Ellie Smeal, Gloria Steinem, and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones on why Hillary is the best choice for those of us who care so deeply about these issues.
Hillary has been through fire and emerged stronger with each challenge. She can take anything the Republicans can dish out, and give it back double. The Democrats need her, the country needs her, and she needs your vote on Tuesday.
Make no mistake, Hillary Clinton is the strongest candidate to win in November, and to set our country right. She beat the Republicans in two landslide elections, despite predictions that she couldn’t win in upstate and rural New York. And it will take someone with her economic and national security strengths to beat John McCain. We know she can deliver on Day One — from getting our troops out of Iraq, to fixing the shattered economy and the mortgage crisis, to winning health care that covers every single person in this country.
Please vote on Tuesday for Hillary Clinton, and if you haven’t done it already, please email your friends and contacts in the Super Tuesday states and tell them that:
from her earliest days advising battered women, helping abused children, and providing free legal services to the poor,
to her time in the White House advocating for universal healthcare, championing the S-CHIP (State Child Health Insurance) program, and helping to pass the Violence Against Women Act,
to her service as a U.S. Senator, standing strong for reproductive rights and writing legislation to expand contraceptive access, helping win approval of emergency contraception, sponsoring equal pay legislation, and speaking out on the floor against the nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, specifically saying that they would damage Roe v. Wade if confirmed. She was right, and I know we can count on her to nominate pro-women, pro-choice judges to the courts at every level.
She’s always stood up for us, and now it’s time for us to stand up for her with our vote and say “I’m Ready for Hillary.”
P.S. Robin Morgan’s terrific new essay “Goodbye To All That (#2)” calls out the stereotypes, double standards and toxic viciousness against Hillary Clinton – Our President, Ourselves – and she concludes: “Me, I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman-but because I am.”
I was in south carolina this weekend visiting my brother. I had the opportunity to share a drink with Obama supporters after their massive win. And while I maintain my support for Hillary, I love the charge that Obama inspires in young people.
Tommorrow when I go to vote (a delegate free vote, but a vote all the same) I will be voting for hillary and if I had my druthers, she would be the candidate that would lead the democratic party to victory in 2008. However, if the country chooses Obama, I’ll stand behind him.
Life and Liberty PAC, a new anti-choice political action committee in ., has so far attacked in , , and and is planning to continue doing so in other states before Feb. 5, when more than 20 states hold nominating contests.
Altogether it plans to spend $500,000 in early primary states on phone calls warning voters that Clinton has been downplaying her support for abortion rights in her race againstand former .
While all three candidates are pro-choice, Mary Lewis–who founded the PAC in September because she said other anti-choice groups were not being aggressive enough–said Clinton is their top target because she is more hostile on the issue. Clinton, for example, is a co-sponsor of the Freedom of Choice Act, a bill that would enshrine protections for abortion rights into law; Obama is not.
You already know that I’m a Hillary fan, so suffice to say we agree in regards to the right to choose.
I couldn’t read this article alone so I am passing it along to all of you out there in the blogosphere. It was originally read it on truth dig:
Chauvinists Fly Under the Radar
Posted on Jan 10, 2008
By Marie Cocco
WASHINGTON—The national media have reveled in self-congratulation over Barack Obama’s historic ascent to become the first African-American to have the nomination of a major party within his grasp. Racism, we have been told, is now a supposed irrelevancy in American politics, a vestige of those past battles that Obama pledges earnestly not to fight.
So as soon as Hillary Clinton defied the polls and won an upset victory in New Hampshire Tuesday night, the pundit chorus immediately cried … what? Racism!
The pre-election polls were wrong, many declared, because white voters must have lied to pollsters about supporting Obama and then went into the booth to vote for a white candidate. Yet there is scant evidence of this: When pre-election polls were averaged, Obama was predicted to get 38 percent of the New Hampshire vote; he got 37, a statistically insignificant difference. Obama beat Clinton soundly among white men. Clinton beat Obama among white women and—significantly—among nonwhite women, whose vote she carried by 12 points.
We have tried mightily as a country to banish race as the -ism none dare to publicly speak. But the national media during this campaign have ignored, if not heartily encouraged, an ugly -ism no one is squeamish about.
To recount the sexist double (and triple and quadruple) standards and misogynist insults to which Clinton has been subjected would take double (or triple or quadruple) the usual column space. Consider this an abbreviated account: Television commentator Chris Matthews suggested last month that prominent male politicians who endorsed Clinton are “castratos in the eunuch chorus.” His MSNBC colleague Tucker Carlson declared that there’s something about Clinton that “feels castrating, overbearing and scary.” Why, Carlson said, “when she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs.”
Think, for a moment, of what might happen if a well-known media personality were to say of Obama: “Every time he comes on television, I involuntarily reach for my white hood.” Would even Don Imus survive?
A wholesale rewrite by both the media and Clinton’s opponents transformed her tenure as first lady into a useless credential, and made winning two Senate terms in New York—a state not known for softball politics—the moral equivalent of achieving nothing on her own. Yet back when she actually was first lady, the media depicted Clinton as the most powerful presidential spouse since Eleanor Roosevelt. Clinton’s groundbreaking foreign travels, her discussions with foreign leaders, her rebuke to Chinese dictators, and her failed attempt at overhauling the health insurance system were chronicled as evidence of her unprecedented reach. The right wing spewed vitriol; the left took approving notice.
Yet once she ran for president, Clinton was portrayed as an observer to her husband’s administration—why, The New York Times pointed out, she hadn’t even attended National Security Council meetings. Can you imagine the ruckus if she had?
Such a revelation would likely have caused a bigger stir than did the videotape of an impeccable woman attending a November campaign event for John McCain leaning forward determinedly to ask, “How do we beat the b—-?” An excellent question, McCain replied. The exchange never drew the abundance of national analysis given to Hillary’s cleavage, her alleged “cackle” or those wrinkles that were so pronounced in a photograph that zoomed around the Internet.
Twenty-four years have passed since Geraldine Ferraro was the Democratic vice presidential nominee, the first—and only—woman to have a spot on a major party’s ticket. Ferraro was subjected to George H.W. Bush’s post-debate taunt that he’d kicked a “little ass,” while first lady Barbara Bush assessed Ferraro as someone who “rhymes with rich.” A supposedly enlightened generation later, Clinton has had it far worse.
The senator’s emotional moment in a diner, when her voice caught as she answered a sympathetic question, was immediately dissected as a possible Clintonian calculation. No doubt New Hampshire women thought differently, and brought their—how to say it?—difference of opinion into the voting booth.
Obama’s candidacy may yet deliver us to the promised land of post-racial politics. Right now the idea is either irrational exuberance or a fascinating theory, still to be tested. Neither racism nor sexism has disappeared from American life, and we’d best admit it.
But standards of public discourse should not differ depending on the candidate. If you—or the media—wouldn’t hurl racist insults at Obama, it’s time to call out those who have made Clinton’s candidacy a celebration of their own sexism.
Marie Cocco’s e-mail address is mariecocco(at)washpost.com.
© 2008, Washington Post Writers Group
Why do we allow this kind of gender bashing without backlash?