Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right; Or Do They?
Momma always used to say, "Two wrongs don't make a right," and I rather believe her. But still, when it comes to the matter of gender and politics, I'm thinking of ignoring her advice.
This year we women finally see a legitimate female candidate. (I say 'legitimate' as a woman has run before; Victoria Woodhull ran in 1870 (NWS).) And while I'm not supposed to vote based on breasts any more than I want anyone to vote against Hillary for having those breasts, I feel strangely compelled to do so.
But then again, this desire isn't so strange, is it?
Now, over a century after Woodhull, we finally have a real possible female presidential candidate.
That's 20 years after Pakistan elected Benazir Bhutto Prime Minister. What does it say about the US of A that a country with a caste system has allowed a female leader while we have not? Benazir may have to rest in peace; but I don't.
A few years ago Chile elected President Michelle Bachelet, prompting Barbara Walters to say, "in a macho Latin American country like Chile, which has never had a woman president, has a woman who is single, has a woman who is a Catholic country where she professes not to necessarily to believe in God, and they can elect a woman...and we are so–" And here we are, debating the concept of a woman with years of political experience running for office.
I want a female president. So badly that I'm willing to at least consider doing as generations before me have and vote my genitalia. Men have only considered male candidates; so why can't I consider the only female candidate?
"Because it's wrong," is what my mother would say. Using the same voting logic, even if mine is out of "it's about time" and their's was out of fear, doesn't make me any more right than they were. Or are.
For even today, in 2008, Hillary is still being judged on sexist scales of performance and appearance.
And I'm chomping at the bit to vote my displeasure.
My ire to do so would likely have Mom responding, "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face." Here, my 'nose' would be 'ethics' and my 'face' would be 'the patriarchy'.
There are several variations or definitions, really. Including one where my 'nose' is 'intelligence' and my 'face' is 'my frustration with politics and political correctness in general'. More clearly argued recently on ABC's The View:
Whoopi Goldberg: Now, this is a question that we sort of talked about before. But this has been coming up, and CNN did a thing, whether black women will vote for race or sex. Because apparently CNN put up a thing on their network which said that black women were torn to vote for Obama because he’s black or vote for Hillary because she’s a woman.
Elizabeth Hasselbeck: Don’t you think that undermines the intelligence of the individual?
There was more chatter, and then Joy Behar was asked what she would do.
Behar: [A]ll things being equal, I would vote for a woman just because I would. Because if they’re equal, has to be, otherwise no.
Hasselbeck: Which they will never be.
Behar: Otherwise you pick the other one that you think is better. That’s all. I would hope that, that’s the way anyone would vote really.
But cutting off my nose doesn't seem to equate with spiting my face simply because, as Hasselbeck said (and this is likely the only time you'll hear me agreeing with her!), the candidates will never be equal.
Should Hillary be the democratic nominee, she'll automatically be the better choice than the republican. Not only in the short term with as a democrat, but better in the long term as well. Looking past four years, finally placing a woman in the White House is a precedence that needs to be set.
Women in the US had to wait until 1920 to be able to vote; that's 50 years longer than blacks, who then had to struggle nearly another 50 years to be able to exercise their voting right... So if Obama should get the nominee nod, I don't believe my thinking will be much different.
Should neither Hillary nor Obama get the nod, then it's time to do as Behar said, and pick the one that you think is better. And by that, I mean the candidate; not my much discussed 'nose'.
However, even though I'm not able to vote in a primary nor participate in any election right now, I'm still thinking about making the right choice for a supposedly wrong reason... But I ask you, is voting for my gender necessarily a wrong reason? Or, even though I am white, voting for Obama because he's not white, is that another wrong?
It's 2008, we need a change, and these two represent much needed changes ~ even if in different ways. And I just don't see how I can go wrong with either.
© Gracie Passette
This article was previously published at Women For Democrats.