Saturday, January 12, 2008

Edwards and Obama Silent on Sexism

Melissa McEwan has an excellent article on Shakesville, pointing out that Edwards and Obama should be commenting on the sexism directed at Hillary Clinton.

Read the whole article. Here is part of it:

Isn't it? One wouldn't think so, given the way Hillary Clinton's peers are allowing her to be subjected to all manner of indignity on the basis of her sex, with nary a peep in her defense. John Edwards' response to reports of Hillary's emotional moment—which, once the national press was done with it, had turned into a full-blown emotional meltdown—was disgraceful. Obama merely declined to comment in this case, but he hasn't gotten to New Hampshire with clean hands, having recently reduced Hillary Clinton's experience as first lady to attending tea parties; then, responding to being called out by the Clinton campaign on the obvious sexism of that jab, he denied he was referring to her gender (really?—he'd describe a man's experience as having "tea" with people?) and resorted to a thinly-veiled update on the old "hysteria" chestnut: "Those folks must really be on edge."

Yes, that must be it. Or, perhaps, they were rightfully angry about the oblique use of sexism as a political weapon from their own side of the aisle.

Further down:

Obama and Edwards ostensibly believe that men and women are equal; the people who share that belief should expect them to endeavor to defend that principle at every turn, not just when it is politically expedient. See, the thing is, it's been politically expedient to throw women's rights under the bus before, and some of us would like the assurance that we're casting a vote for someone who regards women's equality as an unyielding and constant principle—not a bargaining chip nor just another plank in a platform that can be discarded as necessary. If these blokes refuse to mount a vociferous opposition against sexism on the campaign trail, just because it helps them, that doesn’t bode well for the women they seek to represent as their president.