I don't watch MSNBC's David Shuster, nor the Tucker Carlson show, but apparently, last night on the show, Shuster asked whether Chelsea Clinton was "being pimped out in some weird sort of way" by the Clinton campaign because she was working to support her mother's candidacy. You tube clip here.
All the surrounding talk about sexism brought me back to January 8, when I posted a comment about and a link to an article in the NY Times by Gloria Steinem, Women are Never Front-Runners .
If you haven't read the Steinem piece, I suggest you do. If you don't want to, here's most of it:
"THE woman in question became a lawyer after some years as a community organizer, married a corporate lawyer and is the mother of two little girls, ages 9 and 6. Herself the daughter of a white American mother and a black African father — in this race-conscious country, she is considered black — she served as a state legislator for eight years, and became an inspirational voice for national unity.I'm supporting Senator Clinton because like Senator Obama she has community organizing experience, but she also has more years in the Senate, an unprecedented eight years of on-the-job training in the White House, no masculinity to prove, the potential to tap a huge reservoir of this country’s talent by her example, and now even the courage to break the no-tears rule. I’m not opposing Mr. Obama; if he’s the nominee, I’ll volunteer. Indeed, if you look at votes during their two-year overlap in the Senate, they were the same more than 90 percent of the time. Besides, to clean up the mess left by President Bush, we may need two terms of President Clinton and two of President Obama.
Be honest: Do you think this is the biography of someone who could be elected to the United States Senate? After less than one term there, do you believe she could be a viable candidate to head the most powerful nation on earth?
If you answered no to either question, you’re not alone. Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life, whether the question is who must be in the kitchen or who could be in the White House. This country is way down the list of countries electing women and, according to one study, it polarizes gender roles more than the average democracy . . . .
If the lawyer described above had been just as charismatic but named, say, Achola Obama instead of Barack Obama, her goose would have been cooked long ago. Indeed, neither she nor Hillary Clinton could have used Mr. Obama’s public style — or Bill Clinton’s either — without being considered too emotional by Washington pundits.
So why is the sex barrier not taken as seriously as the racial one? The reasons are as pervasive as the air we breathe: because sexism is still confused with nature as racism once was; because anything that affects males is seen as more serious than anything that affects “only” the female half of the human race; because children are still raised mostly by women (to put it mildly) so men especially tend to feel they are regressing to childhood when dealing with a powerful woman; because racism stereotyped black men as more “masculine” for so long that some white men find their presence to be masculinity-affirming (as long as there aren’t too many of them); and because there is still no “right” way to be a woman in public power without being considered a you-know-what. . . . .
The abolition and suffrage movements progressed when united and were damaged by division; we should remember that.
But what worries me is that he is seen as unifying by his race while she is seen as divisive by her sex. . . . ."
Did you catch the line - "Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life . . ."
Is it? What about the restricting force of age?
What worries me is that I'm gonna get all het up about sexism and racism and ageism. I don't want to. I just want things to be all better.