Feminists play the gender card

Feminists are incensed at opposition to Hillary Clinton, and especially to women who are supporting Obama instead of one of their own. “There are some people who promote Barack Obama because they want anybody but a woman,” says NOW official Marion Wagner. “Would they like a white man instead of a black man? Of course. But they’ll take a black man over a woman.”

As Wagner and other NOW executives toured Ohio last week, they repeated a resounding message: Clinton has been mistreated by an opponent who subtly demeans her, by a mainstream media that ridicules her, by voters too threatened to vote for a confident woman, by young women who no longer feel the urgency of the women’s movement, by African American women for whom race is more important than gender. . . .

They point to the way Obama pulled out Clinton’s chair before each debate, immediately establishing the upper hand in their interaction. “You can bet that’s a calculated move,” Wagner said, “and it’s absolutely demeaning.”

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • PeteS

    There are two things I noticed:

    First, by accusing voters the way they do of making race more important than gender, they are quite patently making gender more important than anything else. They may talk about Hillary’s qualifications to some degree, but the main thing is they want a woman (from the left, of course) in the White House.

    The second thing is they seem afraid that they are no longer relevant. They talk about the cause as if it’s some mountain that will always exist whether people see it or not, but it’s really their own relevance they are worried about. Of course, becoming irrelevant happens to any person or group. You are only relevant as long as people agree with you. When it comes to abortion rights, NOW is still relevant. When it comes to women’s rights as they view them, they’re not so relevant.

    The same is true of the Christian church, but there’s a different dynamic involved. Only the Holy Spirit’s strange work of convicting sinners with the law and then his saving work of bringing convicted sinners to faith through the gospel makes Christianity relevant to people. They will care if they believe law and gospel. They won’t care if they don’t believe, and then a church’s relevance will be based on whether or not I like what the church is doing socially, what it is doing to meet my needs as I see them.

  • PeteS

    There are two things I noticed:

    First, by accusing voters the way they do of making race more important than gender, they are quite patently making gender more important than anything else. They may talk about Hillary’s qualifications to some degree, but the main thing is they want a woman (from the left, of course) in the White House.

    The second thing is they seem afraid that they are no longer relevant. They talk about the cause as if it’s some mountain that will always exist whether people see it or not, but it’s really their own relevance they are worried about. Of course, becoming irrelevant happens to any person or group. You are only relevant as long as people agree with you. When it comes to abortion rights, NOW is still relevant. When it comes to women’s rights as they view them, they’re not so relevant.

    The same is true of the Christian church, but there’s a different dynamic involved. Only the Holy Spirit’s strange work of convicting sinners with the law and then his saving work of bringing convicted sinners to faith through the gospel makes Christianity relevant to people. They will care if they believe law and gospel. They won’t care if they don’t believe, and then a church’s relevance will be based on whether or not I like what the church is doing socially, what it is doing to meet my needs as I see them.

  • http://chaz-lehmann.livejournal.com Pr. Lehmann

    Oh, please… Surely NOW knows how totally unreasonable their assertions are. America, for them, is full of sexist bigots. We’re just more sexist than we are bigoted, I guess.

    Where’s Christina Hoff-Summers when you need her?

  • http://chaz-lehmann.livejournal.com Pr. Lehmann

    Oh, please… Surely NOW knows how totally unreasonable their assertions are. America, for them, is full of sexist bigots. We’re just more sexist than we are bigoted, I guess.

    Where’s Christina Hoff-Summers when you need her?

  • S Bauer

            I haven’t seen any of the debates. You mean, he actually pulled her chair out from under her while she was trying to sit in it? That is demeaning. You’d think he’d leave that kind of stuff back in junior high. (Do I have to put this: :-) here?)

  • S Bauer

            I haven’t seen any of the debates. You mean, he actually pulled her chair out from under her while she was trying to sit in it? That is demeaning. You’d think he’d leave that kind of stuff back in junior high. (Do I have to put this: :-) here?)

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    My wife (who, I believe, would call herself a feminist, though she finds little common cause with the larger group that labels itself such — suffice it to say that her “feminism” is Biblical) is herself incensed at those feminists taking this position. Last night, she pointed out that voting for Hillary because she’s a woman isn’t very feminist, no matter what definition you use. Indeed.

    I don’t buy into much of this “subtly demeans” stuff, though I think it’s pretty reasonable to argue that the press has fawned all over Obama (they love the “change” message, whether it’s from him or “maverick” McCain in 2000) and relatively ignored or been hard on Clinton. I have friends who argue it’s because she’s a woman, but I say you can’t separate her femininity from her history and baggage as a Clinton — and the latter certainly provide plenty of opportunities for the press to be hard on her.
    The question is: are the ugly things that are said of ambitious women applied to Clinton because she’s a woman, or because of her traits irrespective of gender? And the question for NOW officials is if they would want the press to treat Hillary differently because she’s a woman?

    And there’s little question that we are living in what (if it has not already been so deemed) I’ll call a post-feminist nation. Women’s status has changed so much in the past 50 years that it’s now possible for a woman to run for president, and for a man to not vote for her merely because of her history and policies.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    My wife (who, I believe, would call herself a feminist, though she finds little common cause with the larger group that labels itself such — suffice it to say that her “feminism” is Biblical) is herself incensed at those feminists taking this position. Last night, she pointed out that voting for Hillary because she’s a woman isn’t very feminist, no matter what definition you use. Indeed.

    I don’t buy into much of this “subtly demeans” stuff, though I think it’s pretty reasonable to argue that the press has fawned all over Obama (they love the “change” message, whether it’s from him or “maverick” McCain in 2000) and relatively ignored or been hard on Clinton. I have friends who argue it’s because she’s a woman, but I say you can’t separate her femininity from her history and baggage as a Clinton — and the latter certainly provide plenty of opportunities for the press to be hard on her.
    The question is: are the ugly things that are said of ambitious women applied to Clinton because she’s a woman, or because of her traits irrespective of gender? And the question for NOW officials is if they would want the press to treat Hillary differently because she’s a woman?

    And there’s little question that we are living in what (if it has not already been so deemed) I’ll call a post-feminist nation. Women’s status has changed so much in the past 50 years that it’s now possible for a woman to run for president, and for a man to not vote for her merely because of her history and policies.

  • Pinon Coffee

    “Pulled her chair out” as in so she’d fall sitting on the floor, or “pulled her chair out” as a courtesy so she could sit ON it?

  • Pinon Coffee

    “Pulled her chair out” as in so she’d fall sitting on the floor, or “pulled her chair out” as a courtesy so she could sit ON it?

  • Kyralessa

    Frankly, I think feminists should be incensed that Hillary is still married to Bill. Is she really the best representative for women they can come up with?

  • Kyralessa

    Frankly, I think feminists should be incensed that Hillary is still married to Bill. Is she really the best representative for women they can come up with?

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Kyralessa (@6), are you really espousing divorce (pun intended)?

    I would have thought Christians would have embraced her Christian attitude of apparently forgiving and working in love to save the marriage in spite of Bill’s unfaithfulness.

    I would say that a woman who is strong and loving enough is, as such, a good role model for women, yes — at least to those with similarly unfaithful husbands. The Bible may allow for divorce in the case of unfaithfulness, but it certainly doesn’t command it.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Kyralessa (@6), are you really espousing divorce (pun intended)?

    I would have thought Christians would have embraced her Christian attitude of apparently forgiving and working in love to save the marriage in spite of Bill’s unfaithfulness.

    I would say that a woman who is strong and loving enough is, as such, a good role model for women, yes — at least to those with similarly unfaithful husbands. The Bible may allow for divorce in the case of unfaithfulness, but it certainly doesn’t command it.

  • Kyralessa

    tODD,

    But is she a good example for feminists? A woman who stays married to a man whose unfaithfulness is broadcast across the world?

  • Kyralessa

    tODD,

    But is she a good example for feminists? A woman who stays married to a man whose unfaithfulness is broadcast across the world?


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