OFF: Ted Kennedy’s Sexist Agenda

Except that it isn’t.

Some squeaky wheels over at the New York chapter of the National Organization of Women don’t like the surviving Kennedy brother. My first reaction was to describe this as them getting their something-in-a-twist until I realized that such a comment would be wrongly interpreted as sexist, rather than innocently idiomatic.

Read it and weep.

Women have just experienced the ultimate betrayal. Senator Kennedy’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton’s opponent in the Democratic presidential primary campaign has really hit women hard. Women have forgiven Kennedy, stuck up for him, stood by him, hushed the fact that he was late in his support of Title IX, the ERA, the Family Leave and Medical Act to name a few. Women have buried their anger that his support for the compromises in No Child Left Behind and the Medicare bogus drug benefit brought us the passage of these flawed bills. We have thanked him for his ardent support of many civil rights bills, BUT women are always waiting in the wings.

And now the greatest betrayal! We are repaid with his abandonment! He’s picked the new guy over us. He’s joined the list of progressive white men who can’t or won’t handle the prospect of a woman president who is Hillary Clinton (they will of course say they support a woman president, just not “this” one). ‘They’ are Howard Dean and Jim Dean (Yup! That’s Howard’s brother) who run DFA (that’s the group and list from the Dean campaign that we women helped start and grow). They are Alternet, Progressive Democrats of America,, Kucinich lovers and all the other groups that take women’s money, say they’ll do feminist and women’s rights issues one of these days, and conveniently forget to mention women and children when they talk about poverty or human needs or America’s future or whatever.

This latest move by Kennedy, is so telling about the status of and respect for women’s rights, women’s voices, women’s equality, women’s authority and our ability – indeed, our obligation – to promote and earn and deserve and elect, unabashedly, a President that is the first woman after centuries of men who ‘know what’s best for us.’

What would happen if the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People came out against Hillary Clinton supporters for being racist? Remember, blacks were disenfranchised a good half-century longer than women by most credible accounts.

Literacy tests and poll taxes weren’t “intermediate steps” for women’s suffrage the last time I checked.

Consider the flipside: Is it right to endorse a candidate based solely on her gender? How does The White House Project play into this?

Britain had a female prime minister in the ’80s, but they haven’t had one since. What long-term benefit will we gain from the short-term evil of voting based solely on gender, or race, for that matter?


For both points of view, check out the links here, here and here. Beware angry, defensive rhetoric in most posts.

This shall be cross-posted at The Collegian Online.


  1. JT

    I’m not against Hillary Clinton because she is a woman. I’m against Hillary Clinton because of what she says about the issues. I do not believe she would be the best person for the country. It has nothing to do with her anatomy.

  2. Agreed. I’ll vote against Hillary Clinton simply because I believe she’s the sleaziest Democrat, and would exceed every Republican besides Romney in that regard.

    My mother said she would vote for Hillary Clinton.


    “Because she’s a woman.”

    Judge her by the color of her character, rather than the content of their skin.

    Something like that.

  3. JT

    There’s plenty of sleaze to go around on both sides. For the Dems, Edwards seems to me to be the most genuine, but I don’t agree with 99% of his proposed policies. On the Republican side, I like Paul the best based on his integrity and policies. McCain seems to be genuine also, but again I can’t go along with a lot of what he says. Past that, there is some bad bad stuff in the Republican party right now. It’s not going to be a good next four years, regardless of who is elected.

  4. I feel the same way. Ron Paul is great. He doesn’t stand a shot, though. If only there were any eloquent, engaging speakers on the level of, say, Obama, but combined with the small-government libertarian Constitutionalism of Paul.

    McCain is the cleanest in the sea of sludge that has swallowed — or simply comes from — the electability-anointed candidates.

  5. ok…. but….

    I say this as someone who is 85% sure she’ll cast an Obama vote on Tuesday but historically black men have been accepted as “equal” before women have been and NOW has a duty to respond to that. I am willing to acknowledge that society has tainted my view of pretty much everything and it’s possible that deep down even this feminist is somehow scared of a female president. And that sucks. I happen to think NOW is wrong in their response and that Obama truly is a better (or at least more inspiring) candidate than Clinton but I also feel that as a society we are more prejudice against the idea of a female leader than a black leader (you know, assuming we want to get into a “who has it worse” debate).

    That said the democratic ticket is a win for equality either way so I find it difficult to get too upset.

  6. I think that having the “who has it worse” debate is far more damaging to the national psyche than either candidate winning.

    Having the debate is a distraction. I honestly don’t see race or gender in my political candidates. I only write on the topic because the media is all crazy about it.

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