Monday, March 17, 2008

A Budding Feminist on Obama (radio-edit version)

It has been a few days since I've written and I apologize to any readers I may have. So much seems to have happened while I have been toiling away at my stupid cognitive psychology presentation.

So former democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro said Barack Obama is lucky he's Black. That, according to her, is why he has gotten so far and why Hillary is being left behind. So now Ms. Ferraro, who I am sure claims to be a feminist, is fighting sexism with racism. Classic isn't it. As a feminist I have been increasingly infuriated with the way women have been supporting Hillary Clinton because she's a woman. Yes it is historic that a woman is running for president. A little behind the times of course considering countries like the UK, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Argentina, Chile, Finland, Ireland, Liberia, The Philippines, Germany, New Zealand, Mozambique, The Netherlands, Antilles, Ukraine, The Ă…land Islands, and Canada have all had female heads of state, either as President, Prime Minister, or Governor Generals (this list may not be exhaustive). The fact that Hillary Clinton is being left behind could not be because of her political policies, and apparently supporting her for many is not contingent on her policies either.

Perhaps, you can tell that I am a supporter of Obama. There really is no point hiding my agenda. We all have agendas but pretend not to. If there is one thing feminism has taught me (it has actually taught me many things) it's that we all have agendas and it is better to acknowledge them so that others can engage with and challenge us accordingly, rather than pretend not to have any and thus avoid any real discussions and progression. I do like Obama and if I were an American I would not only vote for him but would most likely be actively working on his campaign.

Having said all that, I do have reasons for supporting Obama and staying away from Clinton. Though they may not be politically impressive reasons. Obama is new. I know many people are saying that his inexperience is a liability. But with our neighbours being ruled by a Bush or a Clinton for so many years, I think someone new would be wonderful and very refreshing. And America, you need some major refreshing - you're getting really stinky.

Additionally, Obama, I do believe, is much more liberal - or as liberal as an American politician can be. I believe, that he would be just, he would be egalitarian, his foreign policies would be diplomatic and amicable. Perhaps I am being idealistic and perhaps I've gotten caught up in the hype around this political rock star they call Obama. He is quite infatuating, charismatic, handsome, intelligent, and well spoken. Hey, I'm Canadian. I don't need to look at the "real" issues. Even if I did I am so in awe of the man I think I would like his policies. Wait. this post is getting more and more teenage girl crush - ish. Back to the topic.

Obama, seems to time and time again display sincerity (as sincere as a politician can be). With ease he dodges all the fireballs thrown his way. And some of these fireballs have been thrown by the Clinton camp. Some very Islamophobic ones at that. And that is the main reason I do NOT see Clinton as a feminist and I do not support her. Obama fits much more into the feminist ideology as I see it. Hillary, with her wishy-washiness on the decision to go into Iraq and her low and implicitly Islamophobic attacks on Obama, has turned me off for good.

On a quick side note: Of course race is playing a huge role in this article but I did not realize how racist this campaign had gotten until Obama had to distance himself from a pastor who, in no uncertain terms, stated that racism in the US was alive, and well - and quite robustly healthy. It is unfortunate that Obama would have to downplay and distance himself from a Black man's legitimate experiences with such intense hate. America, you need to face it, you have a serious racism problem.


Melinda said...

I'm cynical about both of them. The real liberal is Dennis Kucinich, but he's not an option. I'll be fine with whoever wins the primary, as long as McCain doesn't win the general election. Obama and Clinton, as far as their voting records go, aren't significantly different. Clinton has voted with the Democratic party 97.2 percent of the time, and Obama has 96.7 percent of the time.

Farheen said...

Thanks Melinda. I have to admit I am not completely aware of his policies. I guess as a Canadian my main interest in their policies is where they lie on the spectrum of right to left and how that will relate to Canadian policies. Unfortunately our PM loves to suck up to Bush because he's ultra conservative. I just want to see our PM squirm and to be honest eithet Obama or Clinton would make him squirm. Plus, I just want someone who is more diplomatic internationally and not so willing to bomb other countries. And, although I try not to base my judgements of Hillary on Bill, but Iraq qas consistantly bombed during Clinton's presidency. I just wonder if Hillary would have the same attitudes.

I wouldn't expect enlightenement from anyone running for pres really. Even Obama, and the whole Islamophobia thing, wasn't handled in the ideal way - though I do think that his hands are tied because of the level of racism and Islamophobia in the states.

Thanks so much for the info.

Anonymous said...

Nobody wins when we play Oppression Olympics.