Wednesday, January 16

The stigma of being a woman...

…Can you imagine someone yelling at (Barack) Obama, "Stick to basketball!" before the international press and it not sparking at least some examination about race issues afterward? (2 hecklers repeatedly yelled "Iron my shirts” at Hillary Clinton at a rally last week) Can you conceive of a radio host gaily making fun of candidate Bill Richardson's generous girth, as (Boston’s Michael) Graham did of Ms. Clinton's thighs? … Many of the judgments being passed against Clinton are rooted in her sex. … What the late Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to serve in the U.S. Congress, once noted may still hold true: "Of my two 'handicaps, being female put more obstacles in my path than being black."
- The stigma of being a woman in this race, Christie Blatchford, Globe & Mail, 9 Jan 2008.

… Gender is probably the most restricting force in America … Black men were given the vote a half-century before women of any race … and have ascended to positions of power …before any women… Why is the sex barrier not taken as seriously as the racial one? … 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 ; … I’m not advocating a competition for who has it toughest. The caste systems of sex and race are interdependent and can only be uprooted together. … What worries me is … that male Iowa voters were seen as gender-free when supporting their own, while female voters were seen as biased if they did and disloyal if they didn’t… that some women, perhaps especially younger ones, hope to escape the sexual caste system. … It’s time to take equal pride in breaking all the barriers. We have to be able to say: “I’m supporting her because she’ll be a great president and because she’s a woman.”
- Excerpts, Women Are Never Front-Runners, Gloria Steinem, NY Times, 8 Jan 2008.

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