Sexism reigns once again

10:05 AM Posted In , , , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
I came across a political cartoon that got me to thinking. I can't find it again, but I will describe it to you. Obama is standing in front of the White House and turns to wave at a man and a woman hiding in the shadows of some trees. Next to them are signs pointing away from Obama, labeled with such things as "slavery," "segregation," and "Jim Crow laws." The man is standing and waving back, as if in brotherhood while the woman sits next to him.
First, let me say that I think it's wonderful that we have a person of colour as our president-elect, and as I've said before, I don't think that it will have an effect one way or the other upon his potential performance. But I am disappointed that a person of colour became president before a woman did. Let me explain before you jump down my throat.
In short, it says that, "Yes, we are overcoming racism." Huzzah! At the same time it is an indicator that we have not yet overcome sexism. I know that there are all sorts of reasons why Hillary Rodham Clinton did not make it, but I am not referring specifically to her. Why haven't there been more acceptable options? Why was she our best female candidate? Yes, we should vote for their positions on the issues, experience, and plans for the future and not for external bits and pieces such as skin colour or genitalia. But obviously not everyone does.
Evidently women, particularly those of colour, are only acceptable as a demure, tame First Lady. While watching the post acceptance speech hug-a-thon, one of my male friends denigrated the clothing choices of Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain (although I do have to agree that the green was eye-watering). I turned to him and asked, "Why should it matter?" He answered, "It doesn't, but they will be skewered for it." My feelings are, unsurprisingly, that it doesn't matter. If you even comment on it one way or another, you are still making it an issue.
And who did not see this coming? I do agree that choosing Palin was an extremely poor choice on McCain's behalf, if a highly politicized one in an attempt to win those of us who have ovaries.