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The ‘Woman Card’ Brings a Wealth of Disadvantages


#1

The ‘Woman Card’ Brings a Wealth of Disadvantages

Sonali Kolhatkar

“If Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote …” Donald Trump asserted back in April, adding: “The only thing she’s got going is the woman’s card.”

Sadly, his remark did not only reflect his own sexist views. Apparently, there are plenty of Americans who believe that womanhood is an advantage when it comes to running for the highest office in the country.


#2

Does that FIGHTING FOR US poster in the background mean that Clinton is fighting for our votes ?


#3

This seems to me almost like two separate articles mashed together. The main article is a very sensible (and therefore distressing) one about the state of women's political and legal situations in (primarily) the US, which is of course utterly lamentable. But the "other" article is about Hillary Clinton, who is no exemplar of the women being discussed in the main article.

I think the only way to evaluate Hillary vis a vis "the woman card" would be to determine how many people are supporting her "because she's a woman" (and we know there are plenty) versus how many are opposing her for that same reason (apparently there are plenty of them too). And it'd probably be very difficult to make that determination with any accuracy...


#4

There goes any respect for Jamie Lee I might have had. Yeah, my feelings in this election primary are extreme.
I will never vote the lesser evil again. The Dem Party hacks can make the decision for lesser-evil but Bernie's Army remains steadfast - "by the Mass, our hearts are in the trim". I will vote my conscience and for issues, regardless the hyped "consequences", and that means never Clinton, or any of her toadie Dem sycophants when they run for office! Here in NY they infest the place - hyper-partisans supporting the lesser-evil candidate rather than a person of integrity, truth, and honor. Bernie Sanders.............sickening!


#5

I would characterize your feelings this election season MORAL, not extreme.

NPR was discussing why you see so many Bernie signs and bumper stickers and none for Hillary. They concluded that Clinton voters would be accused of playing the woman card. I believe the real reason is that Clinton voters have nothing other than identity politics to rationalize their votes. They can't possibly be considering the moral implications.


#6

"Women have to be exceptional in order to be seen as equal to mediocre men."

Boy, is that the truth! And why females--within the patriarchal capitalistic system based on war and aggression--act to out-warrior the warrior males just to gain status.

I am a strong opponent of this system, and therefore don't recognize Feminism as finding a place in it. Especially when said status means adopting to the existing mores and logistics.


#7

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#10

Multiple science degrees? First of all, good going. Second of all, you could add being an intelligent person facing ordinary society to your list of reasons you face discrimination.

I agree that the idea that women have a gender-based advantage in practical matters is mostly nonsense. What isn't nonsense is that some agenda-driven individuals will misuse political discrimination cards to further their agendas.

I believe that Clinton is successful less because of her gender, and more for reasons which are similar to Trump's: huge amounts of ethically-misapplied dollars, support from the morally negotiable, and a thick and creamy layer of pandering. The fact that she's in the race probably says less about the obstacles she's had to overcome and more about some oligarch's unwillingness to admit that he's wrong. But that being the case, it doesn't seem to me that she hesitates to play the gender card, often with the effect of putting the well-intentioned at a disadvantage, or even turning their story inside out.


#11

Yet another reason Hillary Clinton is unfair to women is that it's hard for someone to make a politically conscious commentary in support of women's rights without creating the appearance of endorsement. An endorsement of Clinton entails all kinds of yucky. To me it seemed like the article did a credible job of acknowledging Clinton and her flaws, while stopping short of truly being supportive.


#12

Oh, these conflations!

Yes, Trump is a bigot. Of course he is sexist. Of course women and men are not treated the same in this country. Of course the remark is spurious and fairly stupid. What would any of us expect from a career oaf?

Still, are we really going to call Hillary Rodham Clinton a victim of oppression? Does anybody really wish to assert that one is not in favor of rights for women if one does not regard Mrs Clinton as among the downtrodden?

Kolhatkar has done a lot of awfully fine work on a range of issues, including feminism, but here the piano is seriously out of tune. Certainly there are other things that Clinton has going for her in the campaign, but these are a whole lot more damning than anything the Donald and his "Watch me be a bigot" schtick has to lay at her door.

She has the support of Goldman Sachs and, in general, the Wall Street, Fed, and IMF ponzi trading community. Consider what that means and what it costs. Think about who gets shot, who gets robbed, and who gets bombed.

She has the support of the financiers and architects of coup d'etat in Honduras and Ukraine, at the very least, and we ought to be considering Haiti, Libya, and Syria as well. There are plenty of other conspirators, but that's no reason to leave her off the hook.

She has the support of a growing part of the neocon base of the Republican Party. Think about what that means for a second. Sure, part of it comes because Trump is so preposterous. But all those stodgy Pugs kept their mouths shut for McCain and Palin, didn't they? Do we really imagine that no one had the sense to be embarrassed? Do we imagine that none of the Republicans knew that W was something of a cipher all those 8 years? Who do you suppose assigned him My Little Goat? No, let's not play with this: Mrs. Clinton satisfies their policy desires almost right across the board. She has to play nice a bit because she's talking with Democrats, but she's in favor of pretty much everything that we would associate with the likes of a Bush or Cheney.

It is very likely that when Trumplestiltskin says she has only "the woman card" going for her, he means in the eyes of a fairly liberal person of the Democratic persuasion--for ease of comparison, say an Elizabeth Warren in questions of domestic policy, but also someone against war, with no need to pledge obscene loyalties to AIPAC and Israel and whoever is selling them weapons. If that's what he means, bigot and jerk and misogynist or no, that becomes a little hard to answer. Maybe he means something else, but we might want to ask, what else does she have going for such a person? She's smart and articulate, but that's not an advantage if she is an adversary, as she is for most of us here in terms of policy.

It is not that the women's issue is not valid, or even that Clinton will not have confronted it in her personal and professional life. It just is not the only issue. Hillary Clinton's extreme privilege and links to privilege do not expire or become null ad void just because she has some status issue in some contexts because of her gender. I have been poor most of my adult life, and I will almost certainly die in debt, but that does not mean that I have never had advantages that accrue from being white and male and having had some access to an education of sorts. Sure there is a lot to be done for women's rights. But that's probably a good reason to vote for Bernie Sanders.


#14

"I am no fan of Hillary Clinton, simply because she is a neoliberal centrist wolf cloaked in progressive sheep’s clothing. However, she has many advantages propelling her toward the Democratic nomination, including the support of her party’s establishment, Wall Street executives and even Republicans.

Although the “woman card” is her burden, too, the idea that being female is an advantage is not as dangerous for wealthy, powerful white women like Clinton as it is for the rest of us."

That seems to be a rather emphatic denouncement of any support for Clinton. As I started reading the article, I expected that it was an endorsement for Clinton. However, after reading through, it seems that the article is just using Hillary as a springboard to address the fallacious idea that the "woman card" brings advantage.


#15

It seems the author would agree with everything you've written.

"I am no fan of Hillary Clinton, simply because she is a neoliberal centrist wolf cloaked in progressive sheep’s clothing. However, she has many advantages propelling her toward the Democratic nomination, including the support of her party’s establishment, Wall Street executives and even Republicans.

Although the “woman card” is her burden, too, the idea that being female is an advantage is not as dangerous for wealthy, powerful white women like Clinton as it is for the rest of us."


#17

Certainly it is possible to be a parent who is strict in the sense of setting reasonable and safe rules and following through with them without violence. You have claimed being strict is the same as bullying but I don't believe it. Bullying is bullying, parenting is parenting and being strict, holding to rules that matter, is what parents ought to do and so very often fail at. To resort to violence is no part of parenting, neither is laxity.


#18

Sonali, how do you think things would change if Elizabeth Warren came out for Bernie and if he chose her as his running mate? It would certainly advance Warren's chances in four to eight years.