Misogynist of the Day
You, good progressive. Or rather, you will be, if you don't start paying more attention to women in politics. The time for sitting quietly at the back of the bus in the name of unity is past, and I'm going to start harping on this a lot more. Just take a gander at this report, from which I offer a small sample:
by Leutisha Stills, CBC Monitor
â€œBlack women who are elected to Congress are all but guaranteed to be more progressive than nearly half of Black male members.â€
â€œAnd if a house divided (split into factions and rebelling) against itself, that house will not be able to lastâ€¦â€ (Mark 3:25)
As we near the beginning of a new, Democrat-dominated session of Congress, much attention is focused on who will become chairs of important committees and subcommittees. Most of the Black candidates to wield committee gavels are males with longstanding progressive credentials â€“ a fact that tends to give the impression that the Black Caucus is chock-a-block with progressive guys. However, a CBC Monitor analysis of voting records shows that the women of the Caucus are significantly more progressive than the men.
When the Caucus is examined as a body, the gender gap is dramatic. Of the 12 female voting members, 10 earned places in the Honor Society, with â€œAâ€ grades (90-100%) â€“ an impressive 83% of total voting women. (The two women congressional delegates from Washington, DC and the U.S. Virgin Islands cannot vote on the House floor.)
â€œNot a single CBC woman scored less than a â€˜Bâ€™â€
The remaining two female members earned a â€œBâ€ with 80-89% scores. Not a single CBC woman scored less than a â€œBâ€ in the final grading period of 2006.
The men were a very different story. Twelve men out of 29 earned the Honor Society â€œAâ€ â€“ 41% vs. 83% for the women. A total of 17 men rated â€œAâ€ or â€œBâ€ â€“ 59% of male members, compared to 100% percent of females.
It was all downhill from there for the men of the CBC.
Yes, yes, I know: being a woman doesn't automatically mean you're smarter, more compassionate, and more honest. But in politics, it seems that if there is a D after your name, and even sometimes when there is not, you are more likely to be in the game to make a positive difference, as opposed to get some with hottie staffers half your age and fill your freezer with cash. It's time progressives returned to their roots and did their part bringing these women to the limelight.
It's worth noting that Waters and Slaughter and other women in Congress have not only been vocal champions of their causes, but they also aren't afraid to do things like actually submit bills for immediate withdrawl from Iraq and even show up at protests with the DFHs* and take the podium in solidarity. Isn't is just common sense for progressives to focus more attention on those in power who are really and truly doing what we've been asking for, after all this time in the wilderness?
Hillary is our Maggie Thatcher, and if she gets into office, I don't doubt she'll both help and screw over actually progressive women. Perhaps that's the price of ultimate power, I don't know as I've never had it. But as an unreasonable purist radical who obviously doesn't understand a goddamn thing about politics, I'd like to offer the crazy idea that we all try to talk about and follow more closely what our strongest, truest allies are doing. Frankly, it's tiresome to read about the latest and completely predictable line of flip flopping bullshit from McCain and other insider baseball gossip that dominates a large portion of the daily discourse in the 'sphere, while the Good Deeds of true progressives goes unnoticed.
*Dirty Fucking Hippies, which in abbreviated form becomes work safe. And yes, I know Slaughter isn't African-American, but she's been so great I just had to include her in this post.