Happy March! (on Washington, to the White House)

It's Woman's History Month. Excited?

I won't promise loads of commentaries, because we saw what happened when I did that for Black History Month. And then I actually did have a plan (it was really good and had tons of issues). But I will promise to trying to be better about posting despite my busier schedule. February was a shame.

I also won't promise extra special attention paid to women. I know it sounds horrible, but I have to write as the issues come.

However, as we do bridge from one history month to another (and they're not mutually exclusive) I do find this Maureen Dowd New York Times op-ed pretty pertinent. In referencing the two bids for the U.S. Democratic party nomination, Dowd not uniquely positions the race as a battle of two historical guilts. Click Here.
(If you want to escape the elections look at Radar's Misogynistic Movies List.)

What is most interesting about the repeated need to cast this race as a battle between America's (and well the entire western world) various wrongs are the efforts to make one group's pains appear more hindering than the other's. Dianne Feinstein, senior senator from California, is quoted as talking about a "no women need apply" standard and two other people banter in the article about who's ancestors pains were greater. "My ancestors came in chains" says one. The other replies "My ancestors were in chains and on their periods." Who knows why Ms. Dowd chose these comments? (I don't regularly follow her column and don't pretend to know any of her politics.)

The absurdity of these comments does nothing to actually aid the actual issues at the base of the discussion and only inflame zealots. At best they point out the double burden of specific groups over times: If no women could apply, and no Irish could apply in general, then the 19th century was probably a bit more rough than Gangsters of New York could ever portray. Even more if blacks were in actual chains, and women were in metaphoric chains and on their periods, and patriarchy exists across races, black women must have had one bloody ride...eh?

Can injustices be weighed? In some cases yes and in some cases no. Getting a paper cut is different from getting a hand chopped off. But losing you're left eye or your right ear both pose difficulties that are more orange and apples. The women vs. every other American minority case is flawed and in most cases if not always, women (as a general group, but particularly meaning white women) have carried less of the burden than other minorities (in general). Still the issue of who's journey to the gate was easier does not mean anything if neither person is guaranteed access beyond the gatekeeper. An admission through the back door should also not be the accepted concession. This is not to deride gendered spaces (like a sorority or fraternity) but to pause and think about places where the analogy may make sense.

In speaking about the Democratic race, the idea of competing historical wrongs enforces the idea that the election of one or the other will be the saving grace and eradicate that issue.

"As it turns out, making history is actually a way of being imprisoned by history. It’s all about the past. Will America’s racial past be expunged or America’s sexist past be expunged?"-Dowd

NO, it will not. The fact that both Hillary and Barack have gotten this far in the race with Edwards bowing out does indicate that there have been positive changes concerning the isms. It does not however immediately change the way society operates or rewrite the discourses that dictate the way we function.


And to whoever made the comment about the menstrual cycle, that's like Tyra burning her bra even though its 2008 in her breast episode to make some point about ill fitting bras. Stupid.

Haul,
The Queen

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