Monday, February 04, 2008

Color Vs. Gender, The Great Debate

In her editorial in the New York Times, Gloria Steinem makes some interesting observations about race, gender, and the democratic race.

Steinem writies, "What worries me is that some women, perhaps especially younger ones, hope to deny or escape the sexual caste system; thus Iowa women over 50 and 60who disproportionately supported Senator Clinton, proved once again that women are the one group that grows more radical with age."


"Why is the sex barrier not taken as seriously as the racial one? The reasons are as pervasive as the air we breathe: 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 half of the human race."

But, if one was listening to All Things Considered last night, they may have gotten a different perspective. ATC had a piece with South Caroline female, African-American activists in light of Clinton's stupid MLK comment.

The Marvelettes, three powerful political insiders in Orangeburg, S.C. — Labrena Aiken-Furtick, Gilda Cobb-Hunter and Baraka Cheeseboro — spoke with Michele Norris about negative reaction to the injection of race into Democratic primary politics.

The Marvelettes say that most of their difficulties come, not from being a woman, but for being black. Baraka says, "they speak of the question, am I black or female? Black women are being forced to chose. Most of the problems that I have had come from being black, not a woman. They also speak about what legacy they want to leave their children and the question of whether they are willing to vote against someone who will advance the lives of people of color."

This is why I have had an easier time relating to the civil rights and gay movements than the feminism movement. I will not be disrespectful of the feminist movement, but, like these African-American activists, what has happened to me a disabled person has been so profoundly worse than what has happened to me as a woman. I can't even see any gender prejudice, because I'm so busy dealing with the other. If I had the choice between a able-bodied woman and a crippled man, I'd probably vote for the guy too.

Our country is in a strange time. While it is exciting to see two 'minorities' running for president, we cannot lose sight of the bigger picture. Who will stop the war -- not matter if their skin is black or they wear skirts.

1 comment:

Pearl said...

Interesting post. I was glad to read the review of your book too. A Man and a Woman Standing in the Rain in Front of a Candy Store sounds lovely. I'll try to remember to swing by your blog more often.