Geraldine Ferraro, R.I.P.

Saturday, March 26th, 2011 · 24 Comments »

Remember when she was on the ticket in 1984, and how we thought that from then on women running for president/vice-president would be a regular thing?

Sigh.

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24 Responses to “Geraldine Ferraro, R.I.P.”

  1. Ugsome says:

    Instead we got treated to watching our friends, fathers, brothers, husbands, colleagues, all white liberal guilt-ridden 70s Northern desegregation survivors, and all festering with resentment for not having what their fathers had, have an Axelrod-engineered racegasm for Obama.

  2. JeanLouise says:

    Not to mention the women who were unwilling to take a stand against their significant others or taken in by the flavor of the month.

    I remember the excitement. I didn’t feel it again until Hillary kicked ass in the debates.

  3. julia says:

    I remember…..this was my very first vote and I was so proud. Of her – not Mondale, he was just there so she could run. I remember the great article she wrote in support of Hillary Clinton in 2008.

    We have to keep going.

  4. Ugsome says:

    My first vote too! She campaigned in Iowa City. What excitement!

  5. Violet Socks says:

    Instead we got treated to watching our friends, fathers, brothers, husbands, colleagues, all white liberal guilt-ridden 70s Northern desegregation survivors, and all festering with resentment for not having what their fathers had, have an Axelrod-engineered racegasm for Obama.

    Well, my friends, fathers, etc ., aren’t all white liberal guilt-ridden Northerners. Not all white, not all liberal, not all Northerners.

    I have said it before but I’ll say it again: there was absolutely nothing wrong with being excited for Obama as the first black president. The first black president was a huge milestone, and completely worth being excited about. I disliked Obama’s politics (because he was and is a Republican in Democratic clothing) and hated the sexism his campaign deployed, but I still would have voted for him if Hillary hadn’t been in the race. Of course, if Hillary hadn’t been in the race I wouldn’t have seen the sexism, so it would have been easier.

    The real problem in 2008 was the sexism against Hillary, the incredible misogyny unleashed against her and her supporters, and the downplaying of the significance of her run.

    It is extremely unfortunate that some Obama supporters were willing to attack the other camp as being racist just for opposing Obama. That happened numerous times and was a horrible blot on his campaign.

    But that doesn’t mean that his campaign and election weren’t simultaneously historic in a positive way. It was just a mixed bag. Good in the historic breakthrough sense, but also very disappointing in terms of the sexism and in terms of some of the tactics used.

    ETA: That’s what made it so painful. I remember when Obama was elected, the pundits all saying that it was a moment of pure joy. Well, not if you’d just been kicked in the guts repeatedly for the past six months by misogynist freakazoids from hell.

  6. Carmonn says:

    Frankly, I suspect that if Hillary hadn’t been in the race, Obama would have been roughly in her position, with much of that “How dare she! How dare she run! Who does she think she is!” anger being expressed at him, in racial terms, instead. There are different dynamics in a race between a white man and a black man versus a race between a man of any race versus a woman of any race. Certainly, as Violet points out, many of Obama’s supporters were genuinely excited about the historic nature of his candidacy; but others were motivated more by hatred/fear of Clinton than any genuine appreciation of the significance of Obama’s breakthrough. They weren’t guilt-ridden, the racial angle was more something to latch on to after the fact to transform an irrational hate-based crusade into a positive noble crusade (with the plus of being able to vent “rationalized” anger at women for being so deplorably, irretrievably racist), and in an Obama-Edwards race they’d have downplayed the significance of his run just as much.

  7. julia says:

    No kidding, Violet. I remember riding my bike around town and seeing Obama/Biden lawn signs on women’s yards and thinking ‘do they know who they’re voting for?’. Folks don’t remember what Biden did to Anita Hill. Many women did not see the sexism in the Obama campaign, and certainly didn’t want to hear about it. Everything was ‘vote against McCain’.

    Your blog was right on it – I actually met (in person) a woman who followed it as closely as I did, and we sat down and talked non-stop for three hours about feminism.

    What came out of all of that sh*t in the 2008 campaign is that women got angry. We had places to read and write about it. Which, for me, helped clarify my thoughts so I could talk to people about it in my daily life.

    And that may be the whole point.

  8. Adrienne in CA says:

    Also no joy in Obama’s election when you KNEW he was a poseur and a Reaganite, and that what Ferraro said about him was exactly right.

    Thank you, Geraldine, for speaking Truth out loud, and refusing to back down.

    *****A

  9. Violet Socks says:

    Frankly, I suspect that if Hillary hadn’t been in the race, Obama would have been roughly in her position, with much of that “How dare she! How dare she run! Who does she think she is!” anger being expressed at him, in racial terms, instead.

    I don’t think so. I agree with the rest of your comment, and in fact you give a wonderfully pithy summary of how Hillary hate got repackaged as Obama love. But on this first thing, I disagree.

    Racism is not nearly as acceptable in public discourse as sexism. And liberal dudes (who are still, god help us, the ones driving the conversation) are vastly more race-conscious than gender-conscious. Hell, they’re more everything-conscious than gender-conscious. They’ll fly a rainbow flag and get righteous about marriage equality before they’ll take sexism seriously. Or check their own.

  10. Carmonn says:

    I can’t disagree wth any of that, because you’re absolutely right. However, while liberal dudes are vastly more race-conscious than gender conscious, that’s not saying much, plus they also can be pretty ruthless and those principles can get a bit flexible when it comes to getting what they want. I could be wrong, but I don’t necessarily see Obama and his paper-thin resume atracting much establishment support apart from his designated role as the only chance to stop Hillary, and if there was someone else they really wanted, and Obama was seen as standing in his way, well, although overt racism is definitely not as socially acceptable as sexism and it wouldn’t ever have gotten close to the level we witnessed, I think it could have been fairly unpleasant.

    Moreso among the lower and middle blogger tiers than the A-listers, obviously, but in general I feel like the major limiting factor on their behavior is roughly, “Can we get away with this? Will this work?”

  11. Sweet Sue says:

    Yes, I remember. I also remember when the Democratic Party would do the right thing instead of the politically expedient thing.
    But, then, I’m old and tired.
    Rest in peace, Gerry, and thank you for advancing the Cause.

  12. gxm17 says:

    Violet @ 5: I have said it before but I’ll say it again: there was absolutely nothing wrong with being excited for Obama as the first black president. The first black president was a huge milestone, and completely worth being excited about.

    I dunno about anyone else but I’m still waiting for the first black president. Not one who judges by skin hue, I see Obama as white. He was raised by his white family, not his absentee black father (who was African, not African American). A culturally black African American is still not acceptable political material to way too many Americans of various ethnicity, not just whites. My biggest concern with Obama’s election is that Americans will have a “touched it” attitude about race and diversification of power and that it might actually get harder for people of color to get elected but I could be wrong (let’s hope I am).

  13. gxm17 says:

    Adrienne in CA @ 8 Thank you, Geraldine, for speaking Truth out loud, and refusing to back down.

    Amen to that.

  14. Sameol says:

    Awful news. I’m sure that everyone is already aware, but Lori Starfelt, who I believe posted here sometimes? one of the people who did a lot of work on caucus fraud in the 2008 election, also passed away.

    A culturally black African American is still not acceptable political material to way too many Americans of various ethnicity, not just whites.

    Mmm, it will take a long time to erase the memory of the Majority Leader of the Senate declaring the President acceptable because he’s “light skinned” and “doesn’t use Negro dialect.” We’ve made astonishingly little progress in some ways, it seems.

  15. Toonces says:

    I agree with gxm17 and I wonder/worry about what the future holds for future black candidates and candidates of color in general. I think maybe even if people were just voting against Hillary, they may have gotten over a psychological hump and will not be resistant to voting for another POC. And, hopefully, at least some people will be more aware of their own tendency to project unicorn butterfly rainbow dust onto the Magical Black Man come to save them from themselves. :D (No, not all Obama supporters were Obots).

    My favorite candidate in 2004 was Al Sharpton though I don’t believe America would have been able to handle someone so openly black (heh) and not from the upper-crust. It feels like Jesse Jackson earned the spot of first black (male) president, too. Maybe Van Jones will run at some point. He’s kind of the real person Obama was hallucinated to be, no?

    Anyway, sorry to get off-topic. I guess Ferraro’s been excommunicated, eh? I was only 1 when she ran so I don’t have much to say. I feel nauseous when I think about the next time a woman runs nationally (not that I don’t want it to happen!!).

  16. julia says:

    Toonces, if you look at how Sharpton has supported rapists, like Mike Tyson, and the thugs that raped, sodomized, forced her to sodomize her own son, then threw acid on a Florida woman in her own apartment, he may no longer be your favorite. The Florida case was 2009 (?) and so horrific I could not believe that Sharpton was calling for the rapists to get a lower sentence.

  17. Toonces says:

    The second paragraph I wrote is weird. I am aware of Al Sharpton’s tendency to ignore women in the black community and defend men without getting the full story. I didn’t meant to gloss over that. I don’t think I would support him if he ran again, but I appreciated his cutting through the BS in 2004 and telling the truth. I hope he refocuses and learns to include black women (more?) in his activism.

  18. funniekins says:

    julia, it was 2007.

    The “thugs” to whom you refer were 14, 15, 16, and 18.

    The United States Supreme Court (not Sharpton) said that some of the teens should have a lower sentence.

    Sharpton said they should be bonded out like the local group of white teenagers simultaneously accused of gang raping two young girls were.

    Hope this helps. I notice that a lot of people who use words like “thug” can get a little hazy on the details.

  19. Violet Socks says:

    funniekins, if you’re referring to the Dunbar Village atrocity, yes, Al Sharpton was all over that.

    As for the word “thugs,” it’s too good for them.

    I notice that a lot of people who excuse rape get a little hazy on the details.

    You can start with that link over to What About Our Daughters. Hope this helps.

  20. julia says:

    Dear funniekins,

    I try to treat everyone here with respect, and I would like the same treatment. Especially from other feminists.

    Sharpton wanted the teens rapists to get a lower sentence, and to be tried as teens, not adults. This may sound reasonable – if you are not a woman. Why he would argue in their favor for anything after the most disgusting rape case I have ever read about could be of concern to anyone who likes him.

    In a sexist world, a male politician’s record and actions are of utmost importance. I used to be a fan of Sharpton’s because of his speeches. This was before I learned more about him.

    A man who helps rapists is no friend of women.

  21. Carmonn says:

    It’s misleading to say SCOTUS ruled that some of the Dunbar Village thugs should have a lower sentence. The ruling that it’s cruel and unusual to give life sentences without possibility of parole to juvenile offenders who don’t kill their victims came in the case of Terrence Graham, an armed robber, and Roberts, while in part concurring, actually singled out Dunbar Village as a crime so horrific as to cast doubt on a wholesale ban of lswpp’s for juveniles. I notice that rape apologists are often, paradoxically, so busy getting self-righteous about silly things that they can get a little hazy on the details. Hope that helps.

  22. Sameol says:

    Sharpton said they should be bonded out like the local group of white teenagers simultaneously accused of gang raping two young girls were.

    Actually, under criticism and flailing, Sharpton tried to claim just the opposite, that he’d advocated no bail for any of the gang rapists in either case.

  23. julia says:

    The NAACP said they could do nothing for the survivor, as it was out of their jurisdiction.

  24. ugsome says:

    Violet, I agree that first black president was a huge milestone; that particular glass ceiling was long overdue to be shattered with a sledgehammer; lots and lots of people are inspired and empowered by it.

    I am thinking more of the cynical intersection between racism and sexism I saw in some of his more ardent followers. To them women have no legitimate political aspirations as do others. I found it tacky that they tried to burnish their indie creds with a bumper sticker and a vote. That Obama sticker does not make you look cool.