11.16.2010

Woman up! She's a-comin'

I have just read the most delightful commentary on the future of American politics if females have anything to do with it.

The writer, Donna Trussell, is a poet, fiction writer and former film critic. She’s a fifth-generation Texan who knows the “Steel Magnolias” wiles of women as well as their increasing impact as stand-alone warriors against gender suppression.

Donna throws out facts right and left. Here’s one: last year, for the first time in U.S. history, more women than men earned doctorates.

There are delicious quotes, such as this one from the late Ann Richards, who governed Texas and delivered the keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention:

"Twelve years ago Barbara Jordan, another Texas woman, made the keynote address to this convention, and two women in 160 years is about par for the course. But if you give us a chance, we can perform. After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels."

Donna debunks Sarah Palin’s “Mama Grizzly” anti-feminist feminism claim, saying, “You can't play the sweet, deferential Christian grandmother while you sharpen your claws on programs benefiting women, children and the elderly.”

This article sounds a tocsin for the “parade of rural white men” responsible for the fact that “You have to go back to 1966 to find the same number of state legislature switches. You have to go back to 1928 to find this many state legislature seats filled with Republicans.”

Females are about to make a positive impact on the politics of this land, Donna asserts. She makes a powerful argument in “GOP’s Rural White Guys: The Night They Drove New Dixie Down.” Read it HERE and enjoy!

17 comments:

tnlib said...

"Donna debunks Sarah Palin’s “Mama Grizzly” anti-feminist feminism claim, saying, “You can't play the sweet, deferential Christian grandmother while you sharpen your claws on programs benefiting women, children and the elderly.”

And she's exactly right. Most women are not going to be attracted to Mamma Grizzly candidates for just this reason. Factor in the craziness of a woman like O'Donnell and you have a guaranteed loser.

I've always argued that women can see through other women better than their male counterparts. This is no where more apparent than amongst the GOP men who still appraise women solely on their looks and not on their intelligence. In fact, to a man who only reacts to women below the belt, the intelligent woman is actually a threat to him. They simply can't move beyond their chauvinism - as in Insane McCain.

But here's another thought. Palin is attractive but she is not pretty. Bachmann is actually much prettier, imo. O'Donnell is attractive but not pretty. Most of the other GOP female candidates in the midterm election were just flat-out ugly. But they all have a couple of things in common: anti-feminism and stupidity. They are too stupid to see that they are being used by the GOP all-male establishment as pawns. They are too stupid to reaize that they are mere puppets whose strings are being yanked by the GOP and that whatever intelligence they may or may not have does not come into play.

B.J. said...

I always enjoy your comments, tnlib, because I know you read the article a post highlights.

Several years ago I was stunned by a published comment from a liberal male friend who said he watched Fox News because of “the hot babes.” Seems the other cable news channels followed suit. For my money, if I want intelligent news analysis from a female anchor, give me an Andrea Mitchell or a Judy Woodruff, whose experience, brains and class far outshine the laterst “hot babe” teleprompter-reading anchor.

When it comes to females in politics, give me the brains and wisdom of a Hillary Clinton or Diane Feinstein and the grit of a Barbara Boxer. I believe Donna is writing more about the future makeup of the electorate, and the difference that is bound to make.

BJ

Jerry Critter said...

We don't need women in politics to be more like men. We need them to be more like women. Seriously! Women are more compassionate. That is a strength, not a weakness. Women are less warlike and more peaceful, more willing to compromise. Again, a strength, not a weakness.

We would have a better country and a better world if more women were in control. After all, it would be hard to do a much worse job than the men have recently done.

B.J. said...

You are absolutely right, Critter! And in concurrence with Donna’s article. No femi-Nazis on this blog. :-) DemWit admires all the smart cookies who grace this Comment Zone! BJ

tnlib said...

Well, JC, as I've said elsewhere, women can be be pretty nasty. Watch out when they have PMS. ; )

Ann Richards was one good looking gal and smart as a whip. Barbara Jordan wasn't pretty but if you ever had the chance to hear her speak, especially in person, her inner beauty and eloquence shown through.

For several years in Houston, I went with the artist who painted her portrait which hangs in the capital in Austin. I loved them both.

Tiny said...

Tiny agrees with BJ in reference to: "When it comes to females in politics, give me the brains and wisdom of a Hillary Clinton or Diane Feinstein and the grit of a Barbara Boxer."

Who could ever forget Ann Richards and her priceless remark about Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire? That was one gutsy woman! Intelligent and productive. And sorely missed.

Apparently others at Faux aren't impressed with "Mama Grizzly" either. Will have to find the leaked YouTubes caught on open microphones during a break. There will probably be new faces on that network before long!

Lawrence O'Donnell said, "Now that Palin's 'refudiate' has made it into the dictionary, she will next insist Russia be moved closer to her house." LHAO

B.J. said...

Tiny! Didn’t know about the open mike at Fox News OR “refudiate” making it into the dictionary. LOL! Thanks for keeping us up-to-date.

Particularly telling were Donna’s comments about attitudes toward “female sexuality.” That should get folks reading her article! :-)

BJ

Infidel753 said...

In order for the female factor to have the impact that Trussell anticipates, religion in the US will need to erode further.

Church attendance and strength of religious belief are the best predictor of voting patterns. The more religious people are, the more likely they are to vote Republican. That correlation is stronger than the correlation of age, gender, income, education, or any other factor with voting.

Fundamentalist women vote more like fundamentalist men than they do like other women.

Think about it -- why did it take so long for the trends Trussell sees to emerge, when women got the vote in 1920? Other cultural changes had to happen as well.

The increase in women pursuing higher education is a good sign, since education correlates negatively with religiosity.

Well, JC, as I've said elsewhere, women can be be pretty nasty. Watch out when they have PMS. ; )

TNLib, I know you meant this as a joke, but I once had a conversation with a woman who was reluctant to vote for a woman for President because of the destabilizing effect of menstrual cycles on judgment. She changed her mind when I pointed out that any woman who ran for President would probably be past the age of menopause. There are people who think this is a serious issue.

I suspect that testosterone can actually impair sound judgment to s similar degree, just in different ways. In either case, effective leaders can put hormones aside and think dispassionately.

Nance said...

I can hardly wait to share this with the Hen's Teeth gals. I've been worried that the stupidity and duplicity of the Angles, O'Donnells, Palins, and Brewers have set women of our generation back off the political burner. Donna says I'm wrong. I sure hope that she's right.

I entirely agree with Infidel1753 that, "Fundamentalist women vote more like fundamentalist men than they do like other women." Gender alone is not adequate; there needs to be rationality, real education, and a grasp of climate science, global economics, and cultural evolution. Women are in uniquely good positions to prepare themselves, but that's no guarantee that we will. There's just my fervent hope.

B.J. said...

Infidel, you want to help me make this work in my head. I’ve posed this to you before. You do not want religious belief systems permeating politics (neither do I). How is it reasonable, then, that you as an atheist let your own belief system permeate your politics? You are coreect about the correlation of religious Americans voting Republican. Your assumption that all religious persons are of low intelligence and, therefore, must vote Republican is unreasonable.

You exude a great deal of effort pointing out the detrimental effects of religion. Are you really blind to the good that organized religion accomplishs?

None of this is to discount that you seem the very voice of reason on most issues, and I always look forward to your input.

I am tweaking a post about all this. Stay tuned.

BJ, a Christian who votes Demcoratic Party, because she truly believes Jesus wasn’t just a revolutionary in his time, but also a liberal in his thinking and teaching.

B.J. said...

P.S. to Infidel: I am past PMS.

B.J. said...

Nance, I knew Hen’s Teeth would like this. Donna, you gals and I are in a pretty elite group – liberal Southern women – and I like it.

Of course, fundamentlist women vote like fundamentalist men. I long ago left the Southern Baptist Convention, which in its statement of mission now declares that wives must be submissive to their husbands.

My fervent hope is that these women will wake up to their own potential and to the reality that they are no better off than subjugated women in other countries and in other times.

As Southern women we know there are two things which measure the worth of a woman’s life: how clean she kept her house and how many flowers were at her funeral. (I’m beginning to sound like Eudora Welty, LOL.)

BJ

Frodo, who likes McCain's daughter said...

Ya know, it ain't often that Frodo says he doesn't have a dog in this fight. Especially after he, totally uncharacteristically, picked Angle, McMahon, O'Donnell, Fiorina, and Meg Whitman to all go down in stunning defeat. He was struck however, by the fact that no one addresses Ann Coulter (meaner than a junkyard dog) or Elizabeth Edwards (what words can be said?, deus ex machina). He offers also that if Willy Gomert were a woman, he too, would've lost. Men are united against women who eat Fruit Loops.

Jerry Critter said...

Men are united against women who ARE fruit loops.

B.J. said...

Gentlemen: If it comes right down to it can we count on you to help us defeat Sarah Palin? :-) BJ

Infidel753 said...

How is it reasonable, then, that you as an atheist let your own belief system permeate your politics?

What are you talking about? Atheism isn't a belief system. It's the absence of one specific belief.

Your assumption that all religious persons are of low intelligence

This is a lie worthy of Rove. I have never said that, anywhere. I did say that level of education correlates negatively with religiosity, which is verifiably true. The higher the level of educational attainment, the lower the percentage of people at that level who are religious. This does not even remotely equate to "all religious persons are of low intelligence".

and, therefore, must vote Republican is unreasonable.

The statement that religiosity correlates with voting Republican is not an "assumption". It's a statistical fact.

Are you really blind to the good that organized religion accomplishs?

I don't believe it does. Most religious people who do good things would be doing so even if they were not religious. Even if this were not the case, however, it would not contradict my point here.

It's an established statistical fact that the more religious people are, the more likely they are to vote Republican. Therefore it is true that a decline in religiosity predicts a decline in people voting Republican. This is true irrespective of one's attitude toward religion more broadly.

I always look forward to your input.

Then why do you flagrantly misrepresent what I said?

B.J. said...

It is time to publish the post I've had in the queue for a while. BJ