I love women now. There was a long time in my 20s and 30s when men were my better friends. Sure, I had my sisters and my best friend, but usually, my friends and those I admired in art, film and literature were men. I would probably need a lot of therapy or a really long, drunken confessional to figure out why but I can say, without question, that now in my 40s I understand why people say women rule the world.
My “Mother/Daughter” group met last night — five of us women from my daughter’s school and their daughters get together monthly to discuss things, mostly the whole “girl you’ll be a woman soon” thing. No shit, last night we built a fruit body. It was all I could do not to make banana jokes or take it seriously at all because it was just one pun waiting to happen after another – one dirty limerick after another. At some point, though, I looked down at the cute little immobile fruit lady with her oranges for breasts, blueberries for nipples, apples for lips and strawberry for you-know-what it was just plain cute to me. And then we had to talk about the uterus and the fallopian tubes and the moon cycle. The poor girls were mortified. I think that we entered a world of “private talk” that isn’t discussed much these days. Moreover, it carved an imprint in their minds, I’ll bet, that they will never forget. I told them, as they giggled through it, that this would be endless fodder for jokes when they grew up and for that alone it was worth sitting through. I think the other moms were annoyed at my inability to take it seriously. I tried. I really did but between the skewers to pierce the fruit and hold it to the watermelon body and the way she looked, like a fruity and organic blow-up doll, it was just the funniest thing ever. I need to evolve. It’s true.
But anyway, all of this to say that it takes a woman to wisely put things as they are – and herewith, a lovely op-ed by Gail Collins in the NY Times on the Hillary/Obama thing:
I get asked all the time whether I think Hillary lost because sexism is worse than racism in this country. The answer is no. She lost because Obama ran a smarter, better-organized campaign. It‚Äôs possible that she would have won if the Democratic Party had more rational primary rules. But Obama didn‚Äôt make up the rules, and Clinton had no problem with them until she began to lose.
Here‚Äôs where the sexism does come in. If Barack had failed in his attempt to make history by becoming the first African-American presidential nominee, you can bet we‚Äôd have treated his defeat with the dignity it deserved. Even if he went over the deep end at the finale and found it hard to get around to a graceful concession.
For a long time, Obama supporters have seen party unity as something that Hillary could provide by capitulating. It also requires the Democrats to acknowledge what she‚Äôs achieved. If that makes them feel like wimps, let them take it out on John McCain.
Clinton is very much a product of the generation that accepted a certain amount of humiliation as the price of progress. She wrote in her autobiography that when she ran for president of her high-school class against several boys, one of them told her she was ‚Äúreally stupid‚Äù if she thought a girl could be elected president. She lost, and later, the winner asked her to head a committee ‚Äúwhich as far as I could tell was expected to do most of the work.‚Äù She swallowed hard, accepted and, she admitted, really liked organizing all the school parades and dances and pep rallies.
This is one of the things you have to admire about Hillary Clinton. She still enjoys the work.
This op-ed says what I’ve been feeling throughout this campaign – to see it so plainly, what a joke women are to the rest of the world – even to, especially to, women.¬† I am an Obama supporter in so much as I admire him, have faith in his ability to give us hope again but I have always believed in the end that Hillary would have been the more capable, get-her-done leader. Yes, she’s a bitch. Yes, she fought dirty and hard. I guess everyone expected her to act like she did during Bill’s run – like the good little girl who pretends to be polite. The whole thing makes me sad and it makes me feel sick that no one, except a few of us women and a handful of evolved men (like Jon Stewart and ironically, even Barack Obama himself because no one is more evolved than that guy) saw it either.