NOW's put out this Obama, Are You Listening? This One's for Your Girls
Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, appeared on Meet the Press on July 27 and was pressed by Tom Brokaw to discuss the criteria, timing and prospects for his selection for vice president. Obama refused to name any names, but he did offer this insight: "I want somebody who I'm compatible with, who I can work with, who has a shared vision..."
Well, I hope that shared vision includes full equality for women, because some of the names that have been floated recently aren't particularly reassuring.
The New York Times puts forth a frustrating Catch-22 in the veepstakes, claiming that there's little chance Obama will choose Clinton, but that hopefuls like Sebelius shouldn't hold their breath either because "if a woman were to be placed on the ticket, could it be anyone other than Mrs. Clinton?" Um, because Clinton was such a strong contender, that should eliminate all other prospective Democratic female VPs from the field? John Edwards lost, so does that mean Obama shouldn't consider any white males for the VP slot? Of course not. Only in a patriarchy are we allowed just one woman trailblazer at a time!
So, let's look at some of the men whose names are being bandied about. Gov. Kaine is reportedly very close with Obama and is supposedly the frontrunner at this time. This concerns me a great deal, as it should all feminists. Kaine, a former Catholic missionary, is on the record as having "a faith-based opposition to abortion," and having promised to enforce the (numerous) restrictions in Virginia law. We think Barack Obama should look for someone who trusts women to make these important decisions with their doctors and their families.
What a great way to lose women's votes -- and hurt girls' and women's future. In a year when an unprecedented number of feminist and progressive voters are energized and engaged in the electoral process, what a mistake it would be for Obama to turn away from his base in perhaps the most important decision he will make between now and the convention. A misguided attempt to reach out to evangelicals and socially conservative Democrats can only backfire. I fear that if women have to choose between a ticket with Chuck Hagel and a ticket with John McCain, they're likely to stay home.
The simple political fact is that Sen. Obama needs to reach out to women, and demonstrate that he is a true proponent of equality for all. He needs to ask for women's support the same way Clinton did. It was the first time in a long time that we've been talked to by a candidate who wasn't talking down to us.
Some of the men on Obama's short list might not even bother to talk down to us -- many of them, with the exception of Joe Biden, haven't talked to us much in the past, so we suspect that they just might ignore us entirely in the future, while trading away our rights.
Of course only one woman at a time! And I'm sorry, but I heard Gov. Sebelius floated before the primaries were even over as a way to "quell" our anger that Clinton did not get the nod so I'm already pissed of about that. But now it's (almost) decided and seriously the names that have been floating are repugnant. Napolitano, who I would think of as a good choice, has not even been asked for vetting papers, but Sebelius has, and it seems like that's just a little nod to all us dried up bitter women who were screwed out of having an actual progressive candidate who cares about women. Which, I'm sorry that you don't like it Obama, but that includes the right to abortions without having to consult the entire community AND accepting the fact that mental health issues are just as damn important as physical health issues to the life of the woman. I'm glad that no one close to you has had to go through mental health issues and that you've never had your life touched by domestic violence, which does create undue mental stress even if it's not a diagnosed condition, but FUCK YOU for telling the many women who have been and will be in those situations that their pain is just not good enough to get a late term abortion. I'm lucky, I'm diagnosed so I'll be able to get one. Many people, including me, go undiagnosed for years if they ever do get diagnosed. It is NOT UP TO YOU.
Anyway, looking at Obama's list and especially the list of people who have given vetting papers we have a token woman and then a slew of men who are at best tepidly OK for women. It's not like I haven't been screaming it from the rooftops this entire damn primary season, but OBAMA DOESN'T CARE ABOUT WOMEN. He wants us to vote for him, but he doesn't want to do a damn thing to earn those votes, just like the Democratic Party has for, well, forever. We are the LARGEST voting bloc AND we had a candidate who has done a shitload of work for women: Plan B over the counter, VAWA, Vital Voices, etc, etc, and yet here we are being ignored. Again. Why? Of all years why are we being ignored? Isn't it obvious that these things are a BIG DEAL to a good portion of the 18 million people who voted for Hillary, and dare I say a good deal of people who didn't? This is a big deal. STOP FUCKING IGNORING US. Right now, you are not that much better then the other guy so stop thinking that that's gonna work for you. Democrats have always counted on us voting for them since they're better then the other guy. Well both guys suck, both guys want to restrict my access to abortion, and both are going to completely fuck up this country.
And can I tell you I am so happy that there are other PUMAs. Ever 4 years I scream from the rafters about how the R's and the D's are too incredibly similar and now other people are realising it. Well, they realised that the Dems weren't being what the Dems were supposed to be. I can tell you that by the amount of trolls (can you call them trolls if you know who they are?) that visit my tiny little Hillary group on Ravelry (the main Obama group has about 30x the number of members as our group and we're the little Hillary group b/c we're unaffiliated-people in our group will be voting McCain, McKinney, no one, or Obama and some people do not like this) they really are worked up about PUMAS. If we were so sad to them why would they bother to troll us continually? Why do they care what we're talking about all the time? PUMAs are real, there are a lot of us, and if we were inconsequential no one would care.
But yet they're just saying "oh they're angry," "they'll get over it," "they're throwing a tantrum b/c they didn't get what they want." Well in part, yeah. I'm angry and I didn't get what I want. But you know what? It *still* isn't up to me to blindly follow someone who says and does things I abhor. It's up to him to win my vote. You know what would be a step in that direction? How about choosing candidates for VP who don't openly and actively hate me? Or is that too much to ask? You and Michelle always talk about your daughters, but guess what, they're girls who'll one day be women too. (I hate having to use that whole "look at this girl/woman you know" crap.)