Monday, January 14, 2008

soapbox: politics and sex

Soapboxes. I like them. I don't have very many causes that I get rallied up for, but there are a few. Also, one thing you should know, I don't yell. I hate yelling, yellers, and people who speak over others. I hate it. Just because someone talks louder that doesn't mean I hear them any better. Frankly, once a voice is raised in anger or stupidity I will stop listening altogether. Also, I believe if a person gets angry, upset, their panties in a bunch over everything, then when something really and actually matters to them, I won't know that it really matters to them because of all the time they were angry, upset, and panties were bunchy over all things petty and small. So, I choose my battles and I try to choose carefully.

However, if a person has an issue that they can speak passionately and intelligently on, I will actively listen as long as they will actively and respectively listen to me in return. That's what these soapboxes will be. Me, getting behind something, asking something, or feeling passionately about something and hoping, wanting, an intelligent conversation to come of and from it. No yelling. No badgering. No name-calling. Just some things I would like to talk about and see how others feel and think about them.

With the latest batch of winners and casualties from the process known as the American electoral process, I have to say there is something that has been bothering me for about a year now. Something that has been simmering and brewing and I finally think it needs to be said: the language that is used in the electoral process. The language that is used to describe a candidate and their ideas, values, morals.
Specifically it is the sexist language that has been used in this campaign because (gasp!) a female candidate has been so audacious to make it so far into the electoral process. How dare she! She, that evil, power-hungry bitch! She married for power and she is hungry for more! That, that ladies and gents is the only reason she has gone after the White House!


How quick we are to go to the lowest denominator when it comes to describing someone, whether they are male or female. However, it seems to me, that when it comes to a woman we are much quicker to revert back to the school-children on the playground telling the others to meet us at the bikes at the end of the day.

Why? Why are we so quick to jump to the sexist language? Why do we believe that a woman who wants to go for the greatest job this country has to offer that comes with a pay-check that they are going after the job for different reasons than all of the men who have came before?
Why do we care? Why do we care so bloomin’ much why she and Bill were and are married? If…if they married for power are they any different than the Roosevelt’s, the Kennedy’s, the Lincolns, or the Washington’s just to name a few. I hate to break it to you, but people married for alliances of money, name, power, not for love; especially when it comes to political campaigns well into the twentieth century. As this was a common practice, these politically aligned marriages are not any different than the marriages that happened for centuries where kingdoms were aligned because this king married that queen. Power marriages happen all the time; just as power friendships happen. I’m pretty certain that without those power “friendships” Washington, as we know it, would not exist.

We are so quick to go to the sexist language, but we would never, openly, go for the racist language. Why, because it is so much more acceptable to go for the quick laugh, the easy quip of calling someone a bitch than to spend the extra second it takes to try and come up with a more intelligent word. Also, we do not think anything about calling someone a bitch, but we would never, ever call someone a nigger. Why, because society has come to realize one is acceptable and one is not.

But, why? Why has one become acceptable? I’m not saying we should regress to saying the “b-word” or the “c-word” and on and on, that doesn’t get us anywhere. I am saying that we need to stop being sophomoric about these issues.

There is also the issue of Republicans being quick to throw the jabs at the Democrats and the liberal are quick to throw the jabs at the conservatives. These open-air verbal matches do not get us anywhere, either. We've made the word liberal and conservative words that we want to wipe our shoes with. Throwing a low-blow my way does not make me respect your side, your ideas, your thoughts anymore than if I went to this playground tactic and threw sand at you about your side.

With the present president I think it is easy to say we, as a nation, as a whole, have become even more divided than we were in the past, we need a candidate that can bring us together. But more than that, we need to grow-up and bring ourselves together and stop with the name-calling and the childish sandlot fights. It’s ridiculous and we are better than that. At least I would still like to believe we are. I may be cynical, but I am still an idealist. How about we all try to be better than the other guy and stop; stop with the name calling, the bi-partisanship the sexist language towards everyone. Just a thought. However, if we keep on this attitude of that side and this side, we are not going to get anywhere politically. If we keep with the sexist language, we really are not going to get anywhere in terms of progress towards the future.


Jay said...

I'm surprised that I haven't heard MORE sexist bullshit than I have concerning Hillary. While we have come a long way in terms of sexual equality, we're not there yet. I'm lucky enough to have an awesome woman as my Congresswoman here in Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin. Not only is she a woman, she's also... an out lesbian!!!!!!! *gasp*

Are far as the divisiveness is concerned, this is an unfortunate consequence of the current two party system. Republicans and Democrats go at each others throats, knowing that a certain percentage of the population will be turned off to politics as a result, setting the stage for the mind-numbingly blind party faithful in each camp to duke it out for superiority. In this process, moderates in this country,(i.e. the MAJORITY,) cease to have a real voice in politics and stop engaging, leaving the ever-so-vocal minority, (i.e. conservatives and liberals,) to bicker about the idiosyncrasies of the opposite party and basically talk about nothing for all of fucking eternity.

Much like this comment. ;-)

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limpy99 said...

I'm just going to do what I always do and vote for the one with the biggest tits.

Oh wait, this isn't Amateur Night at the local nudie bar?

Party Girl said...

jay: your comments, no matter how long or short, are always welcome.

I would hope that if the tv talking heads did go after the ratings with the sexist language that they would lose ratings and lose their jobs. Buuuuut then that goes into freedom of speech and well, the most important part of the first amendment is that it protects speech I don't like.

Also, I think it's awesome that WI is so progressive in terms of their politics.
I know others will disagree with that.

C: Um. Yeah. Spam. Me no likey spam. But me no likey word verification even more.

limpy: when in doubt always vote, tits.

In fact I think that should be on a name tag: hello, my name is tits. Vote for me. One should be placed on each tit.

Tit no longer has any meaning.

ptg said...

I agree that the name-calling and basing the ability to do the job on sex is completely ridiculous. That being said, I find it wonderful that for the first time in history, we have a female and an African American male that are running for the presidency. (I'm not abig fan of either, but that's just me.)

Then, there's also the fact that one is a Mormon - and he has been trashed in the media for his religious beliefs.

To me, that's entirely on a new level of ridiculousness (is that a word?). Yes, religion plays parts in one's ethics - but come on, anything the president wants to do usually goes through the House and Congress first. So he can't bring up anything "radical" without the others agreeing on it anyway!

And weren't we built on religious freedom!?

So....yea. I agree with you, PG. (again) (as always) (I think)

Party Girl said...

ptg: well, I always knew you were a smart gal.

You bring up a good point about religion. You're correct that Romney's religion has been brought up in interviews more than the others. Not fair. I think he has handled the questions very well.

However, whether we want to believe it or not, everyone's religion, spirituality, morals, beliefs, values play a part in how we feel and think about political issues. This is also why so much is not accomplished and why it takes so long to accomplish what we do within politics. Everyone has a different idea on how and why something is how it is. It is also nearly impossible to change how someone feels and thinks about those issues as a result of those beliefs, morals, values whether they are faith based or not.

So, whether they are in the Senate or the House or the Executive office, religion, spirtuality, whatever you want to call it, plays a part in our governmental process. So, just as I do not believe sex or race should be an issue, I also do not believe religion should be an issue.

Now, with that being said, I also do not believe religion should play a part in our governmental process.
I know, it is a conundrum.

As a result of this conundrum, last semester I found myself in an empty classroom and wondered how I would ever make a difference.