Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

28 January 2008

What is the ultimate betrayal?

The feminist blogosphere is on fire with reaction to the press release from NYS-NOW:

Women have just experienced the ultimate betrayal. Senator Kennedy’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton’s opponent in the Democratic presidential primary campaign has really hit women hard. Women have forgiven Kennedy, stuck up for him, stood by him, hushed the fact that he was late in his support of Title IX, the ERA, the Family Leave and Medical Act to name a few. Women have buried their anger that his support for the compromises in No Child Left Behind and the Medicare bogus drug benefit brought us the passage of these flawed bills. We have thanked him for his ardent support of many civil rights bills, BUT women are always waiting in the wings.

And of course, CNN picked it up.

Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy is under heavy fire from a state chapter of the National Organization for Women for his decision to back Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton.

In a sharply critical statement, the New York state chapter of NOW took aim at Kennedy Monday for what it called an "ultimate betrayal," and suggested the Massachusetts Democrat "can't or won't" handle the idea of Clinton becoming President of the United States.

I'm only blogging about this because I want to be as honest as possible with my readers and I am very vocal with my support of NOW. I've already had to discuss this with friends. I have one friend who is not renewing over this statement and I suspect that others will have the same thought.

The national office put out their own statement. I have no idea if this statement was in response to the NY one or not, I don't know. What I do know is that each chapter and state is free to send out their own press release without running it past National. I was involved with the Chicago chapter when we sent out a few, um, controversial statements. Thus, don't judge the entire organization over one press release from a state chapter.

While I have not worked closely with the president of NYS NOW, I have seen her in action many times and during meetings. She is just as passionate about feminist issues are you or I, perhaps more so. This is not an apology for the statement, OK. I am just pointing out that she is a staunch feminist.

I agree that the media is covering Hillary in an awful light. I agree that our society is sexist. I agree that there are men out there who would vote for anyone before they vote for a woman much less HRC. There are also people who wouldn't vote for a black man too. I can't recall who said it, but someone blogged that someone else's hate will not affect their vote. Here, here.

But the ultimate betrayal? I don't think so.

At the end of the day, whomever is the candidate, I'll be out working for.

That's all I have to say on this topic.

Technorati tags: feminism, NOW, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Ted Kennedy

1 comments:

All right, I've softened upon reading that this was a NY release. I jumped to a conclusion and thought it was from National. I'll still probably send it in with my renewal notice (paid) as a sign of what I'm not happy with NOW stating.

And I have no doubt that the pres of NYS NOW is a stauch, ardent, and unrelenting feminist. I don't doubt that we both have the same central goals for feminism. However, I'm not comfortable with the central point being that by not supporting HRC someone is betraying women everywhere when there are plenty of things that HRC supported in Clinton I that betrayed women.