It’s November. I haven’t written anything for months, and obviously I haven’t been blogging. Things are rough but I’ve been crying tears of joy at least for the last 24 hours so maybe it’s time for an upswing. I don’t really have the words to talk about how amazing last night was. I couldn’t express it then, and I can’t do it now really either, but oh wow. Obama is president. Things feel different.
I’m now also dealing with the fact that I need to chose new classes soon, I need to start studying soon so I don’t fail the classes I’m currently taking, and NaNoWriMo is currently tempting me again even though I know down that path is an unnecessary mental breakdown. Thanksgiving is soon and although there’s not a chance in the world that I won’t go home, I’m pretty nervous about the whole thing.
The Democratic Party has presented its new platform language on choice, dropping the famous Clinton-era approach of “safe, legal, and rare.”
I like the new section. Something about “safe, legal, and rare” always got to me. It seemed slightly cagey about the whole matter of abortion, as though in order to convince those who were uneasy about Roe v. Wade, you should just rattle off this list as fast as you could until you got to “rare,” to something everyone could agree upon. It seemed like the kicker. Yes, abortions should be rare. But rare as a word choice seemed purposefully ambiguous in order to allow for a sort of wink in the direction of Roe v. Wade opponents. Rare seemed to say, why don’t we just promise you that the number of abortions will drop to zero and we can forget about whether the act itself is right or wrong, okay?
That shouldn’t be the approach of the Democratic Party. They needed to say that abortion is legal. We should give everyone better sex education, better access to contraception, better medical care for pregnant mothers and their children, and better funding and aid for mothers who are considering alternatives to abortions. But we must never stop declaring that abortion must be legal. I think that the new language is very successful. It’s not perfect, but it’s direct and simple. This is a policy that makes sense.
The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.
The Democratic Party also strongly supports access to affordable family planning services and comprehensive age-appropriate sex education which empowers people to make informed choices and live healthy lives. We also recognize that such health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions.
The Democratic Party also strongly supports a woman’s decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre- and post-natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs.
The 2008 Democratic National Platform can be found here; the section on choice is found on page forty-five.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: awesome people, feminism, politics, the new york times
A lot of the time I rely on other people to write eloquently on subjects which I care about and interest me. I feel like I’ve always got this tangled mush of thoughts in my head that I’m totally unable to express in the way that I want. I can start to tell people what I believe, but so rarely is what I’m saying the same as what I’m thinking. There’s a horrible disconnect that I can’t overcome. I’m hoping that it’s the sort of gap that closes with maturity and practice.
Thankfully, I’ve got Frank Rich to say exactly what I think, in the sort of stunningly elegant language that I’m incapable of producing. Thanks for the help, Frankie.
So today is the 89th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote. Huzzah! Sadly, I didn’t get to exercise my right to suffrage in the primaries this year since the lovely people at the New York State Board of Elections fucked up my absentee primary ballot.
I was actually not as broken up over not voting in the primaries as I might have been for a simple, if slightly embarrassing reason: I had no idea who to vote for back in February. As the campaigns wore on, I become a pretty firm Obama supporter, but I have never really been anti-Hillary. I’m glad the primaries are over; I do truly believe that Obama is the right choice for the nomination and I’m getting pretty excited for the general election race. It’s going to be groundbreaking and I’m going to enjoy seeing McCain realize exactly how ass-backwards his ideas really are.
But I’m a little sad. I didn’t want Hillary to be the nominee at the end of the day. I can think of a bunch of fairly pragmatic reasons why, as well. Reasons that have to do with the interpretation of executive power, or her stance on Iran, or her generally more hawk-like tendencies. She’s not the person I really want in the White House. But the way she was treated in the campaign, the absolute shit that people allowed themselves to say about Hillary that they would never in a million years say about Obama—all of it made me sick. Because I truly do believe that this race was revealed a lot of unpleasant truths about sexism in America. Racism is a huge problem still, and I think in some ways a more serious one than sexism; it cuts deeper and runs uglier. But sexism is insidious. It pops up in places you wouldn’t expect, from people you wouldn’t expect. And Americans, in huge numbers, are generally okay with that. Racism remains a real problem in our national psyche, one that isn’t going to go away without work. Most people accept this; it’s a burden that they are willing to bear, to shoulder until things can be made right. At the very least, those who are racist sure as hell won’t advertise that fact anymore. But for so many people, sexism is old news. Crazy feminists (who all look like men anyway) are the only people who still think sexism is a problem in America, they say. And it’s not just old, almost dead white men who think this. I’m sick of Obama supporters and fellow democrats who allow themselves to naively ignore sexism; who have convinced themselves that sexism is a relic of the past.
I’m sick of the media, fellow democrats, fellow women, men, republicans, young people, and old people, all telling me I’ve got nothing to be upset about. If there’s one thing that this primary race showed, it’s that sexism is fast becoming one of the last acceptable forms of bigotry in America. Well, fuck that.