All The Things That Women Are Interested In.

by: canadian gal

Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 00:41:52 AM EST



(cross posted at kickin it with cg)

Back in June, I observed that political machinations reverted into the oldest stereotypes - namely that women should ONLY be depicted as wives or mothers.  Unfortunately now that the transition is in place it would appear that we are headed back in that direction with Michelle Obama's recent visit to the White House with Laura Bush.

In an interview with CNN's WH Correspondent Elaine Quijano, Bush describes the meeting:

QUIJANO: The role of the First Lady is certainly something that I'm sure you discussed with Mrs. Obama earlier this week. How did that visit go? And could you tell us any anecdotes?

BUSH: Well it went great. It was very private, really. It was really much more, I think, two mothers talking about home more in this visit, because of course I showed her the rooms that are our girls' rooms now that I think are the perfect rooms for her girls when they move there.

We talked more about really making the White House a home for a family. And what I know from having lived here and from visiting my mother-in-law when she made this family a home and from reading about all the other families that have lived here is this house really can be a home. And I know that they'll make it that way for their little girls.

QUIJANO: Certainly, there must be some increased pressure, a lot of scrutiny, of course, living in the White House. I was wondering, did you share any advice with her as a mother who has been through it, having had two daughters spending some formative years?

BUSH: Not really. I think I showed her the closets, I showed her all the things that women are interested in. But I didn't try to give her a lot of advice. I know she knows that she can make it home.

And that's what she wants to do.

QUIJANO: Last question then. Your husband, the day after the election, talked about it being a stirring sight to see the Obamas because of the historic nature of having the nation's first African-American president. I wonder if you could share your thoughts on that, as well?

BUSH: Well I also think it's very, very important. I think it's important for American history. I think it's a message to everybody in the United States of what's possible. But it's also a message around the world because I know, because I heard from them, that there were leaders in the -- around the world who didn't think the United States would elect an African-American man. And so, I think it's a really important message about our own democracy to people around the world.

QUIJANO: Mrs. Bush, thank you so much.

BUSH: Thanks a lot. Thanks a lot.

Watch:

And because its Friday and I cannot think of something positive to say about the meeting, or how pathetic this sounds in the year 2008, I'd like to think that the end of the meeting went something like this:

Maybe her and Michelle burned one in the Rose Garden and then Laura showed her where she grows her own.

Laura: The Secret Service NEVER comes in here. I tell George it's where the government keeps Noriega and only Cheney is allowed in there. He just nods and pretends he knows it. HEY! Why don't I just leave the equipment and sh*t for you?

Michelle: Girl, SOLID!

(fist bump between the two)

canadian gal :: All The Things That Women Are Interested In.
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ah those crazy women. (2.00 / 2)


"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

I heard a rumor out of Austin that Laura (2.00 / 2)
was the go to girl back in the day for weed. Maybe the stories are true. I am not so sure Michelle was as familiar with the issue, but it might help relax her a bit.

I am years behind and decades ahead. ~ Somebody else, I am certain


seriously? (0.00 / 0)
that's hilarious - i thought that was more the fantasy world of a wacky blogger.

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

[ Parent ]
I remember reading some stuff by Molly Ivans and (2.00 / 1)
some of those wonderful lefty's in Austin, and they write a lot about jr and Laura's colorful past. I never save shit so I can't give you more, but maybe I'll google it and see what I come up with.

If I remember correctly the same article discussed the power the Bushies have had in Texas and how lil' shrub was able to scam out of the Viet Nam war.

I am years behind and decades ahead. ~ Somebody else, I am certain


[ Parent ]
Here is a link (0.00 / 0)
For whatever it's worth I found this reference to her drug use in college from Kitty Kelley. I heard this from the Austin crew back in the early 2000's but am tired and stopped looking.
 

I am years behind and decades ahead. ~ Somebody else, I am certain


[ Parent ]
WomEn? (2.00 / 4)
or womAn?

Unfortunately now that the transition is in place it would appear that we are headed back in that direction with Michelle Obama's recent visit to the White House with Laura Bush.

I don't think that's fair.

All I see is Mrs. Bush acting like ...

well...

Mrs. Bush!

I'm thinking Michelle will be a lot more similiar to Hillary as a first wife than Laura Bush.

So in that respect, I believe we are headed in the right direction.

Just because they are posting on a progressive site doesn't make them progressives. - John Allen


im hoping.... (2.00 / 1)
that michelle responds to this story with something tongue-in-cheek.  clearly bush is behind this story.  

but while im optimistic about michelle, her messages on this topic have been mixed.  in a way i dont blame her, she wants to 'do no harm' - but isnt that a shame, that doing harm means being a strong and involved partner?'

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson


[ Parent ]
I don't see Michelle fitting into the Laura mode (2.00 / 2)
The 'do no harm' thing is probably just a wariness of the press corps and the attention FLOTUS gets. And there are many more analogies between Michelle and Hillary than with Laura. Michelle was a top rated student from a well connected Chicago family. She's supported her husband with speeches and ideas, something Laura has never done. Whether Michelle wants to enter politics herself at some time is another matter. Given the age of their two children, younger than Chelsea was when Bill and Hillary went into the White House, I guess we won't know for some time.

This is not a sexist remark - it could have been the other way round (as it was for me). But one parent has to put their career a bit on the back burner when children are young. I have no regrets about it, and of course you get the time back once they're in their teens.  

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


[ Parent ]
i agree. (2.00 / 1)
both that michelle is more from the hillary mould than the laura and that one parent must put their career on the back burner.  this is why these types of stories are particularly disappointing.

im not suggesting that michelle start walking into WH and discussing barack's FP with laura, but rather that she not 'dumb down' for her new job as first lady.

she is now a symbol to millions of people world-wide, and she is certainly much smarter than a woman who's only concern is drape measuring.

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson


[ Parent ]
Laura matters. (0.00 / 0)
I don't think that she is dumb or that she has dumbed down the First Lady role.  She made her choices, and I honor that.

And by the by, it's okay for a woman to care about drape measuring and for that to be her only care as well.


[ Parent ]
Michelle gets a bad rap from every side. (2.00 / 5)
I can understand where you are coming from on this.

She clearly took a step back when things got a bit "heated".

She was clearly Barack's best surrogate on the trail before the right wing smear machine started demonizing her as an angry, anti-american scary teh black. They wanted her to lash out. They wanted her to tell the critics to STFU.

Remember this?

FauxNews

While other Democratic women have been demonized by the right, none have been so purely based on the color of their skin. Michelle Obama is the first black woman in the White House and that alone says A LOT about her and the quiet strength she displays. The sad part is the way many on the LEFT (yeah, I'm looking at you PUMA's) and the RIGHT smeared "angry" Michelle the meanie (it was a lot more vile than that but you get the point) and riled up the lunatic base with racist innuendo and fear mongering.

She also has to deal with threats against her and her 2 babies:

http://news.aol.com/main/obama...

Threats against a new president historically spike right after an election, but from Maine to Idaho law enforcement officials are seeing more against Barack Obama than ever before.

The Secret Service would not comment or provide the number of cases they are investigating. But since the Nov. 4 election, law enforcement officials have seen more potentially threatening writings, Internet postings and other activity directed at Obama than has been seen with any past president-elect, said officials aware of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because the issue of a president's security is so sensitive.

Skinhead

I worry every single day about Barack. Everytime I log on for the first time I'm afraid I'll see the news that he has been targeted or worse. If I'm jumpy about it, I don't even want to imagine what goes on through Michelle's head. She knows the risks involved and the chances of a tragedy.

One of my bestfriends (halfblack/halfboricua), when we went to vote in Miami said:

"I want to feel good about voting for Barack but all I feel is guilt. I feel guilty because I'm helping to put him in such a dangerous position."

He said more than that. But you get the idea.

I've been threatened (back in my "wilder youth" days) before and as much as you'd like to block it out, the thought is always there. Every shadow, every footstep, every phone call is suspect.

I have no idea how the Obama's do it. That alone is worthy of praise.

Michelle is in a unique position as a wife, mother, First Lady, and person because of the historic candidacy of her partner.

Here's a great diary by Denise on that.

http://www.motleymoose.com/sho...

For me, a great granddaughter of slaves who still owns part of the land in Loudoun VA where my family was held in bondage, but who rose up from slavery to pursue a similar dream of education, I am so proud that for the first time in American History, we have the chance to have an acknowledged descendant of that important part of our history, as our First Lady.

As Brit said upthread, she also has quite the impressive background. She'll do what she has to do in order to get her husbands and HER message across first. After the foot is in the door, I'm sure we'll see a more active Michelle Obama.

In fact. I'm pretty sure we will.

I'm kind of all over the place on this one but I'm passionate about Michelle and the choices she has made during this election cycle (and those she'll make as a First Lady).

Judging her strength or the example she'll set as a First Lady purely on photo ops is kind of missing what Michelle Obama is all about.

Just because they are posting on a progressive site doesn't make them progressives. - John Allen


[ Parent ]
I don't think there is a single thing wrong with someone wanting to be a parent, (2.00 / 6)
and that's the only role Michelle has in the White House.

When I voted for Bill Clinton I was not voting for Hillary.  When I voted for Barack Obama I was not voting for Michelle.  If Hillary and won the primary and I was voting for her I would not be voting for Bill.  Anyone voting for Sarah Palin in 2012 (and she will be there) sure as shit isn't voting to give Todd Palin any power whatsoever - and if he ended up with any I would expect every single person to shout their dissent.  It has nothing to do with sexism and nothing to do with whether anyone likes the First Spouse or not - they have no authority and should not.  If a First Spouse wants to have an official role in government they should run for office or get appointed to the cabinet (which would, of course, be open to accusations of nepotism).

Michelle is First Lady, she's the president's wife, she's Sasha and Malia's mother, she's had interesting jobs and if she wants another she can no doubt get one.  But as far as government goes she's just a person more affected by the presidential election than most, not an elected nor appointed official.  There is a reason we don't give special powers to those related to the people we elect - we didn't elect them.

Sorry, but I'm in a really foul mood and the "everything is hatred towards women" meme is wearing on me.  If anyone wants to actually try to do anything constructive about gender inequalities I'm all in, but the endless offended commentary is pointless and counterproductive.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


Hear HEAR! (2.00 / 1)
Sorry, but I'm in a really foul mood and the "everything is hatred towards women" meme is wearing on me.  If anyone wants to actually try to do anything constructive about gender inequalities I'm all in, but the endless offended commentary is pointless and counterproductive.

I'm with you on this one, Chris.  I don't think you have to be in a foul mood to cry "Ugh" on this one.


[ Parent ]
sorry that you are in a foul mood. (2.00 / 2)
but i dont think it was suggested, implied or anything else in this diary that 'everything is hatred towards women.'

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

[ Parent ]
Going too far. (2.00 / 2)
There has to be room for women to CHOOSE what they want to do.  Laura Bush is her own woman, I've always believed.  Of course, I wanted her to be a more prominent role model for women as First Lady, but she apparently didn't make that choice, and I am NOT going to impose my desires on her life.

I'm glad that Michelle can sit down with Laura and talk about something OTHER than politics.  It is clear to me that they both take their roles as mothers and wives seriously.  I honor that.

Maybe CNN took the interview too far, I don't know, nor do I really care.  But it's okay to be a woman and be interested in stereotypical women things like clothes or whatever.  I don't think anyone is relegating Michelle Obama to a back seat because she and Laura talked about something other than politics, and that something happened to be what Laura called "all the things that women are interested in".  Who cares?  In some ways, she is right.  My husband doesn't give a damn about closet space or clothes or decorations or whatever--most men I have met aren't.  That doesn't make them sexist or me sexist either.

I have many good friends that are stay-at-home moms, who focus all on their children and husbands.  They don't feel that there is a place for them in the Democratic party because of conclusions drawn like these.  The Democratic party would provide better benefits for them and their children, but they always feel personally slighted by characterizations like these.  I want them to feel welcome, and I want a different language to start developing here on the Moose.


I think that is the point (2.00 / 1)
Whatever the language is, we should avoid the ad hominems that have characterised the last two decades of the culture wars, and exploded in the primaries. I'm not prejudging the outcome, or in anyway determining what that language would be, but it's clear to anyone that the democratic party was out of power for so long (and relatively powerless during the Clinton years) because it split into a myriad of fractured single issue self interest groups. A popular front for all these causes has to be maintained, because we'll just end up fighting each other if we don't find our common interest

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]
talking to myself a bit... (0.00 / 0)
I want a different language to start developing here on the Moose.

I know that I should begin working on this, and I am at least in my mind.  I say should because apparently I have more credibility on this subject because I have a vagina.

But the thing that I struggle with the most is that I am a woman caught in the crosshairs of this debate.  I was supposed to be supporting Hillary because we both have vaginas.  But I didn't.  That same principle would have had to apply when it came to Palin.  Thank God I can think for myself.  The men I worked with (in the hugely man dominated world of tax law) naturally assumed that I and my female coworkers would be supporting Hillary, but none of us were.  We were supporting Obama.  When we told them that, we seemed to gain some sort of respectability in their eyes.  It was weird all around.  But I'm not going to engage in a primary wars debacle.  I was using this example to illustrate how I think the feminist meme has gone too far by limiting women to gender alone (and all things that are stereotypically female, like clothes and closets.)  Honestly, I blame the feminists taking it too far here more so than any real misogyny or sexism.

I'm really pissed off about this, so my words are not as completely guarded (or self-censored as other Moose tell me) as I would have them.  I know that some women think that I am a traitor to my sex because I didn't back Hillary or that I take on a tone like I am here.  Well, fuck them.  The point of the women's movement to me was so that I could have a voice to say whatever the hell I wanted, and I think some women are going too far with this faux feminist meme from ALL sides.  I accept my title as Vagina Traitor from those women who want to silence ME.  But I want a new language, one that moves women off this damn plateau and into the 21st century.

(no personal attacks intended on any female Moose here, so please add all appropriate disclaimers before flaming me; and I hate that I even have to add this disclaimer!)


[ Parent ]
huh? faux feminist meme? (0.00 / 0)
im confused here.  this diary is meant point out that the future first lady is dumbing down to be more palatable to factors in the american public and you are portraying this as faux?

there is nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom, BUT michelle obama was not (and i daresay is not) one of those women.

but i think the biggest irony can be illustrated in your comment when you say:

The point of the women's movement to me was so that I could have a voice to say whatever the hell I wanted

shouldnt michelle have the same rights as you?

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson


[ Parent ]
What I don't agree with here is ... (2.00 / 2)
(emphasis mine)

this diary is meant point out that the future first lady is dumbing down to be more palatable to factors in the american public and you are portraying this as faux?

How one can make such a bold statement with this article you cited.

This diary is about Laura Bush yet you say it's about the future first lady.

Michelle isn't even quoted in it.

That's the part I'm having trouble with.



Just because they are posting on a progressive site doesn't make them progressives. - John Allen


[ Parent ]
which is why... (0.00 / 0)
i am not explicitly telling michelle to do a, b, or c.  or even directly criticizing her for it.  as i said above, i think this story originates with the bushes.  what i think would be a great move by michelle would be to say something campy about this meeting to illustrate that she appreciates the position in which she has been forced/taken.

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

[ Parent ]
Absolutely NOT! (0.00 / 0)
what i think would be a great move by michelle would be to say something campy about this meeting to illustrate that she appreciates the position in which she has been forced/taken

Michelle is not being forced into anything.

And what would be the point of her saying something "campy"?  To make Laura Bush feel like shit?  For what, being a stay-at-home mom?  For saying something that relates to closets?  For suggesting that women typically like closets?

Thank God Michelle is not going to go out there and alienate women who do care about closets, clothes, their daughters, drapes, being a stay-at-home mom, whatever.  There has to be room to allow women to choose to fit the stereotype without ASSUMING that they are being forced into anything.


[ Parent ]
This is what I mean. (2.00 / 1)
Emphasis mine.

what i think would be a great move by michelle would be to say something campy about this meeting to illustrate that she appreciates the position in which she has been forced/taken.

What position has Michelle been forced/taken?

She hasn't even moved into the White House yet!

What specific Michelle Obama quotes or actions are you having trouble with exactly?

(emphasis mine)

In an interview with CNN's WH Correspondent Elaine Quijano, Bush describes the meeting

As I said in my earlier comment.

The diary is all about Laura Bush but your suggestion and comments are all about Michelle Obama.

I really don't understand what you're trying to get at here (thought I did, now I don't).

It could be totally my fault and I'm reading this all wrong. I just don't get it.

What exactly (in your opinion) is Michelle doing wrong here?

Just because they are posting on a progressive site doesn't make them progressives. - John Allen


[ Parent ]
bush described the meeting.... (2.00 / 1)
with michelle's name, face and image splashed all over it.  whether or not intended, this is sending a loud and strong message.

listen - it just occurred to me that this whole third wave of feminism, even though im only 34 seems to conveniently ignore or pay attention to feminist issues based on partisan circumstance.  this blows me away since its not like equality for women has been achieved by any means - even in the most progressives countries in the world.  yet here we are in a third wave world!

to me its simple - there is nothing wrong with being a housewife, there is nothing wrong with taking care of your appearance and being into clothes and the home (i know i am).  what i have a problem with, and clearly im in a LARGE minority here is that strong women become malleable to take stereotypical roles of soft cuddly wives for whatever reason.

im pretty close to deleting this diary for the fact that it seems that most of the replies in this thread are seemingly based on principles that are fluid.  but it might just be me ;)

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson


[ Parent ]
Please CG (2.00 / 4)
Don't delete it. A couple of lines caused some dissent and debate, but it's not personal. It's encouraging people to talk, and as a result there's been a whole 100 comment plus thread.

People can get annoyed - tell me about it. We've both had our words mulled over and picked about. But even with my MYDD GBCW diary, I don't want to delete it. Hopefully we can find a way of debating these things which are not attacks.  

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


[ Parent ]
please don't delete the diary... (2.00 / 4)
it helps the conversation...really it does...

I know that I have come across very strongly, and I mean no offense.  I'm just trying to understand your point.

I think that strong women are constantly struggling against falling into a stereotype.  Some of the media are guilty of dividing women into two black and white camps on feminist issues.

I disagree that this is sending a message of submission on the part of Michelle Obama.  She did take more of a backseat role in the election, and I'm not sure why.

I don't ignore feminist issues when asking for careful debate framing.  I want feminists to have more credibility than I think that they get, and credibility comes from careful debate framing among other things related to presentation of ideas.


[ Parent ]
I speak for myself on this one. (2.00 / 3)
You might have decided to answer everybody else by replying to me, and that's cool but I don't see how most of your comment has anything to do with my comments.

I agree for the most part on everything you wrote here.

I'm just wondering why use Michelle Obama as an example when :

a) She wasn't the one interviewed.

b) She hasn't even had her first day in the White House.

c) You don't attirbute any quotes or actions to her.

Here :

this diary is meant point out that the future first lady is dumbing down to be more palatable to factors in the american public and you are portraying this as faux?

That's what my comment have been about all throughout the diary for the most part. Your diary is meant to point out that Michelle is being "changed" yet you provide no evidence of this anywhere in the diary.

If you made this diary about Laura Bush.

You would of not read a single thing from me.

If I'm wrong, please point it out because that means I'v been making an ass of myself allthought the diary. ; )

p.s. Deleting diaries. That reminds me of the firestorm that ensued in the only diary I deleted here. I got called out by people I respect for things I had no control over. Got slammed pretty good. Don't think I've recovered from that one. Especially since it was on the frontpage. That day really sucked.  I've been careful about my tone and I think I've been pretty respectful in this diary. I apologize if hasn't come off that way. You know how much I love teh canada.



Just because they are posting on a progressive site doesn't make them progressives. - John Allen


[ Parent ]
yes. (2.00 / 1)
i meant to reply to everyone - including you...  that said - im not sure why some people think that i am attacking michelle.  i am simply seeing troubling signs and hope that this is not a trend. oh and right back at ya ;)

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

[ Parent ]
Heh. (2.00 / 2)
i am simply seeing troubling signs and hope that this is not a trend.

That's all I was looking for (or asking)!

(guess I wasn't as clear as I thought I was)

Just because they are posting on a progressive site doesn't make them progressives. - John Allen


[ Parent ]
i agree with your statement here in this comment more so than... (2.00 / 3)
Unfortunately now that the transition is in place it would appear that we are headed back in that direction with Michelle Obama's recent visit to the White House with Laura Bush.

It seems so final and definite, but I wouldn't attribute this event to a progression down a bad labeling road for Michelle, at least not yet...too early to tell, but I know you'll keep a watchful eye...


[ Parent ]
i wish you hadn't deleted that diary... (2.00 / 1)
Reaper deleted a diary too a couple weeks back...I wish he hadn't either...we're a good group, it helps to live and learn in our respectful Moose manner...

[ Parent ]
damn comment nesting--this one was to Spiffy...just in case it's hard to tell... (2.00 / 1)


[ Parent ]
Why are you using "dumbing down"? (0.00 / 0)
That's what is faux to me.  It's not "dumbing down" to have interests that are traditionally/stereotypically related to women.

Michelle has the same rights as me.  Would she think that Laura is "dumbing down"?  I hope not.  But you suggest that Michelle is "dumbing down".  Why?  Because she met with Laura Bush who is not a screaming feminist?  Because they talked about things that are considered "girly"?  Can't Michelle be something other than a Harvard trained lawyer?

Hell no, Michelle is not a stay-at-home mom.  Laura primarily has been.  Good for both of them.

I see no irony in my statements.


[ Parent ]
Well that's a two way street (0.00 / 0)
Unmarried heterosexual women are put down every bit as much as your friends who chose to stay home and be Moms/wives first...and they are the first ones to label single woman in very degrading ways.  If we are not lesbian then we are all out to steal their husbands.

Let's not make this about just one side.

"You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy. But you cannot have both."
- Louis Brandeis


[ Parent ]
I'm glad to see that I wasn't the only one troubled (2.00 / 3)
by the tone of this diary. I saw that as Laura Bush being Laura Bush. I'm sure none of us think Michelle Obama and Laura Bush are the same. Michelle will be Michelle. She is the wife of the President-elect. Laura is the wife of the President. Michelle was a guest in Laura's home for this meeting. The tone would have been set by the First Lady. Michelle would have been very ungracious to try to change that tone or to upstage Laura.

In addition to what I stated above, what's wrong with two mothers discussing family life in the WH? Michelle is a mother. And, from everything I've seen, a very good mother. Why wouldn't she be interested in the topics they discussed? Did anyone think the two of them were going to discuss the effects of global warming on amphibians in the Amazon Basin?

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


wha? (0.00 / 0)
Did anyone think the two of them were going to discuss the effects of global warming on amphibians in the Amazon Basin?

and why wouldn't they indie?  i see your point that it is not out of character for a first lady to discuss drapes and closets and motherhood.  but im wondering why no one here seems to be concerned why this is the norm.

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson


[ Parent ]
Because neither one of them was elected (2.00 / 1)
to set policy. If Laura was the President and Michelle was the President-elect then I would expect the two of them to discuss weighty world affairs while Bill and George wandered off to talk about scotch and cigars. (Sorry, couldn't resist the cigar reference.)

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
Yes, but it goes beyond that. (2.00 / 1)
Two women can discuss "drapes and closets and motherhood" without saying that they are being forced into anything that is sexist or somehow oppressing them because of their gender.  Two prominent women do not ALWAYS have to be advancing a feminist agenda, or discussing politics, or whatever.  People can just be, ya know.  We're all supposed to be allowed to choose what we want to be and what we want to talk about.

Yes, Michelle Obama wasn't elected.  Yes, she is a First Lady and has a unique position in the world to do great things for whatever cause she chooses (she has chosen military families by the way as a leading cause).  But that doesn't mean that she owes WOMEN anything when it comes to promoting a feminist agenda.

I think that Michelle will do great things for us and that she is an awesome figure for balance between the stereotype and the feminist.  It's nice to see balance as a woman, even if it is so damn hard to obtain.


[ Parent ]
What I don't understand (2.00 / 2)
is why she can't advance the cause of women by simply being an exceptional woman?

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
That's my point (2.00 / 1)
Said way more simply and less emotionally charged.... thanks... Palin is not exceptional in my mind, so the definition of exceptional would cause clashes...

[ Parent ]
huh? (2.00 / 1)
that makes no sense at all to me.  so alternatively - do stupid women advance the cause of feminism by being so?

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

[ Parent ]
imho, smart would not be exceptional...thus no advancement there... (2.00 / 1)


[ Parent ]
Is that sexist? (2.00 / 1)
Against dumb men?

Only kidding ya

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


[ Parent ]
No, just the opposite (0.00 / 0)
women that are stupid or fail have a tendency to hurt the cause of feminism. Women that are exceptional and succeed promote the cause of all women. What's complicated about that?

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
Laura Bush is Laura Bush (2.00 / 3)
Presumably she is a well-being but intellectually incurious person who has no trouble playing the traditional role of a First Lady.  I imagine that Michelle Obama will be similar to Hillary Clinton, in that like Clinton she is an Ivy League-educated lawyer who was more career-oriented than Laura Bush.  However, to the extent that she plays any role in policy, my guess is that it will be behind closed doors.  Some people did take issue with the "two-for-one" approach that the Clintons had, since only one of them was an elected official, and moreover Michelle Obama has already been portrayed as a black militant during the campaign, so she is a little boxed in in those regards.

i hope you are right. (2.00 / 1)
but its quite a shame really.

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

[ Parent ]
How is it a shame? (2.00 / 1)
We live in a democracy. We elect our leaders.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
its a shame that... (2.00 / 1)
any involvement will be behind closed doors because she is boxed in.

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

[ Parent ]
Yes and No (2.00 / 3)
I get what you're saying.  The counterargument would be that the Clintons were pretty upfront in 1992 about the fact that both would play a role in governance.  If I recall correctly, they addressed that issue in a 60 Minutes interview, among other fora.  So, arguably people did have some notice before the election that that's how they intended to do business.

[ Parent ]
Kudos for... (2.00 / 2)
...latin plurals

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]
People had more than an issue with it... (2.00 / 4)
there was rabid resentment of Hillary because she had not originally taken her husband's name; was a working woman even as the First Lady of Arkansas; and dared be assertive in an interview on 60 minutes.

I think Michelle has probably learned from Hillary's history. I don't think she will be so upfront about her role.  I think it is a shame she has to hide her "assets" behind the stereotype.......but we have not come that far.

"You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy. But you cannot have both."
- Louis Brandeis


[ Parent ]
Michelle's not hiding too much... (2.00 / 2)
She doesn't get the media coverage.  She has done a lot of work so far with military families, even had a conference call with us the other day to thank us for our hard work and support.  Military issues are not sexy and "engaging" for most I guess, so if she hangs with us, she won't get much MSM coverage or really blogosphere coverage either.

[ Parent ]
To be fair (0.00 / 0)
As I said upthread - the children are much younger than Chelsea was in 1992. I suspect that it why she will take a backseat for the first term.  

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]
the campaign may have picked its battles on the fist bump thing... (2.00 / 2)
She can come out more and more now that she's in and work for those issues she cares about, but his campaign was a machine.  They needed to get him in, and then they can go back and fight those battles, or at least fight the ones that show up again.  Don't worry, she will be attacked.  It's human nature to hate one another it seems.

[ Parent ]
ok didn't this diary's comments before... (2.00 / 1)
now I understand the context of some of your comments CG...

;) louisp... (0.00 / 0)


"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

[ Parent ]
sorry my comment is all messed up..as usual... (2.00 / 1)
It should have read..."didn't read the comments before...

[ Parent ]
Too tired to make a substantial comment (2.00 / 3)
but a good discussion is going on in here.


I am just a Fool, but I admit it up front

I don't get this diary at all CG. (2.00 / 2)
It really does seem to be a disguised attack on Michelle, and for what, being a house wife?  Being a mother?  Being affable and polite at a photo op meeting with Laura Bush?  

And by the way, how do you know that they didn't have a deep long debate on foreign or domestic policy?  I am sure they both have the couth to not trash each other to after a meeting to the journalists by exposing the weak position of the others argument.  


I think you are missing the point... (2.00 / 1)
Michelle is basically doing what will make Americans "comfortable."  Whether she wants to or not is moot.  When **Hillary chose to do what made the public UNcomfortable, she was trashed all over the place:
**Hillary did not originally take the name of Clinton...she was then pressured into doing so when Bill decided to run for president.
**Hillary chose to work while First Lady of Arkansas and that was turned into a trashing session of how Hillary disrespected mothers and wives.

Michelle may or may not be choosing to be wife and mother and play the role of traditional First Lady.  Laura Bush may or may not have chosen to play the role of traditional First Lady.
WE WILL NEVER KNOW BECAUSE the one first lady since Eleanor Roosevelt who chose to play the role of activist instead of "traditional", was trashed for doing so.  I KNOW Michelle is a brilliant woman and I can assume Laura Bush can think and learn (with the exception of choosing of a spouse, she seems bright enough).  BOTH I am sure were quite aware of what it did to Hillary to be an outspoken women in 1992 and frankly, in my view, we have actually gone backwards as a country in our tolerance toward non traditional women.

"You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy. But you cannot have both."
- Louis Brandeis


[ Parent ]
This is where we disagree. (0.00 / 0)
Michelle is basically doing what will make Americans "comfortable."  Whether she wants to or not is moot.

Whether she wants to or not is not moot. It is all important.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


[ Parent ]
This is where we disagree. (2.00 / 1)
Michelle is basically doing what will make Americans "comfortable."  Whether she wants to or not is moot.

Whether she wants to or not is not moot. It is all important.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


[ Parent ]
Sorry, forgot the qualifer. (2.00 / 1)
Whether she wants to or not is not moot. IMO, it is all important.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
For this argument, to me, it is moot (2.00 / 1)
Women in powerful visible roles do not get the same choices men get.

Whether or not it is what Michelle wants is important of course to her and she will have to work it out within herself.  
I know you and I are close to the same age but we apparently came of age in alternate universes.  For as long as I remember and to this day, visible women with a potential for power HAVE to be very careful.  

Just today on a progressive blog, a poster pushed the meme of "Sarah Palin" looks slutty and is pushing her sexuality to get ahead. Now, personally I cannot fathom why anyone would vote for Palin based on her stance on the issues and her lack of understanding of issues in depth, but this diarists meme?  A picture of Palin at poolside with her legs up (sitting on a lounge chair, knees bent, legs with magazine on it).  Totally NOT inappropriate totally NOT wrong in any way but the "she looked like a slut" came through loud and clear from the diarist. If it was a man, he might have been mocked if he did not have a perfect body, or if he had a good body, it might have been noted.  Would he be labeled as a slut??

Hillary working while the first lady of Arkansas, trashed beyond belief.   How dare her.  Bill's problems long before Monica got Hillary hate going.......WHY?  As far as I can tell none of the antipathy toward W has ever leaked on Laura.  In fact, anyone says anything negative toward Laura and even liberal blogs play defense.  But Hillary?  Not so much?  WHY?  Because she chose to be an outspoken visible First Lady not living the tradition role.  Women pay, not for being non traditional but for daring to be outspoken about it.

Women in visible roles have to be much more precautionary about what they say, what they do, what they don't do in their personal lives.  
Yes, a few men have gotten into deep trouble over some words and some actions but more than a few men have been inappropriate and still get to choose what they want to do after....Newt, John McCain, Ted to name just a few.

Hillary's label as being a nasty b*tch, uncaring mother established by the press years ago extended into this election cycle. She even "pimps" her daughter.
So yea, what women want is often shoved aside a moot when it comes keeping the positive image.

"You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy. But you cannot have both."
- Louis Brandeis


[ Parent ]
It's obvious we have different views (0.00 / 0)
based on our experiences. I rarely view issues or happenings as black or white. For instance, I don't think everyone who was against Obama was against him because of feelings about race. Nor do I think every attack on Hillary is inspired by misogyny or fear of a strong woman. Some people dislike Hillary because of other factors and some dislike Obama for other reasons.

My parents did not like the Clintons, because of Bill's escapades. They didn't like Hillary putting herself forward, because they voted for Bill (the first time) and not for her. They did not blame Hillary for Bill's miscues nor did they attach any blame to her for everything that happened. They did blame her for trying to take a prominent role in the administration, but that was as I mentioned above, based on her not being an elected official.

My views were somewhat similar. I voted for WJC both times, but I had to hold my nose the second time. That had nothing to do with Hillary. It was totally based on the belief that a person who would break an oath to the most important person in their life couldn't be trusted to keep an oath they had made to people they didn't even know.

Barack was elected to serve as our president. Michelle was not. What Michelle wants is immaterial when it comes to governing this country. If Michelle had been elected then I would feel the same way about Barack putting himself forward in a new administration. We don't elect couples to govern our country, except in Alaska, apparently.

I believe it is possible for a man to dislike a woman for reasons other than her gender. It is possible for women to dislike a man for reasons other than gender. It is possible for whites to dislike a black candidate for reasons other than race. People are more complicated than that.

What comes across in your comments is an obvious, and justified, hatred of sexism and misogyny. I would never deny that both are serious flaws in our society that need to be fixed. However, a simplistic approach that says all men are bad and all women are good will never fix anything.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


[ Parent ]
Are you implying that I see things in black and white? (0.00 / 0)
Because I think there is a lot more to what I said that what you seem to be extrapolating.

I assume then from what you wrote you concluded that FDR was a lousy president because he broke his vows to his wife; and JFK must have been a terrible president too, since he broke his vows.  And Eisenhower too.  Did all these men end up being bad presidents in your eyes?

Just curious because you seem to be contradicting yourself with your judgments. I don't think one thing has to do with another.  Human beings are flawed.  For some sex is just sex, for others sex has everything to do with marriage. I don't judge people on their personal behaviors.  Should I say Obama can't be a great president if I found out he did not quit smoking like he said......will lying about not smoking making him untrustworthy....or the inability to quit imply no will power.  Saying one cannot be trusted to be faithful to the constitution because he cannot be faithful to his wife sounds pretty simplistic to me.  So which is it?
How do you see things?

I never once said all men are bad and all women are good so I have no idea where you got that.  I can't stand listening to Sarah Palin and I suspect she and I would never have been good friends. I don't like her policies, her speech style, her belief system but I still resent the double standard she was judged under.
I love men....often the wrong kind.  But that doesn't mean I agree with them.  

My premise is and was that "visible" women with a potential for power do not get the same choices men do in expressing their preferences.  How you translated than into me judging all men as bad and all women as good and seeing the world simplistically I do not get.

"You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy. But you cannot have both."
- Louis Brandeis


[ Parent ]
I'm not implying anything. Words have meanings as someone (0.00 / 0)
once said. I said a person who breaks an oath to the most important person in their life can't be trusted not to break an oath to someone they don't even know. Do you think an oath breaker can be trusted not to break an oath? Where is the contradiction in what I said?

No, you did not say that all men are bad and all women are good, but there is a common theme throughout your comments which implies that men can't be trusted and that women always get the short end of the stick. That if a woman decides to be a wife and mother instead of a activist then it must be the pressure brought on by society instead of being her free choice.  

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


[ Parent ]
And you did not answer my question (0.00 / 0)
Was the fact that FDR was having an ongoing affair while he was married mean he was a bad and untrustworthy man?  Does history show that to be so?

Or JFK?  Or Eisenhower?

And it's kind of funny that you accuse me of implying men cannot be trusted when you are the one equating marriage fidelity with trustworthiness as a human being and using a man as an example.  
As for women getting the short end of the stick, do you honestly not know history?  Do you honestly believe we are on even ground?  That women and men are treated the same, equal but separate?  Women do get the short end of the stick in many areas. Pay equity is one example but there are many more. I gave no absolutes, that is what you have been doing.  But there is a reality here.  Forty four presidents now...all male.  That's equity how?    Over 50%  of the electorate nationally and only 21% representation. Politically, financially women do get the short end of the stick overall.  Just like in the justice system, African American males get the short end of the stick.  There are always exceptions but trends and numbers tell the story.

As for this:

That if a woman decides to be a wife and mother instead of a activist then it must be the pressure brought on by society instead of being her free choice.  

I never said that.  I never said anything close to that.
I said it was moot whether or not Michelle chose the role of mother and wife.  I said that for public consumption, most visible women do show any other choice except wife and mother because that is what is perceived as being wanted by the electorate, unless of course their children are grown.....
You can disagree but don't put words in my mouth or spin what I said to suit your perception.


"You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy. But you cannot have both."
- Louis Brandeis


[ Parent ]
I owe you an apology. (2.00 / 1)
I apparently attributed comments made by other people to you. I just took a look through your most recent comments and found there was no basis for my statements. I do apologize for the misunderstanding. It was all my mistake.

Now, back to the current discussion. Yes, I do hold to my statement about people who break oaths to the most important person in their life not being trustworthy. If someone lies to you then it makes sense to doubt their word in the future. If someone proves they are willing to break an oath then it makes sense to doubt them in the future. This doesn't mean they can't serve and serve honorably, it just means they aren't to be trusted fully. They  may never break another oath. And, someone who lies to you may never lie again. But would you trust them fully?

You are apparently more forgiving than I am about cheating on one's spouse. I see it as a betrayal and don't have much confidence in someone who can make that betrayal. Of course, there can be extenuating circumstances in some cases. It's not a black and white thing any more than any other part of life.



This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


[ Parent ]
Thank you (0.00 / 0)
I appreciate your efforts to get us back on discussion/debate...instead of anger.  Sometimes I know I can overreact.  So I walk away for a while.

As for the spousal thing, I think it is something we all have to work out and I don't think there are absolutes.  There are many promises made by spouses...love, honor, respect, fidelity.  
I think breaking any of those indicates a problem.  But, in my view, sometimes the sexual part is the only part seen as "really breaking" the vows.

I have see spouses of friends who so disrespect the other...yet they have never cheated sexually.  They talk down, insult, use sex as weapon etc. But they don't "cheat" and that becomes some kind of mantra. I don't get that at all.
Bill definitely has fidelity/issues sexual issues...whatever. I don't know.  But that is something for Bill and Hillary to examine, evaluate, judge.
Many men in power get their egos stroked so easily....if you know what I mean.  And for women "power can be an aphrodesiac" so it can be a problem.
But I also know women have sexual issues also.  I know one who prefers her husband "get it" elsewhere.....it's not simplistic and for me it is never absolute.

I just don't think sexual infidelity has to define a person, or even a marriage.  But in the end it is between the two people who have made those promises to each other and I just don't think anyone other than those involved personally really should get to judge and whether or not another  their broken promise defines who they are in other arenas.

So in the end we will have to agree to disagree.


"You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy. But you cannot have both."
- Louis Brandeis


[ Parent ]
I agree, however, I don't see this photo op/ transition meeting as a place (2.00 / 1)
for Michelle to establish policy endeavors.  It's kinda like, much ado about nothing, right?  We shouldn't judge Michelle on an article about going into the white house, touring with Laura, right?  There is a place and a time and this aint it.  

[ Parent ]
Rec'd (2.00 / 1)
for good discussion.

"It's always worth re-assessing the shibboleths." -- Brit

koan... (2.00 / 1)
great to see you. ;)

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

[ Parent ]
what up CG (2.00 / 1)
Was working in a garden all day yesterday, missed all the feminism-misogyny-the media diaries.  Scrolling through them today, I'm a bit relieved that I did.

Found your comments provocative and well-written as usual.  It's good to have you back!

"It's always worth re-assessing the shibboleths." -- Brit


[ Parent ]
working in a garden??? (0.00 / 0)
im v. jealous...  yesterday, we had our first wet snow.  im already sick of winter and it hasnt even started yet.

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

[ Parent ]
Imagine what this winter is going to be like for me. (2.00 / 1)
I'm back in Michigan after spending the last two winters in Mississippi. I'm already dreading it.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
Imagine what this winter is going to be like for me. (0.00 / 0)
I'm back in Michigan after spending the last two winters in Mississippi. I'm already dreading it.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
more like trying to build a garden (2.00 / 2)
me and some friends are building a sustainable, permaculture garden in a back yard here in chicago.  We can't plant until spring, obviously, but we're building compost bays and raised beds and doing our damnedest to pretend we know what we're doing.  And we had our first blowy little snow gusts last night as we were drinking rye around the fire pit.

"It's always worth re-assessing the shibboleths." -- Brit

[ Parent ]
Koan (2.00 / 1)
Stop making me envy your life!

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]
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