This is the third in an occasional series looking at “What People Are Saying About How You Should Vote.” This was posted by @nbcapobia at The Funky Revolutionary last month, and I found it via The Academic Activist. The argument made is as relevant now as it was a month ago; a year ago, a decade ago … and will likely still be relevant a decade and more from now. (emphasis mine)
Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of American women eagerly throw their support behind the Obama administration, especially in recent weeks with multiple blatant assaults by the GOP on women’s rights. But if my president supports that women in other nation states live in situations of violence, oppression, and hate, and even furthers these situations, it is all but impossible to deduce that this individual cares about women’s rights at all. Where is our global solidarity? Women after all, exist all across the globe. Our social class transcends party politics. All of these thoughts drove me to ask myself whether American women support Obama out of self-interest, instead of women’s rights, as it is so often referred.
Of course, we can ask that question about any “issue,” and it’s fair and potentially self-enlightening question to ponder. The writer of the post discusses “deep seeded cultural sexism” in American society, and how this leads to the ability to make, rather freely, sexist remarks.
This openness without fear of consequence to participate in such language and action constitutes such an utter disrespect for women as autonomous political, cultural, and most importantly, whole beings. … The GOP has an agenda that is dangerous and serious for every American woman. …
The two party binary serves for conservative viewpoints to be resisted by the other party, in this case: the Democratic Party. This limited scope … is designed intentionally as the framework within which to discuss our complex rights to be women and fully human in our womanliness. Notice one of Obama’s campaign slogans is ‘Women FOR Obama.’ Why is this not ‘Obama FOR Women’? How did our power to choose a representative that is in the best interest for our demographic become a brainwashed cheerleading practice? …
The writer returns to the argument that for an “authentic believer” in women’s rights, all women, globally, must be included.
To support the Obama administration (especially through a vote) is to support an administration that knowingly and willingly kills and injures women through both military regime and economic enslavement, and supports the oppression of women as workers, mothers, and autonomous beings with autonomous bodies. …
As American women, and as women of the global North, our privilege is apparent. We must ask ourselves why we are angry with the GOP for their direct oppression and disrespect of women, but not angry with the Democrats, who equally participate in oppression of women as a social class? …
Nbcapobia makes clear that the argument is “not to say that there are no differences” between Republican and Democratic parties related to women’s issues. Rather, the focus is on the need to “work strategically,” quoting Chepe Martin:
‘With the election of Democrats, we gradually move against the system, while with Republicans we move only against their political party, offering the Democrats as a plausible solution.’
The argument turns to the “political puppet show, the illusion of democracy” which “does not leave room” for the kind of discussions, and actions, we need. Basically, nbcapobia says we need to make some different choices.
We need not wait any longer for structures, administrations, and agendas to continue to speak for us. We must no longer adapt, but choose. We must no longer have the illusion of acting through the action of a politician. We must demand an end to the debate over our lives and bodies without our consent. We must spread the words and actions of feminists from across the world.
Among other things, this feminist essay provides a bigger, global picture for deciding “how you should vote.” To repeat from the above quote: “We must no longer have the illusion of acting through the action of a politician.”
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