The Democratic Left is increasingly proving itself to be a misogynistic anti-gay coalition. The words are “progressive”. The actions contradict the words. We know actions speak louder than words.
In Part I, we quoted Ralph Nader and his disdain of “gonadal politics“. It was Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm who dared place sexism and misogyny at center stage of American politics, not a sideshow in the fight for equality.
“I ran because somebody had to do it first. I ran because most people thought the country was not ready for a Black candidate, not ready for a woman candidate. Someday–it was time in 1972 to make that someday come.”
She also knew the challenges of being a woman in politics.
“I’ve always met more discrimination being a woman than being Black,” she said. “When I ran for the Congress, when I ran for president, I met more discrimination as a woman than for being Black. Men are men.”
Decades after Congresswoman Chisholm declared she was discriminated more on the basis that she was a woman than because she was African-American the Democratic Left castigates sexism and misogyny (and homophobia) only when it is convenient and safe. All the talk against sexism and misogyny (and homophobia) is just that – talk.
During the 2008 election cycle the leading lights of the Democratic Left, writers and party officials, remained quiet while sexism and misogyny ran as rampant as Reagan era AIDS. The Democratic Left was mostly silent. In fact the historical record will show that they were complicit in the sexism and misogyny. Many in the Democratic Left still deny the historical record and condemn those of us that will not forget and continue to break the silence.
During this election cycle, Chairman of the Dimocratic Party Howard Dean remained silent on sexism and misogyny but any “racial” statements were quickly condemned even if the “racial” statements were merely hoaxes set up by the Obama campaign. The condemnation of “racist” statements however were not made against the Obama campaign when the barely veiled racism benefited Obama.
When Obama called Hillary in anonymous memoranda the Senator from Punjab only the East Asian community (and Big Pink) took offense. The Democratic Left which condemned the turbaned stereotypes of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom did not denounce this particular baiting by the Obama campaign.
Howard Dean attributed his silence on sexism and misogyny to ignorance because he did not get cable television. The Chairman must have missed the sexism and misogyny on broadcast television, in Obama statements, in newspapers, magazines and every conceivable Big Media outlet. The Hillary Clinton “nutcrackers” and the “Bro Before Ho” merchandise must also have escaped the Democratic Chairman from the Democratic Left. The good German did not know what was going on – he did not smell the furnaces burning.
Now that it is convenient, in a forum of only men the Democratic Chairman from the Democratic Left, is attempting to rehabilitate his legacy and excuse his complicity. Asked by a woman at the forum about the lack of discussion of women, in an historic campaign that featured a woman candidate, the men on the panel made more excuses and the Democratic Chairman from the Democratic Left outdid himself in hypocrisy. [Dean begins to speak 3 minutes, 45 seconds into the video]
Let me talk about this for just a minute, and without disrespect for Ken, it is not… the answer that Geoff just gave is not unrelated to the fact that there are no women up here. Washington doesn’t get it. They always get it last. This is the most underwritten story of this campaign… by the press… by the media. Let me explain this.
Women, I have a small disagreement with you. Women my age, in my generation felt this really acutely. Because they were the ones that suffered all of the indignities that you suffer when you fight to win the battle for equality. As they did. I tell this story alot because young people don’t understand. When my wife graduated in the class of 1971 from Roslyn High School in suburban New York, they had two playing fields. A boys playing field and a girls playing field for the sports. They had a construction project. They simply shut down the girls playing field, closed off women’s sports for the year and that was the end of that so they could do the construction project and open it up the next year.
You could not do that today. And the reason you cannot do that is because people like Hillary Clinton fought to make sure that could happen. Now, here is why this is an underwritten story.
This was one of the most painful parts of my Chairmanship was being the referree. Naturally of course the Barack people thought I was with Hillary the Hillary people thought I was with Barack. That just goes with the territory.
But nobody understood the agony that women, particularly of my generation, were undergoing about this issue and to this day it has been swept under the rug and forgotten because she didn’t win. I would love to see some people really look at this seriously. Here we are. This is inexcusable – having five guys up here. And with all due respect to schedules we don’t do that. If you are going to have diversity you are going to have diversity and you make damn sure you have diversity. We have not learned about that. The underwritten story about this campaign is not just about the first African-American president it’s what happened to the first woman.
We thought we were past all this stuff and we weren’t. We weren’t surprised about the degree of racism or lack of it or whatever, that was endlessly examined. We did not examine the fact that we didn’t get, we haven’t gotten nearly as far ahead as we thought we were about equality between the sexes. And that ought to be revisited as a result of what happened.
And it happened to Sarah Palin too. All the stuff that happened to Sarah Palin, and I know God knows I don’t have a lot of sympathy for her political points of view, but a lot of the stuff that happened to her, as she pointed out, would not have happened had she been a man.
So that is a serious issue that this country has not yet dealt with. And that was the sore that was unroofed by what went on, on the cable television stations especially regarding Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Words. Just words. The Democratic Chairman from the Democratic Left was silent when it mattered and now he wants to polish himself as an enlightened man ready to fight for liberation. The Democratic Left was also complicit and silent.
Marie Cocco was not silent. Marie Cocco condemned the silence and the silent. She wrote about the sexism and misogyny in the 2008 election cycle:
Most of all, I will not miss the silence.
I will not miss the deafening, depressing silence of Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean or other leading Democrats, who to my knowledge (with the exception of Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland) haven’t publicly uttered a word of outrage at the unrelenting, sex-based hate that has been hurled at a former first lady and two-term senator from New York. Among those holding their tongues are hundreds of Democrats for whom Clinton has campaigned and raised millions of dollars. Don Imus endured more public ire from the political class when he insulted the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.
Would the silence prevail if Obama’s likeness were put on a tap-dancing doll that was sold at airports? Would the media figures who dole out precious face time to these politicians be such pals if they’d compared Obama with a character in a blaxploitation film? And how would crude references to Obama’s sex organs play?
The silence on sexism and misogyny (and homophobia which we will discuss in a later installment) is the shame of the Democratic Left.
The shame of the Democratic Left must be exposed.
The shame of the Democratic Left will not be forgotten.