Growing up, I was told I could be anything I wanted, even president. As a young teen I realized no woman had ever been president and with that, I realized I couldn’t be anything- that had been a lie and I was pissed. I knew it wasn’t about my abilities, it was that I lived in a world that wouldn’t vote for a woman. That was just sad. Still is.
I didn’t want to be president, but I wanted to be able to. In one of my other posts a while back, I equated it to when I found out Santa Claus wasn’t real. I felt like I had been duped. Suddenly I saw the world in a different way. There was no Santa Claus giving gifts to everyone and there was no woman president.
Sure, Shirley Chisholm had run as did a handful of other women over the years and now Hillary was up there for being seriously considered. So, these days, it’s still about gender, but it has a new twist. It’s about money.
You have to have money from somewhere to fund your campaign. CNBC just ran a list of mostly Democratic candidates who have a lot of money, including Hillary and Bill Clinton, worth $85. million. Mitt Romney was up there with a net worth of $250. million. That’s so much money, it’s incomprehensible, especially when there are people in this nation who earn much less than $10,000 a year to live on. If you’re someone who doesn’t get those ‘Wall Street Occupiers,’ you at least have to say they have a point.
Now that corporations are considered people, as “people,” they can donate what they want to campaigns. This is a new development of Capitalism and also of Patriarchy. With the total amount of money spent on campaigns these days, even with the total that has been and will be spent for this upcoming 2012 election, I believe I could set up social programs to drastically alter the economic system of our country, giving everyone more access to wealth, resources, and opportunities. Seriously, with that kind of dough, I could make some serious change.
But could I be president? No, probably not. The culture under Patriarchy still values women less and therefore views women as less important, less effective, and less capable. So, it’s a hard sell to get women on the ballot and voted for. And, it’s a vicious cycle, Patriarchy does not value women. Because women are devalued, they are at risk of violence. When violence happens against women, people blame the woman and see it as the woman can’t take care of herself, even though it wasn’t her fault. In the larger world, one woman is a reflection of all women. People won’t vote for someone who they think is weaker and can’t care for herself or the rest of the nation.
Then there’s economics.
As the economic structure of the world under patriarchy is set up to pay men more than women because men’s role is seen as the family breadwinner, women are paid less and will definitely have a harder time funding campaigns with their money alone. Women must find a wealthy corporation that will act as a person and raise her up. So, to find that and keep it, what are deemed “women’s issues” are pushed more toward the middle, if they are addressed at all, and women must hang on for dear life just to stay in the game. Campaign financing and campaign ads- same deal, except you don’t have to to be a serious candidate to run whatever ad you want, you just have to be in the race.
If I had some money to throw around, I’d run for some office or another just to run my own campaign ads about how the current system hurts women and is set up to shame us and take away our rights. Ah, but alas.
The current issue (April 2012) of Mother Jones has an article in it under Out Front, called “Abortion Ad Nauseum” and in it, Tim Murphy talks about current issues with broadcast regulations. If a TV station finds an ad distasteful, they don’t have to accept ads, but they can lose their licenses if they refuse to run campaign ads. So what happens? Woman haters like David Lewis, an unemployed IT technician who is challenging the House Speaker John Boehner in the Republican primary in March is airing disturbing and exagerrated anti-abortion ads on TV of what are supposedly mangled dismembered fetuses.
The thing is, the unemployed IT guy David Lewis, isn’t the wealthy one. Note to self, not that I would hire an IT guy based on his politics, but with a little research, I surely wouldn’t hire someone who I believe is condoning violence against women by denying personhood rights to women. I’m a woman- it’s just self preservation. Anyway… Lewis is a recruit of “Operation Rescue” which has been fighting to make women second class citizens for years by taking away their rights to choose for their bodies and they have been violent about it.
“Operation Rescue” is an extremist anti-choice, anti-woman organization founded by Randall Terry. Randall Terry is an anti-choice activist who has run for different Republican political offices and lost in the past and he claims he is now a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President in 2012. Mother Jones reported that he bought 11 Superbowl ad spots and said he plans to buy 18 more to stop the “Holocaust.”
What an offensive thing- to compare a woman’s right to choose for her body to a program of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazis in WWII that had somewhere between 11 and 17 million people victims. Six million European Jews, plus Romani people, Soviet Prisoners of War, Polish, and Soviet civilians, homosexuals, people with disabilities, Jehovah’s Witnesses and other political and religious opponents, German or not.
Randall Terry’s likening abortion to the Holocaust is interesting since he could easily be likened to Hitler. He insists on women not having rights. Metaphorically, he sends women and our rights straight to the death camps. He is trying to divide the Democratic party to take votes from Obama, bring more attention to the anti-choice battle, and/or have a platform from which to run major anti-choice and anti-woman ads that have mangled fetuses. He wants to horrify and shame women and men alike into taking away women’s rights. And above all, it is all in the name of hating women.
So, I thought I always could be president, but these days I know I don’t have enough money and if the laws keep denying women the ability to make decisions for ourselves, I may not have the right to even dream about it. Hell, I might not even be able to wear what I want, much less have adequate health care options.
As examples of our nation, the men in the running to be in the final race against Obama (Santorum, Gingrich, Romney, and Randall Terry) are embarrassing examples of our nation and make me ashamed of the United States which these days does not seem so united.
Today is the start of Women’s History Month. I want to dream of a girl who will one day be president and will continue the fight against patriarchy so that there will be no violence against women and women will be free and equal.
Grrl Code: Celebrate women, all that we have done, the battles we have fought, the ways which we have supported each other and been able to work together. Never forget the battles we have won. Don’t close your eyes because they are coming to take what is ours the moment we aren’t looking. There is no rest in this beautiful battle, but we are all in it. Help other women realize, we are not alone. We need each other to continue this fight for women’s equality, rights, and justice and with that will come respect, safety, and honor.