From Slate: Feminism Means Never Having To Say You're Toast
Via Andrew, this is from Dahlia Lithwick:
Emily asked a good question yesterday about the proper feminist reading of Hillary Clinton’s weird new Bartleby phase—wherein she is all but mathematically eliminated; superdelegates are running screaming for the exits; the office furniture is being carted out onto the moving vans; and yet still she soldiers on, undaunted, because real women “don’t give up in difficult situations.”
I suppose you can call all this “feminism.” But, as my husband pointed out this morning, if the inability to concede error or defeat—even in light of irrefutable, empirical evidence and in the face of spiraling support and tanking morale—is feminism, George Bush must be the feminist icon of the ages.
It's been interesting watching the end of the Clinton campaign, because I feel like a certain amount of it hearkens back back to an era of black politics--namely the Sharpe James/Marion Barry era. I wrote a piece some time ago noting the resemblance between Marion Barry and Bill Clinton, but I never considered the bleed effect to Hillary. The way Hillary and her allies make her a stand-in for the entire feminist cause or the entire white working cause, has an eerie resonance with how Barry and James etc. would make themselves the personification of black oppression.
The complicating factor of course is that there there are sexists, there are racists, there are elites who've exploited working whites. Of course the demagogue often conflates the sexist/racist/elitist with anyone who dares criticize that person. Still, expecting a rational response from the victims of irrational bias is probably asking too much. I take great pleasure in the fact that the very racism that Obama has had to deal with in this campaign has forced him to be a better candidate. No black person--and I'd argue no white woman--can win the White House crying "Poor Me." I'd like to tell you that the era of identity politics in the black community is over. But of course, I can't.