Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The right to choose


“She never lets ideas interrupt the easy flow of her conversation.”
- Jean Webster


I for one can’t stand Hillary or Bill. She sets feminism back a thousand years by tolerating Bill’s affairs—get a divorce for cripes sake!


I read this comment about Hillary Clinton in a blog a while ago, and I feel the need to say a couple of things about it. I’ve heard things along these same lines ever since Hillary tossed her name in as presidential hopeful but this one takes the cake.

You can think whatever you please about Mrs. Clinton; you can love or hate her; approve, or disapprove, of her political ideas; agree or disagree with her for staying with her husband after cheating but please, do not say something as absurd as “She sets feminism back a thousand years by tolerating Bill’s affairs.”

I think, as women, we should never forget what the core of the feminism movement is all about—and it’s not about cheating; it’s about equality and the right to choose that comes with it.


The principle of choice means that we respect, support and advocate for women’s individual and collective right to make our own decisions about our bodies, our families, our jobs and our lives. The right to choose is integral to the feminist pursuit of social, legal, political, economic and cultural equality for women.


Just as any of us can choose to leave our husbands or partners for cheating, other women have the same right to forgive and stay with them.

Some months ago a teacher asked us why we thought the feminism movement had slowed down in the last decade. A Spanish congresswoman, that was visiting us that day, said she believed it was in part because: the minute some women started rising above others, doing better, becoming more successful they were hated and scorned by the same group of women who used to defend the right for them to be “more” to begin with. Something we should all, perhaps, think about...


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27 comment(s):

Anonymous 2nd Amdt said...

I will be the first to say that I am not a feminist, but I do believe in equality and I agree with the original intent of what women's rights was about (not what it has turned in to today). But IMO it was/is about equality and respect - with respect of our abilities, mind, opinions and thoughts, we can obtain equality of opportunity and equality of results. By having a husband who flagrantly disrespects marriage vows, women's rights is set back because that equates in to a lack of respect for the woman. No respect, no equality.

2/06/2008 11:20:00 PM  

Blogger ...dance? said...

Well, I am a feminist and I don't think it's setting back women's rights that Hillary Clinton chose to stay with her husband; if she were forced to stay with him (or leave him, for that matter), then that's a different thing...

Who knows what goes on in someone else's marriage, except that whatever their issues it's gotta be a thousand times worse when it's aired out publicly.

As far as respect goes... why can't women respect another woman's choice? Why does it seem like if a man takes back/stays with/doesn't leave his cheating wife, he's doing the noble thing, but if a woman does it, she's being weak or not demanding respect or equality?

Either way though, I still think marriage is a private matter. Respect too, in some cases.

2/07/2008 03:20:00 AM  

Blogger December/Stacia said...

I'm not really a feminist and I strongly dislike Mrs. Clinton, but her decision to stay with her husband was never an issue for me. They have a child; they've been married for a long time. Who knows what happens in a marriage, as you said?

I get very irritated when I'm told I somehow "let down" all women when I decided to give up my job and stay home to raise my children myself. Am I less deserving of respect because I'm proud of my husband for supporting us all, and in exchange I cook his meals, tidy up, and iron his shirts? Because to me, it feel like we've reached that "equitable division of chores" so many people long for. To me, it feels like we're equal partners in this marriage. I couldn't do what I do if he didn't sacrifice, and he couldn't do what he does if I didn't support. How am I less of a woman because I put my family's well-being first?

Grrr. Sorry, I tend to get a little overexcited when this topic comes up.

2/07/2008 08:13:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Fab post babe. I can't think right now of something as good to say. Not vote for Hillary because she chose to stay with her hubby. Not vote for Obama because he's a fucking smoker. Jeysus, how dumb can you be?

2/07/2008 09:51:00 AM  

Blogger December/Stacia said...

Funnily enough, Harlot, back when women's right to vote was being debated, one of the main arguments people made against allowing women to vote was that they would make their voting decisions based on emotions and "instinct", and not on the real issues. The Suffragettes of course insisted it was ridiculous to think women wouldn't take their votes just as seriously and think about them with just as much cool reason as men.


I'm certainly not suggesting it's bad having women vote; just wondering who it is who's really setting back women's equality?

2/07/2008 12:16:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

December, sadly women eat women. Not only are we the worst critics (of others and of own selves) but we tend to dislike those who get ahead of us, those who make a difference especially in a field ruled by men; the same way we dislike prettier women, more powerful women, smarter women, etc.

We always clamor for women's equality and we always push for women to get ahead. But when one of us actually makes it, whether because of ignorance or pettiness or plain selfishness, we pull her back.

2/07/2008 01:00:00 PM  

Anonymous Carrie said...

Why are people so afraid of the word "feminist"? It's as if some feel compelled to point out that they certainly are not one of *those* women before making a statement.

What kind of woman is a feminist? What kind of man is a feminist? There is not a set-in-stone definition, by my estimation. Maybe a feminist believes that all people should be able do what makes them happy and does not violate others. If you are fulfilled being a housewife (or househusband!) and taking care of your home and family, that is fantastic. If you make the choice to stay with a philandering spouse, that is your decision, and there is nothing about it that sets feminism back. In fact, I would say it takes more strength, because the easy choice these days, when 40-50% of marriages end in divorce, would be to end it and move on with your life.

2/07/2008 01:11:00 PM  

Anonymous Carrie said...

I also want to say that being a feminist does not make you a bra-burning ball-busting bitch. People need to get past the misconception and realize that there are a lot more people that are feminists than people that think they are.

2/07/2008 01:33:00 PM  

Blogger December/Stacia said...

Ooh, I wanted to add that my comment wasn't aimed at 2nd Amndmt.

2/07/2008 01:40:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

"I would say it takes more strength, because the easy choice these days, when 40-50% of marriages end in divorce, would be to end it and move on with your life."

Too true. I for one find it very hard to forgive. :/

December LOL. I don't think anyone was aiming at 2nd Amdt. I like reading her comments actually as, usually, hers are contrary to others.

I can't think, tired. Only filling in (verra poorly) for mi Trollop. She'll be back in a while.

2/07/2008 01:52:00 PM  

Anonymous karamia said...

*I get very irritated when I'm told I somehow "let down" all women when I decided to give up my job and stay home to raise my children myself.*

December- I get that too, and it burns me up. Why can't women be supportive of each other? I think that we have to learn to be happy with our own choices and stop looking with envy at others' positions. It seems that jealousy and guilt are the reasons that women can't be supportive of one another.

Those that choose to stay home are looked down on by the working mom and the working mom is looked at as being selfish by the stay at home. Why can't we support one another instead? Think how much further women would be if they truly supported one another.

And I think it's most hurtful to look at someone else's marriage and pass a judgement on whether or not that woman should stay with her husband. No one can truly say how they would react if their husband cheated. And if they say they would leave him without a second thought, then perhaps they aren't ready for marriage. Marriage takes more tenacity than that. It's never that black and white.
I feel like a true feminist is one who supports a woman's right to choose what is right for her and her family, not someone that supports a woman's right as long as she is making the "correct" choices.

and I must say that I love reading the comments on this blog because even when people disagree, it's done politely! Why can't all women be like this? ;)

2/07/2008 02:09:00 PM  

Blogger Jordis Juice said...

How I love this blog...

If a wife wants to stay with her husband then it's their business. Didn't Guiliani openly committed adultery? Yet many people loved him bwcause of all his contributions to NYC. JFK was a philandering husband and Americans loved him, too. (Not to mention Jackie O stayed with him as well.)

Not that I'm condoning adultery or cheating.

People shouldn't accuse Hillary of being unfit for US presidency because her husband cheated on her. As if that was her fault.

Sometimes I think that Lewinsky scandal only served to humanize the Clintons. It may have actually saved his presidency from the GOP attempt to remove him from office. :P

2/07/2008 03:02:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Want to add, a woman voter should not vote for Hillary just because she is a woman. A feminist should not vote for Hillary just because she represents a dream of finally seeing the first woman US president, a "No Girls Allowed" club.

Believe me when i say i fucking hate politics (personal reasons). But Trollop, who i swear i will choke one of these days grrr, live and breathe politics. :S Anywho i just remembered Oprah. Many people are calling her a gender traitor because she opted for Obama. They alleged her for putting her racial identity before her gender. Why is it that, of all things, it ends up to this: black male or white female?

2/07/2008 03:20:00 PM  

Blogger ...dance? said...

Yep. It's turned into vote gender or race, not... whatever it is people vote for when it's a bunch of white guys running.

2/07/2008 03:27:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

I remember that "iron my shirt" comment someone yelled at Hillary during one of her campaigns. Honestly..

Seriously, i would love to see more women in power but to vote for someone because they are a woman, or black for that matter, is just ignorant.

Anyway, found this on my very helpful chat history as it's not available anymore on Roseanne Barr's blog (she changed it):


"Barak Obama is an empty suit selling "hope" in lieu of Truth. Oprah Winfrey helped to elect Arnold Swartzenegger. I have no doubt that she voted her purse by doing this, as she is a large land owner in California, and that ilk fears Dems because they do not want to pay their "fair share" of Cali tax. Oprah has given us Swartzenegger and Dr. Phil. If that was not offensive enough to decent thinking people, now she brings us Obama. He has no ideas, no plan and nothing to add other than the cynical pacification of the masses with bedtime stories about hope, while calling Unions "special interest groups" that need to be done away with. Obama votes with Bush constantly funding this terrible endless war. Oprah, you play the race card and the gender card too. You are a closeted republican and chose Barak Obama because you do not like other women who actually stand for something to working American Women besides glamour, angels, hollywood and dieting! When Americans find out that Obama backs right wing corporate racist anti worker bullshit, they will not vote for him, and the victory will go to the most racist right wing republican ever.... Mccain, who is a fascist! ... Obama doesn't even back reproductive rights for any woman! It is historical that Oprah Winfrey, beloved of women, chooses a flashy man with small credentials over a seasoned woman politician with 35 years of experience...and sells that to the female demographic who look to her for inspiration!"

2/07/2008 03:48:00 PM  

Anonymous karamia said...

This is the first time I have read what she fully wrote; I have until now only seen quotes. I have not heard that Obama has voted to fund the war, he is pretty definite on being against the war and says on his website that he would begin immediate withdrawl of troops.
and I wish she would state why she believes McCain to be a fascist. It seems to be a strong label to pin on someone without explanation.
I sometimes like what she has to say, but this seems like rambling to me.
Truthfully, all 3 frontrunners have issues that I don't like. I am stuggling to figure out who I will vote for and the media certainly does not help.

2/07/2008 04:33:00 PM  

Anonymous Sara said...

For the first time the American voters has a chance to vote for a black person, or a woman, which is new, so most of the vote will now be made party, and sex/race.

As I'm sure most of you know, the American voters are easily swayed by ads, emotional appeal, and various other degrees of propaganda. This has lead to many presidents getting elected even though they did not deserve the right to be in office.

I like Obama, I like his politics. Shitty healthcare plans and mortgage bail outs aside, I like Hillary, too. I'm willing to listen to what she has to say. Her husband was a pretty good pres. and I am sure she knows what the job requires. Very exciting election this 2008.

2/07/2008 09:25:00 PM  

Anonymous lll said...

Does anyone agree with me that it sort of ruins Hillary's image as a strong and notable politician to stay with someone like him?

I could not trust a woman like her in the office if she is not strong enough to stand up for what is right in a marriage...

But that is just me.

2/07/2008 10:24:00 PM  

Anonymous anan said...

They had this gender vs. race debate about Obama an Clinton on 'the View' the other day and I remeber one of the host suggesting about what would happen if a African-American woman was running for office, which I thoguht would be even more interesting.:P

2/07/2008 11:27:00 PM  

Blogger ...dance? said...

Does anyone agree with me that it sort of ruins Hillary's image as a strong and notable politician to stay with someone like him?

No. Or, well, other people might agree. I don't. ;)

I could not trust a woman like her in the office if she is not strong enough to stand up for what is right in a marriage...

And what, pray tell, is "right in a marriage"?

what would happen if a African-American woman was running for office

Better make her gay too. And non Christian.

2/07/2008 11:37:00 PM  

Anonymous karamia said...

*Better make her gay too. And non Christian*

LOL, if she was gay, we wouldn't have to worry about what to call her husband.

*Does anyone agree with me that it sort of ruins Hillary's image as a strong and notable politician to stay with someone like him?

I could not trust a woman like her in the office if she is not strong enough to stand up for what is right in a marriage...*

Uh, sorry, I don't agree with you. I think what makes a strong and notable politician is their ability to make things happen that are for the good of the country.

And I believe it takes more strength to stay with a husband after the whole world knows the details of what he did. It's not anyone's place to decide that a woman should leave her husband, nor what is "right" in some one else's marriage.

2/08/2008 03:47:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

*Better make her gay too. And non Christian*

LOL, if she was gay, we wouldn't have to worry about what to call her husband.


Still "that ohgod so sexy ex prez"? :P

If i were an American voter, i'd vote for Hillary. I like Obama a lot though; he's handsome and smart and mama mia, a sexy dancer. But Hillary has more experience as what Trollop keeps telling me.

Ideal scenerio would be a Hillary-Obama ticket. But with all the bad blood between the two of them.. :/

2/08/2008 07:29:00 PM  

Anonymous Carrie said...

Re: Ideal scenerio would be a Hillary-Obama ticket. But with all the bad blood between the two of them.. :/

Not to mention the fact that there are too many dunces who wouldn't vote for them because they either don't want a woman or a black man in the White House. And, the Dems would lose two Senate seats.

2/08/2008 08:22:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Too true, Carrie. It's all identity politics. White woman, black man. Is it true Bush is an alcoholic? Shouldn't that be more scary?

2/08/2008 08:44:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

December,

Re: get very irritated when I'm told I somehow "let down" all women when I decided to give up my job and stay home to raise my children myself.

I know exactly what you mean. And you know what, the only reason I can come up with for women to do/say things like these to each other is envy. They envy you getting to stay with your kids at home while they have to go to work. The same for the other side of the coin, the ones that take a bite out of working mothers, they envy them their life outside the house.

Just get a grip people and DO WHAT YOU WANT AND LET OTHERS BE.

As far as Hillary forgiving Bill being a sign of weakness, well, I don't want to insult anyone, but that's just plain absurd.

The easiest way out for her would have been divorce. And in any case, IT'S HER LIFE, HER MARRIAGE, HER DECISION, HER CHOICE.

What is it to *you* if he cheated or not or if she forgave him or not? Did this affect Bill's ability to make decisions while being president? Just look at the statistics and the way he left the US economy, and look at it now and tell me if Bush not cheating *snort* has helped him make good decisions.

Really, people, these are human beings we are talking about not robots. They will have flaws and might have problems in their personal lives but what you want is for them to do a good job in office.

All this gossip old-hag backyard gossip about who's fucking who and who's cheating on who is ridiculous and denotes a poor ability to organize priorities, IMO.

There are so many other things to concentrate on when choosing a prez it's embarrassing that people even take that into consideration. You should come live in my country where our fabulous president just took out a "personal" loan of 134 million dollars and the people/nation he's stealing from are the ones paying it back for him(this issue is up in the constitutional court to have him impeached though the elections are a couple of months from now).. More embarrassing even, is that he's REELECTING himself.

If a PERSONAL choice of forgiving infidelity is the reason you wouldn't vote for someone then you might want to take a long hard look at your priorities. I'm just saying.

2/09/2008 01:51:00 PM  

Blogger Jolie said...

Re: As far as Hillary forgiving Bill being a sign of weakness, well, I don't want to insult anyone, but that's just plain absurd.

I don't think I can forgive a cheating husband, that's just me. But I don't think Hillary forgiving Bill shows weakness. Also, someone told me that if your relationship is strong, you'll get through anything.

Re: black man, white woman

If we're going to play this game, I think it makes more sense to vote for Obama because he is black than for Hillary because she is a woman. I agree with that guy from the New Yorker who said that one of the main functions of the US President is to inspire.

I may catch some flak for this but I don't see the first woman president as being as inspiring as the first black president. Obama would really draw a line under the past hundred years or so of US history. I don't think Hillary's being a woman would have the same effect.

Inspiration, however, is only a minor consideration for me. It has to be who would do the job better. I can't tell because it depends on what the GOP does. I can see Hillary running into a lot of hostility from the Republicans, but then she's been doing OK in the Senate. I think Obama would be able to get more done.

2/10/2008 04:05:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who cheats on their husband or wife is making it quite clear that they are not interested in marriage.

It's a bit like blowing a tire on your car, you can patch it sure but do you ever feel confident about that wheel again? It's better to throw the useless POS out and buy a new one, that's the only way to be sure.

I have no doubt at some point Hillary sat down and did the political calculus and came to the conclusion that there is no way a divorcee could be elected President (Hi Rudy? Yeah, you too scumbag) so she stayed with him.

Now maybe they have some sort of open relationship, I know some couples that do and it works for them, whatever, but if that's the case then she should say so.

Of course that would like-wise kill her political ambitions.

Oh, and she let Bush have that stupid war with her stupid vote, that alone is more than enough reason to despise her.

2/10/2008 08:34:00 PM