Women for Obama? Not This Woman.

Apparently the campaign season has reached the point where it's time to start specific outreach, for I had an email land in my inbox last week that frankly took my breath away with its audacity:
As I have traveled across the country, I have had the privilege of meeting incredible women from all walks of life. From young women paying their own way through college, to moms working the extra shift to keep food on the table, to women struggling to make ends meet during retirement.

We talk about their bills, their children -- how they're constantly striving to strike that balance between work and family. And no matter what kind of challenges they're facing, they don't complain. They just work harder.

This is what we do as women. We persevere. Because no matter our ages, backgrounds, or stations in life, we are determined to leave a better world for our children and give them opportunities we never even dreamed of.

Women have always been the heart of the Obama organization. We make up nearly half of the American workforce and are the majority of students in America's colleges and universities. We're the primary caregivers for our children and seniors. We're the heads of households and workplaces across the country.

And right now, it's time for us all to dig deep, step up, and keep building this campaign together: person by person, discussion by discussion.

Today, we are officially launching Women for Obama -- and I am incredibly honored to be serving as its chair. This is a special group dedicated to growing this campaign from the ground up. Because we know better than anyone that movements for real and lasting change have got to start at the grassroots -- and they're sustained by the relationships we develop with one another. Together, that's what we're going to do -- build relationships with supporters, new and old, and grow this campaign -- one woman at a time.

I wanted to ask you myself if you'll sign on to join us.

The stories of the incredible women I meet serve as a constant reminder of why we're all here: because American families all around the country are facing very real problems. They're balancing mortgage payments and utilities bills with full-time jobs and raising children. They're struggling to make ends meet while still trying to put money aside to send their kids to college one day.

Barack understands these issues because he's lived them. He was raised by a single mother who struggled to put herself through school and pay the bills. When she needed help, Barack's grandmother stepped in, waking up every morning before dawn to take a bus to her job at a bank. And even though she worked hard and was good at what she did, she ultimately hit a glass ceiling and was passed over for promotions time and again because she was a woman.

So Barack knows what it means when a family struggles. He knows what it means when someone doesn't have a chance to fulfill their potential. And today, as a father, he knows what it means to want your daughters to grow up with no limits on their dreams.

That's why, since taking office, he's worked tirelessly to make sure every child and every family gets a fair shake.

The historic health reform he passed is making sure every American family gets the quality and affordable care they need to stay healthy. The crucial investments he's made in our students and workers -- raising the standards in our public schools and building out job-training programs at community colleges -- are investments in our country's economic future. And the very first bill he signed into law -- the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act -- will help make it easier for women to get equal pay for equal work, because he knows that women's success in this economy is the key to families' success in this economy.

But we have so much more to do. And, as women and supporters of this campaign, we need to keep showing up -- and we need to keep fighting the good fight.

So I'm asking you to join me, and women all across the country who support this movement. I'm asking you to say you're ready to work.

Join Women for Obama, and help us grow this organization:


Thank you for being a part of this,

How. DARE. You.  An administration that has used my rights as a bargaining chip, willingly trading away protections for the most vulnerable among us in order to pander to Blue Dog Democrats, and stood silently by, watching, without so much as a quiet cough of discomfort or awkwardness as a tidal wave of anti-choice legislation swept this country, now wants to approach me as a woman and ask me to sign on to campaign for them?

With all due respect, y'all can go fuck yourselves with something spiky.

This whole letter rubs me the wrong way, from the sisterhood-y tone to the "that's what women do, persevere (but without complaining because to be a woman is to work and be silent and consigned to the shadows while your labor keeps everyone going apparently)" to centering the message about "FOR THE CHILDREN BECAUSE ALL WOMEN ARE MOTHERS OR AT THE VERY LEAST MATERNALLY-INCLINED TO PROTECT TEH PRESHUS CHILDRENZ".

Pointing to the Lily Ledbetter Act wins you no points, given that it's been said by those involved that it was pretty much a done deal already before Obama took office, and it doesn't even do what the administration is always claiming it does, and yet it's always proudly trotted out as the main show pony in these appeals to women as a voting bloc.  Help for students is good, definitely, and there will be women among those students benefiting, but the tone of it has that FOR THE CHILDRENZ feel that's really turning me off about all this.  And touting the health care insurance reform, in which the administration started in the middle and compromised to the right, including ceding ground on the issue of federal funding for abortions for people on Medicaid by issuing an executive order reinforcing the Hyde Amendment to appease DINOs in exchange for their votes on the legislation, in a letter appealing to women to throw their support to the administration's campaigns, is a whole new level of audacity. 

We're talking about a President who has repeatedly deliberately used right-wing framing in talking about reproductive choice, whose Equality Day Proclamation had not even the tiniest mention of reproductive freedom, who traded away poor women's reproductive freedom in order to get his precious health care insurance reform, who staffed his administration with known misogynist fuckwits, whose PR rep couldn't even manage a simple statement on the Republican war on women at the state level without epic mansplaining and dancing around the topic, who even when his administration does actually work to protect freedom of choice remains absolutely silent about it as if wanting to keep things hushed up, and who is even now openly considering caving to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and allowing them to discriminate against women in their employ at Catholic hospitals and schools the nation over because they've got their shorts in a wad about "insufficient" conscience protections that will require that the insurance they offer to employees cover contraception care among other preventative services.*

And after all of this, you have the unmitigated temerity to appeal to me not simply as a voter, but specifically as a woman?  

I do not even remotely begin to have enough middle fingers with which to salute in response.

When y'all are ready to actually stand with us beyond LILLYLEDBETTERLILLYLEDBETTERLILLYLEDBETTER, let me know and we'll talk.  Until then, keep your patronizing schtick to yourselves.

*I realize the bulk of my links in this paragraph all go to various posts on the same blog; I also realize that some people will take that to mean I didn't have any other sources and can be disregarded on these claims.  I use these links for three reasons: one, because I know the blog and its tags well enough that I could find the information I was after fairly quickly; two, because all the posts are well-written and well-sourced with further links you can read for more information; and three, because I love Shakesville and am always happy to send people over there.  Please don't mistake this choice for a lack of supporting data elsewhere, I simply pull from the places I know well and have access to.


CaitieCat said...

And Shakesville likes you too, Jadelyn.  :)

I love your righteous anger here.  Speak that truth! 

Jadelyn said...

Awww! *blush* Thanks. :-)


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