Robin Morgan on Clinton v Obama

// 20 February 2008

Robin MorganRobin Morgan has written an excellent piece on Comment Is Free about the Democrat race for nomination and pointing up some of the fallacies of the campaign and what real social change would mean. For example:

Goodbye to pretending the black community is entirely male and all women are white …

Surprise! Women exist in all opinions, pigmentations, ethnicities, abilities, sexual preferences and ages – not only African-American and European-American but Latina- and Native-American, Asian-American and Pacific Islanders, Arab-American and – hey, every group, because a group wouldn’t exist if we hadn’t given birth to it.

From Comment Is Free

She also wishes to say goodbye to (amongst other things):

  • The idea that everything Bill did is Hilary Clinton’s fault.
  • The idea that Obama must pass as white and Clinton as a man to win the nomination and the election
  • The idea that black feminists voting for Clinton are “race traitors” and white feminist voting for Obama are “gender traitors”

The goes on but this one is truly memorable….

Goodbye to an era when parts of the populace feel so disaffected by politics that a comparative lack of knowledge, experience and skill is actually seen as attractive, when celebrity-culture mania now infects our elections so that it’s “cooler” to glow with marquee charisma than to understand the vast global complexities of power on a nuclear, wounded planet.

Oh yes!

Comments From You

Josie // Posted 20 February 2008 at 1:38 pm

Thank you so much for linking to such a fantastic article. It’s been a long time since I read such a passionate defence of anything, let alone something as exciting as the possibility of a female US president. As expected, many of the comments are utterly vile – the CiF pages include some terrific articles but seem to attract some extremely unsavoury types, what a shame.

Brad // Posted 20 February 2008 at 3:02 pm

Hi. Ms Morgan is entirely correct to point out the blatant and vicious sexism that Senator Hillary Clinton has faced throughout her career. That some idiot would create a protest group called C.U.N.T. speaks volume to the evil that exists in the world.

Missing from Ms Morgan’s article, however, is a realistic portrayal of the racist attacks that HRC and her team have focused against Senator Obama. Repeatedly, the Clinton campaign has trafficked in xenophobic imagery, whether it was Bob Kerrey trying to label Obama as a Muslim, or Clinton operative Andrew Young saying that both Clintons are “blacker” than Obama. In particular, Young noted that Bill Clinton is “blacker” because he has slept with more black women than Obama. (Eeww!) Then there were the attempts to paint Obama as a druggie because 30 years ago when he as a teenager he used pot. That was followed by Bill Clinton dismissing Obama’s win in South Carolina because “Jesse Jackson” had won the state in 1988.

Over the last several weeks, Clinton’s campaign strategist, Mark Penn, has dismissed wins in states with African American voters because, you know, the votes of brown/black people don’t matter. Penn also tried to create racist turmoil between African-American and Latino voters, suggesting that Latinos don’t vote for African-Americans even though historically that is not true given the support Latinos have given in mayoral elections in Chicago, Houston, New York, and Los Angeles. It also ignores Obama’s own solid Latino support in Illinois.

The Right-wing has attacked and slandered Senator Clinton for nearly two decades. Lying and deceiving to destroy the Senator has been basis of their strategy. Sadly, it is also the basis for Senator Clinton’s attacks on Senator Barack Obama.


Ms. Morgan makes the assertion that there are women are other than white. In doing so, Ms. Morgan only focuses on black women who say that they have been called “race traitors,” yet ignores the words of Gloria Steinem and other feminist who call women of color gender traitors for not supporting Clinton. Steinem disingenuously declared that African-American men had rights in American before women. It was very easy for her to dismiss hard facts that although African-American men were granted the right to vote before white women those rights were stripped away within a few years. Slavery may have ended officially in 1865 but it did not truly end until 1965.

(Steinem also was willing to dismiss the continued disparity in treatment of people of color in the U.S. that exists today. For instance, in Florida last year a young African-American woman had disappeared, presumably kidnapped. MSNBC had scheduled an interview with the local police department to discuss the case. Just as the interview began, Paris Hilton was released from prison. The interview was canceled and news coverage switched to Hilton. This is part of a larger problem of ignoring the plight of missing women of color while the media devote days of coverage to missing white women.)

Oprah Winfrey has been attacked for supporting Obama. Women of color have had the dual battle of fighting sexism and racism. Many women of color have written about what they feel is second class treatment by their white feminist sisters whose racism is sometimes veiled or other times direct by dismissing the unique concerns that affected women of color.

Oprah’s response to the attacks against her has been that she is a free woman, with a free mind, and the ability to support whom she wants. In attacking Oprah, white women dismissed Oprah’s long history of support for women worldwide. I don’t think many white women who attacked Oprah understand how utterly insulting those attacks have been given the history of racism in the U.S. Racism that was not only committed and enforced by white men but also by white women. In the United States, there is a myth of Affirmative Action benefiting people of color. However, history and statistics show that the primary beneficiaries have been white women.

Yes, Senator Clinton has faced disgusting, sexist attacks. However, not everyone who doesn’t support her does so because of sexism. Some people actually like her competitors more because their messages are more meaningful. Others also look at Clinton’s voting record on the Iraq War and her refusal to disavow it. And, others also look at the fact either a Clinton or a Bush has been president for almost 20 years, and don’t believe that dynastic politics is good for the U.S. (Do you think Jeb Bush would be embraced if he had run for the presidency or the vice-presidency?)

Ceec // Posted 20 February 2008 at 6:15 pm

I liked the article, then was amazed at what I found underneath it in the comments. I suppose it should come as no surprise that the most misogynistic comments come from people who didn’t appear to have been able to assess the content of the article at all. No surprise I suppose that failure to process information and an illogical approach would be linked to anti-feminism, but disappointing anyway.

Have Your say

To comment, you must be registered with The F-Word. Not a member? Register. Already a member? Use the sign in button below

Sign in to the F-Word

Further Reading

Has The F-Word whet your appetite? Check out our Resources section, for listings of feminist blogs, campaigns, feminist networks in the UK, mailing lists, international and national websites and charities of interest.

Write for us!

Got something to say? Something to review? News to discuss? Well we want to hear from you! Click here for more info

  • The F-Word on Twitter
  • The F-Word on Facebook
  • Our XML Feeds