More US election aftermath…

// 6 November 2008


I don’t think that I’ve truly understood until yesterday exactly how terribly the black community has been hurt. How devastated the black community was by the violence inflicted on them. How deep the ache of murder, lynching, rape, benign neglect, and threats etched themselves into the black community.

I mean, I had known-but not really, not until last night.

What made it clear to me was not the sobbing black people the cameras kept flashing to, or the black college kids that walked so purposefully to my local voting center, or even all the former civil rights leaders that *told* us all what it meant, point blank, to have a black man as a president.

It was the way the first thing so many black folks said immediately after the announcement was-sweet Jesus, protect that man. It was the way so many black folks said that not so secret prayer, the way one friend didn’t look away from the television as she reached out almost desperately for another friend’s hand.

BFP also points out that some people are claiming that this election victory means racism is somehow “over” in the US. It’s clearly not that easy. On the BBC coverage I watched, they also repeatedly stated that Obama’s win “draws a line” under the racist past, in particular segregation. Talk about a short memory – it’s only a few days ago we were still watching footage of US citizens bleating vile racist shit outside McCain rallies.


I am so grateful for Obama’s landslide win, don’t get me wrong. He ran a fantastic campaign and he did some incredibly gracious, beautiful things with the entire United States, in every place he visited – he wasn’t purely focused on the battleground states, he wasn’t ignoring the South just because it was a given that it’d go red.

But I’m angry about all the other propositions that passed. The literally millions of people who think that me, my relationship, my love, my orientation, my body’s wiring, my queerness is somehow a threat to them, somehow damaging to their way of life, somehow harmful, somehow detrimental to society, somehow bad and wrong and evil.

I take personal offense to these results.


So many worked so hard, to come so close. All of which, so hard to process, amidst the blinding light of Obama’s triumphant win. A dream deferred for 232 years, then come true. Racial barrier broken at the highest point imaginable, and on the same day another barrier is erected at the most emotionally intimate point imaginable.

TerrenceDC at Pam’s House Blend:

I wrote in the previous post, echoing a commentator from last night, that Americans just elected president a man whose parents’ marriage would have been illegal 40 years ago.

Upon hearing that California’s anti-gay marriage amendment passed, I guess they will say the same of my sons, if either of them runs for president.

And… marginalisation of Michelle Obama as First Lady has already begun. OK, more like “didn’t let up”.

Finally, because surely we need to end on a high note:

Women voted. A lot:

# Even in solidly Republican Texas, 52 percent of women voted for Mr. Obama.

# 96 percent of African-American women and 70 percent of Latino women voted for Obama.

# Unmarried women gave Obama a margin of victory of more than 12 million votes.

From Sociological Images:


Comments From You

Charlotte Cooper // Posted 6 November 2008 at 4:11 pm

I think it’s also interesting to note that Fox News were all out hating on Sarah Palin yesterday, placing as much blame as possible on her for the Republican party fail.

We’re talking a complete back track on all their defensive points, laughing at and deriding her – pretty sad.

Sabre // Posted 6 November 2008 at 4:24 pm

I have to admit I’m pretty terrified that someone will try to kill Obama, it was one of my first thoughts when I heard he’d won.

Michelle Obama is so cool!

JENNIFER DREW // Posted 7 November 2008 at 12:05 pm

‘The marginalisation of Michelle Obama has already begun.’ Proves my point that electing a mixed race male to President will not alter the fact women will continue to be marginalised, excluded and reduced to men’s sexualised objects.

Always but always, men first second and last. Remember the Civil Rights campaign wherein black women were routinely relegated to the ‘kitchen’ and told by many black men ‘you will have to wait your turn, black men’s rights come first.’ Or refer to history because here in the UK the same misogynstic excuses were used.

The Luddites who comprised working class men and who demanded the vote said the same thing to working class women ‘you must wait your turn men’s rights supercede your rights.’

The French Revolution was all about non-privileged men’s rights because despite fact many working class French women rose up against the upper classes these working class women were told ’emancipation and equal rights only refer to men not women.’ See his story tells us the same message over and over – men’s rights always supercede women’s rights.

Yes race and class cannot be separated out from gender but with women gender is central to their discrimination and all too often this discrimination and misogyny comes from men who come within the same class, race, ethnicity as the women. It is called patriarchy or male supremacy.

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