As someone who has a long history of marching for causes, I am pretty geeked about having a black man and a white woman running as candidates for president. I also am really annoyed with the huge storm of total BS that has been served up about this historic occurrence.

Exhibit A: New York NOW’s off the hook accusation of Ted Kennedy as betraying Hillary Clinton–and by extension, all women–by throwing his support to Obama.

Well, gosh, I guess I’m a traitor too for not voting the vagina party line, and looking at the candidates’ actual platforms. To take this to the extreme, would the NOW group support Ann Coulter as a candidate just because she has a uterus? I hope not.

Exhibit B: John Edwards is leaving the race–and I hear a politico bloviating on the radio about “who will represent the white men that are now disenfranchised? There is no one like them in the race!”

Um, I guess they’ll be represented by the same people who have been elected to represent women and African Americans for the last….oh wait, not 200 years, because we haven’t been allowed to vote that long. Suck it, white dudes.

Both of these are just two different sides of a silly premise–that you should vote your race or gender. CHOOSE ONE.

So many great things have been written about this false dichotomy, that I wanted to link to some of them:

Politics and Intersectionality at Racialicious
Angry Black Bitch lets it rip in her usual awesome way

And from Pitting Race against Gender:

“nowhere in the race vs. gender frenzy that has swept the nation has anyone challenged the very validity of the question. How can one compare racism to sexism – and if one tries, where do those of us who are disadvantaged both by our race and by our gender fit in?

In truth, the juxtaposition is disingenuous, divisive, overly simplistic, and ultimately harmful, because it redirects our attention away from efforts to break the White male patriarchy that excludes all the Others, but towards in-fighting where we all compete to see both who’s more oppressed, and who will make it out of that “Oppression Box” first.”

As an Old School (ok, just old) feminist, I am very saddened and disappointed by the way some feminists have bought into this false dichotomy, and are helping to perpetuate it in the media.

I will not be voting my with my ovaries, I’m voting with my heart and head. And I want to see a Brother in the White House.

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. BTW, don’t worry–I don’t plan to write much about politics this year.
    Unless they piss me off again.

  2. So, where does that leave a genderqueer such as myself? Who am I allowed to vote for? ^_^

  3. How about voting for the candidate who best represents your political beliefs? You know, like people in other countries do?

  4. Kaimialana –
    Unfortunately, most of the U.S populace would probably like it if you weren’t allowed to vote for anyone.

  5. At a political fundraiser a few nights ago I sat next to black woman who is active in local politics and she told me she is really in a dilemma over this very point. My conversation with her was interesting because it seemed to me, a guy with a sales background, that she’s basically voting her brand loyalty. From her perspective – and these are her words – we can now choose from “black dude”, “white chick” and “old white guy” whereas you used to be able to get only varieties of “old white guy”. She has never liked the “old white guy” brand and is now torn between the newly introduced “white chick” and “black dude”. Stands on the issues, what I would think of as brand quality, didn’t really seem to be a big part of her decision-making process, she’s going with her gut instincts.

    Realistically, I believe a lot of us think that way even in something as important as the political arena. I have long since lost my faith in the “old white guy” brand even though as one myself I might be expected to be loyal. My friend feels loyalty to both of the new brands since she relates personally them, making it a particularly tough call for her.

    Our conversation ended with lively discussion on brand loyalty and the merits of the newly introduced brands. We agreed that “black dude” is unproven in the marketplace and we’re somewhat suspicious of “white chick” since we see it as a new product line from the same folks who brought us “old white guy”. Personally I think I’m going with “black dude” but I have until Tuesday to reconsider.

  6. … Sometimes you’re lucky enough to be a citizen from an oversea country and have candidates from both ‘brands’ that are also of a very high quality. It doesn’t lead to presidency, however (beware that the English article from wikipedia doesn’t do justice to this woman, if you’re able to read the French page, you’ll have a much more interesting bio).

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