2016 election

I, Virginia Bergman, pledge not to vote for a male presidential candidate in 2016 just because he's male.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Barack Obama: What a Feminist Looks Like?!!

And to think I actually used to read Ms. Magazine. Heidi Li Feldman’s response to the cover of the Ms. inaugural issue says it all:

'“Honestly, I did a double-take. A triple-take. Because if a feminist looks like President-elect Obama then a feminist looks exactly like somebody who has done nothing, and I do mean nothing, to suggest that he will fight for increased social justice for women. This is the person who has retained Jon "The Groper" Favreau as his chief speechwriter; installed Tim "I'm not really for serious guarantees of Roe v. Wade" Kaine as the DNC Chair; appointed far fewer women to his cabinet or to cabinet-level positions than Bill Clinton did and barely the number that George W. Bush has (more on that here and here and best of all here). Between the choice of Rick "Women who exercise their right to abortion are like Nazis" Warren to give the invocation at the Inaugural Ceremony itself and total silence with regard to how the economic stimulus package he is proposing will aid those likely to be hit hardest - yes, women - I have to say that if President-Elect is Ms. Magazine's idea of what a feminist looks like, I would hate to see their vision of what an anti-feminist looks like.”'

Heidi goes on to discuss her latest project, the founding of 51 percent, a women’s organization that she says will not be sidetracked:

"While I will not be buying a subscription to Ms. Magazine, their solicitation reminded me that now more than ever, I want to stay the course with 51 Percent (even if it means, yes, seeking contributions from folks during these tough times - something I feel uncomfortable about - but eventually we will attract major benefactors and they, combined with the small dollar contributors will fuel the development of the Museum of Misogynistic Memorabilia and help us build up our speaker's bureau). I founded 51 Percent because I realized that most preexisting women's organizations got sidetracked somewhere along the way - sold out, bought off, distracted. I will not let that happen to 51 Percent. Unless we understand the basic injustice of a society where the majority remains vastly under-represented in public life (not just in politics but also in politics), we will get more magazine covers from purported feminist publications that applaud the feminism (!?!) of a incoming President who has ignored even this list of recommendations for moving justice for women to the fore of his administration.

"Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about 51 Percent go here. You can find a mailing address for donations to 51 Percent here.

"If you have $5.10 or $51.00 or any amount to donate, you can do so at the website or below. Moneys raised will be going to the development of the Museum of Misogynistic Memorabilia and announcing, via ads, the formation of 51 Percent and its Museum in select publications. Please note that donations directly to 51 Percent are tax-deductible to the extent permissible under law, and donations via Google are direct to 51 Percent."


  1. My own reaction was one of betrayal. The kind of betrayal that happens when a mother meets a shiny new boyfriend, and turns a blind eye to what he is doing with her daughters while she is away.

    Ms. Mag was a mother to me in the 80's. Boy, has she ever come a long way, baby! Now she wants me to believe that I, as her daughter, need a Superman to save me? And that I should "just keep quiet honey" about what he did to all my sisters during the campaign season.

    I'm sure, for many women, this is deja vu.

    Letty Cotin-Pogrebin would be outraged, I suppose. But... no matter... cuz Gloria Steinem has the Oba-media running her editorial board now.

  2. Hi SYD,

    Your comments are always welcome. And you're right about Gloria Steinem and the Oba-media.


  3. My own feelings regarding this were echoed by Heidi Li's response. The first thought that came to my mind when I saw the cover? How much were they paid for that? That is the only explanation I can come up with for their decision to run with that cover. Where have they been the past 2 years? In spite of the numerous organizations/websites which have come forward to express outrage/discontent with the current sexist/misogynist climate of late, it is not enough. That Ms. magazine has such a distorted view of Obama's so-called 'feminism' speaks to the skirmishes that are ahead for women gain to gain the respect and equality they so deserve and are lacking...