Archive for December, 2008

Sex and politics: the final post

December 8, 2008

Over the past four weeks since the election ended, I’ve been really excited to post about the dynamic women Obama has chosen to place in prominent cabinet positions.  But, over this past week, the attitude has changed in the political climate as claims of sexism rise to the surface again.

Yesterday, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell defended a comment that he made about Obama’s pick for Homeland Security Secretary, according to a CNN article.  Last week, Rendell said Janet Napolitano would be perfect for the job because she had no family and “no life,” leaving some to cry sexist, as no one would say a man can’t complete a job with a family.  Rendell defended himself, reiterating that what he said was true, and he would have said it whether Napolitano was Janet or “Jim.”

At the end of last week, CNN commentator Campbell  Brown called out Hillary Clinton on changing her tough stance on sexism.  A photo from an Obama speechwriter was circulated around Facebook–and then the media–where he groped a likeness of Clinton. Her spokesperson’s response?  It was goodnatured fun.  Brown said this doesn’t sound like the same woman who spoke out about gender issues throughout her presidential campaign.

If I’ve learned anything from keeping this blog over the past several months, it’s that gender creeps into every area of the political arena, not just in a major presidential campaign with two female candidates along the way.  And it looks like, for some, the sexism that pervades some areas of politics isn’t going anywhere soon.

I’ve always cared a great deal about gender issues and politics and this blog has been a great way to combine those two interests and offer my opinions.  I learned a lot about combining news and opinion in the blog format and feel that I found my voice as the weeks progressed.  It was also a great excuse to read as much election news as I wanted!  If I were to keep a blog like this in the future, I would definitely work to incorporate more multimedia.

Today is my last post on this blog, but I’m sure that gender issues will continue to creep up in the days, months and even years to come. My hope is that with each appointment of a female cabinet position and with each female presidential, vice presidential or congressional candidate, the political glass ceiling will continue to crack until it ultimately shatters.  My hope is that someday, no one will care whether or not Janet Napolitano has a family, or whether or not Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits are flattering.  My hope is that one day we’ll see a woman go the whole way to the White House.

Thanks for reading!

It’s official: Hillary is Madame Secretary

December 1, 2008

Photo courtesy of CNN

Barack Obama announced his national security team today and the head diplomat position is officially going to his former rival from the primaries.  Hillary Clinton is his pick for Secretary of State.

According to an article from CNN this morning, Obama praised Hillary at a Chicago news conference, saying, “I have no doubt that Hillary Clinton is the right person to lead our State Department and to work with me in tackling this ambitious foreign policy agenda.”

An article in the USA Today Monday, Obama’s pick is unique–it’s the first time a president chose a former political rival since 1881.  Plus, the article points out, Clinton’s background in women’s rights is a departure from the careers in academia or the military that past picks boasted.

According to a blog from the Chicago Sun Times, New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a Clinton friend, called the choices “brilliant, bold and brave,” and I couldn’t agree more.  Now it’s time for Madame Secretary to focus on the many difficult issues that our facing our world, including the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

And, like Obama, I have complete confidence in her.