Yucca the polls show strong support for Hilary among self-identified Democrat women, her gender representing much of her appeal to that demographic, but also because they share a common ideology.
Would Republican women jump the ideological divider JUST to vote for a woman? Well, if Hilary becomes the candidate in 2008 how many Democrat men would you expect to cross party lines and vote Republican just because the candidate is a man?
And if they did would you consider it to be a good thing or an act of unforgiveable chauvinism?
I think there is a difference: my point is not that women might (should?) support hillary because she better represents them (or, as you say, because they can better identify with her). My point is that voting for hillary is a vote against a history of gender discrimination that is still being written.
That’s why I don’t think that analogy with men stands: because there is nothing much men can stand for by voting for a man just because he is a man.
p.s. could you please point me to those “gender” polls you mention; i’m quite intrigued.
Go to a polling site like Rasmussen report and look at the party head-to heads in, for example, Iowa. Currently they are saying:
“Clinton remains in first place with support from 34% of Likely Democratic Primary Voters nationwide. That’s down slightly from 37% from a week ago. Obama is still in second place with 26% and Edwards holds down the number three position with 15% support.”
When you move down to the internals you will see a variety of categorical breakdowns like this one:
“Obama edges Clinton 28% to 26% among male voters while the former First Lady enjoys a 14-point advantage among women.”
As for a Hilary vote being a vote against the Gender Oppression-History so fetishized by Academia, The Beast would point out to you that if she becomes President she will be shaping policies for the nation in PRESENT time. The policies she enacts may or may not be good for Women (or men), but that mostly depends on the policies and not on the accident of birth that denied her the “y” chromosome.
The Beast agrees that Men really don’t have an opportunity to make an empty symbolic gesture by choosing to vote for a fellow male. We are lucky that way.
Identity politics can be a double edged sword: what if the candidate turns out to be a disaster? Would a vote for him or her still vindicate the history of oppression or would it tend to reconfirm it – much like the catastrophic Prohibition law that was swept into force in America on the heels of awarding women the vote in the 20’s?
BTW – here is a direct link to the Rasmussen poll:
Hey Beast, that’s a great source of information, thanks!!
I hope I won’t waste too much time on it… i am insatiable after all 😉
on Hillary: I get the impression we talked about this before. I am not making a claim about Hillary’s fitness as a president. indeed, i don’t think i am in the condition to make any such claim – i just dont know enough – and that applies, i guess, to every candidate…
im just making a claim on what i think is a sufficient reason to vote for her over others, on the assumption that she is fit to be the next president.
so i guess i agree with you that if there were any consideration against her fitness, then the fact that she is a woman could not count in favour of electing someone that could not do the job.
but in the absence of any considerations that mark her out as a worse potential president than the others, then i consider her being the representative of gender discrimination a reason to support Hillary.
It’s a rolling breakdown of all the polls, current and past. There is an extrordinary amount of useful information to be gleaned just by going to the polls directly and looking at their internals. While it’s nice to have the data cooked up and presented for you by someone else, if you go to the sites yourself you don’t need that somebody to prepare the info – you can do it yourself and blog on it before they do.
As for Hilary, The Beast considers her politics (and position on the issues) a good enough reason to disqualify her for his vote, regardless of gender. Had the Beast been a Brit in the 1980’s he would have voted for Thatcher for the same reason.
I guess thats the point then: she does kinda represent my views anyway, and she’s a woman on top. i’m not expecting that many people do bridge the ideological/political gap to vote for a woman… but maybe some… ill keep looking anyway… and if you do run into any GOP women being tempted, gimme a shout 😉
thanks for the link… i’d been there a few times, but now ill give it a proper look!
If you think about it, everything catastrophic that has happened in American government and politics since Prohibition has happened since women got the right to vote. Perhaps the implications of this need to be examined more closely and appropriate changes made.
I am a conservative woman and most of my close friends are and I have yet to hear of them say they are even tempted to vote for her. I’m not sure I’m in a position to speak for all conservative women but I will anyway, generally I don’t think conservative women care about the gender, they care about the issues. And Hillary, despite her attempt to look centrist is far to left for a conservative to vote for her. They may sit out the vote if they feel they don’t have any viable candidates in the race but vote for Hillary? I truly doubt it.
And also I think the real question is would a conservative man vote for her? I don’t think so.
And since you’re looking at the gender issue – ask women who support Hillary Clinton why they would vote for her and they will tell you it’s largely because she is a woman – but then ask them if they would vote for Condi Rice, Libby Dole or even Barbara Boxer and I’d be willing to bet you’d get a different answer. THE reason anyone would vote for her is because they agree with her positions as demonstrated by her record (not her words).
thanks a lot for this. I was really hoping that a conservative woman would read it. So you are not in the slightest tempted by a gender vote, then? I’m not surprised, really… as you say yourself, the gap is just too much to be filled by gender. but what about a gender vote within your party, in the primaries, for example?
Do you think, say, that there a Dem women who will choose Hillary over Obama or Edwards on grounds of gender?
For me – I doubt that gender would sway my vote. For example, as much as I admire Condi Rice, I wouldn’t vote for her just because she is a female conservative. I don’t think she’d be a great president. Although if I had to choose between Condi and John McCain I would opt for her – since I think he is a total disaster.
I am pretty sure most conservative women feel this way – as really it is the libs who really strongly identify with the Women’s Movement stuff. Personally, I never felt oppressed so I never considered myself a woman’s libber – I was just me, being me – independent and sassy. I think liberal take it much more to heart and feel it has a strong connection to their own identity.
I think the most left part of her party would vote for her – the centrists, etc. I’m not sure – but I am not a Dem so I don’t really know. I think though that she doesn’t really poll that well with men and that could be her undoing. As to someone choosing her over another candidate – it is my considered opinion that the Clintons simply won’t stand for someone else getting the candidacy and will destroy (literally or figuratively) anyone who stands between them and their goal. Hillary wants the presidency for her lifelong ambition and as payback for all the crap that Bill put her through and Bill wants it so he can pretend that he is president again (his favorite role). It is indeed unusual to see two people who are both sociopaths in the same relationship but in fact, I think we have that in Billary.
Thanks for letting me blab on and on. Great thought provoking post Yucca.
hey, this “Billary” expression is real cool! thanks! im definitely goona re-use it…
yes, the idea of having another 8 years of clinton annoys me too… but isn’t that, itself, part of the sexist prejudice? that because she a woman, then HE would be, really, in power… but maybe it only depends on the fact that he has already been in power… so that if it had been another housband, who had not already been president, that kind of idea would not go around…
Hey Yucca, glad you liked the Billary crack – but it’s been around for a while and I can’t take credit for it. Use it freely – no problem.
As to the thing about Bill being in power again – I didn’t mean to convey that I thought that – I meant to convey that I believe HE (Bill) thinks that – and I guess possibly some supporters may as well – but I can’t speak to that. On the other hand, playing devil’s advocate I could say that many might think that Hillary ran things from behind the scenes when Bill was supposedly in charge and if she gets a crack at it, then he will return her the favor.
Though for me, the bottom line is this: they are a matched set. They go together – you can’t have one without the other and it really has nothing to do with genders – they could both be men or both be women, it wouldn’t matter – it is their relationship that makes them inseparable – so whatever one is doing so is the other. pretty sick if you ask me.
if it were as you paint it, hillary’s victory would be pretty worrying for democracy; 12 (and potentially 16) years with the same people in power. on the other hand, it would be an interesting return to the roman consulate…