How’s this for women’s history month? For the first time in the long history of the republic, members of a major American political party voted decisively to nominate a woman as their presidential candidate, and no one noticed because all we want to talk about is the baloney-faced misogybag DONALD DRUMPF!
It’s true! Even articles online this morning purportedly about Hillary Clinton’s amazing wins in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Illinois are really all about her potential opponents Drumpf and (mysteriously, fantastically) Ted Cruz. I guess we really don’t want to admit that Clinton–with all of her older, darker, uncool, non-hipster voters–was able to win last night, and win big in both the south and the industrial midwest.
Deborah Tannen explains exactly why this is revolutionary–and importantly why we don’t want to admit it–in a succinct new article, “The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Disliking Hillary Clinton.” She analyzes not just Clinton’s long history in the public eye, but specifically draws a comparison to her current opponent for the Democratic nomination (and FINALLY brings up something I don’t see at all in public conversations about the candidates): Continue reading
Me & my neighbors in Potterville tonight
I’m just back from the caucus. It’s nice to see my friends and neighbors, but seriously: we vote by mail in this state. Why the FRICK are we stuck with this deeply undemocratic caucus which most people can’t or don’t know how to get to? I say secret ballots in primary elections serve democracy better.
THAT SAID, I arrived at the caucus at 6:40 to check in and find my precinct. After nearly an hour of standing around, waiting for stuff to happen, listening to the caucus Chair reading letters from a few Democratic candidates for down-ballot positions, and a short speech from my representative in the General Assembly, Dave Young, we got down to business. Continue reading
Hillary Clinton had a big win last night. Even the professional Bernie Sanders-fluffers over at MSNBC had to admit it. It turns out that white men might as well have not showed up to vote! (And the younger ones didn’t. Is that why Sanders fans are so dismissive of Clinton voters and our preferences? Because we’re not white men?)
Hillary Clinton scored an overwhelming victory Saturday on the strength of nearly unified support from African-American and older voters in South Carolina, according to the NBC News Exit Poll. She captured nearly 90 percent among voters age 65 and older and about the same share of the black vote. She even narrowly beat Bernie Sanders among white voters. She ran up huge margins among all education and income groups, liberals, moderates and conservatives, late deciders and those who say they’ve long known who they were going to vote for.
She also ran very strongly among those who attend religious services at least weekly, and among the lowest income voters, both groups with large numbers of African-Americans. Clinton also ran better among women than men, but walloped Sanders among men as well. Only among white men did she fall short of a majority.
Given the thrashing Clinton administered Saturday, it’s hard to find a demographic group that Sanders won. As in earlier contests, Sanders showed some strength among young voters, winning a narrow majority of those under 30. He also edged Clinton among independents. Sanders received more than six in 10 among voters who said this was their first primary election, but this group was a very small share of the electorate (about one in 10). Not surprisingly, he won a majority among voters who want the next president to pursue more liberal policies than President Obama has.
The bottom line here is that Clinton is doing very well among people who actually show up to vote, even if they’re deeply uncool women, African Americans, old, or two or three for three. Oh, well: I think Clinton would rather be president than be considered cool in Williamsburg, Madison, or Austin. Continue reading
Considering that we know that the more competent a woman is perceived, the less liked she is, should we really be surprised that a lot of Americans think Hillary Clinton is “dishonest?” I’m not. It’s better for a woman running for president to be seen as competent and unlikable rather than incompetent and likable.
Who’s voting to make Hillary Clinton his or her daughter, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, the Virgin Mary, Pope of Rome, or Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox church? I think she’s running for president. I’m not sure people’s suspicions about her honesty will make a difference. Do we want someone to be honest in her dealings with Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad, or Mitch McConnell? Or do we want her to execute multiple mindfracks while playing twelve-dimensional chess in order to pursue the best interests of the United States?
(Have these people never watched House of Cards, in either of its 1980s or 2010s versions, or even the goody-goo-goo West Wing, sacre bleu?) Continue reading
I’m not a traditional historian. I don’t give a fig about chronology except (maybe) in my “first half” (1492-1877) of the U.S. History survey class, and I never care about “coverage.” Maybe it’s my short attention span, but I go for books and ideas that intrigue me rather than the idea that I need to “cover” certain decades or themes in my classes. The only kind of coverage I ever worry about is ensuring that my students are reading, hearing, and talking about as many different Americans as possible. I try to ensure that we are reading and talking about women and men alike, and Americans of all classes and ethnic backgrounds.
More proof that I’m probably a bad professor: I write syllabi for the courses I wish I could have taken. Selfish? Guilty as charged. But then I figure if I’m bored, how can my students not be bored too? I’m just not that good of an actor. Also, I’ve found that if it excites me (environmental history! material culture!), it’s probably going to interest the students more than a lecture or book I feel merely obligated to share with them.
Joseph Adelman has an interesting blog post over at The Junto about teaching a history course organized around four American autobiographies rather than rigid notions of “coverage” and chronology. In a seminar for first-year students, I can see how it might be disorienting for them to jump from the 1670s (Mary Rowlandson) to the eighteenth century (Benjamin Franklin), and then to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with two African American autobiographies, Frederick Douglass and Melba Pattillo Beals. (He very generously provides a link to his syllabus, too.) Continue reading
My colleague and co-conspiritor in teaching History of Sexuality in America over the past several years, Ruth Alexander, has suggested that we develop and co-teach another course on the 1960s. She has correctly deduced my excitement over the multi-media primary sources that modern historians can use–primarily video and audio clips that are available widely on the internet, as well as material culture and clothing that we find at Goodwill and garage sales! Wow!
When we had Carrie Pitzulo, author of Batchelors and Bunnies: The Sexual Politics of Playboy as a special guest in our class last term to talk about her article on Hugh Hefner’s and Playboy‘s engagement with feminism, I couldn’t believe that there was an entire episode of William F. Buckley’s Firing Line on YouTube, starring Hefner and engaging his ideas about the sexual revolution and feminism! Amazing. It’s also fascinating as a style of TV production that never happens now, even on PBS. Buckley draws Hefner out on “the Playboy philosophy” and where it fits in American intellectual history.
The sad truth about teaching the early modern period is that the video is totally inferior. Continue reading
This blog has mocked the notion of “Excellence without Money” as the guiding meme of universities these days, because excellence has a price, and a price that can’t be paid without actual money. (It’s like all of those people who tell you that “breastfeeding is free!” These people must never have breastfed a child and/or think that women’s time and labor is worth nothing, because no one who thinks about this for 15 seconds could say anything that stupid.)
But in our new media landscape, we have the option of scooping up a lot of excellent podcasts and public radio shows without paying for them. I seriously hope you’ll reconsider this, especially if you earn a paycheck yourself, because it’s all too frequently women’s work we undervalue and take for granted. If more self-avowed feminists looked around and started paying other women what they’re worth, it would benefit all of us–women and men, feminist and non-feminist alike.
Liz Covart of the podcast Ben Franklin’s World is asking the thousands of people who read her blog and listen to her podcasts to support her work financially. I donated some coin a few days ago, and want to urge you all to think about supporting her or another independent feminist and/or or history blogger, podcaster, or someone whose volunteer labor entertains and educates you. Continue reading