June 22, 2008

Unseemly Older Women

want to share with you my reply to a blog post on Obama's site castigating unseemly and ridiculous older women who supported Hillary and now want their voices and ideas taken seriously by Obama.

"Comments like this alienate Hillary supporters. It feels like you are more interested in cutting older women down to size than winning the election. I hate it when women accuse other women of pity parties. Being called "honey" in political debate is as annoying as being called "sweetie" if you are a reporter asking a serious question.

It is naive to think problems with men will disappear if women just start negotiating and stop fighting. The problem is not with specific men; it is with American society. Younger women telling themselves the battle has been won might not realize the importance of government and social policies that make it possible for both men and women to combine careers with caregiving, either of children or their aging parents.

My daughters and their friends are just beginning to have children. Suddenly they realize the feminist battles have just begun. Women of my age spend more time talking about their parents than their children because trying to continue their careers and take care of failing parents is a nightmare. As a fervent young feminist in the late 60s and early 70s, I never would have believed in my worst nightmares that the US woud be about 160th in the world in maternity leave and parent-friendly policies when I became a grandmother one year ago..

I cannot understand why both Obama and Clinton did not make this a major issue.

You comment:"It looks unseemly and ridiculous for someone your age." I can't decide if I am age 62 or the age of my 46-year-old English husband born on the fourth of July, exactly one month before Obama. I expect any woman who could persuade an Englishman 16 years younger to give up home and country for her can't be a dried up old hag.I haven't been admonished about being unseemly in about 40 years. I never once used that word to clip the wings of my four daughters and they have flown very high. My restrainst was saintly because their behavior toward their mother is the polar opposite of seemly.

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