“Sen. Kennedy’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton’s opponent in the Democratic presidential primary campaign has really hit women hard,” said the statement. “Women have forgiven Kennedy, stuck up for him, stood by him, hushed the fact that he was late in his support of Title IX, the ERA, the Family Leave and Medical Act to name a few.”
“And now the greatest betrayal! We are repaid with his abandonment!” the statement continues. “He’s picked the new guy over us. He’s joined the list of progressive white men who can’t or won’t handle the prospect of a woman president who is Hillary Clinton.”
When I read this last night, I rolled my eyes. I tried not to laugh, but couldn’t help myself. NOW-NY is saying that people who don’t support Clinton don’t like women. That’s a huge leap. That’s like if Cornell West showed up on TV saying that people who don’t support Obama are racists. It’s just stupid, wrong-headed and doesn’t help matters. Now, the reason I laughed at this letter is just the simple dramatics of it all. You really must go to the link above and read the entire letter.
If you read the comments at PoliticalTicker, you’ll find a lot of people who feel the same:
This will only result in a backlash. NOW is saying that women should vote for Hillary simply because she is a woman…this only demeans the value of their vote. The right to vote is best used when it allows the participant to make up his/her mind. In this case Kennedy thought Obama was the better candidate. All of this behind the scene positioning is ridiculous!!!
Can’t be that it is because he thinks Obama is the best candidate?
Feeling that you MUST vote for a woman just because she is a woman sets the cause of feminism back.
At first this letter seemed unfortunate, then it began to seem ignorant and rather anti-feminist. I can’t believe that this representative of NOW chose to do this, and I hope that other members decide for themselves who to vote for.
As a lifelong feminist and the daughter of feminists (yes, men can be feminists, too! I’m married to one!) and a longtime member of NOW, I am saddened that one chapter would make such a statement. A vote for Senator Clinton should be based on one’s opinion of her policies and her beliefs. I am glad that this statement is not from the National NOW organization, but a single chapter.
I am also sad to see that this race has come down to race and gender instead of ideas and beliefs. I would hope that while the media is focusing on this kind of distraction, the American voters are ignoring the foolishness and instead focusing on the actual issues that face all Americans.
I am a female baby boomer, a women’s libber, but I think NOW has it wrong. Having always voted for female candidates if available and qualified, I and many of my friends couldn’t wait to vote for a female president. However, in good conscience I cannot vote for Hillary. She is status quo establishment. She supported and continues to support the war In Iraq and has not taken responsibility for it. Either she was complicit with the Bush Administration, or she was terribly ignorant to do so. I personally think she is very intelligent. How could she not have been aware of the the big lie when so many others could see through it? Too bad she didn’t have the courage to stand up for the truth then. Too bad she still doesn’t own up now. I’m not crazy for Obama, either, but at least he is inspirational, and there is hope that he can bring this country together on a more positive path. I think that is what the Kennedys see. It has nothing to do with Clinton being a woman. IMHO.
I don’t know exactly what the NY chapter had hoped to gain by such a letter. The National NOW response is much simpler and decidedly less over-wrought:
The National Organization for Women has enormous respect and admiration for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D- Mass.). For decades Sen. Kennedy has been a friend of NOW, and a leader and fighter for women’s civil and reproductive rights, and his record shows that.
Though the National Organization for Women Political Action Committee has proudly endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton for president, we respect Sen. Kennedy’s endorsement. We continue to encourage women everywhere to express their opinions and exercise their right to vote.