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“You Might Be A Woman If…. You’re Voting For Obama!”

From: Wendy Shanker To: Courtney E. Martin; Tedra Osell An unexpected shift occurred after the last big primary night, when Hillary took Ohio, Texas and one of those little states, too: we got bored. Exhausted. Kind of over it. If … Read More

By / March 25, 2008

From: Wendy Shanker

To: Courtney E. Martin; Tedra Osell

An unexpected shift occurred after the last big primary night, when Hillary took Ohio, Texas and one of those little states, too: we got bored. Exhausted. Kind of over it. If we’re this fatigued, I can’t imagine how the campaign workers are holding up. Plus, we’re going to have to ride this roller coaster again in Pennsylvania and Indiana and apparently Puerto Rico. Who knew that Puerto Rico was part of the United States? Certainly not women!

What filled up the space left over from primary fatigue (which is different than fibromyalgia, a made up disease that women complain about) is that some women – but not the guys on MSNBC – ran out of things to say. So we started harshing on each other. Because that’s what women do! We’re nice to your face, but we are so mean behind your back!

Some lady wrote that editorial in The Washington Post saying that women are dumb. For a week, women got upset about it, except Maureen Dowd who kept smirking because that’s been her strategy all along. The response to that story spread like…peanut butter! Oh, I really wanted to think of something funnier than peanut butter, but I’m a woman so that’s pretty hard for me. It’s hard to remember (especially when you’re a woman, because we’re so forgetful!) that whenever there’s a lull in the conversation, some paper or magazine or site publishes an incendiary, self-hating essay just to stir up sales. A woman will write that other women should just stay home and raise kids like she did. Or a Jewish person will say that the Holocaust was a lie. A black person may write about the upside of slavery. A Hispanic person will editorialize, “We must be more strict about immigration policy in this country!” I think you catch my drift, but I can’t be sure, because I’m a woman and women talk in circles! The author or editor always defends herself by saying that the piece was just a way to get people talking. Personally, I’ve never needed to be bullied into having an intelligent discussion, but then again, I’m a woman.

There was a drama like this last year when a male essayist wrote a piece in Vanity Fair stating that women aren’t funny. Then women got upset about it and said, “Excuse me, but we are so funny!”

I’ve made a list of stuff that proves women are not dumb and women are funny. I want to make sure right from the start that you understand this list is ongue-in-cheek. My hope is that anyone reading it would infer its tongue-in-cheekiness, but because women are dumb and not funny, it’s possible that you would get confused.

I’m writing it like that guy who does the “You might be a redneck if…” jokes. I was gonna do it “Yo mama’s so fat…” style, but then I thought, What if your mama is so fat? Most women are sensitive about body image issues. So I didn’t want to offend anyone. Also, just by using the colloquial “yo” rather than “you,” I might sound racist. In this election cycle, yo never can be too safe!

Okay, you might be a woman if… You’re dumb! You might be a woman if… You’re not funny! You might be a woman if… You complain a lot! You might be a woman if… You’re voting for Obama!

You might be a woman if… You’re a really bad driver!

You might be a woman if… You complain about your period!

You might be a woman if… You’re a mediocre public speaker!

You might be a woman if… You drive your husband crazy!

You might be woman if… You need a makeover!

You might be a woman if… You never get to the point!

You might be a woman if… You deserved it!

If I missed anything, please post a comment here, because really, isn’t that what the Internet is all about?

We did need a break from the rhetoric. The carnage of the past weeks was a much-needed reality check, reminding us that whoever ends up in the Oval Office will have bigger responsibilities than health care and mortgage rescues. Our next president must initiate and support a global shift away from terrorism and violence and towards peace. It’s been said that men are violent and women are peacemakers, but I hate to resort to stereotypes.

So this marks the end of our Jewcy experiment, with three feminists and three different points of view deconstructing the election so far. I’m not sure if our experiment was successful. In the larger media world, we still seem to be confused that women can be all different kinds of things, with multiple viewpoints, some internally conflicted, all worthy of respect. But you know how we women are…

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