DNC Coverage: Hour 2

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Susan Faludi, author of The Terror Dream: Myth and Misogyny in an Insecure America, talks about why she thinks Barack Obama versus John McCain has the makings of an epic American gender showdown.

Read Susan Faludi's New York Times op-ed piece, Second-Place Citizens.

Meet the Delegates: Ohio's Gail Horwitz

Humorist and blogger Mo Rocca talks about his experiences at the Democratic National Convention and shares his thoughts about Hillary's speech.

Dr. Peniel Joseph, associate professor of African American Studies and History at Brandeis University and author of Waiting' Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America (Owl Books, 2007), talks about how Barack Obama fits into Black Power history.


Susan Faludi, Gail Horwitz, Peniel Joseph and Mo Rocca

Comments [78]

BJK from Queens, NYC

I listened to the Faludi piece on WNYC yesterday, and was left with a bad taste in my mouth.
It would first merit repeating that Ms. Faludi's literary career has rested on gender oppression, of one sort or another: her books 'Stiffed', 'Backlash', and her current work.
Faludi likes to make sweeping generalizations of extremely complex events, pidgeon-holing people into neat roles: McCain is the 'warrior/soldier', Obama the new hope for a more cerebral foreign policy.
And 9/11 is relegated to a mythological event.
What happened to NYC on 9/11 was real act of war, in which thousands of innocent people died, including 343 firemen: they did indeed try to protect and help people, and payed with their lives.

Aug. 28 2008 03:03 PM

there are a lot of happy toyota factory workers who have to do just that... the same thing over and over. I know you wouldn't want it, but a lot of people would prefer it to being stuck at a desk all day. And there is a nice sense of satisfaction in actually helping to make a product. It all depends on the environment you work in, I think.

Aug. 27 2008 08:05 PM

I agree with you on many points, but I think we need to be able to set some hard priorities. And I would also say that I think that when women leave the workforce temporarily to get their families in running order, well, then it is understandable that they do not get back into the game on a 100% equal footing. But are you ignoring that in entering into a marriage, there are financial benefits that accrue to the woman? So, no, things are not always 100% fair - even in how we regard divorce settlements. The myth that most women end up worse off financially post-divorce has been proved to be largely that - a myth. My point is simply that there are all SORTS of inconsistencies, and it's important to take a big picture view.
And yeah, if we think equal pay issues are as important as life-or-death human rights issues, we are in a perilous frame of mind. As in the hospital, you have to triage the MI's from the broken bones. Some things can wait, that is just reality.
Funny that you mention plumbing. My mother is an MD/Ph.D. who is convinced plumbers are smarter. They don't have to answer to hospital admin, and they get to run their own businesses. And EVERYONE with a flooding toilet is REALLY grateful to the plumber. People are only sometimes grateful to the doc.

Aug. 27 2008 07:58 PM
jean from manhattan

I also strongly disagree with some of the comments about how feminism needs to take a back seat to such issues as trade deficits and torturing terrorist suspects. We need to provide equal rights to EVERYONE in education and healthcare and politics. Perhaps some of you guys are stuck on the second wave of feminism where it appeared that only upperclass white women were vocalizing their desire for equal rights. How about a fourth wave--where everyone fights for equal rights for all citizens of the world? That would take care of cheap overseas labor and exploitation of children and poor women for sex and maybe even future terrorist attacks. Unless the women who are now wearing bomb vests feel like they're empowered by their God to do so. In which case I will argue that giving them and their children viable, realistic futures instead of a hazy picture of heaven should stop the bombings.

And as far as hjs, your nation of artists and advance degree holders (#72), which of those people is going to unclog your toilet? Which of those people is going to make your clothing? Do you recommend that, among the multiple degrees to earn, one of them is in plumbing and another in sewing and textiles?

Aug. 27 2008 07:00 PM
jean from manhattan

Seth #39: That interruption was different, and for a much more important reason than "so-and-so from somewhere, what's your question?"

And as far as the comments about so-called equality in the increased numbers of women in med and grad schools, you need to look beyond that number to see that there is still a glass ceiling: the numbers of woman Ph.D.s that continue on in science to become Principle Investigators (the coveted top academic position) is lower than that of male Ph.D.s. In fact, there is dropout of women at all levels of a graduate career, even in "soft sciences" such as biology. This is typically due to pregnancy or family changes that force women, as the typical caregiver, to give up the job and stay home even temporarily. What this end up doing, practically, is kicking women out of the field they (we) fought to get into and stay in, and makes it much less easy to get back into, since technological and scientific advances happen so quickly that it's hard to get back into the swing of things after even a couple of years away from the bench.

Aug. 27 2008 06:58 PM
Joe from New Haven

So McCain's character and leadership ability was forged at least in part during his time as a tortured POW. Wow. I guess that makes Gitmo and the CIA "black sites" the defacto leadership schools for the next generation of middle east leaders. Once democracy "blossoms" in the middle east these guys, or at least the 75% who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but have been jailed and tortured for years should make very credible "U.S. style" political candidates.

Aug. 27 2008 05:21 PM
hjs from 11211

you're talking about caring for the ill which is a meaningful job. i was thinking about the guy/lady who turns a bolt in the same place on 200 cars.
my mind is not for sale just for rent, my mind is mine when i need it (although some posters might disagree)
as for the rest, didn't u say, paraphrasing, don't worry about women until we fix our big problems.
what about those who start there own businesses aren't they free?
i'm not demeaning those who do physical labor but i won't want to, i won't want my kids to.
I dream of a nation of artists and people with multiple advanced degrees, how optimistic is that

Aug. 27 2008 03:57 PM

thanks for your kind words. I keep hoping that this economic downturn will serve as a kind of reckoning for the country, where we start to recognize that the ordinary shlubs working menial jobs are less harmful, and healthier for us, than the Enron masters of the universe types who take so much/give so little. Then again, I'm hopelessly optimistic! Sigh. Signing off, catch you later.

Aug. 27 2008 03:35 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Mike Leung #66,
That's an interesting point about men hiding their true agendas from younger women. The cynic in me would say they only have one agenda anyway, but my better self tells me that I can't know what other people are thinking unless they tell me. I think women hide their agendas from men as well.

Wanting to do challenging and meaningful work for other people does NOT make you a loser. Your experience does confirm the sad fact that the most important work is often the least respected and compensated.

Re: what your work allows you to do, LOL!

Aug. 27 2008 02:38 PM

you must have ESP on my email from the last week...! Seriously, though, it doesn't help that young women know the agenda, and delude themselves, anyway. Like the devil says in "Deconstructing Harry":
"Life is like Vegas. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. In the end, the house always wins. But you can't say you didn't have fun."

Aug. 27 2008 02:05 PM

I get your point. But for me? The hardest menial job I ever had was also the most rewarding emotionally. Look, I didn't like having to change some poor elderly black man's diapers every half hour because he'd lost control of his bowels, but I felt that I was helping people, and that was really important to me, obviously, because otherwise it was pretty stinky. Cleaning out disgusting abscesses on homeless patients gave me a sense of purpose, which losers like me require.
But the wages were low, the management was frighteningly irresponsible, and worse - it was considered an unseemly way to make a living in this society. So I went back to corporate. Where I was treated, to paraphrase Lewis Black, "liiiiike a horrrr!" :)
So to me, I think our problem is how we view menial labor. There are probably a lot of folk like me who'd rather have a job using our bodies than have to sell our minds to the corporate world. It's okay in New York, but corporate life on the West Coast is a big brainwash, and women here are treated so much worse than in New York - I'm not making that up, it's the consensus view of all the East Coast women I know who moved out here.

Aug. 27 2008 01:58 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Thanks for the welcome back. Spent a lot of time out of town and out of touch (which was nice in a way).

I sympathize with your "man fatigue." I try to look at everyone as an individual with some portion of the truth, even if the person is really unpleasant to be around. It's a tough assignment, but it keeps me thinking and hopefully, humble.

Did you notice that Barack began to look a little more gray over the summer? I was wondering if he really developed more gray (a campaign can do that to you) or if he had been hiding it and was trying to "age up." That worked for Richard Gere - can't imagine it working for a woman in any business.

Aug. 27 2008 01:52 PM
Mike Leung from Brooklyn

"I think, mc, that the older we get, the more like we are to become fatigued we become with men - whether as lovers, as supervisors, as political leaders. (snark- how could THAT be? I am embarrassed to admit that I find myself impatient with men in an often unreasonable way, because I am coalescing in my mind all the maddening things the last five guys did. It's not rational, but I'm sure there's some evolutionary survival aspect to it.)"

It also doesn't help that men are more likely to try to hide their true agendas (and selves) from younger women.

Aug. 27 2008 01:51 PM
hjs from 11211

no petroleum in plastics. i didn't get that memo. thanks for the info.
i can respect anyone if they are a good person. but for me i would rather have a desk job that lets me post on the BL comments board all day.
maybe i do have a bias but i would like to live in a country with an educated workforce, factory work seems like a step back, harder work, and maybe a shorter life.

Aug. 27 2008 01:50 PM

also, while you were away, the Edwards thing came out! how weird do I feel having backed Edwards in the beginning? What with the affair making him a non-starter?
Well, at least I got Biden for veep. He was, way back when, my initial choice. I thought, we gotta win and he's experienced, male, white, comes from the working class, doesn't freak out the electorate... I know that sounds weird, but we HAVE to win this one. For all his goofy mistakes (and there've been some bad ones), he's someone I always trusted.

Aug. 27 2008 01:37 PM

whoa, mc, where have you been? Nice to see you back.
I think, mc, that the older we get, the more like we are to become fatigued we become with men - whether as lovers, as supervisors, as political leaders. (snark- how could THAT be? I am embarrassed to admit that I find myself impatient with men in an often unreasonable way, because I am coalescing in my mind all the maddening things the last five guys did. It's not rational, but I'm sure there's some evolutionary survival aspect to it.) Anyway, I can't be THAT different from other women, so maybe that "male fatigue" plays a role, too.
But yeah, the age thing. You know, when I look at Barack, I realize that a lot of the things people thought when they looked at Mitt Romney may be applying here. Not fairly, but...
He may look to a lot of people like he has spent too much time in the ivy league. It gets mixed up in peoples' minds with the business elite/offshoring thing with Mitt Romney. Bottom line: they aren't sure they can rely on him. But Barack's just got to keep going, I don't believe he wins points by either playing the victim or by trying to be all things to all people. That's what took the last few candidates down. (I still am horrified by how Kerry was treated, and I feel disgusted that the Dems didn't back him more fiercely.)

Aug. 27 2008 01:29 PM

Hi hjs,
apparently there is not so much of the same kind of petroleum in a lot of the plastics these days? But yeah, the shipping costs are killing us - in two ways - with dollars AND with pollution. Those container ships don't have to hew to air pollution controls.
Don't forget that some of the happiest workers work in the factories of Toyota. So a factory job in a company that RESPECTS its workers can be a very good thing.
I think there's a distaste for labor in this country that is new, and, frankly, dangerous. My great-aunts loved working in the local shipyards in WWII. There is nothing wrong with doing good work in a factory - it should be respected. We have no respect for ordinary workers in the same way we have no respect for people who drive old cars. This has got to change.

Aug. 27 2008 01:19 PM
mc from Brooklyn

eva and hjs,
First let me chime in as another fan reader of both your posts. eva, I think you are right about the bad feeling around HRC being about ageism as well as sexism. It is hard to uncouple the two because I think women take a harder hit when they age than men do. As a member of a small skilled trade union I have seen this at work in terms of hiring. I have also seen men fall victim as well, though to a lesser extent. I think that some older feminists find the lack of insight by younger women distressing - I wonder how they will feel as they age and feel the same sting.

As a member of the afore mentioned union, I have mixed and very unresolved feelings about outsourcing and replacement of workers by technology. I don't think we can go backwards in a global economy but we need to be very careful not to buy into the supply siders' argument that the first thing we have to do is dumb down our own wages and working standards. I don't have answers but I try to be vigilant when I see the debate framed that way.

Aug. 27 2008 01:18 PM
hjs from 11211

with the price of oil going up it will make less and less sense to ship (with oil) cheap plastic goods (more oil) from china.
but i would like to see a trillion dollars for education pre-k to colleges/trade schools to grad schools rather then chasing factory jobs which people don't want.

Aug. 27 2008 12:42 PM

I wonder if the anger voiced by the die-hard Hillary supporters has nothing to do with equal wages. But, as we get older, we realize that society treats us like dirt. Unfortunately, older white guys are realizing the same thing. Forget, for a moment, the guys at the top of the heap. Most of the white guys I know who didn't hit it big during the boom times are running scared. These die-hard HRC supporters think it's about sexism. Actually, it's about ageism, and it's about the corporatocracy, which has moved the plain vanilla jobs offshore. Even Wall Street analysts jobs have moved to India.
We need to look at the bigger picture. It is not chicks against dudes. It is: we have got to stick together to get our manufacturing back, and to start paying off the deficit.

Aug. 27 2008 12:30 PM

Harmon: thanks, and I agree with you on the supply side idiocy since the 1980's. It's fiscally psychotic.
In case a woman isn't too pissed off at me, and is still reading, I just want to add: There is also a practical aspect to making goods in our own country. Right now most of our vaccines are made abroad by multinational pharma companies. No biggie. But all of our steel? And all of our fabric? And all of our.... we are making ourselves extremely vulnerable, esp. when our credit is SO WEAK and we have pissed everyone off with our idiotic foreign policy.
In the meantime, having all this stuff made in China means that we have no control over the environmental regulations employed in production. Where I live, on the California coast, we enjoy the "benefits" of cheap production in China. Namely, we get hit with an amazing amount of particulate direct from China. Asthma rates? Through the roof.
77 cents on the dollar is nothing when you can't breathe, and I know, having suffered from both unfair wages and asthma.

Aug. 27 2008 12:20 PM
seth from Long Island

Marie #55
Great point. Brian definitely blew that segment.

Aug. 27 2008 12:17 PM
seth from Long Island

There's nothing masculine or heroic about John McCain questioning Obama's patriotism. McCain has lowered the level of discourse in this campaign and the MSM has given him a free pass. How can you criticize a man who was once a POW?

Aug. 27 2008 12:11 PM
Marie from Brooklyn


Even on the day after the anniversary of the ratification of women's suffrage, not one female caller was allowed on your air during the Faludi segment.

I phoned even before the news went on at 11 AM and held on for a half hour. I don't believe all the men whose calls you took phoned before me.

The validity of Faludi's 8.26 essay was proved by _The New York Times_ today, when its editorial page repeated the hoary myth that feminists burned bras. The validity was further reinforced by your program’s muzzling female callers.

Marie from Brooklyn

Aug. 27 2008 12:11 PM
harmon michaels from jersey city, nj

i'd like to weigh in on the debate between eva and a woman.
i'm on eva's side.
and those who keep insisting that manufacturing jobs can't come back are clearly not planning on getting any of those jobs. this is the crux of the problem, people who cannot seem to relate to anyone other than their own peer group.
there's no point in pretending that you give that much of a crap about china moving forward if you're essentially damning american workers to permanent job insecurity.
as for the wage issue, we are obviously going to pay the new manufacturing employees more than china wages.
low wages in one sector of the economy means downward pressure on all wages, contrary to what those with skills may think.
we've been tinkering with variants of supply-side economic theory ever since the 80's and we've gotten nothing for it other than an increase in the amount of material wealth held by a very small percentage of the population. it doesn't work.
higher/living wages at the bottom means upward pressure on all wages, more money being spent, more money being saved and more tax revenues for state and federal government. wake up.

Aug. 27 2008 12:09 PM
seth from Long Island

Will the real hjs step forward

Aug. 27 2008 12:03 PM
Zak from Brooklyn, NY

Prof. Joseph: I appreciate you drawing the correlation between the importance of Senator Obama's race to Black America today and President Kennedy's Irish heritage to Irish-Americans 40 plus years ago. It reminds me of the election of Harold Washington to Mayor of Chicago in 1983: when Richard J. Daley or Martin Kennelly became mayors of Chicago riding and Irish wave, it was good ethnic politics. When Washington formed a black coalition in the early 80s it was a "threat." Objectively, there is NO difference; but black/white relations in the United States are still so fraught with anger and anguish that some, sadly, see Obama's candidacy as a threat.

Also, as a Brandeis alum, if you see David Cunningham from the sociology department, say hi for me!

Aug. 27 2008 11:58 AM
andy from manhattan

not to dismiss the sacrifice made by U.S. POWs, but how does one achieve leadership by FAILING in one's mission, and being a prisoner? i'm sorry, but how does leading failed missions count as good leadership?

what war has mc cain been involved in that he's been instrumental in winning? what wars have we won since WWII, anyway?

the cold war was won by combining soft power and diplomacy, as well restrained, and rare military flexing. his support of poorly considered, poorly planned, poorly executed military adventures in the 21st century illustrates the "leadership" he'll be showing if we're all unlucky enough to have him as Commander-In-Chief. God help us all.

let's have some real leadership instead!

Aug. 27 2008 11:54 AM
Eric from Manhattan

Dr. Joseph is brilliant, highly photogenic, and a compelling communicator. He should run for office!

Aug. 27 2008 11:53 AM
harmon michaels from jersey city, nj

did mccain really issue a retort to the obama campaign's focus on his 7 houses by bringing up viet nam AGAIN? that is astonishing and pathetic at the same time. if his supporters had any values they'd be appalled by his willingness to exploit that experience. he brings it up with nearly mathematical regularity.
since he described the keating 5 scandal as being nearly as awful an experience as his captivity in 'nam, why doesn't he bring that experience up as often?
also, don't any of the people who keep mentioning his refusal to take early release know that it was against military policy for junior officers to accept release before enlisted men?
i assume many mccain supporters bought the anti-kerry narrative of the swift-boaters, so why don't more of them talk about mccain's poor flying record? five planes wrecked before being shot down in the middle of what was only his sixth mission. jeez.
it would seem to me that some mccain supporters are just desperate to ignore anything incongruent with their preferred narrative.

Aug. 27 2008 11:52 AM
Professor Hot Hair from Upyerbem

I feel that a lot of the post modern depressive and anti equilibrium race issues that imply an implicit white voter fear and an unmitigated or at least lack of perspicacity regarding loquacious or certainly not reticent Irish or black or African candidates and their prediliction for sentient livingroom photos and... AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aug. 27 2008 11:51 AM

#44, Mike,
with a teaser like that, I am going to have to read it.
I know a lot of people in the military, even though I was raised by my radical parents to distrust anyone in uniform (and my dad was junior ROTC and served during Vietnam!) There's too much of a divide between the military and the larger majority. I've always thought that as dems, we lost a lot of support from the military because we gave the impression we didn't care about their concerns. Started during Vietnam, with the way we ignored the veterans. It's like we were ashamed of them. We should have been ashamed of LBJ, Kissinger, Nixon. But not the returning soldiers.

Aug. 27 2008 11:49 AM
hjs from 11211

thanks all. i can hold my my head up high again

Aug. 27 2008 11:46 AM
wayne from manhatten

For Ms. Faludi: Why have some leading feminists such as Jane Fonda, particularly, turned their strong support from Senator Clinton to Senator Obama?

Aug. 27 2008 11:45 AM

Don't believe the anti-hjs hype. I enjoy reading your posts, even when I disagree with you. Your old-school, true believer democrat style is, ironically, a breath of fresh air. I also really respect you for your support for Obama, even though you initially supported Hillary. I know I've said that before, but it was impressive. I was surprised.

Aug. 27 2008 11:44 AM
Mike Leung from Brooklyn

eva, re: Stiffed: the agendas of the people in uniform around me, and the urgency underlying their hostility, gave no observable clue to their origin. The book pieced together the hot-and-cold homosexuality for me.

Aug. 27 2008 11:42 AM
seth from Long Island


I second chris o regarding your posts and appreciate his insights as well.

Aug. 27 2008 11:41 AM
a big BL fan from astoria, queens

I think it's fascinating (and sadly not surprising) that in this discussion of masculinity there was no mention of America's long and conflicted relationship with black masculinity. Does anyone really think this isn't an issue here??

Aug. 27 2008 11:41 AM

a woman,
think whatever you want of my gender.
I would like to see manufacturing return to the US for a variety of reasons.
1) not everyone can be a corporate manager or an MD or a nurse. There are lots of people now on welfare who, 30 years ago, would have enjoyed GOOD UNION JOBS.
2) I WOULD, in fact, prefer to pay a higher price for goods made here. Because our TRADE DEFICIT is killing us.
3) Your failure to understand/acknowledge the significance of that TRADE DEFICIT might cause me to suspect that you're not really a woman, but an Auntie Tom posing as a woman to make us women look stupid!
4) not everyone is a doctrinaire upper middle class white feminist. Sorry, but we see the bigger picture. We can't survive with the level of debt we have. We can't survive while turning a blind eye to torturing people.

Aug. 27 2008 11:41 AM
seth from Long Island

jean #33 - Brian once interrupted his interview with William T. Vollman to report on a decision handed down by the Supreme Court. I agree with you, but there's precedent for his conduct during interviews.

Aug. 27 2008 11:37 AM

a woman,
I agree with you to a point. But when women leave the work force for extended periods of time to rear their children, it's unreasonable and unrealistic to expect the same exact wages.
A the same time: Go into any university and check out the legions of women who are pre-med. Check out the grad schools in the sciences. None of that progress is recognized by Faludi, because women who are interested in those issues are focused on less esoteric stuff than Faludi's talking about.
And I have to totally disagree with you on the issue of priorities. When we think it's AS important that we get the exact same penny on the dollar as it is that we stop torture, we are exposing ourselves as frauds and non-feminists. Our mission, (should we choose to accept it!) is to fight for civil rights, and when those civil rights involve life-or-death issues, they have to take priority.
There is NO comparison between the equal pay issue and our taxpayer-dollar-sponsored torture. This is how liberals lose it. They can't separate the frivolous from the ESSENTIAL, niceties from survival.

Aug. 27 2008 11:34 AM
seth from Long Island

Can John McCain or his campaign staff go 24 hours without reminding everyone that he was a POW?

A real hero is someone who doesn't reference that heroism at the drop of a hat.

Aug. 27 2008 11:33 AM
a woman from manhattan

Actually, the more I read Eva's stuff, the more I doubt she's actually a "she." I think we may have a dude pretending to be a woman here. Or an Auntie Tom.

Bring manufacturing back from China, Eva? Would you work for the pay they offer in China, here? Would you like your kids to aspire to that? How do you think they get those contracts in China? By adhering to principles of human rights? By giving women equal pay?

Aug. 27 2008 11:33 AM
Chuck from Brooklyn

It's youth!

The Baby Boomers and Seniors have had their chance. They have done so much damage, they don't deserve another chance.

It's time to move on. It's time for a new perspective.

Aug. 27 2008 11:32 AM
chris o from new york city

you got a lot of fans, me included; keep up the good work!

Aug. 27 2008 11:31 AM
a woman from manhattan

Yes, getting captured by the enemy may be a horrible experience, but it's not a choice McCain made. He kind of had that imposed on him by the enemy. So that makes him a little like France.

Aug. 27 2008 11:29 AM
hjs from 11211

no thanks

Aug. 27 2008 11:28 AM
jean from Manhattan

Brian, please show a bit more respect for Ms. Faludi. I turned on the radio for 5 minutes and heard you interrupt her twice, in the middle of a sentence, while you got a caller on the line. Even if she is wandering in her response, you as the host have an obligation to put her down in a nicer way in order to fit her comments into your time slot. I've never heard you being so rude to a caller--especially to a woman. What's up?!

Aug. 27 2008 11:27 AM

Mike Leung, (at #23)
good point about the baby boomers.
How did "Stiffed" make you reassess your service?

Aug. 27 2008 11:27 AM
Cheryl from UWS

hjs or whatever you real name is, get a life.

Aug. 27 2008 11:26 AM
a woman from manhattan

Eva says : To me, as a woman, when my government is torturing people to death, the equal pay issue, like the gay marriage and abortion issues, is BACK BURNER.

That's why women aren't getting anywhere, Eva. As long as you don't live in your own country the way you'd have other people live, starting with the "little things" like equal pay and other civil rights, people are going to have their greater human and civil rights ignored and flouted.

It starts at home, with you and me demanding the best for ourselves. How can you ask for the best for other people when you're getting pooped on every day in your own country? (Sorry to use the p-word!)

Aug. 27 2008 11:26 AM
Erica from 10024

Shouldn't it be more important for a Commander-in-Chief to be competent in geopolitics rather than having been a soldier?

Aug. 27 2008 11:26 AM
kp from NJ

We so associate leadership with masculinity that we as a party couldn't even recognize that the real leader was wearing a pantsuit...

Aug. 27 2008 11:26 AM
Cheryl from UWS

It's not about red states or blue states it's about looking like an orange traffic cone against a neon blue background. that's what counts.

sure John McCain's captivity is less important than that. sure right yeah.

Aug. 27 2008 11:25 AM
hjs from 11211

gao or whoever u are...
free country!

Aug. 27 2008 11:25 AM
Brokeland from Brooklyn

This may be gauche to say, but how does getting captured by the enemy qualify one to be Commander in Chief, it would seem that it would work against a candidate.

Aug. 27 2008 11:25 AM
Paulo from Paterson, New Jersey

I agree completely about the assessment of Michelle Obama's speech. I too cringed a little at the sort of little wife image she was representing. She's a successful career woman, and I thought she needed to represent herself as a smart, talented woman backing her husband. Again, like the speaker said, I get why she didn't... she needs to look less threatening to mainstream America. But it's a shame that a woman only looks non-threatening to most people if she appears meek and deferential to her husband.

Aug. 27 2008 11:24 AM
chris o from new york city

issues, shmissues. elections in this country are not about issues and the people understand it. it is not really an engaged democracy. in many ways, that is why the public did not care so much about the stolen election of 2000. it is all the same, there is not much difference. you see this with Dems co-opting Reps strong points (at least from like 50 years ago) of being fiscally disciplined and strong on national security. You see it with Reps embracing the welfare state, expanding Education Dep't, Medicaid Rx drug program.

Aug. 27 2008 11:23 AM
Mike Leung from Brooklyn

Is this really about feminists feeling burned about on their issue, or maybe more about baby-boomers being too narcissistic to support a younger leader?

Also wanted to say I'm a guy who did an enlistment in the military that made no sense until I read _Stiffed._ Good work.

Aug. 27 2008 11:23 AM
Gren from NYC

It's important to know what the NYT is writing about. This is a VERY important THINK piece.

Aug. 27 2008 11:22 AM
Jorge from Ridgewood

As a gay male masculinity is something I've thought about for most of my life.

Hillary Clinton was treated fairly as far as I can tell. Her baggage is her baggage but she lost fair and square.

I don't think this is a macho-match. I really think they (McCain and Obama) are not fighting over this.

As an Obama supporter it was great to hear Margeratte Cho on your show yesterday say something like this about Obama's masculinity: "He's a real man because he's a family man."

Aug. 27 2008 11:21 AM
a woman from manhattan

I have to admit that I'm embarrassed for my "fellow" women, if they need Hillary to tell them who to vote for. They've simply replaced The Man with The Woman, as far as who they adore and serve.

Women need to let go of the need to adore a Signifier, and start signifying in their own lives. As long as women are acting like children, they're going to only make 77 cents on the dollar, and whine about it instead of progressing.

Aug. 27 2008 11:20 AM
NC from NYC

The caller is right. We have to separate leadership from masculinity in THIS country.

Aug. 27 2008 11:20 AM
Lisa from Bklyin

I don't think the show's THAT boring. It's just these feminist types like to come up with "esoterica."

Aug. 27 2008 11:20 AM
NC from NYC

Competing notions of masculinity- interesting discussion. Obama represents the "modern American male" who doesn't have to play up aggression and can emphasize reasonable thought and discussion. But he still does have to talk "tough" to show that he's not a push-over (like when he takes offense at McCain's jabs). That's an interesting role he has to portray that seems to compete with who he really is. (Much like the role expected of Michelle - just in another way, she has to be "softer.")

Aug. 27 2008 11:19 AM
seth from Long Island

hjs #8

I suppose Brian is waiting till after the Republican convention to launch 30 issues in 30 days. I think he missed a valuable opprtunity.

Aug. 27 2008 11:18 AM
seth from Long Island

hjs #8

I suppose he's waiting till after the Republican convention to launch 30 issues in 30 days. I think he's missing a valuable opportunity here.

Aug. 27 2008 11:16 AM

The notion that Susan Faludi can describe any decade in the 20th century in the US as a "dark ages" for women is totally absurd.
Does she ever travel abroad? I'm not saying it has been perfection here, but good God, "dark ages" is so extremist and so far off.
We are never going to have equality if our society overall is wallowing in debt (consumer, trade, government, etc.) Please, Susan, the focus is equality and now, survival, for everyone, not just upper middle class white women. What is she doing to help the dems win? Because going on about the lack of perfection in uppermiddle class white womens' lives is just not the issue right now.
This faux discussion of gender is like the faux discussion of race. Let's get to the issues that frankly threaten to bury us. I like Faludi, but she's out of it.

Aug. 27 2008 11:13 AM
Omar from Bed Sty


"We ain't ready, to see a black President, uhh

It ain't a secret don't conceal the fact

the penitentiary's packed, and it's filled with blacks

But some things will never change"

Aug. 27 2008 11:10 AM
Gao from US of Bklyn

I thought suffrage was what Bill Clinton was doing, sitting in his seat scowling, hating, ready to leave before Obama's speech... Isn't that the theme of Bill's speech his suffrage?

Aug. 27 2008 11:09 AM
hjs from 11211

i'm wondering why BL isn't making time for issues this week. instead this is commercial for the party.

Aug. 27 2008 11:08 AM
Fareed from Harlem

I hardly think Barack is a stalwart supporter of feminism. Look at some of the things he did in Chicago and the people who started his career and hung out with and helped him and whose pews he sat in. Hardly a feminist.
He's a pro-self guy. Thats the MOST you can say.

Aug. 27 2008 11:04 AM
birder from brooklyn

some say they are going t vote for mc cain to punish the democratic party should have thier right to vote taken away. the only people that are going to be punished are the people of this country and themselves.

Aug. 27 2008 10:42 AM
O from Forest Hills

I think the hardest part for getting gay marriage to be legal nationally is going to be overcoming the born again Evangelicals that don't want marriage for same sex couples to be legal. They have a lot of money and are very dogmatic about their beliefs. We need money and more Democrats in the Congress & Senate to overcome this.

They will never get it, I used to hang around a lot of born agains, they think it is a sin and always will, but we need to allow same sex couples the right to decide what they want & whom to marry. It has no bearing on heterosexual marriages.

Aug. 27 2008 10:37 AM
Omar from Bed Sty

Brother Tupac said it best...

I see no changes all I see is racist faces
misplaced hate makes disgrace to races
We under I wonder what it takes to make this
one better place, let's erase the wasted

And although it seems heaven sent
We ain't ready, to see a black President, uhh
It ain't a secret don't conceal the fact
the penitentiary's packed, and it's filled with blacks
But some things will never change
try to show another way but you stayin' in the dope game
Now tell me what's a mother to do
bein' real don't appeal to the brother in you
You gotta operate the easy way
"I made a G today" But you made it in a sleazy way
sellin' crack to the kid. " I gotta get paid,"
Well hey, well that's the way it is

Aug. 27 2008 10:35 AM
O from Forest Hills

Do you also want McCainn's man, Graham the advisor, whom said that the financial problems are all in our heads, as President?

Aug. 27 2008 10:28 AM
NC from NYC

I agree with many of eva's points. Many of these specific platforms (feminist, race-based, gay/lesbian, etc.) may have to be down-played in order to win a general election. Progress has been made on these fronts and hopefully can continue to be made. (In fact, feminism has been fairly successful in that women seem to dominate colleges, graduate schools and most professions these days.) True, there is still work to be done (most of it social/cultural in relation to how women are viewed/treated by men and each other), but presidents serve different roles and need to push different agendas - like universal health care, education, etc. - issues which DO improve the lives of ALL women (especially the poor). Please think bigger picture, people!

Aug. 27 2008 10:28 AM

As a feminist Obama supporter who sees the issues facing this country as much more grave than the traditional feminist platform, I thought Faludi's article provided real insight. Unfortunately, it confirmed that a large number of middle-aged and older women just don't get it. True, we don't make as much money as white men, but, uh, neither do blacks, and that apparently doesn't bother a lot of so-called "feminists."
I also thought Faludi denied how far women have come in terms of careers. Walk into any hospital and count the female doctors. That's NOT how it was 30 years ago, and the female doctors will confirm that..
Yes to equal pay for equal work. I also think it would be great if we could have gay marriage. But I mostly want a president who understands that there are much bigger priorities we have to address, and they need to take precedence:
1) the lethal US federal deficit, 2) infrastructure repair (could be done as a WPA type project) 3) CO2 reducing transportation reform (see #2 - rail systems) and 4) restoring ESSENTIAL, life-or-death civil rights, like abolishing torture. To me, as a woman, when my government is torturing people to death, the equal pay issue, like the gay marriage and abortion issues, is BACK BURNER.
It's scary that so-called feminists are threatening to vote for McCain just because they feel "slighted." Please, slight me, I don't care as long as you pay down the debt and bring the manufacturing back from China.

Aug. 27 2008 03:41 AM

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