Monday, February 11, 2008

Oh, Bless You, Carol Christ

So, perhaps I am not a traitor to feminism because I, in the end, just couldn't vote for Hillary.

From Women and Spirituality.

Why I Voted for Obama:

I am over 60 and a white woman. According to the statistics, I did not vote for Barack Obama.

For me, feminism has always been about much more than equal access for women to positions of power formerly open only to men. I believe and have always believed that feminism is about a revolution in values—about ending structures of domination upheld by violence that allow all men to dominate women and some men to dominate other men....

I did not vote for Hillary Clinton because she voted for the second Iraq War (and did not repudiate the first one). When Hillary tells us that she was mislead by President Bush and that if she had known then what she knows now she might have voted differently, I ask: Why didn’t she know then? I had listened to the news and I knew that the IAEA had not found evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and was asking for more time to carry out its inspections. I knew that war is almost never a solution and that its victims are overwhelmingly women, children and old people. I knew that rape is an ordinary tool of war. I knew that military training is based upon the idea of rooting out the empathy that ordinary people feel for one another. I had marched against other wars, and I marched against the impending Iraq war in Mytiline, Greece--along with millions of others around the world. Barack spoke out against the Iraq war when he was waging an uphill battle for the Senate and after he had been advised to keep his mouth shut. Apparently we knew something that Hillary Clinton didn’t. The fact that she didn’t know suggests to me that she will be quite capable of leading the nation into other ill-advised and unnecessary wars if she is elected....

I voted for Barack because I as a white woman have been more inspired by the vision he embodies and articulates than by the vision modeled by Hillary. When I look at Hillary, I see a woman who is telling me that if women try harder and compromise more, we just might make it to the White House. When I look at Barack, I see a man whose vision is steady, clear, uncompromising, and broad enough to include me and you and all of those less privileged than we have been in his vision of an America that can learn to care about “the least of these” again.

I would not be voting for Barack if I thought he didn’t include me and other women in his vision of a renewed America. I voted for Barack because he has been unwavering in his support for abortion rights, because he supports gay civil rights and unions, because he was strong enough to marry a strong woman and stay loyal to her, because he loved and admired his mother who was naive and exceedingly brave, and because I trust that he will not leave his two young daughters behind in the new world he hopes to create.

I voted for Barack because of his empathy for all of us.