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Category Archives: classism

Sexism and Racism and Classism, Oh My!

This past week has been one that in the words of my student “my parents did not raise me to be a queer feminist filled with the wrath of a thousand enraged dragons and yet here I am.”  Here we’ll recap all the awesome oppression taking place in a country which, on the cusp of it’s “birthday” still doesn’t get it.

Sexism:  I want to think this is internalized sexism, but it might include a little class privilege along with it. Serena Williams comments about the victim in the Stuebenville rape case were appalling. 
“Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know. I’m not blaming the girl, but if you’re a 16-year-old and you’re drunk like that, your parents should teach you: Don’t take drinks from other people,” Williams said to Rodrick.” She’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? It could have been much worse. She’s lucky. Obviously, I don’t know, maybe she wasn’t a virgin, but she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.” (quoted in  My question is why this topic was even being discussed in a Rolling Stone article. 

Sexism Two:  Texas.  My favorite quote by Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, “Lawmakers, either get out of the vagina business or go to medical school.”  

Racism:  Cheerios put out a commercial with an inter-racial couple  Apparently inter-racial couples are controversial and there was so much hate speech about it that Cheerios disabled comments.  I continue to be amazed that in 2013 people actually have the balls to write out racist comments in public. Maybe I shouldn’t be shocked.  I get socialization, I get all the theory behind oppression but I don’t get people who hate. 

Racism Two:  Paula Deen. 

Classism:  Why does a millionaire sports figure like Aaron Hernandez decide to commit murder when he could afford to hire an anger management therapist? What a sad moment for young children who look up to athletes like him.

Money Matters in Decision to Stay Married

You’ll get the gist of this one.

Stand By Your Man

When Tammy Wynette first wrote the words “Stand by your man” she suggested it was hard to be a woman loving just one man because “he’ll have good times doing things that you don’t understand.” And that even if you don’t understand him, if you love him, you should forgive him because “after all he’s just a man.” When reading these lyrics closely, it seems Wynette did not think too highly of men’s intelligence. But what of the intelligence of those women who do “stand by their man” like Silda Spitzer, Suzanne Craig, Dina Matos McGreevey, Wendy Vitter, and Hillary Clinton?

In most of the commentaries written about these political wives who stood by their men, writers tend to express three views: 1) they are disgusted that these women accepted the infidelity; 2) they feel it is a political move to show the public that if she can stand by them, then their constituents still can; and 3) they feel she is standing by her man to support their children.

Yet, there is a reason that women stand by their men that has not gotten much attention. Money. Has anyone addressed what is at stake financially if these women pack up and leave their politically connected spouses? Statistically, a woman’s standard of living can decrease 10-25% after a divorce. If you are living a comfortable upper-class life, as most of the aforementioned women are, divorce is an economic gamble. Furthermore, women who divorce tend to lose their social networks. Would you be willing to lower your income and lose your friends? Even battered women stay with their batterers because of money. And being beaten up by your husband is far more damaging than being cheated on! These might be financial risks that women like Spitzer, Craig, Vitter and Clinton were not willing to make.

And in Clinton’s case, it is clear she had future goals in mind when she stood by her president. She knew the Senate and her own candidacy for president had a better chance in a political partnership than being single. Would she even be a viable candidate today if she was single? Marriage seems to be an unwritten requirement to run for president.

When we look at these women who stand by their cheating men, perhaps we should stop first and look at their checking accounts and think about how much they might be giving up before we judge them.

my feminist praxis

critical reflections on my feminist praxis: activism, motherhood, and life

The Feminist Critic

Providing weekly critiques of theatre, film, books, politics and pop culture from a feminist perspective.