The Sexist

Do Some Feminists Not Want a Feminist President?

If we learned anything from Sarah Palin, it's that "woman" is not the same as "feminist," which is why the bitching over this Ms. magazine special inauguration cover (right) has become so obnoxious.

"It is time that we take back the term 'feminism' and restore its dignity and honor . . . maybe Ms. and the former national women’s movement will return in the sequel as Superwomen once again," wrote one complainer. "This seems designed to mock people who supported Hillary Clinton during the Democratic Primary," wrote another.

When did "feminist" become code word for Hillary Clinton? Is it possible that these people simply never want to have a feminist president? Don't we want all of our presidents to identify as feminists (except Sarah Palin, who will never be president and does not understand the meaning of words)?

I want a female president, too. But there's a difference between a female president and a feminist president. We've got one. It doesn't mean we're going to stop working for the other one.

  • Sady

    Yeah, I can see some of the problems people are having with the cover, like the fact that Obama hasn't really been vocally identified with "feminism" per se, or been hugely involved in a lot of feminist issues and legislation, although he has been supportive and on the ball generally re: those issues, so you can generally give him the benefit of the doubt, and the Ms. lady said he did identify! And published that quote just now for some reason! So maybe having a (PHOTOSHOPPED) picture of him REVEALING HIS SECRET FEMINISM before SAVING THE DAY FOR ALL LADIES EVERYWHERE is kind of a weird and unwarranted move. YET. Some of the outcry has had a kind of "shun the unbelievers" seriousness to it that is really alienating. Like, the Jezebel post claiming "feminists" objected to it did not seem to take into account the fact that they are objecting not to Obama himself, but to Ms., and therefore to other feminists, and isn't Megan Carpentier a feminist, too? And the other side was like "this is about Hillary, ISN'T IT?" which was totally unwarranted and weird, and it's all just so...

    Okay, never mind. Yay, multiple perspectives! Yay, Obama! Yay, spirited debate! Boo, Taking It Personal! The end.

  • Amanda Hess

    Photoshopping is silly.

  • Caro

    "When did “feminist” become code word for Hillary Clinton?"

    THANK YOU. During the primaries, when I would be at feminist events or meetings, there would often be an assumption that everyone in the room was a Hillary supporter, and that all Obama supporters were those supposedly-liberal white dudes who were always saying sexist things about Hillary.

    Of course, there are other issues with this cover, and I understand why some people are upset, but it's mostly just a rehash of the primary drama.

  • LindaA1

    If you don't see the problem with Ms. Magazine's depiction of Obama as a feminist, and you can't tell the difference between a feminist and a female, then you really shouldn't be commenting on the subject at all.

    Hillary Clinton IS a feminist and has said so and has shown herself to be so in her actions. Barack Obama is NOT a feminist. He has never claimed to be one. And he has repeatedly proved himself to be a misogynist. Michelle Obama has publicly refused to call herself a "feminist" when the question was put to her.