Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Steinem: "POW Overrated"
"...Feminist icon Gloria Steinem took to the stump on Hillary Clinton’s behalf here last night and quickly proved that she has lost none of her taste for provocation.
From the stage, the 73-year-old seemed to denigrate the importance of John McCain’s time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. In an interview with The Observer afterward, she suggested that Barack Obama benefits—and Clinton suffers—because Americans view racism more seriously than sexism.
Steinem also told the crowd that one reason to back Clinton was because “she actually enjoys conflict.”
And she claimed that if Clinton’s experience as first lady were taken seriously in relation to her White House bid, people might “finally admit that, say, being a secretary is the best way to learn your boss’s job and take it over.”
Steinem raised McCain’s Vietnam imprisonment as she sought to highlight an alleged gender-based media bias against Clinton.
“Suppose John McCain had been Joan McCain and Joan McCain had got captured, shot down and been a POW for eight years. [The media would ask], ‘What did you do wrong to get captured? What terrible things did you do while you were there as a captive for eight years?’” Steinem said, to laughter from the audience.
McCain was, in fact, a prisoner of war for around five and a half years, during which time he was tortured repeatedly. Referring to his time in captivity, Steinem said with bewilderment, “I mean, hello? This is supposed to be a qualification to be president? I don’t think so.”
Steinem’s broader argument was that the media and the political world are too admiring of militarism in all its guises.
“I am so grateful that she [Clinton] hasn’t been trained to kill anybody. And she probably didn’t even play war games as a kid. It’s a great relief from Bush in his jump suit and from Kerry saluting.” (source)
So Über-feminist Steinem wants to denigrate McCain's service...well, that probably won't be a big shock to anyone. BUT, after staying silent on the perils of Islam to women and now belittling all the women that fought to earn respect in the various branches of the Armed Services? Isn't that Gloria's life mission? Getting women equal footing? And then this?