Thursday, March 20, 2008

Race/Ethnicity or Gender--which comes first?

Kate Zernike, in a New York Times article titled 'Post-feminism and other fairy tales,' writes:

...[M]any women who fought the first wave of battles for gender equality have seen a bias against Mrs. Clinton — which helps explain why older women form the core of her support...

...A contest between a woman and an African-American raises the inevitable question about whether it is harder to overcome racial bias than gender bias. Few claim to know the answer, and many argue it’s too hard to tease out the ways each plays a role. But some also argue that the media is not as quick to recognize misogyny as it is to recognize racism. “The media is on eggshells about race, but has blinders on about sex and gender stereotyping,” said Ms. Goldberg of Columbia... [Link]

If you are skeptical of Zernike's assertion, then pay attention to how prevalent and familiar the insult 'bitch' is in everyday use. One political blogger, reacting to Zernike's article, has a post titled, 'Stop trying to excuse the racist bitch'. (He's alluding to Geraldine Ferraro). Under similar circumstances in the opposite camp, we would be hard-pressed to find a post titled 'Stop trying to excuse the sexist _______.' Fill in the blank with your choice of ethnic/racial slur.

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