Let me begin with my bias: I’m a longtime fan and follower of Killer Mike — he’s an incredible rapper and his politics are generally on point. Not uncoincidentally, he’s also a huge supporter of Democratic Socialist presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders.
Always good on issues of race and class (and generally good on the woman issue, too), Killer Mike made an unfortunate remark during a rally for Sanders at Morehouse College in Atlanta on Tuesday, which has stirred up quite the controversy online.
Decontexualized, the quote sounds… not great.
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) February 17, 2016
Contextualized, the quote sounds a little less rough.
— Killer Mike (@KillerMike) February 17, 2016
— Jonathan McIntosh (@radicalbytes) February 17, 2016
All that said, even if, as Killer Mike (and others) pointed out, he was simply quoting what activist Jane Elliott told him — “Michael, a uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president of the United States” — there’s still a problem…
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) February 17, 2016
Killer Mike’s point, that simply being a woman doesn’t necessarily make you a progressive or qualified to be president, is one I agree with (even women don’t always have women’s best interests in mind). I would certainly support a socialist man over a right wing woman (provided that that man was a solid ally to women) in an election. We have male allies who are better on issues like prostitution and pornography than many women are, even. But all that said, I have to wonder: Is there really anything wrong with wanting a female president… Because she is female?
We act like female solidarity equates to “playing the gender card” or “voting with our vaginas,” but I have yet to hear male solidarity referred to as such. In fact, male solidarity is rarely even acknowledged as being male solidarity — certainly it’s not seen as a gender bias… Because the truth is that we see men as the norm and women as the anomaly.
In other words, few would accuse Sanders supporters of “voting with their penises.”
What this quote shows is not that Killer Mike is a virulent misogynist, but that we still see women as “other.”
Bernie Sanders also has a gender. Perhaps you should ask him about how it shapes his policies and worldviews. Because I assure you it does.
— Chloe Angyal (@ChloeAngyal) February 17, 2016
I mean, for (practically) all of history we’ve voted for men because they have penises — that is to say, because society decided males were more fit for positions of power than women — yet we don’t discuss “the male vote” in that way.
Men have been supporting men for eons — it’s called the “old boys club” or “bros before hoes.” So even if Clinton supporters are, as they say, “voting with their vaginas,” who cares? I mean, maybe it’s about time…
Is the argument that Clinton should never have made gender an issue? Do ppl really not think that the first female pres would be a BIG DEAL?
— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) February 17, 2016