Pop Theory 21: On the Election: Binders, Binders Everywhere
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[Editor's Note: Pop Theory 21 was first published at AfterEllen 23 October 2012.]
Nearly two weeks away from the election, all this binder-speak has me wondering, “What kind of binder would I fit into?”
What kind of binder would you fit into? Or, are we into shattering the “binder form” altogether?
Romney’s unfortunate phrase, which Melissa Harris-Perry noted was the former Massachusetts governor’s own unintentional acknowledgement of utilizing affirmative action, has been meme’d-to-death and yet it symbolically can be used to think about the critical, seemingly subtle, ideological differences between women—especially between, say, a queer lesbian woman such as myself and the “waitress mom” (this election’s version of the 2008 “Grizzly mom”).
Voter suppression laws withheld, women, who comprise a majority of the US population, will determine this election. But not all women are the same, especially in terms of ideology—which is why it is important that each and everyone of you think critically about your individual values and which candidate, if any, you feel would best represent those values in office.
As a queer-lesbian-feminist woman, I’m finding it quite difficult to determine if any candidate deserves my vote, especially an “etch-a-sketch,” or “flip-flop” candidate whose values seem to change more frequently than the direction of the wind. My incredulity with political candidates in regard to their fickle-mindedness is the reason why I left politics: I gave three years of my time to doing (mostly) fieldwork for Al Gore in preparation for the 2000 election. Witnessessing how the political polls and pundits puppeted him around disgusted me. I was done with American politics after that election.
The domination of special interest groups has resulted in the pigeonholing of voters. The HRC has done a boffo job (why, yes, I’m being sarcastic) at establishing the two “gay” causes as revoking DOMA and DADT, the latter of which was achieved a little over a year ago. In my last column, I, evoking Fran Lebowitz, spoke about the irony of craving admission into such institutions and touting that admission as “freedom.” The point is that candidates have pigeonholed everyone in the LGBT community as prioritizing these two issues, marriage and the military. A consequence of this is that queer-lesbian-feminist women, or any queer who sees these two