This quote is found as the very last sentence of Alessandra Stanley's latest "TV Watch" column in the New York Times.
The full quote is as follows:
Mrs. Clinton was gracious — but ungiving — in her promises to keep the Democratic Party united, even as she promised to keep fighting for the nomination. Mr. Obama, whose remarks in Iowa came off as a dress rehearsal for a convention speech, tried to make amends to hard-core Clinton supporters at the same time.
"No matter how this primary ends," he said, "Senator Clinton has shattered myths and broken barriers and changed the America in which my daughters and yours will come of age."
That serenity is not yet shared by women who identify with Mrs. Clinton. Whoopi Goldberg asked her co-hosts on "The View" how they would describe Mrs. Clinton’s historic battle for the Democratic nomination.
"A man took it away from a woman," Joy Behar replied. "Then they yelled at her for complaining about it."
Here is video of the segment.
That quote from Joy Behar, whom I normally enjoy whenever I see clips of "The View," reveals a stunning sense of entitlement and elitism, and yes, sexism, on the part of Joy Behar specifically, and Clinton supporters generally.
Update [2008-5-21 12:1:7 by Delaware Dem]:: Many commenters have pointed out that Joy Behar was not voicing her own opinion in that quote, and indeed she is an Obama supporter. Instead she was asked to comment on how the primary will be perceived and the quote is her response. Fair enough. This diary is not an attack on Joy Behar, it is an attack on the perception she offers.
First, nothing has been taken away from Hillary Clinton. She never possessed the nomination for it to be taken away from her. Yes, she was at one time considered "inevitable" and the frontrunner for the nomination, but that was before any votes were cast. Once the contest began, she fell behind quickly, finishing third in Iowa. Sure, she bounced back, and has waged a hell of a fight for the nomination, winning some states in blowouts and others narrowly, and losing some states in blowouts and others narrowly. But since early February, Barack Obama has held the lead in popular vote and pledged votes, and he has never relinquished it. He has won the most states. He has won the most pledged delegates. He leads in superdelegates that have committed. He leads in popular votes cast if you include all the states fairly (You can't include Michigan since he was not on the ballot).
Yet, some women who are Clinton supporters do feel this way. They feel that something has been taken from them. And I understand the disappointment that comes from seeing your canidate, whom you believed in and really really wanted to win, lose the nomination. But you can't say that anything was taken away from Hillary, for that implies that the nomination was hers to begin with. Despite the "inevitability" crap, the nomination was never Hillary's to begin with. She had to compete to earn it. And she failed in that competition, and someone else won.
Second, Barack Obama was right last night when he said that Hillary Clinton had shattered myths and broken barriers for all daughters everywhere going forward. For she has generally been treated as any male candidate would be treated. It was never really assumed that Hillary Clinton could not be President because she was a woman. It was never assumed that Hillary would be at a disadvantage in the campaign or in the Presidency because she was a woman. Indeed, as Doris Kearns Goodwin says, being a woman has benefited her campaign, not harmed it. Hillary Clinton's campaign, while unsuccessful, is yet another giant step forward for women on the march to equality.
Therefore, when someone says that "a man took [the nomination] away from a woman," you demean the person who had something taken away as having lost only because she was a woman. And you criminalize the person who won as only having won because he was a man. The goal of equality, of the civil rights movement, and of feminism is to have no one judge you simply on the basis of your skin color or your gender. Thus, we should not be looking at Barack Obama as an African American or a man, or Hillary Clinton as a woman. Instead, if we truly wanted to be equals, if we truly valued the goals of the civil rights movement and of feminism, we should be looking at Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as just human beings. Barack Obama is a human being. Hillary Clinton is a human being. And we should not be relegating either to the niche of "men" or "women" or "white" or "black."
A man did not take anything anyway from a woman.
Barack Obama just won the nomination over Hillary Clinton.
Equality means that everyone is judged on their merits and their character rather than genetics. Equality does not entitle anyone to anything, except opportunity. So just because a woman finally ran for President and was a serious contender for the job, does not mean she should have won that job. Indeed, if you demand that Hillary Clinton be the nominee simply because she is a woman, you are acting sexist yourself, for you are demanding that Hillary be judged only as a woman, rather than as a person.
Thus, when Hillary supporters complain that Hillary is not winning the nomination because a man took it away from her, then are demeaning Hillary, and themselves, and they are setting back equality for women a couple of decades.
I hope they are all proud of themselves.