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Progressive feminists are still reeling from the 2016 election cycle, when corporate democrats failed at being champions of women’s rights. They elected one of the most unpopular political candidates in history to represent their party, and lost to a man who openly admitted to sexually assaulting women.

The Democratic National Committee set Bernie Sanders up for failure, even though he was the better feminist in the race. Why? Simple—he didn’t represent the interests of wealthy donors, and he wasn’t a woman. Does that sound pro-feminist to you?

Feminism, at its core, is the belief that every person should have equal rights, regardless of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. It’s the belief that you can accomplish anything, regardless of gender. It’s the belief that doing what’s right for one gender, or one race, or one class, will benefit all people. Our global society is a complicated, intricate place, and feminism is a multi-faceted issue that should always encompass every aspect of a woman’s life. It is intersectional.

At the core of Senator Sanders’ platform was one common issue: unequal opportunity. The poor and middle-class citizens of this country no longer have the opportunity to “work their way to the top” and live the American Dream—the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and middle class jobs are disappearing; Bernie was a champion for a $15/hour minimum wage long before Secretary Clinton.

Children born into poor families can study just as hard as children born into rich families, but they do not have an equal opportunity to receive a quality college education; Bernie had a feasible plan to make public college tuition-free, and Secretary Clinton could not say the same.

The impoverished don’t have the opportunity to receive the same high-quality healthcare as a wealthy CEO; Bernie wanted universal healthcare, instead of fixing a broken Obamacare system.

The LGBT community does not have the opportunity to exist in peace and happiness without discrimination; Bernie never floundered on his support for the LGBT community in his three decades in public office, while Clinton openly opposed gay marriage until 2013.

We don’t have the opportunity, as American citizens, to decide an election without the influence of corporate interests; Bernie was stronger on Wall Street. He can hardly make it through a five-minute television interview without mentioning the influence of money in politics and how it is causing more socioeconomic inequality.

Those same corporate interests, by the way, are what makes some democrats neoliberal—faux progressives who are socially liberal, out of convenience, but are heavily influenced by money. That money buys votes to benefit entities like Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry. Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton and many other democrats fall into this category, and legitimizes conservative accusations of corruption among the Democrats. So, independents who supported Bernie jumped ship.

To me, the feminist choice seemed clear, so I was shocked and disappointed to find out just how hypocritical some feminists became during the primary. Renowned feminists Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright were quick to bash Bernie and his young female supporters, blaming raging hormones and saying, “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other,” respectively. I heard, “I like Bernie’s policies, but I really want to see the first woman elected into office,” at least a dozen times.

As it turned out, unfortunately, the woman in the race was not the person best suited to represent the Democratic Party. Many liberals are blaming her loss on misogynists in general, but to say that is the only reason would be a lie. Her voting record, questionable progressivism, flip-flops, and campaign littered in controversies lost her the election in the end. She never gained the trust of some feminists for not being consistent, and we shouldn’t lend our trust to other neoliberals of any gender.

When will some self-proclaimed feminists realize that endorsing a woman, for the sake of being a woman, is anti-feminist? When will they realize that this feeds into the stigma that feminism is about man-bashing and female superiority?

As Democrats look toward 2018 and 2020 to regain control of Congress and the White House, feminists need to stand behind the best feminist in the race, and acknowledge some of those feminists might be men. Voters need to look at each candidate’s record of supporting progressive policies on education, income inequality, money in politics, and combating institutional racism. We need to embrace those topics as feminist issues, as they impact all women, in addition to supporting women-centric issues like reproductive healthcare. Not all feminists are women, and feminists don’t exist to only help women. With a consistent platform of embracing equality for all genders, the feminist movement will fuel itself.

Edited by Lydia McMullen-Laird 

15 COMMENTS

    • No, but you certainly helped throw the election to the #1 misogynist in the world. That’s the sad part.
      Read about what’s going on with Stein these days.. and how she duped you.
      I’m #StillSanders. I’m still unhappy about how the DNC treated him, but I did what he asked, held my nose, etc.

    • Nope. The DNC showed clearly that they do not care for women as women would have benefited immensely from $15 and hour, universal healthcare, and free college. The Democrats made this mess by stealing the primary and running a corporatist. I would never have voted for Clinton. She is anti woman. Or at least anti POOR women. Her position on bodily autonomy is inferior to Sanders. Her position on the minimum wage is inferior as well. I don’t need a mannequin in a pantsuit, I need election reform.

    • We aren’t bashing clinton without purpose, just as we were not doing it without purpose DURING THE PRIMARY. At that time we were told we were hurting her. We were trying to warn you.

      Already neoliberal democrats are setting themselves up for 2020 presidential runs. And if we fail to recognize THAT is why we lost, THAT is why hillary lost, we’re going to run another corporate establishment candidate, and we’re going to lose.

    • I’ll agree that Stein is not worth of any discussion. But you telling people to FO about Clinton doesn’t add anything either.
      Clinton was the favored candidate by the DNC, but not by the masses. David Brock and his “Correct the Record” trolls sounded just like you all during the primaries.
      “A Democratic Party Takeover is Urgent.”
      https://modayear.wordpress.com/

  1. Clinton was/is so very dishonest. Since we’re talking about women, its likely Clinton’s main goal would have been screwing the groups she claimed to be the friends of particularly badly.

    Look at the track record of services liberalisation. Women elsewhere do badly under the neoliberal agenda. And so do other historically disadvantaged groups. because neoliberalism’s main tenets subsume them under its globalization agenda. But the core motivator is lowering wages and starting a global race to the bottom which only benefits huge multinational corporations. Throwing some crumbs to poor nations along the way. (Even more than us, they would be better off with public healthcare and education which the same deals take away.)

    Governments cannot regulate unbless whatever they promote is the least trade restrictive solution possible. That means that before any rule can be made which attempts to lower prices in any area which is framed as increasing costs (things that might increase the legal standard of care in health care, for example) , they must not be trade distorting. Always the least trade restrictive solution must be utilized. Corporations want higher and higher returns on their investments, after all.

    (Globally mobile capital means that the yearly returns that investors expect from their investments keep rising)

    By the way, one of the biggest lies promoted by the 1993 Clinton care scam which has been repeated again and again by both parties again and again is profoundly deceptive.

    In health care more competition actually increases prices! Choice in health insurance has always seemed to me to be a code word for a bewildering hall of smoke and mirrors which conceals the fact that there is no workable choice.

    This is why they want to globalize the professions, so that the nurses and teachers who dont take any crap will be replaced by foreign subcontractors who will literally be put on the next plane home with a lawsuit waiting for them upon their arrival if they protest any policy or ask for a raise.

    Instead of Clinton, Trump and the WTO, RGFS etc. will play the bad cops. Thinking back to her fake feinting spells, outbursts at CNN, etc. I have a strong feeling she never wanted to win in the first place and likely also neither did Trump. Or Bernie.

  2. Here is an eye opening fact- The government currently pays for 64% of all healthcare. Enough to give everybody in the country top quality healthcare for free right now. Health insurers dont pay for the other third, people and employers do with a huge percantage of that sum being wasted.. And that percentage has stayed the same with more and more of that third being paid by patients and less by employers for decades. However, jobs are going away for good, automation is eliminating an ever increasing chunk of employment. So we should see Clinton, Trump – pretty much all politicians are just different faces of an increasingly arrogant and unaccountable transnational global oligopoly which is shifting ownership of everything of economic importance to itself by means of supranational trade instruments that lock down policy in anticipation of the job shift.

    To prevent democracy from voting for change irreversibly before people grasp whats really happening.

    Here is a paper (actually the second of two papers) on how the public already pays enough for free single payer.

    http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/AJPH.2015.302997

    You can find a great deal more here:
    http://www.pnhp.org/resources/pnhp-research-the-case-for-a-national-health-program

    This is an interesting paper on NAFTA that shows how far back the “lock in” goes (on Page 8)
    http://www.pnhp.org/resources/pnhp-research-the-case-for-a-national-health-program

  3. Divide LA bianca’s quite right. If Trump manages to get a pro-life Supreme Court justice on the bench, the blood of every woman forced to have a back alley abortion will be DIRECTLY on Clinton’s hands. She’s the one who purposely cheated Sanders – who would have won – out of the nomination. In other words, HRC’s about as *anti* female as you can get.

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