Sorry Hillary, I’m still not ready for you
Bernie remains a better feminist than Hillary
The Clinton campaign and the mainstream media will never acknowledge the enormous number of women and people of color who stand behind Bernie Sanders, but we’re here. And we’re not going away any time soon.
Now, this is a big deal. More and more women have switched over from Hillary to Bernie over the last year once they realized that:
• Simply having a token woman in the White House is not going to make things better for American women
• Hillary’s complicated political history does not make her a good role model for girls and young women
• She has proven herself to be open to corporate interests
• Clinton policies have disproportionately negative effects on minorities and women
On the basis that Hillary Clinton has had a long, high-profile political career and also happens to be a woman, there are many people who admire her and regard her as some sort of feminist icon because of her accomplishments.
I would vehemently argue otherwise.
In fact, I would argue that it would be smart for mothers to caution their daughters about looking up to her as a role model. If you want your children to pursue their dreams with the driving forces of determination, integrity, and strong values, Hillary Clinton is not exactly the model you should be striving for.
Unfortunately, many do not realize this at first. As such, female Bernie supporters like myself, especially those who identify with the feminist movement, have often been subject to swift judgement and baffled looks from others when they realize we are not “with her.” I can hear it now…
“You’re a woman, so why aren’t you supporting the female candidate?”
“Why on earth would you support another white, cis-gendered male candidate over her? That’s not very progressive.”
“Don’t you want a female president?”
“How can you even call yourself a feminist?”
I’ll tell you why I don’t support the only female candidate in the race: Hillary Clinton does NOT deserve my vote.
Another Clinton presidency would be harmful to immigrants, people of color, those living in poverty, and women in general. In addition, parts of her campaign’s rhetoric are actually damaging to the modern feminist movement.
Don’t believe me? Let me break it all down for you.
‘Because she’s a woman’
First of all, just because I am a female human being does NOT mean I am obligated to blindly vote for whichever candidate also happens to be a female human being. Making a decision based largely on someone’s gender is actually the exact opposite of what feminism strives towards. In other words: gender-based votes set back gender equality. How about we vote on the issues instead, eh?
Furthermore, following this logic, shouldn’t I have been morally obligated to support Carly Fiorina while she was still in the race? Hmm, I don’t seem to recall anyone pushing that narrative…strange.
Hillary’s brand of feminism is a problem because it is white and elitist rather than intersectional and supportive of interlocking oppressions. By this, I mean that it does not adequately recognize and address the needs of some of its most marginalized members — e.g. women of color, low-income women, immigrant women, and disabled women.
This “Clinton feminism” would work within our existing societal structure to allow for further economic advancement and freedom for women. However, because of the way our society was structured in the first place (ahem, built solidly on a foundation of white supremacy), the current system in place does not work for everybody. Because of this, Hillary’s feminism will only benefit you if you’re not already being marginalized.
When it comes to feminism, it’s time to start working towards more than just the advancement of privileged white women in society.
Bernie recognizes that the modern feminism movement should be about placing the concerns and struggles of non-white women, elderly women, low-income women, etc. on center stage alongside the issues of gender equality, rather than ignoring and minimizing them. This is the only way we will be able to achieve genuine social equality in this country.
Slut-shaming and victim blaming
Many who hear Hillary’s rhetoric but don’t know much about the specifics of her long political record tend to believe that she has always been a champion for women and children’s rights. I wanted to believe this in the beginning, too.
Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported. https://t.co/mkD69RHeBL
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 23, 2015
If you buy into the idea that Hillary Clinton has always been a steadfast advocate for the LGBTQ community, I hate to break it to you…
Hillary’s record on same-sex marriage is confusing at best. Many times throughout her political career, she has expressed her definition of marriage as “a sacred bond between a man and a woman.”
However, according to Politifact: “as public opinion shifted toward support for same-sex marriage, so did Clinton.”
It was only in 2013 when Hillary was finally on board with full LGBTQ marriage rights. Needless to say, her record on same-sex marriage is anything but “strong.”
Moreover, when NPR host Terry Gross asked Hillary in 2014 about her past opposition to gay marriage and the reasons behind her shifting views on the matter, seeming to suggest that her changing stance on the matter was politically motivated, Hillary dodged the question and responded with hostility. I’ll leave you to come to your own conclusion about that one.
If you’re looking for a true champion of LGBTQ rights, someone whose strong record on gay marriage starkly contrasts with Hillary’s confusing, inconsistent record: I give you Bernie Sanders, Independent senator from Vermont.
It is a beautiful sight to see a politician stand up for the right thing — even if the right thing is far from politically advantageous. Thanks, Bern.
‘We need to bring them to heel’
Bernie’s record shows that he has been a strong, consistent advocate for racial equality throughout the course of his lifetime. In fact, he was arrested in 1963 for resisting arrest while protesting segregation in Chicago schools. He was 21. Now at 74 years old, Bernie’s unabashed conviction to stand up for marginalized people shines through into his presidential campaign.
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) February 20, 2016
This point was really driven home to me several months ago when Black Lives Matter protesters interrupted one of his rallies. Bernie did not have them kicked out or silenced, but instead stepped back and allowed them to speak what they felt they needed to say. Bernie listened, and afterwards made the racial justice part of his platform much stronger and more specific. This updated platform includes legislation to abolish for-profit prisons.
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has had tense, unsatisfying exchanges with Black Lives Matter activists in which she neither truly listened nor conceded her mistakes. BLM protesters have also been kicked out of her events on multiple occasions.
On one such occasion Hillary can be seen arguing with a young BLM protester named Ashley Williams, who sought to address the inconsistencies in Hillary’s racial justice record.
“I know that you called black youth superpredators in 1994,” Ashley said before she was led away. “Please explain your record. Explain it to us. You owe black people an apology.”
Hillary was clearly eager for the young woman to leave, refused to give any validation whatsoever to her argument, and as the activist was being escorted out Hillary turned to her audience and said, “OK, back to the issues.”
Apparently, institutional racism and mass incarceration are not “issue” enough for Hillary Clinton.
Hillary’s original reference to “superpredators” can be found here.
Fighting for us Fighting for the politically advantageous
Politicians get a bad rap for many different reasons. Bernie’s different.
We all know just who Bernie is, because he’s been dedicated to his cause since day one and hasn’t faltered since. He’s authentic. He tells the truth when others are afraid to — especially when others are afraid to. His brand of politics gives me hope for the future and the expectations we will set for politicians going forward in terms of truthfulness and transparency.
Hillary, on the other hand…who is she, exactly? Who does she stand for? What does she stand for? What does she actually believe in? We can only look at her early years in politics for clues, because many of her policy positions took a 180º.
In the words of Ashley Williams in her interview with Democracy Now!: “I wanted to know which Hillary Clinton can we trust today. Is it the Hillary Clinton from 1994? Is it the Hillary Clinton from 2008? Or is it this refined Hillary Clinton . . . that we know in 2016?”
Hillary’s number of flip-flops over the years are very telling.
A short guide to some of her notable flip-flops:
• TPP trade deal — enthusiastically championed the Trans-Pacific Partnership as Secretary of State, even calling it the “Gold Standard”; now opposes it
• Keystone XL pipeline — despite obvious environmental concerns, Hillary initially spoke out positively about the Keystone XL pipeline, then refused to answer questions about her official position on it; once she became a presidential candidate, she announced her opposition to it
• LGBTQ rights — opposed the legalization of same-sex marriage until very recently (2013)
• Universal healthcare — once fought for universal healthcare and now staunchly opposes it, even casting Bernie Sanders’ plan to pursue it as “unfeasible”
You really just cannot buy authenticity. Or consistency, for that matter.
*In this presidential election alone, Hillary Clinton has received more than $3.5 million in Big Pharma donations. This is more than any of the other candidates, Republican or Democrat — including those who have dropped out.
Although it speaks great volumes about Bernie, the fact that a 74-year-old white male senator from Brooklyn is a better feminist ally than one of the most powerful female politicians in the world is…quite frankly, embarrassing.
Hillary has a powerful platform at her fingertips from which she could enact substantial change, but has instead chosen to further her own agenda. She is not running this race for us. She is running in this race to further her own interests, for her own financial and political gains.
Some other days… pic.twitter.com/7SjQdgiiQr
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 3, 2016
As women, we can do so much better than Hillary Clinton. You want strong, driven, intelligent, successful women? There are plenty to choose from: Dr Jill Stein, Ana Kasparian, Sen Nina Turner, Susan Sarandon, Jessica Williams, Rosario Dawson, and Amy Poelher, just to name a few.
So as far as our first woman president goes, I would love to see a strong-moraled woman in the White House who can act as a role model for girls and women everywhere.
Until then, I am committing to supporting Bernie Sanders and likeminded politicians every step of the way.
Bernie cares about my rights as a woman, and a vote for integrity and equality is a vote for the greater good.
NOTE: Although it is very unlikely that Sen Sanders will clinch the Democratic nomination at this point, it is important to note that Hillary Clinton has not yet reached the number of pledged delegates to clinch the nomination either.
The AP has obviously announced otherwise, but their count incorrectly includes superdelegates. The official rules of the DNC explicitly state that superdelegates are not to be counted until they vote at the July convention. Therefore, neither candidate has won or lost yet.