Not your feminist dream girl

hillary-clinton

In May, I participated in a protest against Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump in Eugene, Oregon. A pro-Trump rally was scheduled and some of my friends figured it demanded a counter message. Armed with a pocket-size “Know Your Rights” fact sheet and a banner that read, “Women/girls and people of colour deserve better than Trump’s misogyny, racism, and xenophobia,” we gathered defiantly, in the face of the hostile climate fostered throughout the election season. I felt empowered by the spirit of social justice.

But one thing stuck with me that day that I haven’t been able to forget: When an activist friend explained that Trump’s policies would be horrific for marginalized communities and that his political rhetoric has already caused harm, my friend was quick to clarify, “But I mean, I don’t know him personally… Who knows what he’s like as a person, one-on-one?” Keep in mind that this is the man we were there to protest. We all nodded.

When, minutes later, the conversation turned to Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton, that generosity disappeared. The same person who’d just given Trump the benefit of the doubt said, “Yeah, she’s better than Trump but I just can’t bring myself to vote for her. You just know she is a liar. You just know that she has no principles.”

In preparing for this piece and researching policy positions, I read through the comments on a number of articles, including a brief news story about Clinton’s victory speech in the beginning of June. Some comments were nuanced, but many were vicious in a personal manner. One read:

“I really love this page, but Hillary is scum. She’s promoted fracking globally, and she’s a war hawk. She has had a long career of quite frankly being a terrible person. She is not a feminist; she is not going to make anything in this country better. She is an evil establishment politician who only cares about furthering her own career and does not care what lies she tells to do so.”

Another commenter chimed in, saying:

“Seems only white Western women are supporting her. Hillary Clinton is a war mongering, neoconservative figure whose policies in the past have contributed to the destabilization of the Middle East. If you were actual radical feminists you would know that and refrain from supporting her. It’s baffling why you would welcome her presidency. She and Donald Trump are actually more alike than different. Clinton is more snake like and subtle compared to the brashness of Trump. She is a shape shifter, changing around her views to suit her agenda. It’s baffling to me that feminists are supporting her. Read about her past actions and reconsider the person you are standing for.”

Yet another said:

“Take it from a little old lady from Arkansas, Hillary isn’t worthy of anyone’s vote. There is a lot of evil in that woman. I’m still voting for Bernie.”

This commentary replicates what I hear in my own progressive circles, with regard to Clinton. And it’s something I struggle with.

Whether or not Clinton is a feminist candidate is a question worthy of debate, but we still need to apply a feminist analysis when discussing her as a politician. Unfortunately, I see her dehumanized or turned into a one-dimensional figure more often than not.

Considering our history, it does remain a feminist victory for a woman to reach higher office in the US. Women were jailed, violently force-fed, and even died in their fight for women’s right to vote and hold office. To see a woman represented in higher office is gargantuan, whether or not she is the ideal woman for that role. Even if you don’t consider the possibility of a female president an important achievement, it is for many feminists who care about representative politics. And if we really do care about democratic principles, we need to let women support Clinton without being labeled “sellouts,” “white feminists,” or corrupt, anti-feminist monsters.

Some critics argue that, as a candidate, Hillary only represents white voices. But Clinton has been winning the vote of people of colour, substantially. During the primary process, Hillary Clinton had a stronghold on the African American and the Asian American vote. In some states, like South Carolina, Hillary won with 86 percent of the African-American vote. When Bernie Sanders dismissed Clinton’s many victories in the South by saying she was only supported in the most conservative parts of the US, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, corrected him:

“In addition to being important to the Democratic Party’s electoral present and future, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and Texas are quite diverse. They’re diverse ideologically and they’re diverse racially. They contain not only a substantial number of African-Americans but also Hispanics and, increasingly, Asian-American voters.”

The way she has been portrayed on racial issues has been, likewise, skewed. Take, for example, the coverage of Hillary’s role in the Violence Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, a crime bill that was pushed by the Bill Clinton administration. In a public speech in support of the “tough on crime” bill, Hillary referenced “super predator theory”, a pseudoscience criminology theory that dehumanized black youth, referring to them as “super predators.” This bill was considered a key moment that spearheaded the rise of mass incarceration and the deliberate targeting of youth of colour by the State. This inexcusable statement is one that Hillary-haters point to as definite proof of her lifelong racism. She is often blamed for the spike in mass incarceration (particularly of young men of colour) that grew exponentially as a result of her husband’s bill. However, many analysts seem to forget that, as First Lady, Hillary didn’t vote for it, unlike some other so-called progressive candidates, including Bernie Sanders. They also forget that, at 24 years old, Hillary Clinton was a Civil Rights activist, going undercover to investigate racism in segregation academies. In fact, she put her white privilege to good use, investigating whether predominantly white public schools had continued to discriminate against black kids even after the Supreme Court banned race segregation in schools. This was no simple feat at the time and was far more brave than simply typing an irate comment online…

Bill Scher explains in an article for POLITICO, that many progressive voters feel Hillary doesn’t truly understand movement-style politics or share their passion so they “don’t forgive her as readily as they do other Democratic politicians,” but they are remiss in their analysis. Hillary herself was an activist during her teenage years and her college years, and has maintained that in her public persona today.

It was this activist fire that, some argue, resulted in one of the most transformational moments of her life. Younger generations may not remember US politics in the 90s, and the current narrative served up in the media doesn’t care to remind them, but policy wonks and history buffs know that the fight for healthcare was vicious. Officially titled the “Health Security Act” and dubbed by the press as the time “Hillarycare”, Clinton fought her heart out for a bill that she believed in, and got beat soundly. According to people in her circle, the shellacking she got from corporate America for pushing for a broader, more inclusive health care policy was so psychologically painful that both her and her team decided to downplay it and, in some cases, obscure it altogether.

This unwillingness to openly address her battle wounds and painful lessons, thus showing vulnerability, combined with the left’s denial that Clinton has, at times, stood firmly on their side, is in part responsible for the narrative painting her as a hawkish conservative and little else.

Other progressive candidates are read as mere politicians at the end of the day — capable of significant policy changes and the occasional conservative vote that leaves the left reeling for a while, but they are still permitted to carry the “progressive” mantle. They are granted the benefit of the doubt whereas Hillary remains a caricature. Sanders, for example, is widely perceived to hold the progressive position on a range of issues, despite his record of hawkish military policy. He supported NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, voted in favor of funding the 2014 coup government in Ukraine, and supported Israel’s apartheid assault in Gaza, yet all this has gone mostly unmentioned throughout the election campaign. Beyond this, throughout his presidential campaign, Sanders and his supporters have brushed off critics that say he neglects race and gender issues in favor of a class analysis, and have yet to address the overt sexism, harassment, and patriarchal attitudes that occasionally come from both Bernie’s campaign and his supporters.

Nonetheless, Bernie is allowed both the socialist and even the feminist label. No such luck for Hillary.

The reason for this lies in the subtle undercurrent of sexism that female politicians face. You know that stereotype that says that Hillary Clinton cannot be trusted because she is a liar with no soul? PolitiFact investigated her public statements and record and found that she was the candidate with the best truth-telling record as compared to all the 2016 presidential candidates.

It seems we hold women in politics to different standards than men. In the Guardian, Jill Abramson explains that, as former editor of the New York Times, she’s studied Hillary as a public figure for decades. She writes:

“Like most politicians, she’s switched some of her positions and sometimes shades the truth. Still, Clinton has mainly been constant on issues and changing positions over time is not dishonest. It’s fair to expect more transparency. But it’s a double standard to insist on her purity.”

Abramson quotes Colin Diersing of the Harvard Institute of Politics, who agrees, explaining that, when Hillary behaves like other politicians or changes positions, “it’s seen as dishonest.” He adds, “We expect purity from women candidates.”

When it comes to media coverage, it’s not just commentary on Hillary’s headbands and her sexuality that convey sexism, but the assumption that everything she does is evil that provides an extra layer. And by everything, I mean events such as the birth of her granddaughter or a tear rolling down her cheek. For the media, pillorying Clinton means big bucks.

Stand with her or not, but this is not the time to let our feminist analysis slip.

Today, when I think of Hillary, what comes to mind is a 12-year-old victim of sexual assault. The girl withstood the endlessly re-traumatizing process of taking her rapist (a 40-year-old man at the time) to court, facing a team of lawyers who argued on her rapist’s behalf. One of the lawyers assigned to the case was a young woman named Hillary Rodham. This was 1975, long before she was a prominent political figure. Back then, Hillary was a new lawyer and professor who had been assigned a case against her will. She asked to be removed from the case, but her request was denied. We can argue back and forth about the power a young lawyer has to refuse or accept a case assigned to them at the beginning of their career, but the truth is that, in 1975, Hillary Rodham was assigned the case and did her job, defending her client, as best she could.

Decades later and in hindsight, Hillary said, “When you’re a lawyer you often don’t have the choice as to who you will represent. And by the very nature of criminal law there will be those you represent you don’t approve of. But, at least in our system, you have an obligation. And once I was appointed I fulfilled that obligation.”

As a former law student, a former shelter advocate, and a survivor myself, defending a rapist of any kind, let alone a child rapist, is unthinkable. So I understand the criticism directed at her, but it remains unfair in many ways, considering that burgeoning lawyers are expected to take on cases regardless of whether or not they agree with those you are tasked with defending.

Rather than write her off because of this, consider all Clinton has done for women’s rights since then. Unlike other progressive candidates, she not only supported, but introduced legislation centering women and girls many times over. During the early stages of her career, she championed the rights of children under the law, pushed for the approval of Plan B, sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act and did pro bono work for child advocacy. That famous Beijing speech at the United Nations in 1995, where she proclaimed “women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights one and for all” wasn’t just a photo-op for a first lady. My first job back in my hometown Santo Domingo was to follow up and write reports on the anti-violence strategies that were established during that conference for the Beijing Platform for Action. It’s almost as if we forget that while many in the press were busy writing about her clothes, she was out there engaging and enacting strategies that carried long-term effects.

These policies did not only center white women, as many critics claim, but working class women, working mothers, and women of colour, as well. Wealthy women have always had access to the services that they need, reproductive or otherwise, even where it has been clandestine. It is the most marginalized, not the most privileged, who benefit from accessible and affordable services.

It was under Clinton’s stint as Secretary of State that the Global Gag Rule was lifted. The mandate forbade the United States’ State Department from providing funding for local organizations in the Global South that centered women’s health out of conservative fear that tax dollars could end up funding abortions abroad. It effectively put a lock on funding that could have been instrumental in developing family planning strategies among local organizations in the Global South which, as we know, is fundamental to women and girl’s human rights. It was also during Clinton’s tenure that “women’s rights” as a political issue went from an often-ignored “soft power” strategy to a central foreign policy agenda item (to debatable outcomes). All this represents only a fraction of her career, but is disappeared in our efforts to turn Hillary into a one-dimensional figure.

As part of a POLITICO roundtable, Allida Black, a professor of History and International Affairs at Georgetown University, argued that “Hillary’s challenge is to move the Woman Card beyond polemics, beyond policy, and into the minds and hearts of voters. If she can do that, it will transcend politics and orchestrate a unity we have not seen in generations.”

Therein lies the impossible position that Hillary finds herself in. No woman or girl in the history of patriarchy has transcended the social construction of her femaleness — certainly Hillary hasn’t. She is not just a woman either — she has been the face of “ambitious women in power” in the U.S. public consciousness for decades, with all the reactionary backlash that brings. At best, Clinton will become president with roughly half of the US population opposing her and enormous pressure within her own ranks, pushing her as far left as she is able or willing to go, within the framework of a settler-colonialist, imperialist, prison-industrial complex-supporting country.

At Slate, Michelle Goldberg writes:

“I don’t blame Clinton for building a carapace around her true self. There is no person in America who has been subject to such constant, withering public dissection. Tens of thousands of words have been devoted to sneering at her hairstyles. She’s been jeered at for her laugh, her wrinkles, her ankles, her clothes. The entire planet knows that her husband cheated on her. The media proclaims, over and over again, that people simply don’t like her (though she was recently voted the most admired woman in the world for a record 20th time). Of course she has trouble letting down her guard! Without an enormous capacity for self-protection, how would she have survived a level of public ridicule that would have driven any other woman insane?”

The feminist battle cry, “Neither whores nor saints; just women” applies not only to our sexual politics, but to every aspect of women’s lives.

Like men, women are multifaceted people who can simultaneously support terrible policies and empowering ones. They are political candidates whose personal and political lives may make us cringe at points and cry with emotion at others. Feminists have pushed for more strong, complex, imperfect female characters on TV and in film, in order to get away from the one-dimensional women we are usually presented with in media. In Hillary, we have an influential woman who is just that: she is not the easy-to-figure out stereotype we expect women to be.

She won’t be your feminist dream girl. Maybe the fourth female president of the United States will be able to fill those shoes. Or the 12th. The current binary either puts Hillary on a pedestal as “a no-nonsense, indoor sunglass-wearing boss lady who eats enemies and shits policy!” as The Daily Show’s Michelle Wolf put it, or frames her as a “corporate democratic whore.” Maybe she isn’t either. What she is, is a female politician.

Raquel Rosario Sanchez
Raquel Rosario Sanchez

Raquel Rosario Sanchez is a writer from the Dominican Republic. Her utmost priority in her work and as a feminist is to end violence against girls and women. Her work has appeared in several print and digital publications both in English and Spanish, including: Feminist Current, El Grillo, La Replica, Tribuna Feminista, El Caribe and La Marea. You can follow her @8rosariosanchez where she rambles about feminism, politics, and poetry.

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  • Raquel Rosario Sánchez

    No one is.

    • lagattamontral

      Unfortunately, some posters here are, and instead of denouncing “misogyny, sexism or patriarchal attitudes” on the left, are denouncing the “Left” and supporting imperialism and capitalism.

  • Alienigena

    Who exactly needs a feminist dream girl? Heterosexual men? Straight women who get woman-crushes on famous women or female friends (e.g. man crush)? There is a lot I don’t like about Hilary Clinton (I parodied her and hubby Bill during Sleazegate 1998) but given that I am not an American I don`t really get the animosity so many Americans have for her (though I do know she has hawkish tendencies). I am not self-righteous enough to be outraged by her … she is someone I will never be able to vote for, she represents the elephant who can stomp down on the Canadian mouse. As the author said Hilary Clinton is a politician, not a category I place particular faith in but not one that should automatically garner death threats in a democratic society.

    I find it hard to sympathize with Americans current political situation. The USA is a nation of libertarianism (left, right, centre) gone wrong. Witness their right to bear arms and open carry permits, all against all. That Trump is an icon for some speaks to the inherent flaws of libertarianism. If the individual is the only unit of measure then whose vision will be triumphant? Generally the person with more money, more power, more influence that he or she acquired due to what some claim is inherent merit (sounds like predestination to me, see Calvinism). Or so the belief system goes.

    I really wish this didn’t dissolve into a left vs right discussion, just think of the large numbers of so-called progressive men who say and do incredibly misogynist things. The premier of my province heads a left wing party and is a woman. Photos of her have been made into targets on golf greens and elsewhere. Makes me want to leave this province (as have its right wing politics in the past).

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/notley-responds-to-having-her-face-made-up-as-golf-course-target-1.3651022

    Logic doesn’t seem to be something these misogynists consider. The world price of oil is down (there is a glut), other producers can produce it for less money … It has nothing to do with Ms. Notley. I don’t think it is appropriate to attack women politicians because they are women. I can’t imagine people putting up posters of Ralph Klein (former premier) for target practice when he shouted at some homeless people in a shelter. Well, except me. I hated the guy, as mayor of Calgary and premier. Another populist politician bribing the press (with beer and cheap food) and convincing enough of the common people he was on their side to get re-elected.

    • lagattamontral

      On the other hand, while Notley is not the most progressive NDP office-holder, she stands head and shoulders above any major figures in Alberta politics for decades. Her election was a very strong sign of positive change. Unfortunately a macho, reactionary blowback is to be expected, but she has stood her ground.

  • Wren

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for this article. I have been sooooo frustrated with the misogyny towards Clinton. I mean, she has some things to debate about her career BECAUSE SHE HAS HAD AN AMAZINGLY LONG AND SUCCESSFUL POLITICAL CAREER as a WOMAN. So yes, there’s a lot more to scrutinize than with Obama, and there’s plenty to scrutinize about Sanders anyway.

    Let’s face it, “liberals” are not ready for a woman president. I wonder why?? This is what she supposedly said about prostitution:

    “I do not approve of legalized prostitution or any kind of prostitution.
    It is something that I personally believe is demeaning to women. I have
    worked against it and I have certainly taken a very strong stand
    against what happens in many parts of the world where young girls and
    women are forced into prostitution against their wills. I understand
    Nevada has a regulated system and it is within the authority of the
    state. So that is not a federal issue that we will have any role to play
    in when I am president. But I would obviously speak out against
    prostitution and try to persuade women that it is not — even in a
    regulated system — necessarily a good way to try to make a living.
    Let’s try to find other jobs that can be there for women who are looking
    for a good way to support themselves and their families.”

    Thank you, Hillary. I doubt Bernie would say anything close to this and lose the vote of his beloved progressive cool dudes.

    And as far as Clinton not being supported by minorities: that is absolute horse shit. All my students support her and they are all poor, black, and/or Latino. Some of them are lured by Sander’s promises of free college for their children, but they have no hate for Hillary at all and admire her. So anything the media says to the opposite is completely untrue. In fact, I feel BULLIED by my white peers when I say I support Hillary because, apparently, that does not make me radical anymore. Mostly I’ve seen white, upper class men and women supporting Sanders or voting for an independent. Really, they have nothing to lose!! Trump would be a nightmare, but he would still help them keep their status, so they are the only ones who can throw away their vote. The rest of us will be fighting the good fight.

    • Tangelo

      Wren, thanks for the Hillary quote re: prostitution. I wasn’t aware that she had made a public statement on this. Bernie Sanders has made no public statements one way or the other. While I am not confident that Hillary’s 2007 comment to the Reno Gazette-Journal would result in any changes, the fact that she at one point made a public comment opposing legalization or any kind of prostitution are a plus in her favor.

      http://prostitution.procon.org/view.source.php?sourceID=3477

      • Wren

        Agree. It doesn’t mean anything will happen, but it warms my heart. And thanks for putting the link cause I forgot!

  • GM52246

    THANK YOU for this. As a Gen-Y man and a strong Hillary supporter, I’ve been troubled by the massive double standard(s) Hillary’s been held to. This is a very good piece.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I didn’t know that either!

  • Mar Iguana

    It benefits the GOP if I don’t vote. It benefits the GOP if I vote for a third party candidate. Republicans and the Democrats both screw women, but at least the Democrats use lubricants.

    • Kathy Miriam

      your analogy says all. this is what radical feminists have always said about the difference between the men of left and men of right. Free “lubricants” or prophylactics and abortion allow men freedom of access to women–giving any and all men access to women, while for Right Wing men–the point is access restricted to only one man.

      • Wren

        If men have free access to women, it’s thanks to rape culture, not a lubricated rubber.

    • Wren

      That’s a good one 🙂

  • Tangelo

    I think the plan is to stealthily slide into positions of power, sneak, sneak, quiet, quiet, until we have so many women in so many powerful economic, political and media posts that we can then just rise up spontaneously as one and take over the apparatus and remake it in our own image.

    Or something like that.

    • Wren

      HALLELUJAH!!!

    • Susan

      That sounds good to me. Hopefully those women won’t become indoctrinated in masculine culture when they become part of the power structure of patriarchy.

    • coquelicot

      That won’t work. Those women will be marred by taking part in such a system. IIRC, radical change has never taken part from inside the system.

  • Kathy Miriam

    I am terribly sleep deprived because i do not know why else i omitted another absolutely crucial damage to women wrought by Clinton in her role as a long term politician. This is her advocacy of free trade and affiliation with the finance industry. I have learned from CATW and its representatives such as Sheila Jeffreys and others more than anywhere else –along with Kathleen Barry and Cynthia Enloe, the extent to which economic austerity–the economic devastation/immiseration –wrought by NAFTA and other austerity measures — is a critical condition of sexual slavery and exploitation. A few months ago there was a story about how under austerity measures in Spain, women were now trading blow jobs for sandwiches. This is in fact happening in cities the world over, including the states and Canada (most vicious against Aboriginal women/girls) and has everything to do with how Clinton and her party–which is just another Republican party–has aided and abetted and advocated (lubricated indeed!!!!!!!) these policies and thus material conditions in which men’s demand for women’s bodies can be more easily fulfilled. This isn’t a side issue. this isn’t a single issue. This isn’t non essential to feminism. This is the seat of empire, the United states, and the presidential chair (of course and its handlers in the various financial and other elites)– and it is a crucial node of everything that radical feminism is fighting against.

    • Wren

      So what is your suggested course of action then??

      • Kathy Miriam

        Wren, are you asking what i suggest as a course of action for voting, or what a suggested course of action is as alternative to a “feminist for Clinton* platform? to me the two questions are very different. But let me know.

    • Tangelo

      While I do not agree with everything you’ve written, your posts bring up some interesting points. Both the Democrats and the Republicans have dirty hands when it comes to global policies, of course.

    • Mar Iguana

      “Let’s try to find other jobs that can be there for women who are
      looking for a good way to support themselves and their families.”

      To make sure this mens-worst-nightmare doesn’t happen, it is crucial to the be-penised, from the grand poopahs on the top rungs to the lowly dudebros on the bottom rungs, that women don’t even get close to the ladder. If that means plunging the entire globe into grinding economic depression in order to perpetuate the male protection racket, so be it. Women are not just collateral damage in that plunge. They are the targets.

      Wren, speaking for myself, I can’t suggest a course of action and that makes me damn despair.

    • lagattamontral

      I heartily agree. I applaud Ms Rodham-Clinton’s stance on prostitution. However the impact of endless war, in particular in the Middle East and Africa, is to spur the growth of survival prostitution – even of children – as well as extreme sexual violence; rape, torture, murder and sexual slavery. I was one of the interpreters as the Nobel women’s conference on ending sexual violence in conflict, and while I was very privileged to have such an opportunity, hearing the testimony of women from all continents was deeply distressing.

      A positive element though was to what extent survivors in some places have been able to rebuild their own lives and their communities and societies through collective action. Rwanda is a case in point.

  • Wren

    Do you know anything about the American electoral system????? CLEARLY NOT. Or about what our lives are like here? NOPE. Or what it’s like to be poor in American??? NAH YOU DON’T. Or what it’s like to fear the imminent threat of Trump??? DEFINITELY A NO.

    Making snarky comments to a person about something you know nothing about is unbelievably disrespectful and dishonest. Enjoy your ideological privilege and fuck off.

    • Césarion

      I don’t know much about the American electroal system, sure, it’s just that I find it rather shitty to throw in the garbage any “independent candidate” according to your standards.
      “What our lives are like here” can’t possibly know what you’re talking about.
      “To be poor in America” I know what it’s like to be poor in France.
      “The imminent threat of Trump” In France we have the threat of Le Pen, doesn’t mean I will go for the liberals that have been playing us over and over for decades.

      Have a nice day 🙂

      • lagattamontral

        It is important to create alternatives to the corporate liberals of the Democratic party in the US (and the Liberal party in Canada, although the Trudeau goverment has done some significant things) as well as the false “socialists” in France; indeed one of the major reasons is that an exasperated working class whose living conditions are in decline is tempted by the fake populism of the far right (Trump, Le Pen, other parties in different European countries including outright Nazis in Hungary and Greece).

  • Wren

    Ok, so while you’re waiting for the radical feminist revolution, shall we give Trump the job of leader of the “free” world?? No one said Clinton is a radical feminist or a pacifist; I believe that’s the point of this article. But the choice for Clinton is a step forward, even if it’s an extremely small step, and the choice for Trump (or 3rd party cause that’s the inevitable result) is a leap back into the furnace of hell.

    • Kathy Miriam

      re read what i said about Trump.

    • Susan

      I don’t see Clinton as a step forward but rather the least of two evils. How do you see Clinton as a step forward?

  • Lori S.

    This is a great article, and thank you for it.

    One comment: don’t pull your punches. So often these days women write as if afraid to just label something as sexist or misogynist. Take this quote from your article:

    “The reason for this lies in the subtle undercurrent of sexism that female politicians face. You know that stereotype that says that Hillary Clinton cannot be trusted because she is a liar with no soul? PolitiFact investigated her public statements and record and found that she was the candidate with the best truth-telling record as compared to all the 2016 presidential candidates.

    It seems we hold women in politics to different standards than men….”

    There was nothing at all “subtle” or “undercurrent”-ish about the brutal misogyny of the primary, nor of the presidential election. Calling Hillary a “whore,” as Sanders’ surrogates and supporters did, repeatedly; calling her supporters “vagina voters.” Calling Southern (primarily female) voters “stupid.” Not subtle, not an undercurrent. Saying, as Trump does, that she plays “the woman card.” This doesn’t “seem” sexist, it is sexist. Even the “liar” accusations – who is more distrusted than women? Pretty little liars, temptresses who “cry rape,” witches who lead the honest astray, victims who “asked for it” – women are by seen as inherently untrustworthy (as well as stupid, i.e., unable to be trusted as experts). I see a lot of the “seems sexist” and “undercurrent” type of language when we discuss sexism, as if we are too timid to just say: you all are a bunch of misogynist jerks, effing stop it. But no, instead, well, it seems sexist, maybe I am wrong, I don’t know, there is a hard to see undercurrent…. No. It is right there, a current, a tsunami that drowns us every day.

    • Raquel Rosario Sánchez

      Thank you, Lori. I appreciate the feedback and I think you are right. I think that I felt that this is *such* a contentious issue that I wanted to thread as carefully as I possible could. Maybe it’s time to own my voice some more and get more assertive here.

      Thank you!

  • Bleeps

    Anarchy doesn’t work well for women. They’re usually the first targets when society breaks down. It might be fun to fantasize about, but the reality is usually extremely bleak.

  • radwonka

    I still cant believe you srsly said that many leftists think that prostitution is gross though

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dc5d3a97a9da2f627a271d6c43315928c763361c799704b1a1bbafd9989a25e9.gif

    Leftists only want 3 things:
    1. Marijuana
    2. Brothels
    3. Gendered roles

    They say that aboltionnists are prudes and carceral feminists. They think that condemning johns is worse than johns raping women. They think that prisoners should be allowed to watch porn (I think Meghan wrote an article about it). They use the prude/whore dichotomy and impose THEIR definition of “sexual liberation” (which obvs is dick centric and pro objectification). I could go on and give more examples.

    They despise the women’s lib movement. And they never helped us.They even use MRA rhetoric against us.

    Did you know that they supported porn when the 2nd wave and Dworkin were against it? And that it has always been like that?
    Did you know that both jacobinmag and libcom are full of “sex work is work” articles? They even sell pro pimps books (that awful book that Melissa gira grant wrote). IDK, ask yourself why we needed, and still need a women centerd movement: bc they dont give a fuck about women.

    A good text about our sweet-progressive-perfect-leftists:

    If the fight against pornography is a radical one, where are the radicals fighting against pornography?

    Earlier this year, the 18th annual Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair, an event that brings together radical activists from around the world, was held at the headquarters and production facility of so-called “alternative” porn company, Kink.com.

    Kink.com is known for its unique brand of torture porn. As Gail Dines reports, women are “stretched out on racks, hogtied, urine squirting in their mouths, and suspended from the ceiling while attached to electrodes, including ones inserted in their vaginas.” But to grasp the agenda of Kink.com, we can just go to the source: founder Peter Acworth started the company after devoting his life to “subjecting beautiful, willing women to strict bondage.”

    When the Anarchist Bookfair announced its choice of venue, feminists were outraged. The few who were billed to speak during the event dropped out. But ultimately, the decision was defended, the outcry lashed back against, and the show went on.

    Anarchists are my kind of people—or so I thought. When I first discovered the radical Left some eight years ago, I thought I’d stumbled on the revolution. The rhetoric seemed as much: brave, refreshing demands for human rights, equality, and liberation; a steadfast commitment to struggle against unjust power, however daunting the fight.

    It wasn’t long, though, before my balloon of hope burst. To the detriment of my idealism and trust, the true colors of my radical heroes began to show.

    Pornography was then and is now one such let down. Over the years, I’ve bounced between a diversity of groups on the radical Left: punks, Queers, anarchists, and many in between. But wherever I went, porn was the norm.

    Here’s the latest in radical theory: “We’re seventeen and fucking in the public museum. I’m on my knees with your cock in my mouth, surrounded by Mayan art and tiger statues. Our hushed whispers and frenzied breathing becomes a secret language of power. And us, becoming monstrous, eating-whole restraint and apology. The world ruptures as we come, but it isn’t enough. We want it all, of course—to expropriate the public as a wild zone of becoming-orgy, and to destroy what stands in our way.” I’m sad to report that this quote, and the book it comes from, reflects one of the most increasingly popular of the radical subcultures.

    Conflating perversion and revolution is nothing new. We can trace the trend all the way back to the 1700s in the time of the Marquis de Sade, one of the earliest creators and ideologues of pornography (not to mention pedophilia and sadomasochism).

    Sade was famous for his graphic writings featuring rape, bestiality, and necrophilia. Andrea Dworkin has called his work “nearly indescribable.” She writes, “In sheer quantity of horror, it is unparalleled in the history of writing. In its fanatical and fully realized commitment to depicting and reveling in torture and murder to gratify lust, it raises the question so central to pornography as a genre: why? why did someone do . . . this? In Sade’s case, the motive most often named is revenge against a society that persecuted him. This explanation does not take into account the fact that Sade was a sexual predator and that the pornography he created was part of that predation.” Dworkin also notes that “Sade’s violation of sexual and social boundaries, in his writings and in his life, is seen as inherently revolutionary.”

    Despite all they seem to share in common, most of today’s radicals actually don’t revere the Marquis de Sade. Rather, they look to his followers; namely, one postmodern philosopher by the name of Michel Foucault, no small fan of Sade, whom he famously dubbed a “dead God.”

    Foucault’s ideas remain some of the most influential within the radical Left. He has catalyzed more than one generation with his critiques of capitalism, his rallying cries for what he calls “social war,” and his apparently subversive sexuality. Foucault, who in fact lamented that the Marquis de Sade had “not gone far enough,” was determined to push the limits of sexual transgression, using both philosophy and his own body. His legacy of eroticizing pain and domination has unfortunately endured.

    So where are the radicals in this fight against pornography? The answer depends on who we call radical. The word radical means “to the root.” Radicals dig to the roots of oppression and start taking action there—except, apparently, when it comes to the oppression of women. How radical is it to stop digging half way for the sake of getting off?

    What is called the radical Left today isn’t really that. It’s radical in name only and looks more like an obscure collection of failing subcultures than any kind of oppositional movement. But this is the radical Left we have, and this one, far from fighting it, revels in porn.

    Just as we need to wrest our culture from the hands of the pornographers, we need to wrest our political movements from the hands of the sexists. Until we do that, so-called “radical” men will continue to prop up sexual exploitation under the excusing banner of freedom and subversion.

    This male-dominated radical Left is expressly anti-feminist. In a popular and obscene anarchist essay, “Feminism as Fascism,” the author—who is male, need I mention—ridicules feminists for drawing any connection whatsoever between porn and violence against women. He concludes that feminism—rather than, say, the multi-billion dollar porn industry—is a “ludicrous, hate-filled, authoritarian, sexist, dogmatic construct which revolutionaries accord an unmerited legitimacy by taking it seriously at all.”

    I’ve ceased to be surprised at the virulent use and defense of porn by supposedly radical—and even “anti-sexist”—men. The two have always seemed to me to go hand-in-hand.

    My first encounter with radicals was at a punk rock music show in the basement of a stinky party house. I stood awkwardly upstairs, excited but shy. Amidst the raucous crowd, a word caught my ear: “porn.” Then, another word: “scat.” Next, the guys were huddling around a computer. And I was confused . . . until I saw.

    More sophisticated than the punks, the anarchist friends I made a few years later used big words to justify their own porn lust. Railing against what they deem censorship, anarchists channel Foucault in imagining themselves a vanguard for free sexual expression, by which they really mean, men’s unbridled entitlement to the use and abuse of women’s bodies. And any who take issue with this must be, as one anarchist put it, “uncomfortable with sex” or—and I’m not making this up—“enemies of freedom.”

    The Queer subculture puts the politics of sexual libertarianism into practice. Anything “at odds with the ‘normal’ or legitimate” becomes fair game. One Queer theorist explained in specifics: “Sleaze, perversion, deviance, eccentricity, weirdness, kinkiness, BDSM and smut . . . are central to sex-positive queer anarchist lives,” she wrote. As the lives of the radicals I once counted as comrades began to confirm and give testament to this centrality, I abandoned ship.

    Pornography is a significant part of radical subcultures, whether quietly consumed or brazenly paraded. That it made me uncomfortable from the beginning did not, unfortunately, deter me from trying it myself. It seems significant though, that, despite growing up as a boy in a porn culture, my first and last time using porn was while immersed in this particular social scene. Who was there to stop me? With all semblances of feminist principles tossed to the wind, who was there to steer me from the hazards of pornography and towards a path of justice?

    The answer is no one. Why? Because the pornographers control the men who control the radical Left. Women may be kept around in the boy’s club—or boy’s cult—but only to be used in one way or another; never as full human beings. How is it a male radical can look honestly in the face of a female comrade and believe her liberation will come through being filmed or photographed nude?

    I have a dear neighbor who says, “There’s nothing progressive about treating women like dirt; that’s just what happens already.” My neighbor has little experience in the radical Left, but apparently bounds more common sense than most individuals therein. She, along with many ordinary people I’ve chatted with, have a hard time believing—let alone understanding—that people who think of themselves as radical could actually embrace and defend something as despicable as pornography. If the basic moral conscience of average people allows them to grasp the violence and degradation inherent in porn, we have to ask: what’s wrong with the radical Left?

    In a way, this let down is predictable. From ideologues like Sade and Foucault, to the macho rebellion of punk bands like the Sex Pistols, to the anarchist-endorsed Kink.com, justice—for women and for all—has been a periphery goal at best for countercultural revolutionaries. Of vastly greater priority is this notion of transgression, an attempt at “sexual dissidence and subversion which challenges the symbolic order,” the devout belief that anything not considered “normal” is radical by default.

    I can’t speak for you, but there are plenty of things that I think deserve not to be seen as normal. Take Kink.com, for example. Despite the cheerleading of shock value crusaders, I don’t really care how many cultural boundaries the company believes itself to be transgressing; tying up and peeing on another human being is simply wrong. If this sentiment gets me kicked out of some sort of radical consensus, so be it.

    What is transgressive for some is business-as-usual oppression for others. As Sheila Jeffreys explains, “Transgression is a pleasure of the powerful, who can imagine themselves deliciously naughty. It depends on the maintenance of conventional morality. There would be nothing to outrage, and the delicious naughtiness would vanish, if serious social change took place. The transgressors and the moralists depend mutually upon each other, locked in a binary relationship which defeats rather than enables change.” Transgression, she contests, “is not a strategy available to the housewife, the prostituted woman, or the abused child. They are the objects of transgression, rather than its subjects.”

    Being radical is a process, not an outcome. To be radical means keeping our eyes on justice at every instance, in every circumstance. It means maintaining the agenda of justice when picking our issues and the strategy and tactics we use to take them on. Within a patriarchy, men cannot be radical without fighting sexism. This is to say that radical activism and pornography are fundamentally at odds. Where are the radicals fighting porn? The ones worth the name are already in the heat of battle, and on the side of justice, whether or not it gets us off.

    As for the rest, we’re going to have to make them. As the current radical Left self-destructs under the crushing grip of misogyny—as it already is and inevitably will—it is up to us to gather from the rubble whatever fragmented pieces of good there are left. And it is up to us to forge those pieces into a genuinely radical alternative.

    Women have been doing this work for a long time. But it is by and for men that women’s lives are stolen and degraded through pornography. And it is by and for men that the radical Left colludes with this injustice. So it must now be men—the ones with any sense of empathy or moral obligation left—who take final responsibility for stopping it. Women have already mapped out the road from here to justice. Men simply need to get on board.

    It’s no easy task taking on the cult of masculinity from the inside, but it’s a privileged position in comparison to being on the outside and, thus, its target. And this cult needs to be dismantled. Men need to take it down inside and out, from the most personal sense to the most global.

    Men can start small by boycotting porn in our own lives, both for the sake of our individual sexualities and for the sake of the many women undoubtedly suffering for its production. Through images of dehumanized women, pornography dehumanizes also the men who consume them.

    Individual rejection of pornography is necessary, but social change has always been a group project. Men must put pressure on other men to stop supporting, and at the very least stop participating in, sexual exploitation. We can demand our movements and organizations outspokenly oppose it. We can disavow them if they refuse.

    As it stands, it’s hard to tell apart the radical Left and porn culture at large. Both are based on the same rotten lie: women are objects to be publicly used.

    As it falls, the male-dominated radical Left can be replaced by something new and so desperately needed: a feminist, anti-pornography radical Left. Its goal: not the transgression of basic human rights, but the uncompromising defense of them.

    http://dgrnewsservice.org/civilization/patriarchy/pornography/beautiful-justice-left-of-porn-2/

    • lagattamontral

      I said “gross exploitation”. That doesn’t mean “gross” in the “offensive sense.

      • radwonka

        Yeah so they don’t see it as a violent institution, that’s what I said.

  • radwonka

    (continue) This explanation does not take into account the fact that Sade was a sexual predator and that the pornography he created was part of that predation.” Dworkin also notes that “Sade’s violation of sexual and social boundaries, in his writings and in his life, is seen as inherently revolutionary.”

    Despite all they seem to share in common, most of today’s radicals actually don’t revere the Marquis de Sade. Rather, they look to his followers; namely, one postmodern philosopher by the name of Michel Foucault, no small fan of Sade, whom he famously dubbed a “dead God.”

    Foucault’s ideas remain some of the most influential within the radical Left. He has catalyzed more than one generation with his critiques of capitalism, his rallying cries for what he calls “social war,” and his apparently subversive sexuality. Foucault, who in fact lamented that the Marquis de Sade had “not gone far enough,” was determined to push the limits of sexual transgression, using both philosophy and his own body. His legacy of eroticizing pain and domination has unfortunately endured.

    So where are the radicals in this fight against pornography? The answer depends on who we call radical. The word radical means “to the root.” Radicals dig to the roots of oppression and start taking action there—except, apparently, when it comes to the oppression of women. How radical is it to stop digging half way for the sake of getting off?

    What is called the radical Left today isn’t really that. It’s radical in name only and looks more like an obscure collection of failing subcultures than any kind of oppositional movement. But this is the radical Left we have, and this one, far from fighting it, revels in porn.

    Just as we need to wrest our culture from the hands of the pornographers, we need to wrest our political movements from the hands of the sexists. Until we do that, so-called “radical” men will continue to prop up sexual exploitation under the excusing banner of freedom and subversion.

    This male-dominated radical Left is expressly anti-feminist. In a popular and obscene anarchist essay, “Feminism as Fascism,” the author—who is male, need I mention—ridicules feminists for drawing any connection whatsoever between porn and violence against women. He concludes that feminism—rather than, say, the multi-billion dollar porn industry—is a “ludicrous, hate-filled, authoritarian, sexist, dogmatic construct which revolutionaries accord an unmerited legitimacy by taking it seriously at all.”

    I’ve ceased to be surprised at the virulent use and defense of porn by supposedly radical—and even “anti-sexist”—men. The two have always seemed to me to go hand-in-hand.

    My first encounter with radicals was at a punk rock music show in the basement of a stinky party house. I stood awkwardly upstairs, excited but shy. Amidst the raucous crowd, a word caught my ear: “porn.” Then, another word: “scat.” Next, the guys were huddling around a computer. And I was confused . . . until I saw.

    More sophisticated than the punks, the anarchist friends I made a few years later used big words to justify their own porn lust. Railing against what they deem censorship, anarchists channel Foucault in imagining themselves a vanguard for free sexual expression, by which they really mean, men’s unbridled entitlement to the use and abuse of women’s bodies. And any who take issue with this must be, as one anarchist put it, “uncomfortable with sex” or—and I’m not making this up—“enemies of freedom.”

    The Queer subculture puts the politics of sexual libertarianism into practice. Anything “at odds with the ‘normal’ or legitimate” becomes fair game. One Queer theorist explained in specifics: “Sleaze, perversion, deviance, eccentricity, weirdness, kinkiness, BDSM and smut . . . are central to sex-positive queer anarchist lives,” she wrote. As the lives of the radicals I once counted as comrades began to confirm and give testament to this centrality, I abandoned ship.

    Pornography is a significant part of radical subcultures, whether quietly consumed or brazenly paraded. That it made me uncomfortable from the beginning did not, unfortunately, deter me from trying it myself. It seems significant though, that, despite growing up as a boy in a porn culture, my first and last time using porn was while immersed in this particular social scene. Who was there to stop me? With all semblances of feminist principles tossed to the wind, who was there to steer me from the hazards of pornography and towards a path of justice?

    The answer is no one. Why? Because the pornographers control the men who control the radical Left. Women may be kept around in the boy’s club—or boy’s cult—but only to be used in one way or another; never as full human beings. How is it a male radical can look honestly in the face of a female comrade and believe her liberation will come through being filmed or photographed nude?

    I have a dear neighbor who says, “There’s nothing progressive about treating women like dirt; that’s just what happens already.” My neighbor has little experience in the radical Left, but apparently bounds more common sense than most individuals therein. If the basic moral conscience of average people allows them to grasp the violence and degradation inherent in porn, we have to ask: what’s wrong with the radical Left?

    In a way, this let down is predictable. From ideologues like Sade and Foucault, to the macho rebellion of punk bands like the Sex Pistols, to the anarchist-endorsed Kink.com, justice—for women and for all—has been a periphery goal at best for countercultural revolutionaries. Of vastly greater priority is this notion of transgression, an attempt at “sexual dissidence and subversion which challenges the symbolic order,” the devout belief that anything not considered “normal” is radical by default.

    What is transgressive for some is business-as-usual oppression for others. As Sheila Jeffreys explains, “Transgression is a pleasure of the powerful, who can imagine themselves deliciously naughty. It depends on the maintenance of conventional morality. There would be nothing to outrage, and the delicious naughtiness would vanish, if serious social change took place. The transgressors and the moralists depend mutually upon each other, locked in a binary relationship which defeats rather than enables change.” Transgression, she contests, “is not a strategy available to the housewife, the prostituted woman, or the abused child. They are the objects of transgression, rather than its subjects.”

    Being radical is a process, not an outcome. To be radical means keeping our eyes on justice at every instance, in every circumstance. It means maintaining the agenda of justice when picking our issues and the strategy and tactics we use to take them on. Within a patriarchy, men cannot be radical without fighting sexism. This is to say that radical activism and pornography are fundamentally at odds. Where are the radicals fighting porn? The ones worth the name are already in the heat of battle, and on the side of justice, whether or not it gets us off.

    As for the rest, we’re going to have to make them. As the current radical Left self-destructs under the crushing grip of misogyny—as it already is and inevitably will—it is up to us to gather from the rubble whatever fragmented pieces of good there are left. And it is up to us to forge those pieces into a genuinely radical alternative.

    Women have been doing this work for a long time. But it is by and for men that women’s lives are stolen and degraded through pornography. And it is by and for men that the radical Left colludes with this injustice. So it must now be men—the ones with any sense of empathy or moral obligation left—who take final responsibility for stopping it. Women have already mapped out the road from here to justice. Men simply need to get on board.

    It’s no easy task taking on the cult of masculinity from the inside, but it’s a privileged position in comparison to being on the outside and, thus, its target. And this cult needs to be dismantled. Men need to take it down inside and out, from the most personal sense to the most global.

    Men can start small by boycotting porn in our own lives, both for the sake of our individual sexualities and for the sake of the many women undoubtedly suffering for its production. Through images of dehumanized women, pornography dehumanizes also the men who consume them.

    As it stands, it’s hard to tell apart the radical Left and porn culture at large. Both are based on the same rotten lie: women are objects to be publicly used.

    As it falls, the male-dominated radical Left can be replaced by something new and so desperately needed: a feminist, anti-pornography radical Left. Its goal: not the transgression of basic human rights, but the uncompromising defense of them.

    http://dgrnewsservice.org/civilization/patriarchy/pornography/beautiful-justice-left-of-porn-2/

  • radwonka

    I cant copy and past the full text so here is the link in case you want to read everything: http://dgrnewsservice.org/civilization/patriarchy/pornography/beautiful-justice-left-of-porn-2/

  • Wren

    This is a Canadian blog??? Oooohhhhh.

    I was commenting to someone from France who commented on politics in America and who insulted me (can you read??) which is the reason I responded so harshly. I would never ever tell anyone from Canada or France how they should vote because I’m not living there to feel the aftershocks.

    As much as I may like independent candidates, they will never win an election in the U.S. And if you think that I don’t do anything to fight for social programs here then you are just a smug asshole. But if you need to feel better than me, then go right ahead, I don’t really care. I have work to do.

  • Wren

    Well I guess I’m not radical enough for y’all. I’ll have to skip your next tea party.

  • Bleeps

    Is working within the system part of how it is dismantled? Could that be possible? Some people do that, and some people have made change by doing that. It doesn’t mean they support the system, it means they see no options. You seem to think we have to take down the current system as a whole first. What I am saying is that revolutions have happened, people have taken down systems, and women have suffered greatly for it.

    • Susan

      I don’t know the answers to your questions. I realize women generally suffer when governments are taken down. From my perspective things are so bad currently that I support a resistance movement that risks our situation being very bad in the short term following. Maybe things aren’t as bad where you live. As for me, I have no sense of safety and am willing to support whatever is necessary in order to dismantle the current patriarchal system. May future generations of women live free and safe from male violence.

  • Bleeps

    Sorry, it’s a phrase. I can’t remember where it’s from, but it was used for a pet — “Aww, look, he thinks he’s people.”

    What I mean is that Hillary is about as horrible as John Kerry (who also voted for the Iraq war), and yet, people aren’t desperately trying to stop ‘that evil monster’, don’t obsessively hate him the way they do her. Shoot, Al Gore’s money and privilege comes from tobacco. Bill Clinton had one of the highest approval ratings of a president — yet now, when Hillary’s running, she’s responsible for every bad thing about his administration (none of the good, though).

  • lagattamontral

    Or movements such as Podemos in the Spanish state, which has elected powerful feminist women to Parliament and as mayors of some of the largest cities there.

    When I speak of the Left, I’m not referring to a handful of violent extremists, but to people who build movements.

  • lagattamontral

    Dr Jill Stein is still around, and has a plan: http://www.jill2016.com/plan

    Similar to Naomi Klein’s “LEAP” manifesto and our programme at Québec solidaire.

  • BAC

    Jill Stein is not a feminist when she makes sexist comments about Hillary. It’s one thing to disagree with another person, and entirely different to use sexist, demeaning language to do so. Do not be fooled by Jill Stein.

    • lagattamontral

      I’m unaware of her comments; I’ll try to find them, and if this is accurate, I’ll write to her to ask her to rectify them.

      However, I am aware of Rodham-Clinton’s defence of her predatory, philandering and possibly rapist husband.

  • radwonka

    They arent garbled, it’s a personal experience, one that many feminists share when they are surrounded by leftists. The text is long because the left has a LONG history of misogyny.

    But hey, what did I expect from someone who defends leftists, I should have known that you wouldn’t care about those who denounce the blatant misogyny among the left.

    And also: don’t talk to me if you don’t want to read my answer and my arguments. What are you? A child? Is that how you defend your arguments?
    You defend something, you should expect people to disagree with you.

    Just say that you have no arguments lmfao

    • lagattamontral

      I do expect rightwingers to disagree with me. And yes, I hate you too.

    • lagattamontral

      No, I’m a boomer with 50 years’ experience in left and feminist battles, but when I say that, you accuse me of being pretentious. I don’t give a shit if you disagree with me, as you defend US imperialism.

      • radwonka

        Lmfao then why do you talk to me?
        Where did I defend imperialism? Saying that Bernie fans are misogynistic is now “defending imperialism”?
        Find a real argument for once or GTFO.

  • Wren

    So Rawonka and I are just supporters of ‘bourgeois parties”???
    You know you just “shat” on countless readers and writers here??
    But hey, we can’t all have had such an illustrious activism career such as you. It must suck to be sooooo above us commoners trying desperately to save the world from Trump.

    • lagattamontral

      my only response to your rightwing comments would be rude, so there isn’t much to say. First you accuse me of being some kind of armchair socialist-feminist, then when I provide evidence of the many feminist and workers’ causes I’ve been involved in, you are sarcastic and nasty.

  • radwonka

    Thanks! At least you took the time to read it unlike some immature leftists here =p

    And yes, I would love to hear your long story o/

  • Marie Hume

    Great comment Susan. I am not from the USA, but we have very similar problems here in Australia – no real choices in terms of voting. I think there are 2 issues here. The first one is should radical feminists be promoting/positioning themselves alongside Hilary Clinton? And I think the answer is clearly no – she is part of patriarchal capitalism and is imperialist and neo-liberal in her stance. The impact on her international policies has done incredible harm to women throughout the world – and as radical feminists we must stand against this.
    Whether you vote for her is another issue – given the lack of choices available – sometimes it is a matter of voting for the ‘least bad’ out of a bad lot – a personal decision that has to be made.
    And I would also add that I condemn any criticism of any woman which is misogynistic and degrading of women generally.

  • lagattamontral

    I must address this discussion. There are many people here, not denouncing “sexism on the left”, “misogyny on the left” or in certain cases even “sexual violence on the left”, as my sisters and comrades have done countless times over the past 50 years (I’m not quite pensionable, I’ve been a left and feminist activist since puberty), but “The Left” as a reified category that is inherently sexist, and male. Sorry, I’ve never been a man. I’ve received utterly disgusting insults here, being called “a child” when I’ve reached 60, ignorant while I have a master’s degree and speak 4 languages fluently and a lot of other horseshit. Simply because I don’t like a candidate in the country to our south who has a very poor record in terms of support for military aggression, and who didn’t even support an elementary demand for minimum wage workers, the majority of whom are women, and many racialized women, the “fight for 15” until the maligned Bernie supporters pressured her into it.

    If this type of vicious and xenophobic stuff (on the part of USians, and no, you aren’t the only “Americans” = America extends from Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic to Patagonia in the far south of Chile and Argentina), I’ll simply have to leave the forum, but I’ll continue to forward press releases on misogynist abuses to the host of this forum, as I come across them daily in my work, which does involve human rights and feminism.

    Women’s liberation has nothing to do with suport for a system of imperialism, mass murder, and the sexual exploitation of women and girls.

  • Raquel Rosario Sánchez

    Thank you so very much, Elisabet! I really appreciate it. I am very thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to learn and grow alongside such amazing feminist writers.

    I majored in International Studies with a strong emphasis on politics so it’s been real fun to combine both my passions here 🙂

  • Raquel Rosario Sánchez

    Not to interrupt with my “authors voice” here but I wanted to take a moment to say thank you all so very much, both those of you who appreciated the article and those of you who have some stern criticism, for taking the time to read through it and dissect it. It’s been a lively discussion and I appreciate your thoughtfulness here.

    Very grateful to be able to add some nuance to the conversation! 🙂

  • Beverly Bowen

    I agree about voting. Not voting isn’t a protest. It’s an abdication of responsibility. It gives politicians empowerment to act for you whether or not you like their choice. Better to show up with a write in. That shows them out matters to you. They spent time and money and still didn’t reach someone who felt it was important. That is what shows them they’ve lost votes. Not voting tells them you don’t care.

  • Wren

    Yeah it’s so illogical!! I admit I was sucker punched by it. Because I want Clinton to prevail over Trump I’m an imperialist??! It’s ludicrous. Every day I work with the most marginalized people in this country and I don’t know how I will face them if Trump wins. That’s the bottom line.

  • Allison Parks

    Thank you so much!! I tried so hard to share the very same information to people, but they were still supporting the man who accomplished nothing, who simply repeated the same words for 30 years. Calling her killary, crooked Hillary, or shrillary. Calling her an imperialist and an elitist. People claim she makes too much money when she speaks, they don’t ask where the money goes. I sure don’t see the bling bling! How do we know she’s not funding worthy causes? Misogyny says all women are lying, thieving whores….sucks that women practice it in politics.

  • Allison Parks

    It adds us to the other countries that have already been electing female leaders. Unless you’ ve gotten used to the way abortion has come under attack everywhere. That kind of says to me that we are about to lose our half human rights. Amesty declared pimping as a legitimate business. I’m feeling it’s that kind of emergency….

  • Just Me

    This article needs to be everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Seriously amazing piece.

  • EM_Gumby

    That’s the biggest problem with supporting third party politics – it’s a nice goal for “someday” but not for today.

    The two party system has real problems. But until fixing it becomes a priority little will be accomplished to improve matters. And right now it simply isn’t a priority. Most people feel that there are far more pressing issues to deal with.

  • S.r. Aichinger

    YASSSSS to this whole thing! Great piece, Raquel.

  • Meghan Murphy

    The impact Trump will have, if elected, on marginalized people and the way in which he will (and already has, in many ways) empowered bigots, is not to be taken lightly. Clinton may not be our ideal candidate, as feminists and socialists, but I think it’s ridiculous to pretend as though there is no difference between her and Trump. We should be terrified at the prospect of a Trump win, not complacent. Things are already very bad in the US, but that doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t get worse and I don’t think letting people suffer even more, in the hope they will rise up, is an ethical ‘solution’.

    • Susan

      Meghan, I agree with you that Trump as president would have horrible effects for women and other marginalized people. I was doing my best to answer Will’s theoretical question and had no intention of promoting a vote for Trump. I hope this clarifies the reason for my previous comment.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Thanks for the clarification. I read your comment to say that, if Trump wins, it might instigate a revolution, which I find to be kind of a dangerous line of thinking.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You’re setting up a false dichotomy. Feminists *are* spending their energy trying to eliminate the patriarchal system. But, in the meantime, they still have to vote and can make an educated choice about that, despite limited options. It’s not as though feminists are discarding the idea of ending in patriarchy because they’ve decided to vote for Clinton.