The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Who is the Feminist Candidate?

This sort of thing is why feminists keep losing effective abortion access.


And by “this sort of thing” I mean preferring the “identity” candidate over the one whose policies are actually good for the group in question.

“She is one of us, so she must be better for us.”


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  1. Lisa

    100% correct. Sadly history is full of quislings.

  2. Shh

    Rich. lol. I hadn’t put that one together. I’ve hated Shillary so long it never crossed my mind.

  3. cripes


    Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, who was at least African on his father’s side, distinguished himself, among other things, by attacking Libya and North Africa, where he was born. So much for uplifting the race.

    It is the tragedy of the civil rights movement, which championed equal representation of excluded groups in economic and political office, to have decayed into the cynical and all-too-effective charade we now have. It has become the tool of the oppression it fought to eradicate.

    But the elites, who know the history of betrayals best, saw the opportunity and seized it. They always do.

    People should not always fall for it.

  4. V. Arnold

    They’re all a pack of galoots. The harradin Clinton is one of the worst. “We came, we saw, he died.”; followed by her laughing like a hyena. What a pillar of feminism, no?
    The U.S. is just pathetically uneducated/under-educated and functionally incapable of even the most basic critical thinking skills.
    The shiny, glittering generalities are sprinkled everywhere.

  5. Lisa

    The most fundamental right a woman has to have is her control over her own fertility.

    That she chooses when (or if) and whom to have children with..

    That she has the legal rights and the physical access to the tools of contraception and abortion, without which a woman is just one rape away from being an unperson, reduced to a womb and a child rearing machine.

  6. Hugh

    If nothing else, this election year should have beaten into all our heads the sheer emptiness of words. Trump is a walking mass of incoherent, inflammatory, and contradictory statements. He doesn’t care because he figures it is not about what he says but the anger with things as they are he is able to channel.

    Curiously, Clinton employs the same amount of incoherence and contradiction, but as the status quo candidate without the inflammatory component. So while Clinton has supported job destroying free trade agreements for 20 years, she now promises to fight for American workers. She now calls herself a progressive although she has shunned them throughout her career and has always treated them with complete contempt. She is owned by Wall Street, but now she is going to rein it in. She is the experienced candidate although her career is filled with disaster and scandal. She is the feminist with the philandering husband, has surrogates who attack the young women who do not support her, and triangulates on abortion.

    What Trump and Clinton have in common is that we are all rubes to them. We want words. They will give us words. That everything they have done in their whole lives belies those words means nothing, because the words mean nothing. They are just a means to power, period.

  7. V. Arnold

    Oh, and just to be clear; I’m a recovering “feminist”.
    I view feminism, feminists, as just one more ism/ists; an ideology to be followed.
    I have never, in my very long life, ever thought women should have a “place” accorded by their gender.
    I do not, nor have I ever, needed an outside “ology” to direct my life or view of “it”.
    I had a very independent mother who damn well did as she saw fit (she was a pioneer and a father who supported her 100%.
    All forms of discrimination is in bed with, a relative of, racism and bigotry.
    Fight the correct fight; not some bullshit ology, which is not coming from your heart and humanity…

  8. V. Arnold

    Re: my mother: She was a pioneer in planned parenthood. Sorry for the cock-up.

  9. markfromireland

    @ Lisa March 8, 2016

    The most fundamental right a woman has to have is her control over her own fertility.

    This is precisely the kind of wooly thinking that has hindered feminism from its inception.

    1: A woman by virtue of her humanity has to have a right to life.
    2: A woman by virtue of her humanity has to have a right to physical integrity.

  10. V. Arnold

    Oh great! I get moderated and deleted for saying my mother was a pioneer in planned parenthood?

  11. The answers were as typical and as revealing of the candidates as anythig I’ve heard yet. Sanders keeps it simple, while Clinton has to be “on the record” and and does her usual triangulation, even including the “life and health of the mother” dodge.

    Since the procedure is virtually never done for any reason other than “the life and health of the mother,” she favors prohibiting it except when the reason for doing it is the one for which the process is almost always done. This is the sort of triangulation for which the Clintons are infamous. It gives her credit for being “pro-choice,” while at the same time giving her a foot in the “pro-life” camp.

  12. Ian Welsh

    Comments are sent to moderation by the system automatically. It’s nothing personal, completely automated. Sometimes the system makes odd choices, but it also catches about 6 thousand spam messages a year, so it’s not something I can do without.

    I usually check the website a few times a day, but it’s always possible I’m away from internet, sick or whatever for some reason.

  13. someofparts

    When all is said and done, women need to be politically organized as women. The entire point of those 70s consciousness-raising groups was to wake women up to the fact that many of our problems were not private issues, where the remedy is personal effort, but rather political ones where the solutions require organized collective efforts on our parts.

    When my grandmother was a single mom trying to feed two children, women were not legally allowed to use company health plans to cover their children. Only men were allowed to do that at the time. Problems like that don’t get solved by improved personal attitudes. They get fixed by working with others subjected to the same disadvantages to bring pressure on those who make the rules.

    As far as Hillary goes, I’ve watched the generation of middle class women who made it out of the pink collar employment ghettos claim the mantle of feminism for themselves. Their claim to that mantle seems to have included the idea that women who have not prevailed economically are not feminists.

    So yes, on my own fussy terms, I share the disillusionment expressed here with all of those movements that were so inspiring when I was young.

    So what now? I’m watching the Republican party die right here, right now. An article in the Nation that I was reading before I wandered over here pointed out that all the neocons rats will be hopping onto Hillary’s ship of state, so the Democrats are about to start smelling even worse than they already do.

    Bernie really is the only one making all the sense in the world, so maybe that’s a place to start. Hook up with that for the long hall. Lose the election but win the long war.

  14. nihil obstet

    “Feminists” endorsing politicians who would restrict abortion rights is not just a matter of identity. It’s a matter of self-styled leaders believing they’re protecting their own access to the in-group by sucking up to members of said group. Like the unions who failed to endorse Edwards in 2008, despite his being the only candidate clearly and strongly supporting the unions.

    The gold standard of selling out your members and your cause so that you can be one of the Kool Kids came in 2006 when NARAL and Planned Parenthood endorsed Joe “short ride” Lieberman who ran as an independent after losing the Democratic primary over strong pro-choice Democratic upstart Ned Lamont. (“short ride” comes from Lieberman’s statement that hospitals should not be required to provide contraception assistance to rape victims– the morning after pill — if they had “principled reasons” not to do so. Said Lieberman, “In Connecticut, it shouldn’t take more than a short ride to get to another hospital”.)

  15. shh

    If women = equal,
    equal = autonomous,
    women = autonomous

    if this is true, then “women need to be politically organized as women.” makes absolutely no sense and in fact is simply a means to disempower through aggregation.

    Now, the assumption underwriting a great deal of this discourse is that autonomy (aka “free-will”) is part and parcel of the social contract, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.

  16. This analysis neglects a great deal of why people vote for members of their own identity group via the same excessively materialistic attitude towards political choices. I am very much willing to grant that Bernie Sanders is better on most if not all measures on matters material, but failure to understand why that might not be enough is to me one of the drivers of political failure for the sort of progressivism espoused on this blog and comment section.

    “She is one of us, so she must be better for us.”


    That is not the logic many Hillary supporters are using nor is it entirely the logical that was used to support Barack Obama. Rather, consider (for example) that people may instead be thinking that their children might see someone “like them” in an important identity-characteristic break through the last rank-barriers of American society.

    Because of the disadvantage, at least, of no historic precedent, it is usually the case that members of underrepresented groups break ground for their group via a path close to the establishment. The first black president of the USA was a centrist Democrat, and the first female president of the USA is very likely to be an establishment Democrat or Republican, tainted in the ways in which such are tainted.

  17. As I said in the comments to another post, when y’all can see how someone might look at an “#ObamaAndKids” Twitter pic and not only see it through a purely cynical lens is when you might start making political headway faster than you have.

  18. Ian Welsh

    In fact, many of the feminists do argue she is better for women and not just because they want their kids to see it, though yeah, that’s one reason. I didn’t address that reason, because that reason in legitimate and it’s not what this post is about. (I am on the record, on Twitter, in the past in saying that it’s legitimate, I just don’t think it’s a good enough reason. Others, obviously, disagree.)

    Not quite as stupid or tone-deaf as you insist on thinking. Just not writing the articles you seem to think I should.

    Oh, and note that Sanders is doing far better than any left-wing candidate has in ages, despite being an “out Socialist”. So, perhaps the strategy those who prefer candidates like Bernie are pursuing is reaping results.

    Certainly a significant majority of under-30 year olds seem to think so. Might be that we are the future.

    You’re going to get a populist rammed down your throat soon. You better hope it’s a left wing one.

  19. fds

    Rather, consider (for example) that people may instead be thinking that their children might see someone “like them” in an important identity-characteristic break through the last rank-barriers of American society.

    Just like how after Disraeli became Prime Minister, systemic anti-Semitism just disappeared throughout the entire British world…

  20. Lisa

    Just look at the polls, women, especially young women are not conned and are Sanders supporters

  21. Lisa

    Good article over at Naked Capitalism

    The thing that has to be remembered is those that don’t vote are just as important as those who do. Simply put a lot of the Dem voters won’t for Clinton, no matter what their respective community/etc ‘leaders’ say.

    If the rumours are true and HRC goes for the ‘moderate Republican’ vote in the election, swathes of Dem voters will drop her.

    Sometimes comments can be very telling, these ones fascinated me (the last one sums it up perfectly):
    “I am a recovering republican. I would vote for Bernie in a heartbeat… given the tripe offered by the GOP. But I could not vote for Hillary.”

    “I suspect you’re not alone in this. One of my neighbors here in rural Vermont is a die-hard conservative who voted for Kasich in the primary. He told me that he’d vote for Bernie in the general election over Trump.”

    “I am a democrat and I won’t vote for Hillary. ”

    “Just from my interactions with people who don’t pay much attention to politics I would say Hillary as nominee has quagmire written all over it”

    “I find it interesting the realignment that appears to be taking place. I know plenty of Trump voters who would cross over to vote Sanders over an establishment Republican. I know plenty of Sanders voters who would cross over to vote Trump over Clinton.”

    “Reminds me of the Scottish independence vote really- no real left/right breakdown, but comfortable vs those sick of status quo.”

  22. Lisa

    Don’t mistake the DC elite feminists for all feminists, they are not by any means, in fact they are a small minorty (white middle class and above, 2nd gen feminism), what is happening out in the real world is far more dynamic and radical.

  23. S Brennan

    Exactly Ian, me thinks Hillary’s band, “Electability” doth play one note too much

    “Oh, and note that Sanders is doing far better than any left-wing candidate has in ages, despite being an “out Socialist”.

    But I dunno about this one;

    “You’re going to get a populist rammed down your throat soon.”

    I still see Hillary stealing the nomination and Trump being steamrolled by a DBA, resulting in a Hillary coronation. “We came; We saw; he died” cackle cackle, cackle, said the murderous war criminal, to the polite applause of “liberals”.

  24. Ian Welsh

    By soon I didn’t mean this election, necessarily. But Trump and Sanders both show it’s viable.

  25. Tony Wikrent

    Watching the death of the Republican Party? No, probably not. Look, even the issue of slavery and the frigging US Civil War could not kill off the Democratic Party in the 1860s.

    And where do you think all those 40 million or so conservative and libertarian voters are going to go?

    I’ve witnessed the announcement of the death of the Democratic Party after the election and re-election of Nixon in 1972 and 1976, the death of the Republican Party after Watergate, the death of the Democratic Party after the election and re-election of Reagan in 1980 and 1984, and most recently, the death of the Republican Party after the election and re-election of Obama. By 2008 and 2012, this nonsense was getting me pretty peeved. 2008 was the worst: does anyone recall those photos of Obama with his big smile, captioned, “Chill, I’ve got this.” ? Like it was the dawn of a new liberal golden age or something, because an identity candidate had won the Oval Office. All I had to do was look at the economics team Obama and the other candidates had assembled, to know that there were hard times a-coming.

    Here’s the link if you don’t believe me. From even before the election, January 2008:

    My prognosis: The Republican Party and the conservative and libertarian movements are going to be just like economic neo-liberalism since the 2007-8 financial crash: brain dead zombies. You can slay them, then kill them, then finish them off for good, but they’re just gonna keep shuffling along with a menacing rumble in their throat. Zombies. No matter how many times you kill ’em.

  26. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    I ran a search for “DBA” and did not find any answer which makes sense in the context of Brennan’s last post. What does “DBA” mean?

  27. different clue

    If it comes down to Trump versus Clinton, does anyone believe that Clinton would authorize any less or different torture than Trump bragged about authorizing? Only she would do it in stealthy secret, behind a veil of silence. Whereas people would be watching Trump harder, based on his public brags, and he might find it harder to authorize ( and be obeyed) with the whole world watching and listening.

    Meanwhile, Sanders appears to be bringing an element of “rolling teach-in” to his campaign.
    If his supporters have the multi-decades patience that he had ever since college, they might be able to conquer and remake the DemParty the way the Evangelicals and radical propertarians
    and White grievance nationalists have been able to conquer and remake the RepParty. Whether he wins the nomination or loses it, one of the most valuable things Sanders can do is remind the Sandernistas that he will be retired and finally dead in due time . . . and perhaps describe to them just how the Right-to-HardRight Teavangelicals and such took over the R party, and how a long term Newer Deal movement might take over and purge the D party in the same way over several decades. ( Yes of course faster would be nicer).

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