No 2016 was not a ‘Post Gender Election’
Photo: Mike Peters
You got to love RBG. She says what’s on her mind. And what she says here is clearly true but still helpful for her of all people to say it: of course gender was a factor in 2016 and it was not a small or incidental one-maybe even bigger than Hillary not going to Michigan the last Saturday-after the Comey letter had already decided it anyway.
“Ginsburg, in conversation with journalist Charlie Rose, spoke on a wide range of issues during an event at the 92nd Street Y, including her future on the court, her legendary exercise routine, her mentors and advice she had for young women. When asked about Clinton ― the first female presidential nominee for a major political party ― and her loss in last year’s election, however, Ginsburg commented that sexism was a “major, major factor.”
“Do I think so? I have no doubt that it did,” she said.
I’m sure the fact that she was the first female Presidential nominee and the first they wanted to ‘Lock up’ had no relation at all.
In The Destruction of Hillary Clinton, Susan Bordo makes an important point about the illusion that 2016 was a ‘post gender election.’ Many young women also had this illusion.
“Despite the racial and international turbulence, the presence of the Obamas in the White House—while infuriating to white supremacists and a political annoyance to the GOP—was deceptively comforting to those of us who cared passionately about social justice issues, women’s equality included. THIS IS WHAT A FEMINIST LOOKS LIKE: Obama proudly held the T-shirt in front of him, and we knew it wasn’t pandering. It was real. You only had to look at and listen to Michelle Obama—or see pictures of Barack and Michelle together, and with their daughters—to know that. With the Obamas in charge, with reproductive rights still secure for the economically privileged, with the right to marry whomever you loved, and (seemingly) a new cultural permission to be whatever sex (or combination, or none at all) you felt yourself to be, it was easy for younger women in particular to imagine that the gender wars were over, and that those who persisted in foregrounding “women’s issues” were a victimizing relic of the past.”
In other words, young women among other progressives had a false sense of security. This, by the way, is why I personally found the frustration of Gloria Steinem quite understandable.
It’s very notable to compare the attitude towards Obama’s historical run as the first Black Presidential nominee and towards Hillary as the first female Presidential nominee.
The fact is, I have yet to meet the Clinton supporter whose support was based on the “single factor” of her gender.”
As about as fervent a male Hillary Clinton supporter as you’ll find-I can attest to that. Certainly I-since 1992-dreamed of a day when Hillary would be able to truly say history made.
But for me, my support of her is chiefly that I feel we’re ideological soul mates-both Center Left pragmatists who get it that what matters most is ‘getting progressive stuff done’ not talking about how just progressive stuff is.
What I share with Hillary is a belief that outcomes matter most not only showing how pure you are. The Bernie Bros who didn’t vote for Hillary-the Bernie or Bust movement-claim to have no responsibility for Trump.
This is only true if you don’t factor consequences or outcomes in evaluating your political actions. These are folks who think what matters most is what was in their heart when they chose not to lift a finger to stop Trump in 2016, not the outcome of their not lifting a finger to stop him.
“At the same time, it’s striking to me how effectively this election cycle managed to silence any excitement over the possibility of electing a woman. Why were we bullied into suppressing these feelings? It certainly hadn’t happened when we celebrated the first black president; African Americans refused to be cowed into hiding their delight over Barack Obama. As the mother of a teenager who is both black and female, I want her world to be one in which we recognize the struggles and achievements of both identities without being accused of playing a “card.”
Right. It’s like even mentioning gender in 2016 was somehow ‘cheating’ on Hillary’s side. Though Trump was allowed to play the ‘gender card’-like when he stated that if she were a man, HRC wouldn’t have gotten 5% of the vote.
Bernie to clearly agreed with that though he never put it as crudely as Trump; Bernie said ‘It’s not enough to say ‘I’m a woman vote for me.’
Years ago, when she made it to Congress-the first Black woman to do so-Shirley Chisholm had argued that in Congress she believed she was more discriminated against as a woman than as an African-American.
I think when you compare 2008 to 2016 that is affirmed. Indeed, Obama himself during the primary let his hair down in an interview with Politico’s Glenn Thrush and had argued that there were significant ways in which Hillary had it harder than he did.
Remember at this time we’d never in our history had either a Black or a female President.
At this point we have to say that Chisholm’s own experience is confirmed.
P.S. Hello! I’m Mike Sax Democratic candidate for NY2. If you want to ride the Impeachment Train all the way to Washington DC in 2019 then please vote for me, Mike Sax NY2.
And-get it on the t shirt.