"Women like Albright and Clinton—who have climbed the ladders of the political establishment—are to be strongly commended for the chauvinist barriers they have undoubtedly faced and overcome. But in breaking through the glass ceiling, they have conducted themselves first and foremost as skillful politicians rather than as progressive women."
I am not sure if you are being purposely opaque, Ms. Kolhatkar, or overly respectful.
Wouldn't it be more fair to say that if and when women achieve positions of power within the hierarchies that patriarchal capitalism built, that if they reinforce Establishment Positions, they are selling out on anything that might be termed Feminist OR Progressive?
Bodies put in place to march lockstep represents tokenism... it's hardly any threat to the system.
The challenge is for those who ARE outsiders (of the world designed for and about patriarchal dominators) to CHANGE the system once they are granted entrance into it.
Ironically, there are men like Bernie Sanders who present a greater challenge even though they could otherwise enjoy the privileges that come with gender and race.
With so much police brutality aimed at the Black community in the news, and with a predominantly Black city like Flint facing long-term lead poisoning to its most vulnerable children... can anyone really credit Obama with improving the lives of Black citizens?
And for all the fake promises held up to the Latino Dreamers, progress is YET to be seen on that front.
When the outer person alone is held up as a representation of change... that's just packaging over substance. Plenty of GENUINELY Progressive Feminists would love a chance to alter the political, social, legal, and academic status quo(s). So would lots of brilliant Blacks, Latinos, and others.
The System carefully vets those it allows close to the throne.
Now, THIS is potent:
"Clinton is banking on voters seeing her through a similar lens—as a candidate whose female gender will be enough to quell desires for change and distract the electorate from her Wall Street campaign donations, large personal wealth, foreign policy disasters and former board membership at Walmart."
And so is this. Bravo!
"Clinton wants voters to see her as a successful woman who has broken through the political glass ceiling and earned her credentials to be commander-in-chief. Indeed, through the Clinton Foundation, the former secretary of state initiated a program called No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project, aimed at the “full and equal participation of women in political, civil, economic, social and cultural life.” Such a program reflects a standard liberal feminist approach to women’s rights that ignores the fact that all women need to have the floor raised in order to break through any ceilings. The full rights of women to food, water, shelter, education, employment and health care are subservient to tokenism in political arenas that often keep people who are at the bottom, well, at the bottom."
Words have been morphed to mean other than what they were originally intended to mean.
During my formative years, a Conservative was obviously the champion of personal independence, personal achievement, and "screw you... as long as I got mine."
The definition for a Liberal now seems to fit the above.
Formerly, the liberal was the individual committed to social values that spread benefits, opportunities, and justice around.
Inasmuch as the Conservative was the Mars-Yang-Individualist, the Liberal was the Venus-Yin-keeper of a more egalitarian social order, i.e. the caring community.
Mrs. Clinton has always come off as a Republican.... tainting the former Brand of Liberal and/or Democrat.
I see that you tie it all together by the end of this well-written article. Great stuff!
From Kolhatkar's article:
"This is the type of identity politics that has long been favored by the U.S. liberal establishment precisely because it distracts us from the political demands of progressive and independent voters."
True, grassroots popular "identity politics" demands justice for all, and fights for justice for excluded and oppressed social groups. Black Lives Matter because all lives matter, and demands justice for black people in the USA where plainly and institutionally black lives are often treated as disposable.
Fake, liberal establishment "identity politics" prefers tokenism of individual, establishment-vetted members of oppressed social groups, a mask rather than true justice. Thus President Obama is "evidence" that the USA is achieving "post-racial" status, and a President Clinton will be "evidence" of "our" overcoming institutional sexism, while each ignores or pays lip-service to the fundamental "political demands of progressive and independent voters."
One's genitals are no measure of one's compassion and decency.
"Identity politics" are the cousin of AFFINITY CRIME that results from members of a specific ethnic, religious or other group trust members of their own group above non-members.
Bernie Madoff preying upon fellow Jewish people is a classic example.
Through that lens, we can see the 2008 Obama campaign as containing elements of such an "affinity crime."
"Remember that the war in Afghanistan was supported by liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans alike."
The war was supported by NEOLIBERALS and their conservative kin. Liberal Democrats are rare these days.
Who needs to demonize liberals when they demonize themselves?
Hell, from that lens we can see long reigns of several presidencies with recent standouts including Hoover, Nixon, and then from Reagan through to Obama.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Very well spake.
"The challenge is for those who ARE outsiders .... to CHANGE the system once they are granted entrance into it. .....Plenty of GENUINELY Progressive Feminists would love a chance to alter the political, social, legal, and academic status quo(s).
So why don't we give one of them that chance?
I do not see why a discussion about gender in politics, about whether a woman in the Presidency is enough, needs us to discuss people's genitals.
I'd prefer it if you'd said, "One's gender is no measure of one's compassion and decency."
Want to know something? If all things were equal between two candidates, or near equal, on their policies, experience and character, but one is a woman, then I would support the woman over the man, the same way I'd support the person of color over the white person or the LGBT person over the straight-cis person. These divides do exist and there are such things as entrenched privilege and working to subvert that privilege is a good thing to move towards ending sexism, racism, homophobia and transphobia.
But Hillary Rodham Clinton is no where near equal in policies or character to Bernie Sanders. (I'd actually prefer Dr. Jill Stein, but that's another discussion.)
This woman here literally wept when we started bombing Afghanistan. I wept that my nation's government was killing innocent people in a war that was unnecessary... and this was before I had any questions about the official narrative of 9-11.
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hello siouxrose1: nice to see you again on blog. Your points are always well made and I agree 100%. Also the author.of the article said important points very well. Indeed, to believe a woman will be more "compassionate" in policies, etc,, is the height of sexism! It's almost laughable to think otherwise.
The face that Hillary is being backed by so much of the establishment shows she is not going to change
anything. Her "disastrous foreign policy" is an understatement - why is there no coverage of what is
going on in Libya, where ISIS has moved in to that failed state because of Obama & Hillary?
It's not that we need just any woman President, but we need the right woman president. Mrs. Clinton is not that woman, since she "bought in" to the current capitalist model hook line and sinker.
How very youthful all the respondents seem to me. I am an older woman who has always believed in choice and spent many years of my life working to keep women on birth control & supporting their right to choose. I was a nurse practitioner at Planned Parenthood for 20 years and proud of it. The blatant lies about the organization are abominable. Hillary has always believed in choice and Planned Parenthood. She has supported women globally.
I am a woman who over and over fought off men who thought because I was attractive, they had the right to fondle me and considered me just a "vagina". I am a woman who was overlooked for higher positions at times because I was too "aggressive"
A woman in the presidency IS enough when it is Hillary who can rise above the slings and arrows that are constantly thrown at her. Rome was not built in a day.
I like the Bern. He can help Hillary move more to the left. Let us not forget his stance on guns. Aren't you young women tired of testosterone?
Given the number and level of critical classified email handling errors Ms. Clinton has facilitated; it's clear that competency is not her strong suit. Regardless of her compassion or decency; having some level of ability to make decisions is clearly needed.
Women overall are as deeply split by the class war as men, middle class vs. the poor. As much as this issue has been ignored since the B. Clinton administration, this will play an important role in voting decisions in November. The Clintons together worked hard to implement the neoliberal agenda that has taken an especially heavy toll on women.
I rather think that if government policy takes a heavy toll on women, it takes an equally heavy toll on men, but in a different way. Irrespective of what women may think, men also suffer stress and low self-esteem when they cannot seem to manage bringing home the bread and cannot grow a career. This leads to problems; it can indeed to lead to violence either to family or to oneself. The seemingly increasing political divide between men and women, the war of the sexes, as James Thurber, caroonist, had it so many years ago, is in no person's interest. Irrespective of political correctness, women's and men's brains work differently and as such produce different views that if brought into collaboration can be very powerful. I for one don't give a tinker's cuss whether the POTUS is female, male, or a left handed black Martian, as long as that person shows compassion and decency and leads the USA into that position both internally and externally. Clearly, she of the pursed mouth, narrowed eyes and overweening ambition is not that person. I know nothing of Jill Stein, not being USAian, but Bernies Sanders can have the job of British PM any day he chooses, as far as I am concerned.