Yes, I know I promised a look at Secretary Clinton’s position on income inequality today, but this is an issue that is too important (at least to me) to ignore for a few days.
While eventually the reporter qualified her question (by asking if Clinton wins in California will he keep fighting), her attitude and her question implies a certain second-wave feminist attitude. As I’ve stated before, second-wave feminism seems to have had a number of flaws, including the idea that in order to be a feminist you must support a woman simply because she is biologically a woman. Don’t even get me started on what some of the other flaws were (including the “whitewashing” (i.e. the white female experience must be exactly what any other ethnic female experience is).
As a woman myself, I rebel against this attitude. As a feminist, I want EQUALITY not female supremacy. As a feminist, I measure female leaders by the exact same yardstick as I measure male leaders. As a feminist, I want to have the most qualified AND the most ethical person in any given position, regardless of their gender.
Is it sexist for Senator Sanders to be in the race? No.
Was this reporter’s attitude and interaction with Senator Sanders appropriate or reasonable? I don’t believe so. First off, she cuts in without waiting to be called on and continues pushing even while Senator Sanders is trying his best to be courteous. Then, when she gets her way, she basically asks whether or not he believes it to be sexist to be opposing Secretary Clinton. When he laughs at it and asks for clarification, she puts the qualifier of “…if Secretary Clinton wins on Tuesday…” (essentially if she wins California primaries).
This kind of behavior from a feminist is exactly why many of us — including myself — have taken a long time to label ourselves as feminists. Insisting that a woman must take precedence over anyone else in the room is not equality, it’s matriarchy, just like males getting all the attention and precedence is patriarchy.
Look, I’m loud, boisterous and tend to be quite opinionated. But, the reality is that actual human communication cannot always be always about ourselves. I should not run roughshod over anyone else when trying to have a conversation (which, sadly, I sometimes do – and need to be reminded that I’m doing it). Communication requires give and take, not constantly take.
If everything in our lives has to be labeled as an “-ism” we are never going to get anywhere because we are going to be stuck in defining what is and what is not the “-ism” under discussion. The IMPORTANT issue is to focus on defining equality and actually getting to the point where we by default treat each other as equals.
In this particular issue between Sanders and Clinton, many of Clinton’s supporters are forgetting what happened at the beginning of the primary race. Not all super-delegates are bound by the decision of their associated state’s population. And many of those super-delegates who are NOT bound by their state’s decision jumped in and gave Clinton their vote without even waiting for the state primaries. And so did the Democratic party leaders.
THAT is why many of us believe the delegate system is flawed. Super-delegates should be bound to vote the same as their state’s population has done. Party leaders should wait until the people have spoken to crown a democratic candidate. This has been a power-play from the very beginning.
Frankly, given that Senator Sanders has support across BOTH party lines (yes, there are Republicans who support him!), part of me wishes he would run as an Independent. If Minnesotans can vote in Jesse Ventura as a governor (yes, I know, he was a bit of a joke) even with both a Democratic and Republican candidate, then the entire U.S. can do so as well.
And it would put both parties in their place. It would remind them that just like many of the political parties before them, they can disappear into history if they insist they are the people in power.