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The Faux Feminism of Hillary Clinton

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Netra Halperin     Permalink
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Hillary Clinton - Caricature
Hillary Clinton - Caricature
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As a woman, as a strong feminist, I am deeply offended by the media's disingenuous proclamations of Hillary Clinton's "nomination" (which she has not as of yet actually received) as a "historical moment for women." This is "fem-washing"--akin to "green-washing". It is coopting the actual uplifting of women and focusing instead on the symbolism of a woman leader. Applauding the rise of a woman to power who's actions do not support the lives of actual women (and other living things) is its own form of sexism--it is reinforcing the belief that we are no more than our bodies. Also this glorification of the gender of a political candidate distracts from the real problems that effect woman's lives. Of the issues that women face, the one that a president can most effect is the distribution of wealth in this country. Since 70% of those in poverty are women, income inequality is absolutely a "woman's issue." In this time of the shrinking middle class, "money" is the biggest concern for most women.

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Empowering women--furthering feminism is much more than the symbolism of select women in positions of power. Throughout history women have reigned as queens and priestesses, yet the majority of women's status has still remained low.

Real feminism, in addition to giving woman and girls all of the opportunities in society, also incorporates feminine values into cultural norms and governance. For instance, aside from rare exceptions, women have always been opposed to war. The classic Greek play "Lysistrata", first staged in 411 BCE, depicts this universal truth, as it dramatizes the women of Greece refusing to sleep with their husbands in an attempt to end the Peloponnesian War. War does not benefit women. Women lose sons and sweethearts to war. In invaded countries women are raped, displaced and killed. Women have nothing to gain from war. There is no heroism, no brotherly camaraderie, no coming of age adventures.

However this aversion to war is apparently not shared by Hillary Clinton. While Secretary of State she conducted military coups in Honduras, Haiti, Ukraine and Libya. These violent oustings of leaders of sovereign countries have led to more chaos, war and poverty. In reporting the brutal torture and sodomization of former ally, Libyan Prime Minister, Muammar Kaddafi, she gleefully bragged, "We came, we saw, he died." Hundreds of thousands of women in these countries have suffered immensely as a direct result of her actions. This is not a woman who deserves to represent our gender.

We elect presidents to do a job. They are not spokes-models. They are not symbols. We are not going to personally date them. Of course we need more women to be elected to all branches and levels of government, but not as appeasements and distractions as our wealth, our youth and our national soul is squandered in endless, unnecessary wars, invasions that starve our education and healthcare systems, and decrease our national security and our standing in the world.

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Ironically, the candidate in this election who most exemplifies the feminine value of compassion and who would do the most to end poverty for women, is actually a man. That candidate is Bernie Sanders, not Hillary Clinton. I too would like to have a woman president, but not this woman. What is most important now is that the feminine values of compassion and fairness are furthered. And for this reason, a Bernie Sanders presidency would actually be historical, for he would bring peace and prosperity--he would truly improve the lives of women, not just be a hollow, empty symbol--mocking the advancement of women.

(Article changed on June 12, 2016 at 01:19)

(Article changed on June 12, 2016 at 05:28)

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Executive Producer, PEACE FILMS peacefilms.net; B.A. Women Studies; M.A. Feminist Therapy; Former Commissioner at Maui County Committee on the Status of Women; Writer; Former Executive Producer at Netra's News; Former Legislative Analyst at (more...)
 

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