Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sanders feminists versus Clinton feminists: illustrating the main schools of contemporary feminism

I'm watching the fight between Sanders feminists and Clinton feminists with fascination. If you're an identitarian feminist, or what Christina Hoff Sommers calls a gender feminist, you probably think this is presumptuous of a man. If you're an egalitarian feminist, or what Christina Hoff Sommers calls an equity feminist, you probably don't give a damn.

Clinton feminists can be divided into two overlapping groups:

1. Identitarian feminists who think what matters most is the success of a woman.

2. Neoliberal feminists who oppose a high minimum wage and universal health care while supporting the US's for-profit prison industry, even though all three disproportionately harm working class women.

Sanders feminists can also be divided into two overlapping groups:

1. Pragmatic feminists who may have an identitarian streak but recognize that Sanders' policies matter more than his identity.

2. Socialist feminists whose concern is with women of all hues in the working class.

I'm very encouraged by the fact younger feminists disproportionately prefer Sanders. The exceptions in that group tend to be very privileged young women (in the traditional sense of privilege) who prefer the woman who has their class interest at heart.

Regarding Madeline Albright's "special place in hell" for women who don't support Clinton, I'm confident there's a special place in hell for women like Albright. In 1996, when Albright served Bill Clinton, Leslie Stahl asked her this question about the deaths caused by the sanctions on Iraq: "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" Albright answered, "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it."

Perhaps as a reward for saying that, Clinton gave Albright the job that Obama gave Hillary Clinton.

ETA: "There's a special place in Hell for people who say there's a special place in Hell for other people" -John Podhoretz

ETA 2: Women for Bernie Sanders 2016