Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Trickle-Down Feminism

A Clinton supporter was recently trying to gloss over the fact that her neoliberal policies would be much harder on working women (and men, of course) than Sanders' democratic socialism by claiming Clinton had made advances for women while she served on the board at Wal-Mart. The supporter linked to As a Director, Clinton Moved Wal-Mart Board, but Only So Far - The New York Times, which, being the Times, puts the best possible spin on the facts, but the truth is there for people who read critically:
Fellow board members and company executives, who have not spoken publicly about her role at Wal-Mart, say Mrs. Clinton used her position to champion personal causes, like the need for more women in management and a comprehensive environmental program, despite being Wal-Mart’s only female director, the youngest and arguably the least experienced in business. On other topics, like Wal-Mart’s vehement anti-unionism, for example, she was largely silent, they said.
I quit thinking more women in a system would improve it when Maggie Thatcher became Prime Minister of Great Britain. Systems don't care who runs them; they only need to run.

What's significant about Clinton's six Wal-Mart years is that on the issue that would've most helped working women, unionism, she stayed silent. Wal-Mart has more women in management and a showcase environmental program now, and she deserves some credit for that. But is Wal-Mart today the model for America that Democrats want?

I had been thinking neoliberal feminists should be called Marie Antoinette feminists because they're mostly nice people who want a nice hierarchy in which the peasants are content being peasants. But because neoliberalism is profoundly corporatist, I think I'll just speak of trickle-down feminists from now on.

ETA: Here's Ms. C. being proud of Wal-Mart:

ETA 2:

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