Since the launch of her presidential campaign, breathless supporters would have us believe a Hillary Clinton victory would be the feminist movement’s equivalent of a moon landing.
Celebrities, media figures and self-identifying feminists have leapt onto the spaceship-bandwagon along with plenty of lesser-known volunteers such as Ariel Chesler, author of a recent dispatch on the popular US website The Daily Beast, titled “Father, Husband – and Proud, Pro-Hillary Feminist.”
After describing his experience being moved to tears by a female-empowering Star Wars scene, Chesler notes that “a similar rush of emotion occurred… when I began introducing my daughters to Hillary Clinton, showing them clips of her rallies and speeches.”
According to Chesler’s analysis, Clinton and certain “superheroines” of film and television “offer us everything we’ve been waiting for” in order to dismantle the “misogyny we carry within us.” He goes on to applaud Clinton’s statement that the US needs “more love and kindness.”
But as emotionally persuasive as some might find Chesler’s tribute and others like it, this sort of Hillary-phoria conveniently ignores the fact that her policies have not and will not empower or benefit the majority of women at home or abroad. Excised from the scene is her legacy of sustaining traditions of racism and classism – two institutions that are structurally tied up with the very patriarchal system she’s portrayed as defying – not to mention, you know, her predilection for bombing other countries, which arguably isn’t the best way to transmit love and kindness.
For those interested in an unwhitewashed version of Clinton’s track record, a good place to start is False Choices: The Faux Feminism of Hillary Rodham Clinton, edited by Liza Featherstone. I myself have a short segment in the compilation, in which I primarily discuss Clinton’s integral role as US secretary of state in ensuring the success of the 2009 right-wing coup d’état in Honduras. As American economist Mark Weisbrot has pointed out, the aftermath of the coup has been characterised by skyrocketing femicides, among other disasters.
So much for feminism. READ MORE AT THE WIRE.