My generation of feminists won some significant battles, and so brilliant younger women need not make feminism their absolute priority. I was 18 when the Feminine Mystique was published, 23 when the second feminist movement began. Belatedly, I have realized this week that feminism is my make- or -break issue. But my absolute commitment to feminist issues would not necessarily make me a Clinton supporter.
Please struggle to understand this. Men and women can be feminists. Clinton, although the target of hundreds of thousands of vituperative misogynist attacks, has not committed herself to a feminist platform. If Obama campaigned as a feminist, spoke out against the sexistattacks against Clinton, and made family issues an essential part of his platform, I would work for him in a heartbeat. I am sure Michelle Obama could write eloquent speeches for him. That he doesn't seem to be considering a potentially winning strategy indicates how thoroughly feminist and family issues have fallen beneath the political radar. I can't figure out why.
I might even prefer to vote for feminist Obama than a beleaguered Clinton. Voters would find it much more possible to understand feminist issues if a younger candidate was explicating them. Even as I type, I am struggling whether I should add "a younger male" candidate.
I was flabbergasted when Obama's aide Jesse Jackson jr. seemed to be competing with Chris Matthews for woman hater of the day. Obama's failure to repudiate or fire Jackson offers me no security he even understands feminism, never mind supports it. Perhaps his daughters need to educate him.