Hillary Clinton: A Feminist Progressive We Can Believe In… Or Can We?
This weekend Hillary Clinton officially announced her candidacy for presidency!
Wow! A woman president? How progressive! Finally marginalized people will have a voice!
Ehhhh not really.
Hillary Clinton is a woman, and it would be revolutionary to have a woman be the President of the United States, no one is denying that.
But the idea that just because she’s a woman all her policies will be progressive and in support of marginalized identities is false.
As we see in white feminism all the time, white women often push WOC, trans women, queer women, and poor women to the side or even go so far as the actively discriminate against them. Being a woman does not automatically mean you’re in solidarity with all women, you can still perpetuate the patriarchy and other harmful systems of power like white supremacy.
The US’ foreign policy has always been racist and made the lives of people of color expendable. This is no different today with President Obama, and as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton participated in this directly. Drone attacks alone have killed thousands of civilians, and she has been a vocal supporter of the Israeli occupation which has resulted in the murder and displacement of countless Palestinians. She has also urged the US to support dictatorships and oust a democratically elected leader in Honduras.
Clinton’s words against human rights violations hold little to no weight as she continues to ignore US Allies’ abuses. One cannot preach the evils of civilian deaths and then participate in them or ignore them when pro-Western governments are responsible.
This is not new however; Clinton is simply following in the footsteps of previous US politicians and the long tradition of US hypocrisy. But his begs the question, if she is simply promoting the status quo, what makes her progressive?
It is true that she has been vocal about keeping abortion legal, and she has changed her mind and decided to support gay marriage.
But is this really so progressive or just the minimum of human decency? When did politicians become so awful that supporting the right to choose became a revolutionary sentiment? Unfortunately it seems like this has always been the case in US politics.
People herald her as a feminist inspiration, but where is the evidence? She supports capitalist and corporate ideas, which in turn hurt poor women and women of color. Where’s the feminism in supporting Wal-Mart and staying silent as they tried to destroy unions? Clinton has proudly talked of her role in gutting welfare benefits. What is feminist about that? The main recipients of welfare are women and children, shouldn’t it be feminist to support these women and their families by giving them financial assistance?
All politicians make mistakes, this is a fact of life, and I’m not intending to say Clinton is the only politician to support murder and imperialism. But I continuously see people raise her up as a hero and become blind to her multitudes of problems. I know I was immediately asked by friends about how ecstatic I must be to see a feminist woman running for president. It goes without saying that they were a bit shocked at my response and lack of enthusiasm.
I feel it is important to point out that Clinton has experienced a lot of sexist critiques and unfounded complaints all because she is a woman. That is a huge problem in our society; the media bases female politician’s worth on their appearance and has a history of ignoring their views. So don’t dislike Clinton because she is a woman or because she wears pantsuits. Instead be angry at her policies and practices, be angry that she could be so much better but instead perpetuates white-supremacist capitalist imperialist ideas, the same ones her male counterparts do.
But she’s female so it’s all good and progressive right? Her pro-choice beliefs and sudden support of gay marriage make it possible to sweep her imperialist pursuits under the rug? Maybe the knowledge that she defended a child rapist will change your opinion, after all feminists don’t support child rapists or the murder of innocent civilians.
As seems to be the theme for all my articles thus far, I urge you all to hold people accountable for their actions, and question how progressive those we herald as progressive actually are.
[Featured Image: Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Logo, Photo Credit:https://www.hillaryclinton.com/]
Part of the problem is ‘do I need to show basic levels of decency’ is under contention. When you are running against the current US Republican party it’s not hard to look like a feminist progressive in comparison, even if you have a lot of places where you need work.
What can we do? Practically no one else is running(at least not yet). Bernie Sanders is the only “may run” I’ve heard of with much progressive credibility on his own. Maybe Biden, who at least has the positive record of kicking Obama in the pants regarding gay rights.
Right see that’s the problem, in a two party system one has to choose between the lesser of two evils. Unfortunately there isn’t much we can do. My article is to challenge the untrue image of Hillary, where we go from there is a problem. We would need to tear down the two party system for there to be a viable way to have an actual progressive candidate