Hillary Clinton's Faux Feminism, by Liza Featherstone

Hillary Clinton's Faux Feminism, by Liza Featherstone

Postby admin » Tue May 31, 2016 4:21 am

Hillary Clinton's Faux Feminism
by Liza Featherstone
Truthout
28 February 2016

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What an election cycle for feminism! Both Democratic primary candidates are running as self-declared feminists. One of them, Hillary Clinton, would, if elected, also be the first woman to serve as president of the United States. Major feminist organizations like Planned Parenthood have endorsed her, as have feminist leaders and heroines as varied as Gloria Steinem, Lena Dunham, Roxane Gay and Eileen Myles.

Clinton and her supporters often point to the potential of a woman president to inspire little girls, letting them know that women can do anything. Yet her own life narrative is not a stirring feminist parable. It is probably true that neither Bill nor Hillary Clinton could have come so far without the other. But who wants to advise our daughters to marry an ambitious, egomaniacal man; stay with him no matter what; and be the first lady for many years? Eventually it will be your turn. Is this a career plan?

Hillary Clinton is not alone: Around the world, many female heads of state have attained their positions through marriage or bloodlines. While it is common for a woman to advance in this way, it is neither interesting nor feminist.

For more original Truthout election coverage, check out our election section, "Beyond the Sound Bites: Election 2016."

Lacking inspiration, then, her campaign is fueled by outrage. Older feminists - myself included - remember the 1990s, when Clinton, as first lady, was vilified by sexist right-wingers for everything she did: having her own legal career, using her maiden name and wearing whatever she wore (no matter what it was).

Sen. Bernie Sanders himself delivers disappointingly few sexist attacks for Clinton supporters to get mad about, but rest assured they are hard at work looking for them, because without misogyny, being a Clinton supporter isn't much fun for feminists. While Clinton and her supporters have gleefully seized on a few non-opportunities to paint Sanders as a sexist, he commits few gaffes along these lines.

It's understandable that Clinton supporters are only happy when they find sexists to attack - what else could give this campaign a righteous fervor? After all, her record shows that in her many decades in public life, Hillary Clinton has done an excellent job of advancing the Clintons, and an abysmal job of fighting for women less powerful than herself.

Single-payer health care is the only system in which health care is independent of employment or marriage.


In Arkansas, she was invited by the Walton family (personal friends of the Clintons) to become the first-ever woman on the board of Walmart. At the time, the company was grappling internally with the growing blight of gender inequality, which would lead, years later, in 2002, to Betty Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, the largest sex discrimination class-action lawsuit in history (which was eventually tossed out by the Supreme Court, not on its merits but on the grounds that Walmart was too big to sue). Data released during that lawsuit showed that women at Walmart were paid less than men in every position, and advanced into management at lower rates - even though their performance reviews were higher. While Clinton's presence on the board helped to make the company look like a better place for women, there is no evidence that she took any measures as a board member to address Walmart's systemic sexism. In 1990, while on the board, she declared, "I'm always proud of Walmart, and what we do and the way we do it better than anyone else." Clinton has never acknowledged any regret over her relationship with the company.

Speaking of that relationship, Clinton has been trying hard to portray herself as a friend of labor unions this primary season. In Las Vegas, support from unions was critical to her success. (This was sometimes accompanied by deceptive tactics. For example, the Service Employees International Union distributed flyers painting Clinton as a supporter of the Fight for $15, a national campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. In fact, her Democratic primary opponent supports this demand, while Clinton has made clear that $12 would be just fine as a federal minimum.) Yet Walmart is also one of the most adamantly anti-union companies, notorious for violations of workers' right to organize. This, too, is a feminist issue: The majority of Walmart's workers are women, and union membership has been found to be one of the best ways to reduce workplace sex discrimination. In addition, most low-wage workers are women, so just allowing more workers the opportunity to join unions would greatly improve women's wages and working conditions. While Clinton was on Walmart's board, there is no evidence that she tried to change the company's policies on unions, nor has she reflected on that issue since then.

Clinton's biggest policy contribution as first lady of the United States was in the area of health-care reform. There she played a critical role in narrowing the national policy discourse - by disavowing a single-payer system, which would lower costs and ensure that everyone could have access to care, as in Canada. Clinton helped ensure that even most Democrats would continue to fight for nothing better than a slightly more accessible private insurance system. Granted, in that position, she faced massive opposition to even the smallest reforms, from Republicans and from insurance companies. But opposition to socialized medicine is also an ideological commitment on her part.

This is a feminist issue. As the Our Bodies Ourselves organization -- authors of the indispensable women's health book of the same name -- pointed out in 2009, single-payer health care (also recognizable to US policy wonks as Medicare for All) is the only system in which health care is independent of employment or marriage, both critical considerations, especially for women.Women would benefit more than anyone from single-payer health care; our health-care costs are higher than those of men, and women make up two-thirds of low-wage workers. With an opponent, Bernie Sanders, supporting single-payer, Clinton has been campaigning aggressively against that idea, declaring that we will "never" have such a system in this country. It's not just that she thinks it's not practical; her campaign has even used right-wing arguments that it would raise taxes on the middle class, ignoring the massive savings to middle-class families that would result from such a plan.

If feminism only concerns itself with the women at the very top of our society, it's not feminism at all. It's just elitism.


Clinton's feminism is not only elite, but also white and often explicitly racist. Recently Ashley Williams, a young Black Lives Matter protester, interrupted Hillary Clinton's speech at a $500 per person fundraiser, holding a sign that read "We Have to Bring Them to Heel," a direct quote from Clinton, referring to young black people in a 1996 speech on the crime problem. Williams said to Clinton, "I am not a 'superpredator,'" and asked Clinton why she had used that word. An affronted Clinton responded rudely and dismissively, and Williams was quickly escorted out. Clinton later said she regretted her 1996 choice of words, but her record goes beyond name-calling and racist language: During her husband's administration, she strongly advocated for policies that contributed to the mass incarceration of Black communities, as historian Donna Murch wrote recently in the New Republic.

With so many politically active young people fighting racism and the police state, it's no wonder that so-called "millennial" feminists have been rejecting Clinton in favor of her opponent. Many have also been troubled by her personal conduct toward women outside of her elite circles, especially on another issue of salience to this generation: rape. Hillary Clinton has said, "Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed and supported." But that has not been her attitude toward women who have accused her husband. Juanita Broaddrick, a nurse who accused Bill Clinton of raping her in 1978 and is now, at 72, still telling the same story, has said Hillary Clinton tried to pressure her to remain silent about the charges. (Bill Clinton has denied raping Broaddrick, and Clinton supporters point to a lack of documentation for Broaddrick's charges that Hillary tried to silence her; anyone who thinks they know for certain what happened should be regarded skeptically.) Bill Clinton was also accused of rape and harassment by two other women.

During the Clinton administration, speaking about sexual harassment accusations against moderate Republican Sen. Bob Packwood, a needed ally on health care, Hillary Clinton grumbled to a friend, who later described Hillary as "tired of all the whiny women."

Hillary Clinton's mudslinging and slut-shaming campaigns against women who claimed to have had consensual sex with her husband are well documented. In his memoir, George Stephanopoulos, quotes Hillary Clinton as saying of one such woman, "We have to destroy her story." Hillary biographer Carl Bernstein describes Hillary directing an "aggressive, explicit" campaign to discredit Gennifer Flowers, an actress who said she had a long affair with Bill Clinton. She referred to Flowers as "trailer trash." In a tough 2008 essay for Slate, Melinda Henneberger and Dahlia Lithwick wrote that Clinton "consistently relates to and protects and stands with the oppressors in the gender wars ... she invariably sees [Bill] as the victim, preyed upon by a series of female aggressors."

Of course, as appalling as Clinton is, few of the other presidential contenders deserve feminist love, either. Neither Donald Trump nor Ted Cruz can credibly claim to represent women's interests. Trump for example, would be well advised to shy away from discussing rape at all, given the many blunders he has made discussing the issue, and the disturbing statements his ex-wife, Ivana Trump, has made about him.

But the shallowness of Hillary Clinton's feminism is worth discussing because feminism matters. And if feminism only concerns itself with the women at the very top of our society, condoning horrific abuse of those without power, it's not feminism at all. It's just elitism.
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Re: Hillary Clinton's Faux Feminism, by Liza Featherstone

Postby admin » Tue May 31, 2016 4:52 am

Hillary Clinton and Corporate Feminism
by Kevin Young and Diana C. Sierra Becerra
March/April 2015

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ASSUMING HILLARY CLINTON runs for president in 2016, much of her popular support will be based on her image as an advocate of women’s rights. During her 2008 candidacy, the National Organization of Women (NOW) endorsed Clinton based on her “long history of support for women’s empowerment.” A group of 250 academics and activists calling themselves “Feminists for Clinton” praised her “powerful, inspiring advocacy of the human rights of women” and her “enormous contributions” as a policymaker.

Since then, NOW and other mainstream women’s organizations have been eagerly anticipating her 2016 candidacy. Clinton and supporters have recently stepped up efforts to portray her as a champion of both women’s and LGBT rights.

Such depictions have little basis in Clinton’s past performance. While she has indeed spoken about gender and sexual rights with considerable frequency, and while she may not share the overtly misogynistic and anti-LGBT views of most Republican politicians, as a policymaker she has consistently favored policies devastating to women and LGBT persons.

Why, then, does she continue to enjoy such support from self-identified feminists? Part of the answer surely lies in the barrage of sexist attacks that have targeted her and the understandable desire of many feminists to see a woman president. But that’s not the whole story. We suggest that feminist enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton is reflective of a profound crisis of U.S. liberal feminism, which has long embraced or accepted corporate capitalism, racism, empire, and even heterosexism and transphobia.

Making Profit and War

All issues of wealth, power, and violence are also women’s and LGBT rights issues. For instance, neoliberal economic policies of austerity and privatization disproportionately hurt women and LGBT individuals, who are often the lowest paid and the first workers to be fired, the most likely to bear the burdens of family maintenance, and the most affected by the involuntary migration, domestic violence, homelessness, and mental illness that are intensified by poverty.

Hillary Clinton’s record on such issues is hardly encouraging. Her decades of service on corporate boards and in major policy roles as First Lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State give a clear indication of where she stands. One of Clinton’s first high-profile public positions was at Walmart, where she served on the board from 1986 to 1992. She “remained silent” in board meetings as her company “waged a major campaign against labor unions seeking to represent store workers,” as an ABC review of video recordings later noted.

Clinton recounted in her 2003 book that Walmart CEO Sam Walton “taught me a great deal about corporate integrity and success.” Though she later began trying to shed her public identification with the company in order to attract labor support for her Senate and presidential candidacies, Walmart executives have continued to look favorably on her, with Alice Walton donating the maximum amount to the “Ready for Hillary” Super PAC in 2013. Walton’s $25,000 donation was considerably higher than the average annual salary for Walmart’s hourly employees, two-thirds of whom are women.

After leaving Walmart, Clinton became perhaps the most active First Lady in history. While it would be unfair to hold her responsible for all her husband’s policies, she did play a significant role in shaping and justifying many of them.

In her 2003 memoir she boasted of gutting welfare: “By the time Bill and I left the White House, welfare rolls had dropped 60 percent” — and not because poverty had dropped. Women and children, the main recipients of welfare, have been the primary victims. Jeffrey St. Clair at Counterpunch notes that prior to the welfare reform, “more than 70 percent of poor families with children received some kind of cash assistance. By 2010, less than 30 percent got any kind of cash aid and the amount of the benefit had declined by more than 50 percent from pre-reform levels.”

Clinton also lobbied Congress to pass her husband’s deeply racist crime bill, which, observes Michelle Alexander in The New Jim Crow, “escalated the drug war beyond what conservatives had imagined possible,” expanding mass incarceration and the death penalty.

Arguably the two most defining features of Clinton’s tenures as Senator (2001-2009) and Secretary of State (2009-2013) were her promotion of U.S. corporate profit-making and her aggressive assertion of the U.S. government’s right to intervene in foreign countries. Reflecting on this performance as Clinton left her Secretary post in January 2013, Bloomberg Businessweek commented that “Clinton turned the State Department into a machine for promoting U.S. business.” She sought “to install herself as the government’s highest-ranking business lobbyist,” directly negotiating lucrative overseas contracts for U.S. corporations like Boeing, Lockheed, and General Electric. Not surprisingly, “Clinton’s corporate cheerleading has won praise from business groups.”

Clinton herself has been very honest about this aim, albeit not when speaking in front of progressives. Her 2011 Foreign Policy essay on “America’s Pacific Century” spoke at length about the objective of “opening new markets for American businesses,” containing no fewer than ten uses of the phrases “open markets,” “open trade,” and permutations thereof.

A major focus of this effort is the Trans-Pacific Partnership involving twelve Pacific countries that is now being negotiated secretively by the Obama administration with the assistance of over 600 corporate “advisors.” Like Bill Clinton’s NAFTA, the deal is intended to further empower multinational corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, and the environment in all countries involved. Lower wages and increased rates of displacement, detention, and physical violence for female and LGBT populations are among the likely consequences, given the results of existing “free-trade” agreements.

Clinton’s article also elaborated on the role of U.S. military power in advancing these economic goals. The past “growth” of eastern Asia has depended on “the security and stability that has long been guaranteed by the U.S. military,” and “a more broadly distributed military presence across the region will provide vital advantages” in the future.

Clinton thus reaffirmed the bipartisan consensus on the U.S. right to use military force abroad in pursuit of economic interest — echoing, for instance, her husband’s Secretary of Defense William Cohen, who in 1999 reserved the right to “the unilateral use of military power” in the name of “ensuring uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies, and strategic resources.”

In the Middle East and Central Asia, Clinton has likewise defended the U.S. right to violate international law and human rights. As Senator she not only voted in favor of the illegal 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq — a monstrous crime that has killed hundreds of thousands of people while sowing terror and sectarianism across the region — she was an outspoken advocate of the invasion and a fierce critic of resistance within the United Nations.

Since then she has only partially disavowed that position (out of political expediency) while speaking in paternalistic and racist terms about Iraqis. Senator Clinton was an especially staunch supporter — even by the standards of the U.S. Congress — of Israel’s illegal military actions and settlement activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

As Barack Obama’s Secretary of State, she presided over the expansion of illegal drone attacks that by conservative estimates have killed many hundreds of civilians, while reaffirming U.S. alliances with vicious dictatorships. As she recounts in her 2014 memoir Hard Choices, “In addition to our work with the Israelis, the Obama Administration also increased America’s own sea and air presence in the Persian Gulf and deepened our ties to the Gulf monarchies.”

Clinton herself is widely recognized to have been one of the administration’s most forceful advocates of attacking or expanding military operations in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria and of strengthening U.S. ties to dictatorships in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Morocco and elsewhere. Maybe the women and girls of these countries, including those whose lives have been destroyed by U.S. bombs, can take comfort in knowing that a “feminist” helped craft U.S. policy.

Secretary Clinton and her team worked to ensure that any challenges to U.S.-Israeli domination of the Middle East were met with brute force and/or various forms of collective punishment. On Iran, she often echoes the bipartisan line that “all options must remain on the table” — a flagrant violation of the UN Charter’s prohibition of “the threat or use of force” in international relations — and brags in Hard Choices that her team “successfully campaigned around the world to impose crippling sanctions” on the country.

She ensured that Palestine’s UN statehood bid “went nowhere in the Security Council.” Though out of office by the time of Israel’s savage 2014 assault on Gaza, she ardently defended it in interviews. This context helps explain her recent praise for Henry Kissinger, renowned for bombing civilians and supporting regimes that killed and tortured hundreds of thousands of suspected dissidents. She writes in the Washington Post that she “relied on his counsel when I served as secretary of state.”

Militarization and Its Benefits

In another domain of traditional U.S. ownership, Latin America, Clinton also seems to have followed Kissinger’s example. As confirmed in her 2014 book, she effectively supported the 2009 military overthrow of left-of-center Honduran President Manuel Zelaya — a “caricature of a Central American strongman” — by pushing for a “compromise” solution that endorsed his illegal ouster.

She has advocated the application of the Colombia model — highly militarized “anti-drug” initiatives coupled with neoliberal economic policies — to other countries in the region, and is full of praise for the devastating militarization of Mexico over the past decade. In Mexico that model has resulted in 80,000 or more deaths since 2006, including the 43 Mexican student activists disappeared (and presumably massacred) in September 2014.

In the Caribbean, the U.S. model of choice is Haiti, where Clinton and her husband have relentlessly promoted the sweatshop model of production since the 1990s. WikiLeaks documents show that in 2009 her State Department collaborated with subcontractors for Hanes, Levi’s, and Fruit of the Loom to oppose a minimum wage increase for Haitian workers. After the January 2010 earthquake she helped spearhead the highly militarized U.S. response.

Militarization has plentiful benefits, as Clinton understands. It can facilitate corporate investment, such as the “gold rush” that the U.S. ambassador described following the Haiti earthquake. It can keep in check nonviolent dissidents, such as hungry Haitian workers or leftist students in Mexico. And it can help combat the influence of countries like Venezuela which have challenged neoliberalism and U.S. geopolitical control.

These goals have long motivated U.S. hostility toward Cuba, and thus Clinton’s recent call for ending the U.S. embargo against Cuba was pragmatic, not principled: “It wasn’t achieving its goals” of overthrowing the government, as she says in her recent book. The goal there, as in Venezuela, is to compel the country to “restore private property and return to a free market economy,” as she demanded of Venezuela in 2010.

A reasonable synopsis of Clinton’s record around the world comes from neoconservative policy advisor Robert Kagan, who, like Clinton, played an important role in advocating the 2003 Iraq invasion. “I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy,” Kagan told the New York Times last June.

Asked what to expect from a Hillary Clinton presidency, Kagan predicted that “[i]f she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue, it’s something that might have been called neocon.” But — he added — “clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else.”

Women’s & LGBT Rights, Narrowly Defined

What about Clinton’s record on that narrower set of issues more commonly associated with women’s and LGBT rights — control over one’s reproductive system and freedom from discrimination and sexual violence?

Perhaps the best that can be said is that Clinton does not espouse the medieval view of female bodily autonomy shared by most Republicans, and does not actively encourage homophobia and transphobia. She has consistently said that abortion should remain legal (but “rare”) and that birth control should be widely available, and when in office generally acted in accord with those statements. She has recently voiced support for gay marriage rights. These positions are worth something, even if they are mainly a reflection of pressure from below.

But nor does her record on these rights merit glowing praise. In addition to partly capitulating to the far-right anti-choice agenda in Congress, with disproportionate harm to low-income parents, Clinton and other Democrats have also actively undermined these rights. Some observers have argued that Clinton’s repetition of the Democratic slogan that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare” reinforces the stigmatization of those who choose that option.

Her narrow definition of reproductive rights — as abortion and contraception only — does not allow much in the way of material support for parents or young children. She insists that abortion must remain “rare,” but has also helped deprive poor expecting parents of the financial support they would need to raise a child (for instance, through the 1996 welfare reform and the fiscal austerity regarding social programs that has become the bipartisan consensus in Washington). She has supported the further militarization of the Mexico border and the arrest of undocumented immigrants, undermining the reproductive rights of women who give birth in chains in detention centers before being deported back to lives of poverty and violence.

Regarding non-discrimination, Clinton’s record is also worse than her reputation suggests. Her old company Walmart, widely accused of discriminating against women employees, was recently praised by the Clinton Foundation for its “efforts to empower girls and women.”

Clinton has given little serious indication that she opposes discrimination against LGBT individuals in the workplace (which is still legal in the majority of U.S. states). Her very recent reversal of her opposition to gay marriage came only after support for the idea has become politically beneficial and perhaps necessary for Democrats. At best, Clinton in these respects has been a cautious responder to progressive political winds rather than a trailblazing leader.

Clinton’s foreign policy record is even more at odds with her reputation as a champion of women’s and LGBT rights. Her policy of support for the 2009 coup in Honduras has been disastrous for both groups.

Violent hate crimes against LGBT Hondurans have skyrocketed. In mid-2014, leading LGBT activist Nelson Arambú reported 176 murders against LGBT individuals since 2009, an average of about 35 per year, compared to just over one per year in the period 1994-2009.

Arambú located this violence within the broader human rights nightmare of post-coup Honduras, noting the contributions of U.S.-funded militarization and the post-coup regimes’ pattern of “shutting down government institutions charged with promoting and protecting the human rights of vulnerable sectors of the population — such as women, children, indigenous communities, and Afro-Hondurans.” Clinton has been worse than silent on the situation, actively supporting and praising the post-coup governments.

In a review of her work as Secretary of State, Middle East scholar Stephen Zunes concludes that while “Hillary Clinton has been more outspoken than any previous Secretary of State regarding the rights of women and sexual minorities,” this position is “more rhetoric than reality.”

As one example he points to the U.S.-backed monarchy in Morocco, which has long occupied Western Sahara with U.S. support. Two weeks after Secretary Clinton publicly praised the dictatorship for having “protected and expanded” women’s rights, a teenage girl named Amina Filali committed suicide by taking rat poison. Filali had been raped at age 15 and then “forced to marry her rapist, who subsequently battered and abused her.”

Although Clinton’s liberal supporters are likely to lament such details as exceptions within an impressive overall record (“She’s still much better than a Republican!”), it is quite possible that her actions have harmed feminist movements worldwide. As Zunes argues:

“Given Clinton’s backing of neo-liberal economic policies and war-making by the United States and its allies, her advocacy of women’s rights overseas…may have actually set back indigenous feminist movements in the same way that the Bush administration’s ‘democracy-promotion’ agenda was a serious setback to popular struggles for freedom and democracy….Hillary Clinton’s call for greater respect for women’s rights in Muslim countries never had much credibility while US-manufactured ordinance is blowing up women in Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Threading Needles

This summary of Clinton’s “enormous contributions” (Feminists for Clinton) is just a partial sampling. On almost all other major issues, from climate change to immigration to education to financial regulation, President Hillary Clinton would likely be no better than President Obama, if not worse.

As with Obama, it is of course necessary for Clinton to “call it something else,” in Robert Kagan’s words. The stark disjunction between rhetoric and policies reflects a well understood logic. Mainstream U.S. political candidates, particularly Democrats, must find ways to attract popular support while simultaneously reassuring corporate and financial elites.

The latter, for their part, usually understand the need for a good dose of “populism” during a campaign, and accept it as long as it stays within certain bounds and is not reflected in policy itself. One former aide to Bill Clinton, speaking to The Hill last July, compared this rhetorical strategy to threading a needle, saying that “good politicians — and I think Hillary is a good politician — are good at threading needles, and I think there’s probably a way to do it.”

Hillary Clinton faces the challenge of convincing voters that she is a champion of “people historically excluded,” as she claims in her 2014 memoir. The Hill reported that “Clinton is now test-driving various campaign themes,” including the familiar progressive promises to “increase upward mobility” and “decrease inequality.”
Her memoirs, for those who dare to suffer through them, include invocations of dead leftists like Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman (“one of my heroines”), and Martin Luther King, Jr. (referenced nine times in Clinton’s 2003 book).

This public relations work requires that her past record be hidden from view, lest it create a credibility problem. Here Clinton has enjoyed the assistance of many liberal feminists. One former Obama staffer, speaking to The Hill, notes Clinton’s successful efforts “to co-opt the base groups in the past eight years.”

Rhetoric is not totally meaningless. The extent to which politicians like Clinton have been compelled to portray themselves — however cynically — as champions of the rights of workers, women, LGBT people, and other “historically excluded” groups is an indication that popular pressures for those rights have achieved substantial force. In the case of LGBT rights this rhetorical shift is very recent, and reflects a growth in the movement’s power that is to be celebrated.

But taking politicians’ rhetoric at face value is one of the gravest errors that a progressive can make.

The Feminists Not Invited

Liberal feminists’ support of Hillary Clinton is not just due to credulousness, though. It also reflects a narrowness of analysis, vision, and values. In this country feminism is often understood as the right of women — wealthy white women most of all — to share in the spoils of corporate capitalism and U.S. imperial power. By not confronting the exclusion of non-whites, foreigners, working-class people, and other groups from this vision, liberal feminists miss a crucial opportunity to create a more inclusive, more powerful movement.

Alternative currents within the feminist movement, both here and globally, have long rejected this impoverished understanding of feminism. For them, feminism means confronting patriarchy but also capitalism, imperialism, white supremacy and other forms of oppression that interlock with and reinforce patriarchy. It means fighting to replace a system in which the rights of people and other living things are systematically subordinated to the quest for profits. It means fighting so that all people — everywhere on the gender, sexual and body spectrum — can enjoy basic rights like food, health care, housing, a safe and clean environment, and control over their bodies, labor and identities.

This more holistic feminist vision is apparent all around the world, including among the women of places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran, whose oppression is constantly evoked by Western leaders to justify war and occupation. The courageous Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her feminist advocacy, has also criticized illegal U.S. drone attacks for killing civilians and aiding terrorist recruitment.

Yousafzai’s opposition to the Taliban won her adoring Western media coverage and an invitation to the Obama White House, but her criticism of drones has gone virtually unmentioned. Also unmentioned are her comments about socialism, which she says “is the only answer” to “free us from the chains of bigotry and exploitation.”

The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) has equally opposed the Taliban, U.S.-backed fundamentalist forces, and the U.S. occupation. While liberal groups like Feminist Majority have depicted the U.S. war as a noble crusade to protect Afghan women, RAWA says that the United States “has empowered and equipped the most traitorous, anti-democratic, misogynist and corrupt fundamentalist gangs in Afghanistan,” merely “replacing one fundamentalist regime with another.”

The logic is simple: U.S. elites prefer the “bloody and suffocating rule of Afghanistan” by fundamentalist warlords “to an independent, pro-democracy and pro-women’s rights government” that might jeopardize “its interests in the region.” Women’s liberation, RAWA emphasizes, “can be achieved only by the people of Afghanistan and by democracy-loving forces through a hard, decisive and long struggle” (RAWA.org). Needless to say, Clinton and Obama have not invited the RAWA women to Washington.

A group of Iranian and Iranian-American feminists, the Raha Iranian Feminist Collective, takes a similar position in relation to their own country. In 2011 it bitterly condemned the Ahmadinejad regime’s systematic violations of women’s rights (and those of other groups), but just as forcefully condemned “all forms of US intervention,” including the “crippling sanctions” that Hillary Clinton is so proud of her role in implementing. The group said that sanctions “further immiserate the very people they claim to be helping,” and noted that few if any genuine grassroots voices in Iran had “called for or supported the US/UN/EU sanctions.”

In Latin America, too, many working-class feminists argue that the fight for gender and sexual liberation is inseparable from the struggles for self-determination and a just economic system. Speaking to NACLA Report on the Americas, Venezuelan organizer Yanahir Reyes recently lauded “all of the social policy” that has “focused on liberating women” under Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro, those evil autocrats so despised by Hillary Clinton.

Reyes emphasized the importance of independent feminist organizing: “Women from the feminist struggle have effectively brought to light the importance of dismantling a patriarchal system,” thus pushing Chavismo in a more feminist direction. “It is a very hard internal fight,” says Reyes, but “this is the space where we can achieve it” — under a government sympathetic to socialism, “not in a different form of government.”

This tradition of more holistic feminisms is not absent from the United States. In the 19th century, Black women like Ida B. Wells and Sojourner Truth linked the struggles for abolition and suffrage and denounced the lynching campaigns that murdered Black men and women in the name of “saving” white women. In contrast, leaders of the white suffrage movement like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony refused to include people of color in the struggle for citizenship rights.

Unfortunately this history continues to be distorted. In 2008 Gloria Steinem, the standard bearer of liberal feminism, said that she supported Clinton’s campaign over Obama’s in part because “Black men were given the vote a half-century before women of any race were allowed to mark a ballot.”

The assumption that all women are equally oppressed by patriarchy (and that all men are equal oppressors) was fiercely challenged by U.S. women of color, working-class women, and lesbians in the 1970s and 1980s. Feminists of color analyzed their gender and sexual oppression within the larger history of U.S. slavery, capitalism, and empire.

In New York the women of the Young Lords Party pushed their organization to denounce forced sterilizations of women of color, to demand safe and accessible abortion and contraception, and to call for community-controlled clinics. They redefined reproductive rights as the right to abortion and contraception and the right to have children without living in poverty.

In recent years, a radical LGBT movement has fought for reforms like marriage equality while also moving beyond marriage and condemning how the state, from prisons to the military, is the biggest perpetrator of violence against gender and sexual non-conforming peoples, particularly trans women of color and undocumented queers.

These queer radicals reject the logic that casts the United States and Israel as tolerant while characterizing occupied territories, from U.S. to Palestinian ghettoes, as inherently homophobic and in need of military and other outside intervention. They condemn U.S. wars and the Obama administration’s persecution of whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning (who helped expose, among other U.S. crimes, military orders to ignore the sexual abuse of Iraqi detainees and the trafficking of Afghan children).

A more robust vision of feminism doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t defend women like Hillary Clinton against sexist attacks — we should, just as we defend Barack Obama against racist ones. But it does mean that we must listen to the voices of the most marginalized women and gender and sexual minorities — many of whom are extremely critical of Clintonite feminism — and act in solidarity with movements that seek equity in all realms of life and for all people. These are the feminists not invited to the Hillary Clinton party, except perhaps to serve and clean up.

Selected Sources:

Stephen Zunes, “Hillary Clinton on International Law,” Foreign Policy in Focus, December 10, 2007, http://fpif.org/hillary_clinton_on_international_law/; Stephen Zunes, “Hillary Clinton’s Legacy As Secretary of State,” Truthout, February 7, 2013, http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/14401; Dan Coughlin and Kim Ives, “WikiLeaks Haiti: Let Them Live on $3 a Day,” The Nation online, June 1, 2011, http://www.thenation.com/article/161057 ... ive-3-day; Ansel Herz, “WikiLeaks Haiti: The Earthquake Cables,” The Nation online, June 15, 2011, http://www.thenation.com/article/161459 ... ke-cables; Keegan O’Brien, “Obama, Clinton, and Gay Marriage: Why We Need More Than Rhetoric,” Rainbow Times, March 26, 2013, http://www.therainbowtimesmass.com/2013 ... -rhetoric/); Dana Frank, “Honduras: Which Side Are We On?” The Nation (June 11, 2012): 11-17; Dawn Paley, Drug War Capitalism (Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2014); Sonali Kolhatkar and James Ingalls, Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2006); Raha Iranian Feminist Collective, “Solidarity and Its Discontents,” Jadaliyya.com, February 19, 2011, http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/68 ... scontents; “Women and Chavismo: An Interview with Yanahir Reyes,” trans. Pablo Morales, NACLA Report on the Americas 46, no. 2 (2013): 35-39; Louise Michelle Newman, White Women’s Rights: The Racial Origins of Feminism in the United States (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999); Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, eds., This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (New York: Kitchen Table, 1983); Dean Spade, Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law (Brooklyn, NY: South End Press, 2011); Robin Riley, Chandra Taplade Mohanty, and Minnie Bruce Pratt, eds., Feminism and War: Confronting US Imperialism (London: Zed Books, 2008); Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003).
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Re: Hillary Clinton's Faux Feminism, by Liza Featherstone

Postby admin » Tue May 31, 2016 4:59 am

When Hillary Clinton Killed Feminism
by Maureen Dowd
Feb. 13, 2016

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WASHINGTON — THE Clinton campaign is shellshocked over the wholesale rejection of Hillary by young women, younger versions of herself who do not relate to her.

Hillary’s coronation was predicated on a conviction that has just gone up in smoke. The Clintons felt that Barack Obama had presumptuously snatched what was rightfully hers in 2008, gliding past her with his pretty words to make history before she could.

So this time, the Clintons assumed, the women who had deserted Hillary for Barack, in Congress and in the country, owed her. Democrats would want to knock down that second barrier.

Hillary believed that there was an implicit understanding with the sisters of the world that now was the time to come back home and vote for a woman. (The Clintons seem to have conveniently forgotten how outraged they were by identity politics when black leaders deserted them in 2008 to support Obama.)

This attitude intensified the unappetizing solipsistic subtext of her campaign, which is “What is Hillary owed?” It turned out that female voters seem to be looking at Hillary as a candidate rather than as a historical imperative. And she’s coming up drastically short on trustworthiness.

As Olivia Sauer, an 18-year-old college freshman who caucused for Bernie Sanders in Ames, Iowa, told a Times reporter: “It seems like he is at the point in his life when he is really saying what he is thinking. With Hillary, sometimes you get this feeling that all of her sentences are owned by someone.”

Hillary started, both last time and this, from a place of entitlement, as though if she reads her résumé long enough people will surrender. And now she’s even angrier that she has been shown up by someone she considers even less qualified than Obama was when he usurped her place.

Bernie has a clear, concise “we” message, even if it’s pie-in-the-sky: The game is rigged and we have to take the country back from the privileged few and make it work for everyone. Hillary has an “I” message: I have been abused and misunderstood and it’s my turn.

It’s a victim mind-set that is exhausting, especially because the Clintons’ messes are of their own making.


On the trail in New Hampshire, Madeleine Albright made the case that it was a betrayal of feminist ideals to support Bernie against Hillary, noting that “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” When Sanders handily won the women’s vote on Tuesday, David Axelrod noted dryly that they were going to need to clear out a lot of space in hell.

And in a misstep for the feminist leader who got famous by going undercover as a Playboy bunny, Gloria Steinem told Bill Maher that young women were flocking to Bernie to be where the boys are. Blaming it on hormones was odd, given the fact that for centuries, it was widely believed that women’s biology made them emotionally unfit to be leaders.

What the three older women seemed to miss was that the young women supporting Sanders are living the feminist dream, where gender no longer restricts and defines your choices, where girls grow up knowing they can be anything they want. The aspirations of ’70s feminism are now baked into the culture.

The interesting thing about the spectacle of older women trying to shame younger ones on behalf of Hillary is that Hillary and Bill killed the integrity of institutional feminism back in the ’90s — with the help of Albright and Steinem.

Instead of just admitting that he had had an affair with Monica Lewinsky and taking his lumps, Bill lied and hid behind the skirts of his wife and female cabinet members, who had to go out before the cameras and vouch for his veracity, even when it was apparent he was lying.

Seeing Albright, the first female secretary of state, give cover to President Clinton was a low point in women’s rights. As was the New York Times op-ed by Steinem, arguing that Lewinsky’s will was not violated, so no feminist principles were violated.
What about Clinton humiliating his wife and daughter and female cabinet members? What about a president taking advantage of a gargantuan power imbalance with a 22-year-old intern? What about imperiling his party with reckless behavior that put their feminist agenda at risk?

It rang hollow after the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings. When it was politically beneficial, the feminists went after Thomas for bad behavior and painted Hill as a victim. And later, when it was politically beneficial, they defended Bill’s bad behavior and stayed mute as Clinton allies mauled his dalliances as trailer trash and stalkers.

The same feminists who were outraged at the portrayal of Hill by David Brock — then a Clinton foe but now bizarrely head of one of her “super PACs” — as “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty,” hypocritically went along when Hillary and other defenders of Bill used that same aspersion against Lewinsky.

Hillary knew that she could count on the complicity of feminist leaders and Democratic women in Congress who liked Bill’s progressive policies on women. And that’s always the ugly Faustian bargain with the Clintons, not only on the sex cover-ups but the money grabs: You can have our bright public service side as long as you accept our dark sketchy side.

Young women today, though, are playing by a different set of rules. And they don’t like the Clintons setting themselves above the rules.
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Re: Hillary Clinton's Faux Feminism, by Liza Featherstone

Postby admin » Tue May 31, 2016 5:11 am

Noted Feminist Camille Paglia Unleashes on Hillary Clinton with a Tongue Lashing For the Ages
by Nick Morpus
2015

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Self-described feminist Camille Paglia joined Nick Gillespie on Reason TV to discuss the media, millennials, and even Hillary Clinton. The latter inspired an epic rant against the former Secretary of State, who is expected to run for President in 2016:

“Hillary is a mess, okay? We’re going to reward with the presidency a woman who has enabled [Bill Clinton]; the depredations and the exploitation of women by that cornpone husband of hers?”


Camille’s criticism of Hillary Clinton is an oft-cited issue. Many attribute her [Hillary's] acceptance of Bill’s past behavior and sexual exploits as politically, rather than principally, motivated:

“In fact the way that feminists have made themselves blind to Hillary’s record of trashing, you know, they were gonna destroy Monica Lewinsky, I mean it’s a scandal!

Anyone who believes in sexual harassment guidelines should have seen the disparity in power between Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. It was one of the most grotesque, ever! I mean, the history of sex crime! He’s a sex criminal!

Hillary has ridden on his coattails!”


Paglia is not the only feminist who feels this way about Hillary Clinton potentially seizing the office of President of the United States.

Despite Paglia’s comments on the former president’s history of affairs, Bill Clinton has never been convicted of a sex crime. Also, most of his relationships, while adulterous, appear to be mutual.

Not all feminists have issues with Hillary Clinton. In fact, she has many supporters in the movement. The Campus Communications Associate of the Feminist Campus, Taylor Kuether, says a woman president like Hillary Clinton is a great idea:

“I think we’d finally put to rest the tired, drawn-out arguments over birth control, abortion access, the wage gap, etc. A woman in charge would recognize that those obstacles have an easy answer (simply, grant women equality!) and would then devote her time to solving much larger issues, like the state of the economy or U.S. foreign policy.”


About Clinton specifically, Kuether added:

“If she runs, she’ll have the support of every feminist in the world. That’s powerful.”


Hillary Clinton has made women’s rights a big part of her rhetoric, and embraced the concept of feminism, perhaps to draw in this specific group of voter. But, it still might be an uphill battle to win these women over.

Editor’s Note: IJReview editor Katrina Jørgensen contributed to this piece.
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Re: Hillary Clinton's Faux Feminism, by Liza Featherstone

Postby admin » Tue May 31, 2016 5:18 am

Paglia on Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem — and why New Hampshire women broke for Bernie Sanders: Sanders' thrilling win dealt Gloria Steinem and old-guard feminist establishment a loss. But it wasn't about sexism
by Camille Paglia
February 11, 2016

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Image
Gloria Steinem and Hillary Clinton in 1995. (Credit: AP/Joe Tabacca)

With Bernie Sanders’ thrilling, runaway victory over Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary, the old-guard feminist establishment in the U.S. has been dealt a crushing blow.

Despite emergency efforts by Gloria Steinem, the crafty dowager empress of feminism, to push a faltering Hillary over the finish line, Sanders overwhelmingly won women’s votes in every category except senior citizens. Last week, when she told TV host Bill Maher that young women supporting the Sanders campaign are just in it to meet boys, Steinem managed not only to insult the intelligence and idealism of the young but to vaporize every lesbian Sanders fan into a spectral non-person.

Steinem’s polished humanitarian mask had slipped, revealing the mummified fascist within. I’m sure that my delight was shared by other dissident feminists everywhere. Never before has the general public, here or abroad, more clearly seen the arrogance and amoral manipulativeness of the power elite who hijacked and stunted second-wave feminism.


The next day, Hillary was accompanied on the campaign trail by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (a Bill Clinton appointee), who proclaimed, to Hillary’s laughter and applause, “There’s a special place in Hell for women who don’t help other women.” Waspishly policing the earth was evidently insufficient for the feminist politburo, who are now barging into the salvation and damnation game.

Never mind that the woman elevated to Christ Redeemer status by Steinem and Albright has a stained and tattered rap sheet five miles long. What genuine principles does Hillary have left, after a public career so light on concrete achievement and so heavy with lies and greed? Yes, she’s been handed job after job, but primarily due to her very unfeminist association with a man. As a senator, she initiated nothing of substance, and as Secretary of State, she stumbled into one disastrous fiasco after another, escalating the destabilization of North Africa and the Mideast.

I enthusiastically support and contribute to Bernie Sanders because he is a man of conviction who speaks from his heart and who does not need paid pollsters and a giant, obsequious, royal staff to tell him what to say or wear every day. He articulates a vision of social justice that should be at the core of the Democratic party, which has become far too cozy with big donors and corporate lobbyists over the past half century. Hillary Clinton, in contrast, is a time-server and trimmer who cynically panders to every audience and who shuffles through policy positions like playing cards.

When and how did Hillary allegedly become a feminist icon, as so many young women evidently think? Her public prominence has always been based not on any accomplishment of her own but on her marriage to a charismatic politician, now in his dotage. Her speech at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 listed the limitations and atrocities suffered by Third World women and children, but her call to “move beyond rhetoric” has lacked a discernible follow-through. Moreover, in a central passage of that speech, every sentence about Hillary’s encounters with needy women began with “I”, unsettlingly prefiguring her over-use of “I” in her current campaign, in contrast to Bernie Sanders’ ego-transcending focus on sparking a populist movement of political reform.

Hillary was attending the Yale Law School while I was a graduate student across the street. In 1970, a sparsely attended feminist conference was held at the Law School, featuring well-known figures like Kate Millett and Naomi Weisstein. If Hillary was there, she did nothing to stand out. It was at that conference that I realized that second-wave feminism, then barely three years old, was already going off the rails. For example, the radical lesbian Rita Mae Brown said to me, “The difference between you and me, Camille, is that you want to save the universities and I want to burn them down.”
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Re: Hillary Clinton's Faux Feminism, by Liza Featherstone

Postby admin » Tue May 31, 2016 5:31 am

Enough with the Hillary cult: Her admirers ignore reality, dream of worshipping a queen: Clinton voters overlook money lust, shadowy surrogates, sociopathic policy shifts, horrific overseas record. Why?
by Camille Paglia
April 21, 2016

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What is it with the Hillary cult?

As a lifelong Democrat who will be enthusiastically voting for Bernie Sanders in next week’s Pennsylvania primary, I have trouble understanding the fuzzy rosy filter through which Hillary fans see their champion. So much must be overlooked or discounted—from Hillary’s compulsive money-lust and her brazen indifference to normal rules to her conspiratorial use of shadowy surrogates and her sociopathic shape-shifting in policy positions for momentary expedience.

Hillary’s breathtaking lack of concrete achievements or even minimal initiatives over her long public career doesn’t faze her admirers a whit. They have a religious conviction of her essential goodness and blame her blank track record on diabolical sexist obstructionists. When at last week’s debate Hillary crassly blamed President Obama for the disastrous Libyan incursion that she had pushed him into, her acolytes hardly noticed. They don’t give a damn about international affairs—all that matters is transgender bathrooms and instant access to abortion.

I’m starting to wonder, given the increasing dysfunction of our democratic institutions, if the Hillary cult isn’t perhaps registering an atavistic longing for monarchy. Or perhaps it’s just a neo-pagan reversion to idolatry, as can be felt in the Little Italy street festival scene of The Godfather, Part II, where devout pedestrians pin money to the statue of San Rocco as it is carried by in procession. There was a strange analogy to that last week, when Sanders supporters satirically showered Hillary’s motorcade with dollar bills as she arrived at George Clooney’s luxe fund-raiser in Los Angeles.

The gushy indulgence around Hillary in the Manhattan media was typified by Vanessa Friedman’s New York Times piece, “Hillary Clinton’s Message in a Jacket,” after last week’s debate. Evidently oblivious to how she was undermining the rote sexism plank in the Clinton campaign platform, Friedman praised Hillary for “playing the clothing card” against Sanders: Hillary’s long white jacket made her look like “New York’s white knight,” riding to the rescue.

Gee, that sure wasn’t my reaction. My first thought was: “Why is Hillary wearing a lab coat?” My second was: “Isn’t this a major gaffe—reminding people of abortion clinics?” My third was: “The big belted look is not recommended for those broad in the beam.” For all the complaints about an alleged higher scrutiny suffered by women candidates, affluent politicians like Hillary can afford glam squads of stylists and an infinite range of clothing choices, hairstyles, and cosmetic aids. Male candidates with their boring cropped hair and sober suits fade into the woodwork when the queen bee flies in.

The protective major media phalanx around Hillary certainly extends to her health issues, which only the Drudge Report has had the courage to flag. In assessing possible future occupants of the White House, the public has an inalienable right to know. I was incredulous at the passive gullibility of the media, including the New York Times, last July, when a woman internist, identified as Hillary’s doctor, released a summary letter about her health that was lacking in the specifics one would normally expect in medical records. Does anyone really think that world-renowned Hillary, whose main residence for years has been in Washington and not Chappaqua, has as her primary physician an obscure young internist in Mount Kisco, New York? It’s ludicrous on the face of it.

And what about that persistent cough? “Allergy season,” the hacking Hillary claimed on a New York radio show this week. (“You all right? Any mouth to mouth CPR?” joked a host.) I’m just a Ph.D., not an M.D., but I’ll put my Miss Marple hat on here. Am I the only one who noticed Hillary’s high-wrap collar, pallid, puffy face, and bulging eyes during her choleric New Hampshire primary concession speech in February? (Another unusually high collar followed the next morning.)

My tentative theory is that Hillary may have sporadic flare-ups of goiter, worsened under stress. Coughing is a symptom. High collars mask a swollen throat. In serious cases, an operation may be necessary. Is this chronic thyroid condition disqualifying in a presidential candidate? Certainly not in my view, but I don’t like being lied to—by candidates, campaign staffs, or their media sycophants.

In their political biography, Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr. tell the story about the National Law Journal and also probe her lawyerly skills when she was at Rose Law. She only tried five cases and confided to Vince Foster -- another Rose Law partner -- that she was terrified of juries. So Foster had to accompany her to court. Because of her lack of prowess in the courtroom, she had to make her way at Rose Law by working her connections as the State’s first lady to bring in clients, and even then her annual partner’s share was mostly below $100,000 -- the lowest in the firm and very small potatoes for one of the hundred most influential lawyers in America.

-- From Nixon Girl to Watergate, by Jeffrey St. Clair, Alexander Cockburn


Hillary’s road map to the Democratic nomination was written by “Tricky Dick” Nixon, who after his acrimonious defeat in the 1962 California gubernatorial race doggedly restored his standing in the GOP by doing the “rubber-chicken circuit,” building up the grass-roots connections that allowed him to win the White House six years later. Similarly, Hillary has spent the years since her 2008 loss to Obama in deepening and tightening her relationships with state and local Democratic politicians, community leaders, and urban ministers nationwide—for whom she has assets of infinite largesse.

When pro-Hillary media taunt Bernie Sanders about what his campaign has or has not financially contributed to lower-level Democratic races, they are foolishly exposing Hillary’s modus operandi. Nixon’s rubber chicken has turned into one mighty gilded bird.

Dear Camille,

I read your article about abortion, and I read the Naomi Wolf essay. She spoke of bringing the God question into a woman’s private decision to have an abortion.

I once had an abortion in Tokyo. I was living in Japan with my now ex-husband. We were on shaky ground in a new marriage, for the academic program he was in, an elite Japanese language program for Westerners, was the most difficult in the world. It was also a notorious destroyer of marriages because of the nonstop demands. We had discussed having children later in the marriage, when we returned to the States.

Condoms can fail. We were on holiday. I got pregnant. He was not happy. He felt that we were not ready. He felt that I would have to return to the States alone to get the proper pre-natal care. He wanted me to get a Japanese abortion.

So after soul-searching, tears, upset, and my not wishing to leave Japan and him -- I am an East Asian scholar -- I went to a Japanese clinic where they inserted small rods of seaweed into the cervix. These had some kind of reaction with the chemistry of the pregnancy, and the pregnancy ended.

The thing was, the Japanese did not think that abortion was the taking of life because of their Buddhist belief in reincarnation. No one knew for sure when a soul that was reincarnating would enter the foetus. And if the soul could not enter one body, it would choose another to reincarnate. So one was killing the vessel of the soul, but not the soul itself.

Thus, there was no guilt associated with the termination of pregnancy. It was as though there were another foetus available among the millions and millions of sentient beings. It was a karmic loss, for the mother and for the soul in transit in the eternal bus stops of existence. To have a precious human body is important in Buddhism because it is the vehicle through which one can obtain enlightenment. It is a privilege to not be an animal or any lower form of rebirth. One can work for the salvation of mankind as a bodhisattva if one has a human body, so in that sense, there may be karmic repercussions, but in general, the termination of a pregnancy had less trauma surrounding it.

It’s a different perspective, but one I think worth taking a look at. I should say that I have been a Buddhist since school days, although as a lapsed Catholic, I am sometimes a lapsed Buddhist.

Wu Deyan
Florida


Thank you for your extraordinary letter, with its amazing revelation about the non-mutilating use of natural seaweed to induce abortion in Japan. I will never forget the powerful climax of Naomi Wolf’s brave 1995 essay, which still impresses me after all these years: “Memorial services for the souls of aborted foetuses are common in Japan, where abortions are both legal and readily available. Shinto doctrine holds that women should make offerings to aborted foetuses to help them rest in peace.”

Despite its recurrent calls for multiculturalism, Western liberalism remains locked in a narrow secular mindset that I think has proved disastrous for art and culture. I feel very fortunate to have attended college in the 1960s, when ideas about both Zen Buddhism (the legacy of Beat poets) and Hinduism filled the air. Native American and Mexican vision quests were also a common theme. Although I am an atheist, I maintain that the highest form of multiculturalism is the study of world religions. Our present politicized, victim-obsessed multiculturalism has proved to be an abject failure—simply yet another ostentatious platform for the white bourgeoisie to expiate guilt for its own privilege and affluence.
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Re: Hillary Clinton's Faux Feminism, by Liza Featherstone

Postby admin » Tue May 31, 2016 5:48 am

Feminist Camille Paglia: Hillary Clinton Is ‘Soulless, Incompetent’: 'The woman has never succeeded in any job. She's created chaos after chaos.'
by Bre Payton
April 18, 2016

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Feminist Camille Paglia ripped modern feminism, Lena Dunham, and “soulless” Hillary Clinton in a recent interview published by Spiked.

“People don’t lay a glove on her,” she said. “The woman has never succeeded in any job, she’s created chaos after chaos, including now all of North Africa spilling its refugees into Europe, and it’s due to Hillary for taking out Gaddafi and not thinking about what would happen afterward.”

“I think she’s absolutely soulless,” she said. “I think she’s incompetent.”


Clinton isn’t the only woman whom Paglia thinks has co-opted feminism to use as a tool for her own personal gain.

“Lena Dunham to me is the symbol of neuroticism which masquerades as feminism,” she said. “I mean, Lena Dunham has a lot of problems that have to do with body image that have nothing whatever to do with wider society but have to do with the cast of her own family life and her own family background.”

Dunham uses feminism as a platform to project her own personal struggles, particularly her struggles with her own body image, onto the rest of society and find an external outlet to express them, Paglia said.

“The way she presents herself physically, it’s like: ‘Look I’m just presenting myself exactly as I am,” she said. “The implied blame [is] that ‘If you find me ugly, you don’t understand. I am woman, as she is, and you are sexist!'”

“I’m sorry, no,” Paglia said. “You’re just a big pile of pudding!”

She lamented that modern feminism has encourage millennials to demand coddling from college administrations in an effort to cocoon themselves.

“They think of the world as basically their playpen,” she said. “They’ve been raised in a bourgeoisie buffer. They’ve been raised wrapped in cotton. I think it goes back to their removal from the old working-class realities of life.”
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