Zoe Kovacs | staff writer
Hillary Clinton is the self-reported beacon of feminism, the great hope for all women in the coming election! She charms Americans with visions of all the little girls who will know that they, too, can one day be president of the United States.
But we, as critically-thinking feminist voters, see you, Hillary. We see you. If you’re looking to put a feminist in office, your best bet might not be Hillary.
Let us first make one vital distinction: simply labeling oneself a “feminist” does not automatically make one progressive and unproblematic. Hillary’s brand of feminism is exclusionary, racist, and she only uses when it benefits her political agenda. To her, the fact that she’s a woman alone should be enough to convince female voters to elect her. She’s been a mother, she’s faced sexism. She gets you.
What kind of a feminist would ignore repeated sexual abuses and assaults committed by her own husband? Juanita Broaddrick, one of over a dozen of former president Bill Clinton’s victims, wrote Hillary a chilling letter that sums up her treatment of these women. Broaddrick says that the then-first lady approached her at a party and let her know that, not only was she aware of the assault, but that she was certainly not a friend of hers:
Do you remember how you thanked me, saying ‘we want to thank you for everything that you do for Bill.’ At that point, I was pretty shaken and started to walk off. Remember how you kept a tight grip on my hand and drew closer to me? You repeated your statement, but this time with a coldness and look that I have seen many times on television in the last eight years. You said, ‘Everything you do for Bill.’
Another victim, Kathleen Willey, echoed the sentiments that Hillary knew and enabled Bill’s behavior over the years, not only by looking the other way, but by actively going after them to “ruin them again and again and again.” Hillary’s attempts to intimidate her husband’s victims into keeping quiet and her tendency to publicly smear them if they do aren’t quite the mark of a feminist (she once called Monica Lewinsky a “narcissistic loony toon” – whatever that means).
It especially doesn’t match up with her professed devotion to victims of sexual assault on college campuses. Are we really to believe that this drastic change of heart – a common theme for Hillary – is genuine? After all, her opinions have a funny way of changing according to what her potential voters might want her to think.
Think back to same-sex marriage, which Hillary conveniently opposed and spoke out against until the day it was legalized across the nation – she even put a cute little rainbow filter on her twitter icon so we would know how serious she really was about supporting it. Her sudden 180 was hardly subtle after years of rocky commitment to the LGBTQ+ movement.
Her feelings on gay rights are just one of many areas Hillary has been seen to flip flop on: she once preached that “all lives matter,” but after public backlash, she’s all about black lives. Hillary’s newfound support for the black community is completely antithetical to her husband’s legacy of involvement in the explosion of the prison industry during the 1990s, which she herself lobbied for during her time as first lady. The Clintons’ promise to be “tough on crime” was nothing more than coded language for creating legislation and causing rates of imprisonment to skyrocket in a way that disproportionately affected black Americans. It certainly puts Hillary’s present calls for racial justice into question.
You can distract us with words like “mother” and “equality” and bemoan your own sexist treatment in the media, Hillary, but it’s time to put your money where your mouth is. Feminists believe in equality across genders, races, sexual orientations. It’s all well and good to be a powerful woman on a stage of men – and we applaud you – but that’s certainly not all it entails.
So laugh and joke with your buddy Lena Dunham all you want. It takes more than that to fool us.
*Photo from YouTube.
Zoe is a sophomore studying English and Classics. She loves watching foreign documentaries in her spare time.
Check out more from our December 2015 issue here.