Supposedly progressive men denounce Clinton with foolish and vicious regularity. But a victory for her next week would really be worth celebrating
People are amazed when I express support for Hillary Clinton. My economic politics are hard to the left and, unlike hers, explicitly socialist. But its entirely because my analysis of inequality is economic that I endorse Clinton not as a least-worst alternative , not even due to the nature of her adversary, but on her own terms as a leader pledged to the material improvement of womens economic and social reality.
This is a structurally revolutionary framework for broad-based American change. Yet over the course of many a bleating bro-beating on the internet, the dreaded realisation has landed with me that among too many all those people who identify themselves as on the left , notions of what constitutes social progress and radical redress of inequality are gendered theories with research results that Clintons activist leadership is wilfully dismissed.
Time magazine may have called Clinton a cultural revolutionary, but the Bernie Bros are having none of it. If youre a woman whos supported Clinton online at any point youll know which bros I mean.
Theyre the self-proclaimed progressive gentlemen who insist that Bernie Sanders was robbed of the Democratic nomination, despite his loss by more than 2.5 m votes in the primaries. Whether brogressives, brocialists or manarchists, they denounce Clintons claim on American left leadership despite her popular nomination, policy, activist record, her spoken statements or her trounce of Donald Trump in three debates.
There must be scrutiny of any candidate for office but it comes with an obsessional viciousness towards Clinton in these mannish parts of the left. The Australian writer Jane Caro described its own experience of praising Clinton and being abused, sneered at, patronised( oh my God, how you will be patronised) and sent endless propaganda purporting to prove shes pervert, a criminal, a assassin, a warmonger etc.
Ive received this propaganda too. Clintons critics cite unstructured blog posts about petrodollars, blame her for the US mire in the Countries of the middle east, and post links to rough-edit YouTube videos extol her ownership by the banks.
The alpha-bro outfit WikiLeaks has fuelled someold-school conspiracy hypothesis by tweeting sly suggestions that shes a puppet of the Rothschilds. There are those who unbelievably insist shes just as bad as Trump.
Such ardent behaviour is global, and unrestricted to those US citizens who can determine the election. Its been described by female writers across the world as they simultaneously explain the phenomenon of silent Hillary advocates. Since the primaries exposed such behaviour, vast communities have formed of women organising secret Facebook groups so they can kudo, analyse and debate very concerned about the Clinton candidacy without abuse. Im in two of them an Australian and American one there are thousands more, and various groups run into memberships of thousands.
Its not only leftwing women, either. An article in Marie Claire observed the phenomenon of evangelical women in conservative communities secretly organising for Clinton as well.
Why theres open antagonism by certain men towards Clinton as well as how her female voting base is locked down in their support for her is simplistically explained as an act of and response to sexism. But there are more complex and nuanced components here that apply to a broader western dialogue about policy priorities.
Problems of pay inequality, parental leave and access to affordable childcare exist across the western world because of the scarcity within political leadership of those who fight for womens causes beyond lip service and make actual legislative change.
Fighting inequality in the US and global context has defined Clintons political involvement for her entire career. Her campaign is unashamed in its commitment to womens policy. As an Australian, I look upon the opportunity Americans have to exercise a vote for her with envy.
The hatred of Clinton from the testosterone left is a dangerous, self-defeating omission from the individuals who insist theirs is an initiative of fairness. Clinton has progressed from community activist to presidential nominee with relentless dedication to equality causes.
Entirely because of her own redefinition of the first lady role, its hard to imagine now how groundbreaking it was when she told the UN that it is no longer acceptable to discuss womens rights as separate from human rights in Beijing in 1995; or when she published It Takes a Village, arguing that childcare is a collective social responsibility, in 1996; or that she is credited with the creation of an office on cases of violence against women at the Department of Justice.
In her busy senatorial career, she championed access to contraception as a womens rights issue, fought for the Paycheck Fairness Act and co-sponsored the Lilly Ledbetter bill for fair pay, as well as campaigning for paid parental leave for US public servants.
Her tenure as secretary of state was characterised by her unprecedented centralisation of gender equality strategies designed to foreign policy, creating a structure for participation of women in peace processes and recognition of rape as a weapon of war, which was subsequently adopted by the UN.
Her nuanced understanding and dogged defence of womens independence and the right to choose has been hailed as glorious given the dangerous polarisation of the abortion issue in the US. Shes never abandoned her dedication to improving access to childcare it is a central feature of her present campaign and her candidacy for chairwoman has been marked by her advocacyfor fairness for women and children, equal pay, reproductive rights, health equality and family and carers leave.
While women fight these ongoing combats for recognition and redress of our structural disadvantage, it uncovers the privilege of cabinet ministers, WikiLeaks wannabes and Bernie Bros alike that they can trivialise, minimise or dismiss them.
There is more at stake in the US election than one candidates victory and the other defeat, far more than who should gain the levers of an economy far more even than who deserves access to the US armoury.
Clinton is not just the most qualified candidate during the elections. Not merely does she have a singular, expert history of activism, leadership and service that recommends her on her own terms. Shes a candidate whose policy, practise, life and very person are inextricable from the political cause of equal opportunities.
In a democratic choice reduced to two alternatives, to reject her for her foe amounts to a rejection of equality as a political project. For those of us who absence the privileges conferred on others at their birth, should Clinton lose its not only the result this is gonna be devastate, but the consequences, too.
Read more: www.theguardian.com