Candidates Breathe New Life Into Feminism


I have received some interesting emails today.

And they are all about feminism and the presidential candidates. I have to say that no matter how cynical you (okay, I) may be about this race, the fact that we've got progressives clamoring over one another to explain why Clinton or Obama is the most "feminist" choice is pretty impressive.

What's truly fascinating to me about this dialogue, however, is not who is the more feminist candidate but what the potential may be for a new, dynamic definition of feminism to emerge. A definition that expands beyond the boundaries of liberal women's living rooms. A definition that pushes past the borders of income level, age set, ethnicity or race. A definition that barrels over the man-bashing, hairy-legged, angry cartoon character. And maybe even a definition that erases party line.

Is feminism about the fact that a white woman has made it farther in a U.S. presidential race than any other female in this country's history?

Is feminism about the fact that an African-American man is running on a presidential platform of lifting up every voice and making change for all women?

Is feminism about the fact that women of this country have the ability to make or break this election on both sides?

Is feminism about the fact that the majority of Americans support reproductive justice in this country?

Is feminism about the fact that actively chasing and garnering women's support means more to the Democratic candidates than ever before?

Is feminism about the fact that the discussion over what is more feminist – a vote against war or the creation of a healthcare plan that covers all Americans – is being had from coast to coast?

We have the opportunity now, no matter who comes out ahead after today's "super-ness" is over, to continue the conversation about the intersection of feminism, civil rights, reproductive justice, economics, and the politics of war. Whether it's on the Democratic or Republican side, the momentum gained in the presidential race thus far should not be lost. Let's force an agenda on our presidential candidates that represents the ideals we believe in.

A new feminism is being birthed. Let's raise it well.

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  • invalid-0

    Thank Amie for your response to my comment on your other article. I definitely agree with you.

    But I want to highlight again – because this really bothers me, and I wish someone would pick up this issue and get to the bottom of it – the question I raised before.

    With regard to the following question from the RH Reality Check questionnaire – “Does Senator Obama support any restrictions on abortion, or does he believe it should be entirely up to the woman?” – his answer was:

    “Obama supports those restrictions that are consistent with the legal framework outlined by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade.”

    Am I the only person who sees a big red warning flag here? He was a Con Law professor, and therefore knows this statement leaves the door open for all the restrictions the SCOTUS has deemed compatible with Roe. Also, has anyone asked the candidates about Gardisil?

    Does anyone know for sure where he stands on all the issues, such as bans on specific procedures? Maybe there’s a link to a NOW questionnaire that I’m missing?

    I’d love to be pointed in the right direction on this so I can start obsessing over something else. ;-)

    Keep up the good work…

  • invalid-0

    To my knowledge, there is no information out there that challenges Obama on the issues you raise.

    I think you are absolutely right to be guarded and to read those answers with as much attention to detail as possible!

    The truth is, we don’t know. While NARAL Pro-choice America has stated that all the candidates are sufficiently pro-choice, we don’t know what Obama would do as President because he just doesn’t have the experience and he hasn’t displayed the leadership Clinton has in this arena – no matter how you spin it.

    I read Obama’s answer to the question about supporting any restrictions on Roe v. Wade as outlined by SCOTUS as explaining that he supports access to abortion until viability or in cases of danger to the woman’s life or health. However, with the recent federal abortion ban decision that answer does feel incomplete.

    If you find something else out there that explains his positions on reproductive health more thoroughly please let me know!

    Thanks for your diligence and I’ll certainly post any information I uncover, on the site!

  • http://www.thelurkingcanary.blogspot.com invalid-0

    I’ll let you know if I find anything more specific… hopefully I will.

  • invalid-0

    I fully agree that voting for Obama means nothing but uncertainty for women’s reproductive rights and for women’s and children’s issues in general. I do not trust him at all and a close look at his voting record shows he’s very inconsistent; for ex. he voted “present” and not in favour (as Hillary did) of MoveOn.Org’s ad condemning the War! There is only one candidate who stated with unequivocal vigour that ‘WOMEN’S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS’ at the UN for all the world to hear. She has the best Universal Health Care Plan. And she’s backed her convictions with concrete, consistent acts. I DO NOT TRUST OBAMA. First he must learn to change his political diapers before he steals the President’s job from a Woman with conviction and experience–whose Resume is our only hope! HILLARY DESERVES THE JOB. Let’s go forward and trust ourselves on this one.