Clash of The Waves: Feminism in Crisis

A exchange between The Root blogger, Rebecca Walker, founder of Third Wave Direct Action, and an anonymous reader.


This exchange followed a blog post by Rebecca Walker on The Huffington Post.

Anonymous: I disagree with your assessment of this election. I think you are really diminishing how much of a threat Hillary is to the male power structure in America. I have never seen the media make the kind of brazen, non-stop sexist attacks against anybody like they have against Hillary. She is a Democratic woman who already knows how the Executive Branch works and that makes her more formidable than her opponent. She won't spend months or even years figuring out how to get things done. And imagine the change in this country if 50% of the population woke up.

And you say that it's not Hillary's gender that might keep her from winning this election, it's her lack of preparation. Nobody can say with any certainty how gender affects people at the ballot box, but Iowa and Mississippi have never elected a female to Congress, despite having populations that are approximately 50 per cent female. Pointing this out does not mean that you consider men the enemy.

I would say that Hillary is supremely prepared when it comes to knowledge of the issues. What she lacks is the ability to communicate like a preacher. I say that not to detract from Obama's ability to articulate a vision for the country, but I question his ability to implement that vision, especially in times as hostile as these. And why is Obama described as a progressive and Hillary as a moderate, when they have the same voting record?

And why do you hold Hillary personally responsible for what Gloria Steinem thinks and says? You conflate the two. Should we hold Obama personally responsible for what you think and say? That would be ridiculous.

And I don't understand this attack on Second Wave feminists. Those women revolutionized women's place in America. As Tina Fey would say, they got things done. Why can't people disagree without completely attacking a movement that has improved the lives of American women? What have Third Wave feminists ever done except criticize Gloria Steinem?

You say that Hillary "may be one of the first [women] with power and access to ignore the criticisms of women of color." Who exactly do you mean when you say women of color? Many non-white women are voting for Hillary in record numbers, in part because they want to elect a female President. Many want universal healthcare, something no other candidate has offered.

The only reason feminism is even in the news again is because Hillary is running for President.


RW: Interesting perspective.