The Catharsis Campaign

What Clinton's political release means to the future of feminism.

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No matter the outcome, John McCain is already benefiting. A new poll suggests that 27 percent of Clinton supporters say they will back McCain. It falls to Hillary to reverse that. In the penultimate tragic gesture, she must now repudiate her own message of sexism to stop the bloodletting she started.

But putting the genie back in the bottle will take a lot more than a massive display of scripted unity. Through their opportunistic appeal to white voters, subtle strumming of the chord of black man as immature “boy” and refusal to stem the sweeping rhetoric of gender politics engulfing their message, Hillary and her female chorus, including Steinem and Geraldine Ferraro, have reopened the floodgates of mistrust many, myself included, have tried to stem for decades.

No matter how stunning a spectacle Hillary Clinton’s call for unity is this week, we move forward with a party weakened by an inability to pierce the façade of political theater. And one thing is certain, if the Democrats win in November, the unresolved issues raised by “Campaign Catharsis” will flow directly into the White House.

Rebecca Walker is the author of “Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime for Ambivalence.” Her blog on The Root is called Seeds.