Please Stop Calling Sanders a Feminist

 

Lately, the Internet has been ablaze with debates about who the bigger feminist is: Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. I read through several comments from “Feminists for Bernie” and I can’t help feeling like I am in the twilight zone. Bernie’s supporters like to throw out “the woman card” as often as Trump’s do. They love to say “You only like her because she’s a woman and you’re a woman”. Yes, I do like Secretary Clinton. But that is not why. I like her for many reasons. One of which is that Hillary is a feminist, and I am one too.  In my opinion, Sanders has done nothing to earn this feminist’s vote.

We’ve all heard the usual anti-Sanders rhetoric. I’m not here to talk to you about the Brady Bill or the minimum wage, his tax returns or his family. Forget all that for a moment. I’m uncomfortable with him because I feel that as a woman, Bernie Sanders does not represent me or respect me.

First let’s chat about Sanders’ essays. Let’s establish this first: HE WAS NOT A TEENAGER OR A CHILD. He was a 30 year old man. A 30 year old is not a child. If we are allowed to bring up Hillary being a Young Republican and a Goldwater Girl in her teens & early 20’s, we cannot ignore this man’s words that he wrote at thirty years old. He described men fantasizing about tying up and abusing a woman. He described women fantasizing about being raped by 3 men at once. I don’t know about you, but personally I’ve never fantasized about gang rape. Kinks are one thing, but to me the thought of any woman being raped by one man alone, much less THREE of them, makes me sick to my stomach and breaks my heart. You can’t be a feminist and believe that women are wishing to be gang raped.

Everyone knows about that essay though. So let’s chat about another one. Bernie wrote “The revolution comes… when a girl pushes aside all that her mother has taught her and accepts her boyfriend’s love”. As a feminist, I do not believe that your virginity has anything to do with your worth or your self respect. Sexuality is a healthy and normal part of adolescence. However, far too many young women are pressured by men into giving in and having sex before they are ready. Our mothers try to teach us to “wait for the right man” for a reason. They teach us that so we won’t get pregnant or get STD’s. They teach us that so we don’t let the first guy that shows us any affection take our virginity, never call us again, and break our hearts. They teach us that to protect us. If you have daughters, granddaughters, sisters, or nieces, I’m sure you don’t like the thought of that 13-16 year old girl being told to just forget about her mom’s words and let a boy screw her “because Bernie said so”. Girls and women must make this decision completely on their own, when they are 100% comfortable and ready to do so. Whether they make this decision at 14 or at 26, it has to be on their own terms and we cannot try to control or regulate somebody’s sexuality. I’m a liberal because I don’t want anyone telling women or girls what to do with their body. This goes against everything I (and my party) believe in. You cannot be a feminist if you tell girls what to do with their body.

Sure, a lot of people say that we can’t judge a man by his writings from 40 years ago. I’d agree with you on that if his voting record didn’t continue to parallel all of his warped writings about women, girls, and sexual assault victims. Did you know he voted against AMBER Alert (the system we currently use to track abducted children)? Why would he do that? Because he didn’t agree with part of the bill that included having mandatory life sentences for pedophiles who sexually abuse a child multiple times, even after rehabilitation or jail time. Seriously. He found the part of the bill about jail sentencing for the abductors and abusers so important that it somehow negated the part of the bill about finding and rescuing abducted and abused children. Clearly, anybody who would vote against AMBER Alert for that reason must feel that the abusers’ lives are more important than the children’s. You cannot be a feminist if the lives of sex offenders are a higher priority to you than the lives of children. 

This pattern does not stop with children either. Did you know he voted against the Victims of Rape Health Protection Act (a law requiring accused rapists to submit to an HIV test & give the results to their victims, if the victim requested it)? He voted against it because he believed it was infringing on the privacy of the rape suspects. Yeah, you heard me right. He voted against rape victims receiving a warning about their HIV status because it just “wasn’t fair” to the rapist. There’s no other way to spin this besides flat out stating that Bernie Sanders believed that the privacy of a rapist was more important than the health & well-being of the rape victim. You cannot be a feminist if you put a rapist’s rights above those of the rape victim. 

In his campaign, his more rabid and volatile supporters have become as violent & defiant as Trump’s. They turned a state convention into chaos, pushed through barricades, lifted and waved chairs around, and chanted “CUNT!” repeatedly at a female senator. They lurk on all of Hillary Clinton’s online postings spewing sexist slurs, half the time calling her a “bitch”, “slut”, “whore”, or “cunt”, and the other half harping on her weight, her appearance, and her marriage. They harass any supporter who comments positively on her posts. The women get it the worst. I could post something as innocuous as “You go girl! Excited to vote in my primary in June!” and still have a dozen 19 year old Bernie Bros commenting that I am a “dumb bitch” and a “worthless slut”. Despite being given ample opportunities to do so, Bernie refuses to tell them to stop. He eats it up. He bathes in their cheers and is delighted by the “revolution” they are bringing – even if some women have to be harassed and bullied with sexist slurs and attacks on the way to this revolution. You cannot be a feminist and stand by silently while your followers attack women daily.

This isn’t about a woman president. There’s been women in presidential elections before. We didn’t root for Sarah Palin and we didn’t root for Carly Fiorina. I’m not voting “for the woman” in this election. I’m voting for the feminist in this election. I’m voting for the candidate that doesn’t support the harassment of women. I’m voting for the candidate that doesn’t tell our 15 year old daughters to just shut up about mommy’s morals and let that guy bone her. I’m voting for the candidate that doesn’t glorify gang rape. I’m voting for the candidate that knows Planned Parenthood is necessary and vital, not the candidate that calls it “the establishment” and uses it as a political pawn when he doesn’t get their endorsement. I’m voting for the candidate that has my health & safety as her top priority. The candidate that sees me as something important, something with worth. The candidate that has put her all into helping women like me.

Go ahead, Bernie bros. Tell me again how I’m “voting with my vagina”. This may come as a surprise to you (and probably to Bernie as well) but having a vagina does not mean that I don’t have a brain and a heart. I will be voting with those this election.

See you at the convention.

37 thoughts on “Please Stop Calling Sanders a Feminist

  1. Excellent and I so concur with every word. I would love to see this on Facebook, on Twitter and everywhere everyone can see it. I’ve been talking about Sanders and his rape fantasis and immoral behavior, but no 9ne much seemed to care. I applaud you, you said what’s in my Mind and Heart as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for that. Very interesting. I have focused more on his economic messages over the years and was unaware of most of what you wrote. Good to know. The misogyny that I have seen spewed out of the Left has frankly shocked and demoralized me. Where did it come from?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wasn’t aware of some of these votes. I dislike him even more. His hypocrisy has been unbelievable since day one and I knew he had no respect for women and it’s annoying to me that every time I say something innocuous online about even my damn dinner I get Berniebros shouting slurs at me and then invalidating my experience and speech. Thanks for putting this together. The other thing that’s really been annoying is these guys attempting to co-opt my voice. “As a woman you should vote for Sanders,” yeah bull, as a woman I have an adult brain and the ability to think critically. I’ll be voting for Clinton.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome report! I will share this we all my peers! Thank you, thank you and thank you a thousand times. HILLARYALLTHEWAY2016!!

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  5. Thank you so much! I, too, have been writing about his misogyny and I haven’t been able to get anything this coherent to come out of my mind because his entire campaign has me so infuriated. Im sharing this far & wide. Well done sister!

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  6. Word is: that he also paid ‘Revolution Messaging’ 16 MILLION dollars to verbally abuse women on social media. He also wasted money going to see The Pope Fist Class — Now doesn’t have money to run ads in California and is demanding a debate with HRC so he can get air time beside HER. Quote: “Democrats who think we are superior on digital and are resting on their 2008 laurels are making a giant mistake,” said Scott Goodstein, an Obama campaign veteran and the CEO of Revolution Messaging, the D.C.-based consulting firm that’s helped propel Sanders’ digital campaign.”

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  7. I had a few people claim that some of these facts are false. In fact, I refuse to reference or quote anything that isn’t 100% irrefutable. All of my facts are easily proven & verified, either directly from Bernie’s own mouth, writing, or public voting records. Some quick sources:
    Here is Bernie explaining his vote against Amber Alert: http://archive.boston.com/news/local/vermont/articles/2006/09/21/sanders_vote_on_amber_alert_emerges_as_key_campaign_issue/
    Here is his voting record, vote #505 shows his “nay” vote to the Victims of Rape Health Protection Act:
    https://bolson.org/gov/us/house/2000/Sanders.html
    Here is his quote about Planned Parenthood being part of the establishment:
    http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jan/20/bernie-sanders-calls-planned-parenthood-part-estab/
    Here is his essay about sexual activity among teenage girls:
    http://www.salon.com/2015/12/30/bernie_sanders_early_writings_the_revolution_is_coming_and_it_is_a_very_beautiful_revolution/
    Here is his essay with the rape comment:
    http://www.smerconish.com/daily-news/man-and-woman-by-bernie-sanders/
    Here is Sanders denying his supporters have a penchant for violence and continuing to rile them up against the NV caucus, Barbara Boxer, Roberta Lange, and DWS:
    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/bernie-sanders-under-fire-after-nevada-convention-chaos

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the links! I’m a second-wave feminist, ready to vote for HRC after caucusing for Sanders–I prefer speeding up change rather than waiting for incrementalism to inch us toward reforms. You’ve given me ways to feel better about the vote I’ll cast for HRC who is, as Reich has said, “the perfect president for the system we have now.” BTW, I’ve had a print of the rape article for a long time and that one didn’t stop me–he was ruminating on what’s wrong in relationships, not advocating for the wrongness. Nevertheless, the other positions and his reasoning are not acceptable. So thanks.

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    • Interesting that you transition from “accused rapist” to rapist in describing the vote against the Victims of Rape Health Protection Act. Presumption of Innocence, but hand over your private health information on demand.

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      • Do you know how long trials take to get started? And how long they can last? Often, a victim can’t even get HIV test results until 3-6 months after the rape or risky sexual activity. It’s preposterous to propose that victims of rape just “wait and see” because it’s not fair for them to know the status of their accused rapist until an entire trial has completed. To properly prevent and treat HIV, one would need to begin post-exposure prophylaxis as soon as possible.

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  8. Thank you for writing this. I used to be a fan of Senator Sanders, but since March of this year, this Bernie that has developed (ok, I admittedly had him in a pedestal bubble) saddens me deeply, as well as his encouragement of the many followers of his that are all-too-eager attackers of women.

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  9. As you can see by my article, full of facts with citations & sources, I do not post, reference, or support anybody spreading false or misconstrued information. There are fair critiques of Sec Clinton (I.e her husband’s foundation paying some women less than men, or her calling Monica a looney-tune). But the rapist defending thing is 100% bullshit. Here are my well documented facts on that claim for you, since you have no desire to factcheck on your own:
    Claim: “Hillary Clinton got an admitted child rapist off and openly bragged about it”
    Facts: In 1975, a man was on trial for the rape of a 12 year old girl. He was appointed a public defender but rejected the lawyer because he wanted a woman specifically. The judge on the case, Maupin Cummings, called Hillary (one of only 6 female lawyers in the county) into action and asked her to take the defender’s place. She accepted as it was a formal request that bordered on a forced appointment. Once seeing the case, she requested to be relieved of it and expressed serious discomfort and moral concerns about defending him. Mahlon Gibson, the Washington Township prosecuter on the case, verified Hillary’s claims and confirmed that she did issue a request to the Judge Cummings to leave the case which was denied. Judge Cummings, the only other party involved is deceased and cannot comment. But the recollections of the other two involved parties, Secretary Clinton and Prosecutor Gibbons, match each other’s. In addition, Gibbons, who only met her briefly during that case and was on the opposing end of the trial, has no reason to fabricate the story. Secretary Clinton claims that once she was forced to remain on the case, she did the job she was required to do to the best of her ability as any other lawyer would do. The tape of her “laughing about the case” sounds much worse out of context. She was referring to how she didn’t take the case to trial because she knew he was guilty. She mentioned making him take a polygraph, which he passed, and then she chuckled and added in that his passing was what made her forever lose faith in polygraphs. In the end, Hillary did not “get him off”. She got him a plea deal and they pled guilty, which saved the court’s time & money and saved the victim from having to testify in a trial.
    Conclusion: Yes, she did defend a rapist and yes, she pulled some tricky legal maneuvers to get her job done. No, she did not want to defend him, did not boast about it, and did not get him off scot-free.
    Sources:
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2014/jul/17/did-hillary-clinton-ask-be-relieved-rapist/
    http://www.snopes.com/hillary-clinton-freed-child-rapist-laughed-about-it/

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I appreciate your voice about this topic and have been making similar points about Sanders and his essays for a while now. I also notice how these essays are dismissed as unimportant. I try to put his bizarre writings into comparative context for people by using a hypothetical scenario. For example, what if Hillary Clinton wrote about mutilating penis’ when she was around thirty? Would those essays also be dismissed as unimportant or would the media and Sanders supporters be touting about how sick & twisted Clinton is? I’m pretty sure people would be appropriately concerned.

    Fortunately, that hypothetical Clinton scenario is nowhere near what she had accomplished by the time she was thirty. By the time Clinton was 30 she had already established a career as a public servant and fortunately for us, she continues her service with women in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your 7th paragraph is more important than the basic proposition it contains. It gives your male allies (like me) legitimacy when they call out the overt and “omissive” misogyny they encounter in various forms of public discourse.

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  12. Pingback: Please Stop Calling Sanders a Feminist | While you were sleeping

  13. Thank you for posting this even though it popped my Bernie bubble. I didn’t know he was such a sicko. I like that Hilary is a feminist, but she’s accepted 335 million from Monsanto! Now it will be a matter of trying to choose the lesser of two evils and I’m not sure how to determine that. Which is worse? To have the environment destroyed with Monsanto’s Round-up, to get cancer or be sterilized without consent from eating their unlabeled GMO’s or to have a president who doesn’t value women and children and would set rapists and pedophiles free? This reminds me of the movie Sophie’s Choice. Which child do we let die? Horrible to not even have one good option for president!

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    • Melissa, could you give a source for the $335 million assertion? If it would ease your mind at all, I’ve been looking and looking online and I can’t find anything to support that — one of her close advisors works for a lobbying firm that has Monsanto as a client, but his own work for the company doesn’t seem to have been substantial. She’s never worked for Monsanto herself, never sat on their board or lobbied for them, and her entire 2016 campaign “war chest” to date is $289 million, almost $200 million of which came from individual donations.

      In addition, the combined personal worth of both Clintons is around $110 million — even if every single penny of that came from Monsanto (which we can be fairly certain it didn’t), that still doesn’t begin to come close to $335 million.

      There’s a lot of misinformation out there and it can be hard to sort through, but I really do believe that you can safely dismiss the rumor that Hillary is a paid tool of Monsanto.

      If you want to look at her campaign contributions and personal finances in more detail, I can’t recommend the nonpartisan website opensecrets.org highly enough. The info they’ve gathered on Hillary’s campaign funding and all its sources is here:

      https://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/candidate.php?id=N00000019

      and more information about OpenSecrets itself, including its membership, funding and annual reports, can be found here:

      https://www.opensecrets.org/about/

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    • @Chaos

      Because, apparently, you cannot love and respect yourself and men simultaneously…pffft! I think feminists, and potential feminists, might have feared that perception at one time. But not anymore. Feminists, to the contrary of the manipulation you’re attempting, are fine with alienating the kind of men who think that way.

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  14. Are you aware that bills are bundled together, and sometimes, in voting for a larger bill, you are voting against a bill that is attached that you might otherwise support? Hillary used this trick on Sanders in the debate, since the bill to save GM was bundled in the bail out Wall Street bill. He voted against the bail out of Wall Street.

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    • I am more than aware. And I represented that in my post. I made it very clear that the minimum sentencing for pedophiles was bundled in with the rest of AMBER Alert and was his reasoning for voting against it. My point was that compromise is necessary and one should weigh the pros & cons here and see the whole “saving children” thing as more important than the “amount of jail time for kiddy rapists” thing, and vote for the greater good.

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      • Yes, Hillary was more than willing to “compromise” (read that as go along with the safe majority opinion) on the Iraq War vote. Ooops.

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    • A large part of the money to bail out GM also included funds to help the small local banks and savings & loans who had no influence on the crash, but were going down with them…..Bernie voted to have small business fail…he fails to understand compromise. He’s a bully, who according to Howard Dean, sulks like a little boy and is not an easy person to be around when he doesn’t get his way in the Senate, that’s why he’s not so well thought of by his co-workers.

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  15. I’ll say first off that I am a Bernie supporter. I appreciate hearing some of the negative things Bernie has said in his past. In the mainstream media the Bernie bashing is, ‘he’s a socialist Santa Clause’ etc. and holds no real standing whereas actual quotes of Bernie’s do. I do think that we evolve and learn and so does our understanding of the issues. I am a Bernie supporter because his stance on the majority of the issues has been and I believe will continue to be on the right side of history. I do not feel the same way for Hillary. For example Hillary’s Neo-Liberal micro-lending effort.

    http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/thomas_frank_on_hillary_clinton_liberal_virtue_20160222

    I think that Hillary should actually run in a new Neo-Liberal party and call it how it is. And I think that Hillary’s unavailability ratings go directly to the public’s rightful distrust of her. This is comedy but it grasps the feeling I have toward her honesty:

    My last thought is you can consider yourself a feminist and still not be consist and or agree with other feminists. I do think Bernie is standing up for feminist and LGBT rights that he has come to understand are important. More importantly he is standing up for everyone’s rights and that is the corner where government should be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your civil, well-researched, well-stated opinions. I agree with you on your last point as well, no woman has the right to tell any other woman that her view of feminism is “invalid”. We don’t have to all feel the same way, and expecting all women to conform to one set of ideals is preposterous.
      I am interested in, and glad to hear, the opinions and feelings of all women – whether they agree with me on everything or not. I always say that every word from a strong, intelligent woman is a step in the right direction, regardless of how they contrast or compare with my views.
      Thanks again for your input. Have a great day (:

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  16. I feel like so many issues in this country come down to people vs money. My family members who are republicans are socially liberal, but they vote republicans because they have money and republicans protect their money. I’ve accused them of caring more about their money than the rights of others and they get uncomfortable, but can’t deny it.

    I feel like the same thing is happening hear. Who cares if Sanders treats women poorly? He hasn’t taken money. Who cares if his health care plan would put abortion out of reach of all but the upper middle class and wealthy women (see the Hyde Amendment, which his plan doesn’t address), he hasn’t taken money from Goldman Sachs.

    Women against become the victim of expediency and a “higher cause”.

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