Monday, November 07, 2016

Truest statement of the week

In fact, as it turns out, there are very sound reasons to oppose Clinton, including -- if not especially -- from a feminist perspective.
Many feminists have offered extensive critiques of Hillary Clinton’s record, notably Zillah Eisentein and the authors in False Choices, the anthology on the faux feminism of Hillary Clinton edited by Liza Featherstone. The arguments are too numerous to repeat here, but consider one example: Walmart.
When Clinton was brought onto the board of Walmart, the company was facing serious problems of gender discrimination. At every level, women were paid less than men, leading to the largest sex discrimination class-action lawsuit in history. As Featherstone wrote, while “Clinton’s presence on the board helped to make the company look like a better place for women, there is no evidence that she took any measures as a board member to address Walmart’s systemic sexism.”
This example captures the essence of neoliberal feminism — the placement of women in leadership positions of institutions dedicated to maintaining unequal, sexist, and discriminatory practices. While it is sold as a “trickle-down theory,” in reality, women in these positions -- Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Carly Fiorina -- only serve to reproduce the unjust and unequal institutions they head.
Building on the buzz of corporate feminism spurred by women like Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, the Clinton campaign has masterfully deployed feminist tropes and identity politics to promote Clinton as a feminist icon. However, Sandberg’s claim that conditions for all women will improve as women enter high-level positions is simply not borne out by reality.

--  Deepa Kumar and Patrick Barrett, "The Art of Spin: How Hillary Clinton backers deployed faux feminism and privilege politics to divert attention from her destructive politics" (JACOBIN).

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