In this extract from her volume, Susan Bordo asks how the most qualified nominee ever to run for president “ve lost my” apparently unloseable election
Many books have been written about the way racial differences among feminists both subdivided and pushed feminist thoughts and practise forward over the past several decades. In the 2016 election, nonetheless, it was not race but generation that was the dynamic factor among left-leaning ladies. Ladies like me, who experienced many cultural duels in the gender campaigns firsthand from the first contemptuous commentaries that writers had heaped on womens libbers, to the public shaming of Anita Hill, to the renewed threats to bodily rights that we thought we had won decades earlier brought to the 2016 campaign a personal knowledge of the fragility of feminist accomplishments and an identification with Hillary that was deeper and longer than any current headlines.
We may have winced as I did when Madeleine Albright quoted a coffee-cup version of feminism or Hillary said deal me in. But we understood that behind every seeming appeal to sisterhood was the history of what was indeed a revolution and one that was far from over. We knew the role Hillary had played in that revolution, and the cost she had paid for it. Many of us, too, had followed Clinton through such courses of her public career, had read her autobiography, and knew very well that the accusation that she had come to issues concerning racial and economic justice late and for political intents was among the most extraordinary fabrications of the campaign.
Many younger women, on the other hand no less feminist , no less is fully committed to gender equality had formed their notions about the Clintons, as Savannah Barker reminds us, in the shade of 20 years of relentless personal and political assaults. Few of them as I know from decades of teaching courses on feminism, gender aspects, and the social movements of the 60 s were aware of the living history( to borrow Hillarys phrase) that shaped the woman herself.