Let’s Slow Down on the Clinton Coronation (Warmongering Is a Women’s Issue)

Of course, it’s a men’s issue too. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Like Amy Schiller, I was disappointed to read Jessica Valenti’s “Why I’m Voting for Her”, in which Valenti argues that, in 2016, feminists should vote for a female candidate because she’s a woman:

Because campus rapists are being “punished” by research papers, not prison. Because the man in charge of curbing sexual assault in the Air Force was himself charged with sexual battery. Because the leading cause of death for pregnant women is murder by a partner. Because the Obama administration would rather play politics than make emergency contraception available to all women. Because “legitimate rape.”

It’s not that these intractable problems would magically disappear if we had a woman president. But it just might make the relentless sexism easier to bear. Maybe, despite the seemingly endless misogyny and the daily offenses, a female president would be a hopeful reminder of progress made. Because right now, I don’t see any.

It’s no exaggeration to say that feminists have been stuck in the same defensive crouch for decades. We’ve been so busy trying to hold on to the ground already won that imagining a feminist future has been a luxury we haven’t had the time, money or energy for. Maybe the way to kick the movement into forward motion is with a bang: the presidency.

Leaving aside that it’s a wee bit early to commit to a candidate, Schiller makes many good points–you should read her column. But assuming the female candidate would be Clinton, there’s one issue that Schiller doesn’t raise: Clinton’s predilection for war.

I realize the 2008 primaries were five years ago, which in internet time, is like the Precambrian, but, leaving aside some latent racism and prejudice, many Democrats who opposed Clinton didn’t do so because of her economic policies, but because of her foreign policy stances–she was a pro-Iraq war hawk. And she doesn’t seem to have learned much from that sorry episode either (boldface mine):

To successfully target Assad’s air power, one option is to outfit moderate rebel units vetted by the CIA with man-portable antiaircraft missiles, otherwise known as Manpads. Providing more moderate rebels with Manpads is a reasonable choice, though unlikely to be decisive because time is on Assad’s side. There is also a risk that the weapons could be diverted to al Qaeda-related groups. Despite that risk, however, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former CIA Director David Petraeus recommended this strategy last summer.

That’s the suggestion, from Petraeus and Clinton, that the White House overruled.

If there’s one truism about war, it’s that women always get the worst of it. Most casualties are civilians. That’s before we get to the rape, the classification of women into ‘our’ and ‘their’ women, and the inevitable subordination to women’s rights to the cause (yes, women are often given important roles during wars, and then they very rapidly lose them after the war).

A woman president would be a wonderful thing, but the particular woman matters. At least, let’s hear what the candidates have to say.

Of course, a Clinton versus Warren primary would be a sight to see…

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2 Responses to Let’s Slow Down on the Clinton Coronation (Warmongering Is a Women’s Issue)

  1. AndrewD says:

    All I woulid say is – Remember Mrs Thatcher.
    You might not get what you think you would get!

  2. This is precisely why I voted for Obama over Clinton in the 2008 primaries as well.

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