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It’s Clinton’s divisiveness, not Klobuchar’s choice, that should draw feminists’ ire

Doug Grow wrote in Tuesday’s MinnPost that Jackie Stevenson, a superdelegate pledged to Hillary Rodham Clinton, is miffed at Sen. Amy Klobuchar for endorsing Barack Obama (“Klobuchar’s Obama support miffs some state women”).

Doug Grow wrote in Tuesday’s MinnPost that Jackie Stevenson, a superdelegate pledged to Hillary Rodham Clinton, is miffed at Sen. Amy Klobuchar for endorsing Barack Obama (“Klobuchar’s Obama support miffs some state women”). Stevenson believes she “exemplifies a generation of state women who were political pioneers and feminists,” Grow reported. “They waited and waited for the chance to elect a woman as president and they’re not happy with Klobuchar’s decision — or the timing.”

And Rep. Phyllis Kahn, a Clinton supporter, “thinks that perhaps younger women, such as Klobuchar, don’t understand how hard it was for women to break down barriers,” the story said.

I’m on the young end of the pioneering generation that Stevenson and Kahn claim to speak for — a feminist who continues to look forward to electing a woman president. But the person I’m not happy with is Sen. Clinton, not Sen. Klobuchar. And I’m, well — miffed by Stevenson’s and Kahn’s condescension toward Klobuchar and women like me who have chosen Obama over Clinton. And, by the way, there are many notable women “pioneers” of a certain age who have made the same choice — Arvonne Fraser, Sylvia Kaplan, Janet Shapiro and Marilyn Gorlin, to name a few. For many of us it was not an easy choice — but, sadly, Clinton’s behavior in the last few months has convinced us that it was the right choice.

As a lifelong feminist, well aware of the obstacles and sexism women continue to face, I’m also miffed that I’m now seen as someone who doesn’t get it because I can’t accept Clinton’s dissembling. Though a lifelong supporter of Democrats, particularly women Democrats, and a fundraiser and contributor to Bill Clinton’s two campaigns and Hillary Clinton’s two Senate campaigns, I’m now implicitly accused of being a sexist when I say that Hillary’s tone is harsh and robotic, and that her campaign tactics are ill-conceived and badly executed.

Kahn says she agrees with what former state Sen. Ember Reichgott Junge said recently on “Almanac”:

“For a woman of my age, it’s important that she stay in and fight to the very end.”‘

Fine. Amy Klobuchar says the same thing. Me, too.

And so does HuffingtonPost writer and Obama supporter Jon Robin Baitz, calling for Clinton to stay in the race as long as she can stand it. “I hope that Senator Clinton’s many supporters are entirely satisfied that she did this to herself. That she exhausted her every chance.”

It’s Sen. Clinton’s poor judgment and desperate divisiveness that drove away potential supporters like me. That’s what should draw Kahn and Stevenson’s ire, not Amy Klobuchar’s decision to support the candidate who won the MN caucuses by a 2-1 margin.

Susan Lenfestey, a Minneapolis writer, is a frequent contributor to the opinion pages of the Star Tribune. She writes occasionally at the Clothes Line blog.
 


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If you’re interested in joining the discussion by writing a Community Voices article, email Susan Albright at salbright [at] minnpost [dot] com.