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Attacking Sexism Head-On


This is an interesting article about Kirsten Gillibrand’s decision to face sexism head-on as she runs for president:

The morning after the election of Donald J. Trump, Kirsten Gillibrand woke up and began crying. “Bawling,” she corrected herself.

After spending the next two months “deeply depressed,” the junior senator from New York experienced what she called the most inspiring day of her political life: the women’s march. And almost two years to the day after that, Ms. Gillibrand sat in a Manhattan wine bar, holding a glass of pinot noir, and described why she believes the country and the Democratic Party need an unabashedly feminist campaign for president — and why she thinks she’s the candidate to run it.

“You understand, this is my space,” Ms. Gillibrand said, in an interview. “I don’t know if my party will get as far as I will go on a lot of these issues. But I believe in them so strongly.”

At a moment when women are ascendant in Democratic politics and polls show a record gender gap between the parties, Ms. Gillibrand and her advisers see an opportunity to ride a wave of women’s political energy right into the White House. While multiple women are serious contenders for president for the first time in American history, Ms. Gillibrand is the only one who is making running as a woman, for women, the central theme of her candidacy.

I don’t know whether Gillibrand will get traction or not. But it’s very important than in the wake of Clinton’s loss we have four women who are credible candidates running as strong progressives, all with their own strengths and weaknesses; pre-emptive capitulation to sexism is not a viable approach. And for that matter even Gabbard’s “Steny Hoyer at home, ‘authoritarianism cloaked as counter-terrorism, nationalism cloaked as anti-interventionism, and Islamophobia barely cloaked at all‘ abroad” campaign is a good thing in this sense. Vanity campaigns from the right of the party shouldn’t be confined to white guys who like to talk about the SCOTS-IRISH ROOTS OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY or whatever. Candidacies by women, from various wings of the party, some credible and some not, should simply be normal.

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