United States

Nov 8, 2016

Western feminism is dead, and Clinton’s victory will be its wake

No amount of femmo zingers or rainbow pantsuits can resuscitate feminism.

Helen Razer — Writer and Broadcaster

Helen Razer

Writer and Broadcaster

Love her, loathe her or simply accept her as the least toxic dish on a hegemonic menu, Hillary Clinton will soon be the world’s most powerful politician. There are few groups or state actors who can know this will be a good thing. Of course, Saudi Arabia will be happy to maintain its relationship with its best ever arms saleswoman and Goldman Sachs will be relieved to know it has such a close friend, family member and after-dinner speaker in the White House. I imagine The Guardian will be grateful for the licence to publish another thousand thin opinion pieces about how this really means something for the girls. But for the world’s everyday women and men who count feminism among their concerns, this presidency means something more difficult.


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4 thoughts on “Western feminism is dead, and Clinton’s victory will be its wake

  1. Nudiefish

    Thought provoking piece. It is kind of bleak if we consider western feminism is now a done deal. I understand your argument, but I think that very powerful women transcend their gender in the same way that very powerful men transcend theirs. The day that a cardinal ignores child abuse is the day that he stops being an advocate for Christianity, or at least it should. He should represent the very pinnacle of religious idealism, but because he fails terribly does that mean the message is lost, or that the movement is finished? I’m an atheist, by the way, so not to cause confusion about whether Christianity is a worthy vehicle in any way?

    Leaders will always let you down at some point. Feminism is something that we all should embrace at an individual level. If there is a social bias against some of us then we all suffer. Compassion and moral rights are not to be reserved for one’s own clan. Even as president Hillary will not advance the cause but should we expect her to? After all, she has disregarded women in the past that she could have helped, as you say. Thanks Helen.

    1. Helen Razer

      I get that you’re saying “It’s unreasonable to expect women to be better”. I agree. I don’t think we can say that it’s unreasonable to point out that a nominee who has firmly based a campaign on a declared belief, in this case feminism, is cynical about it and works against those declared interests.
      A feminist supporting Saudi, or failing to address the rising number of women in US prisons on which she played a pivotal role, is a bit like a priest supporting Satan.
      It’s not a woman thing to call someone to account.

  2. Dog's Breakfast

    Courage Helen. If we live long enough, one day we may see this farce play out.

    But if I read you correctly, yes, the entire system has to change, and waiting for some female messiah is no more fruitful than waiting for a male one.

    I think feminism as it is played out today has done its dash. We shall have to get to where we want to be by some other ideology, I don’t know, how about rational economics.

  3. AR

    Excellent piece MzRaz and all the more poignant for being so very, very accurate.
    BTW, I don’t think nudie was saying ‘women should be better’ but rather bemoaning, like brekkie that Leaders inevitably disappoint, hence the old anarchist line about “benevolent dictatorships tempered by assassination”.
    A mob is always less than the sum of its parts which is which they coalesce around a Leader – the bigger the Mob the more constrained the Leader.

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