“Who Ya Gonna Call?”
Hillary, Ellen, and Andi??
So, here I am, a seventy-year-old self-proclaimed Feminist from the Good Old Days, in search of news about women, having donned the mantle of “Social Issues Correspondent” with a special mandate to write about topics that might appeal to the female readers of American News X.
Surely, this can’t be difficult in the year of Hillary Clinton, in the world of hoards of “Millennials” flocking to that old and popular Socialist Bernie Sanders, almost casually turning aside from the expectations of their mothers, many of whom were instrumental in securing them the right to support anyone they choose (even if it means not supporting the first woman almost certain to secure her party’s nomination) —in the world of Beonce and . . . well, it does get complicated.
Hillary Clinton’s generation of women, of which I am a member, paved the way for all those young women to refuse to support us based solely on the fact that we’re women. Right? We fought so our daughters wouldn’t have to. We went to war so our daughters could forget there was ever anything but peace. It’s what we wanted. And, apparently, voters in general just don’t like Hillary Clinton, in spite of the fact that she’s a woman. Or is it because she’s a woman? Maybe it’s because she seems to think she’s entitled to all those young women’s votes.
The people who don’t like Secretary Clinton, although she is—without any doubt—not only the person best qualified to hold the office of President of the United States, but the only person actually qualified to run for that office in recent memory, including her esteemed spouse, say they don’t “trust” her. They don’t trust her because she made some shady deals in real estate back in Arkansas; because she turned on the women who slept with her husband; because she kept personal emails during her tenure as Secretary of State. Because, really, she just seems a little too ambitious.
But isn’t that what Feminism has worked for?
Ambitious women who are held to the same standards as men, who don’t have to be purer, better, kinder, more forgiving, more loving? Women who can be bastards with the best of those men. Was that it? Was that what I took to the streets for after the Civil Rights Movement turned into the Anti-War Movement and we all suddenly realized that we were still making coffee and emptying ashtrays for the men on the front lines of those causes to which we were passionately committed? Was that it?
Maybe it was the idea of young mothers trading daycare, giving each other an occasional day off–an idea that seemed radical in the 1970’s. Or was it the later revolution of women going out to work while men stayed home and experienced the gift and the enormous burden of taking care of their own small children? A year ago, my son and daughter-in-law, in their mid-forties, had their first child. My upstairs neighbor, ten years younger, had her own son four months ago. I have watched in wonder as this network of women pass on baby clothes and furniture and toys to people they only know because they share the birth of children in common. Someone has a friend who has a cousin who needs a portable crib; it takes forty-eight hours for a crib to appear. They apparently take all this for granted. Because they should. Isn’t this what we fought for?
I read two articles this week in the NYTimes. The first was about the fact that both Hillary Clinton and the all-female cast of the remake of the film, “Ghostbusters,” are scheduled to appear on the Ellen DeGeneres show on the same date. The article spotlights the possible benefits to Ms. Clinton of aligning herself with these “hip” younger women and the potential drawbacks to Sony and its blockbuster film of being aligned with a political candidate of questionable popularity.
It isn’t a very interesting or enlightening situation, frankly, even though an unidentified group of disaffected men who viewed the YouTube trailer have aggressively put it down—presumably because of the female cast—and, of course, Donald Trump weighed in with a predictably misogynistic remark.
A reader commented that possibly the trailer just wasn’t any good and that it didn’t have anything to do with the female cast.
Reader comments in the NYTimes are often my favorite section of the paper.
The second Times piece was a review of a book called We Were Feminists Once,The Buying and Selling of a Political Movement, in which Andi Zeisler, co-founder of “Bitch Media,” bemoans the fact that Feminism has become trivial, popular “click bait” that addresses insultingly irrelevant questions like whether waxing my legs means I’m not a real Feminist. Well, gosh.
We end where we started. Is it good news or bad news that young women have gone beyond, changed, and in many ways disregarded or even rejected foundational Feminism?
Isn’t this what we fought for?
Is this what we fought for?
Who Ya Gonna Call?
Feature image courtesy of eonline.com via Pinterest