- Category: Feminist Consciousness-Raising
While voting in our system is not the powerful tool the Woman's Suffrage Movement hoped it would be, it's still an important tool of defense-especially this year for stopping Donald Trump. Trump threatens a century of gains for women's liberation, civil rights, and the labor movement.
We have to face that in the current unfair election system we have only two candidates who will be able to get into power. As Alicia Garza of Black Lives Matter says, "I am not voting for candidates, I am voting for terrain."
Trump is inciting sexist and racist behavior that is already making life harder for women. He's encouraging rally crowds to beat up protesters and suggesting his armed supporters assassinate Hillary Clinton. He's making anti-woman rhetoric mainstream, encouraging supporters to call Hillary a "bitch", calling a Latina beauty contest winner "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeping" and sneeringly referring to Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as "Pocahontas." Under Trump, women will face perilous new conditions requiring us to spend all our movement energy to keep from being pushed back, rather than moving forward and making concrete wins for women.
Under Clinton the terrain will be difficult for us, as well as the targets of her hawkish foreign policy. To get the things women need, we need a lot more than a woman president, we need a strong movement making bold demands, much bolder than anything in Hillary's platform. But making bold demands under a Hillary Clinton administration will be a lot more likely to build into a powerful, effective force than it will if Donald Trump is elected. No-one expects him to do feminist things like fight for an effective equal pay law or a public child care system. But most women do expect things of Hillary-she's said she would repeal the Hyde Amendment that has blocked women with Medicaid from accessing abortion for 40 years; she's promised to support paid family leave.
Just as Occupy Wall Street arose partly from the disappointment of business as usual under the Obama administration, the feminist movement will have the chance to mobilize under a Hillary Clinton administration, based on widespread expectations. If we unite in large enough numbers, we could win urgently needed feminist gains. With a President Trump, we will be fighting for the very space to organize.
Get involved in the last critical five weeks of the election campaign:
Polls show Florida very close, so volunteering with the Clinton campaign can make a big impact.
To volunteer to defend the vote, especially important in Florida given its recent history of racist denial and intimidation against voters, sign up with Election Protection.
In New York
Get on a Clinton campaign bus to Pennsylvania on the weekends, the nearest swing state, or phone bank from the New York offices or from home.
Find out what you can do in your state.