Women have continually championed their rights through various feminist movements. Throughout history, some women have come up to condemn violence against women. Anti-racist feminist has additionally been on the rise calling for equality and inclusivity of women irrespective of their ethnic background. Numerous feminist conversations address the various issues that affect women. In the article, “What’s gender solidarity got to do with it? Woman shaming and Hillary Clinton,” Sharon Crozier-De Rosa spearheads a conversation on the modern feminist values. The article talks about shaming and how it has been used by the feminist to spread the feminist agenda. The article mainly talks about presidential campaigns on how women have been at the focal point in attacking fellow women. Hillary Clinton is in the spotlight of woman shaming where some woman has accused her has a bad feminist. Anti-feminist movement previously championed for inclusivity and diversity when it comes to issues affecting women, but this seems not to be the case.
In the article, Hillary Clinton is described as a bad feminist because of her record of accomplishment where her policies have undermined women. Yasmin Nair in the article described Hillary as a bad intersectionality feminist because her policies while in office supported only middle and upper class women mainly the whites. Clinton was further accused of being a sexist from the manner in which she slut-shamed Monica Lewinsky following an affair with her husband. The accusation portrays Clinton as an anti-feminist whose actions served to water down all the achievements of feminist movements. The new conversation brings to light new issues affecting women particularly the infighting against themselves. Modern feminist is under threat from women in higher positions who are seen to be failing women through retrogressive policies. Hillary in the campaign faced numerous challenges including the feminist who called out on her for being a bad feminist. The actions placed her in double jeopardy, which later led to her failure to win presidential elections (Crozier-De Rosa 6).
Intersectionality was a term coined to describe the kind of oppression women faced in different degrees. Kimberlé Crenshaw came up with the description after a careful analysis of the challenges women faced in the society. Crenshaw noted that women faced discrimination of different magnitude. The article provides a conversation that is filled with issues of intersectionality. Women in the conversation are affected by different types of oppression. In the first instance, Presidential Candidate Trump Body and slut-shamed Alicia Machado who was a former miss universe mainly calling out her alleged sex tape and her excessive weight. The remarks by the now president targeted a woman with oppressive comments. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is widely affected by the issue of intersectionality. First, Hillary is being shamed by her opponent for alleged sex scandals and misuse of office. Clinton is further oppressed by her fellow women who portray her as a bad feminist and call on other women to withdraw their support towards her presidential ambitions. Young women additionally who showed their support towards Bernie Sanders were also shamed and called names by their feminists. The kind of oppression these women faced showed the different degrees of discrimination women faced in a society that is perceived to champion for inclusivity and personal freedom (McCann 41).
In the conversation, there is a clear example where participants move to address intersectionality. Early in the conversation, the author points out an incidence where Trump attacked a woman through negative comments about her sexuality and body weight. The comments sparked protests by the feminist activist who termed the remarks as derogatory calling for the candidate to apologize and withdraw the statements. The action by the feminist groups to condemn an attack on a woman portrayed how modern feminist movements still championed the rights of women. In the case, Machado had been discriminated first for being a woman and her political stand on the choice of a presidential candidate. Intersectionality is not addressed on the discrimination directed by a woman to another woman. Fellow women are shaming Hillary Clinton, but nothing is being done to address the issue. Other women who show their support to Sanders are humiliated and called names while feminist activists have nothing to say about the discrimination. These examples show that intersectionality has on been addressed when it only address issues that affect women propagated by men (Weber 51).
These cases occur differently based on the limelight each receives in the media. Issues of intersectionality propagated by men receive much attention by the press and draw the attention of the feminist activists. Those propagated by women aimed at shaming their counterparts are disregarded and given limited attention. The manner in which the two are addressed affects the conversation. Intersectionality that targets women from the male perspective generates conversations and attracts varied opinions on how the issues should be addressed. The case of Machado explains how women usually rise together to protect one of their own by calling on the public to have problems affecting women respected (Weber 41). On the other hand, intersectionality from the female perspective is disregarded as it ends up generating no conversation. The issue of women shaming has not been addressed as feminist are shying off to come up with viable debates on the best ways of addressing intersectionality propagated by women. As it remains, the issue remains unaddressed, and it will shape the future of feminist campaigns when it comes to addressing oppression directed to women.
The participants in the conversation are less accountable on their feminist narrative. Feminist theory is all about supporting women against marginalization and discrimination. The participants in the conversation practice accountability on issues that affect women through protests and online conversations. Feminist activists are seen to initiate conversation on social media calling for the respect of women. The protests and a continuous reminder to leadership on the need to respect women and lead by example is a clear indication that participants are accountable. Accountability has also been practiced to a lesser degree through the silence of the participants on discrimination directed by women from their fellow women. The few women who have called out on their women have shown courage to talk about the discrimination without touching on other areas of discrimination. In as far as, accountability is being practiced; the failure to recognize discrimination that originates from women waters down all the significant achievements on accountability (Aiello 105).
The issue of solidarity has not been fully practiced owing to various gaps that exist in the movement. Solidarity is the ability of women to support one another towards fairness and equality. In the article, the participants of the conversation can be seen to be undecided on the issue of solidarity. The participants have shown solidarity when men attack women by calling for protests and initiating online campaigns. The solidarity is present, and women will continuously move one of their own. The issue of solidarity is questionable in the manner in which women attack and shame their counterparts on their failure to promote the female agendas. The actions could be justifiable as it helps to point out issues in the society, which still makes it easy for women to stand by one another. The case where Hillary has been described as a bad feminist is debatable since her actions undermined women. Hillary should have been at the forefront in representing women and coming up with policies that could protect not only women but also establish an environment where women would not be oppressed (Crozier-De Rosa 8).
When the participants fail to practice accountability, the entire conversation is affected. Conversations on feminist issues should be continuous and should show some sense of accountability to support all the feminist groups. Accountability shows some dedication towards a course and failure to practice it shows that women are not serious about their issues. The conversation stops and lacks direction if all the efforts lack accountability. Lack of accountability demotivates activists who view their efforts fail when the same people affected by discrimination fail to account for what will help change the course. When accountability is practiced, conversations are reignited with the core issues affecting women receiving the attention it deserves. The protest is a clear indication of accountability, and such demonstrations often attract the attention of the public particularly the media. It is through accountability that the society sees the need to address the issues affecting women. The conversation of these issues should continue with activists leading the way to a point where women are treated well in the society. Accountability should also include reviewing the actions of the feminist movement to ensure that they are in line to correct the wrongs that have existed throughout history. Until accountability is fully practiced, feminist movement will continue to fight for the rights of women (Hunt 162).
The issue of solidarity is partially addressed in the conversation provided in the article. Feminist practice solidarity on issues that affect them as a whole and disregard solidarity on issues that affect specific women. In the women’s world, solidarity is ignored as women are left to fight on their own. In the world that contains both male and female, the issue of solidarity is practiced depending on where oppression originates. Women stand together in solidarity against oppression by men and leave women on their own whenever their fellow women oppress them. These issues are inherent in the society, and the efforts of the feminist movement are now directed towards addressing the new developments on the issue of discrimination. Solidarity calls for women to support one another but this seems not to be achieved as women are continually fighting each other. Solidarity will only be achieved the point when women support one another and find solutions to issues that create differences amongst themselves (Weber 38). The conversation is stopped when women neglect the issue of solidarity on issues that oppress women on their own. Limited conversation exists on this sensitive topic and women need to find a way to initiate conversations that will seek to address the emerging issues.
Aiello, Giorgia, et al. “Here, and not yet here: A dialogue at the intersection of queer, trans, and culture.” Journal of International and Intercultural Communication 6.2 (2013): 96-117.
Crozier-De Rosa, Sharon. The Conversation: What’s gender solidarity got to do with it? Woman shaming and Hillary Clinton. (2016). Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/whats-gender-solidarity-got-to-do-with-it-woman-shaming-and-hillary-clinton-68325
Hunt, Sarah, and Cindy Holmes. “Everyday decolonization: Living a decolonizing queer politics.” Journal of Lesbian Studies 19.2 (2015): 154-172.
McCann, Carole, and Seung-Kyung Kim, eds. Feminist theory reader: Local and global perspectives. Routledge, 2013.
Weber, Cynthia. “Why is there no queer international theory?.” European Journal of International Relations 21.1 (2015): 27-51.