Frederick Douglass framed the issue from a black perspective: "When women, because they are women, are hunted down through the cities of New York and New Orleans; when they are dragged from their houses and hung from lampposts; when their children are torn from their arms and their brains dashed out upon the pavement; when they are objects of insult and rage at every turn; when they are in danger of having their homes burnt down ... then they will have an urgency to obtain the ballot equal to our own."
Gloria Steinem drew race and gender parallels in an op-ed in The New York Times, but her emphasis was on sex: "Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life, whether the question is who must be in the kitchen or who could be in the White House." She didn't include in her "restricting force" the matter of who goes to college: There are many more women than men, and more black women than black men, enrolled in college and graduate school. Proportionately, black children suffer more the lack of fathers than white sons and daughters. African-American boys are more likely to drop out of high school, commit crimes and land in prison.
It's fine for Hillary to inspire our daughters to aspire to the highest rungs of power, but it's true that the feminist revolution yielded greater access to success for young women than the Civil Rights Movement yielded for young black men. There are several complicated reasons why, and Barack Obama is such an attractive candidate because he's an example of "making it" without a focus on color. No small thing.
But certain women still wave the feminist flag. Erika Jong, an aging member of the sisterhood, writes on Huffington Post that she's sick of "pink men" as well as "brown men and tan men and wheaten men" who argue, blather and bloviate with wrongheaded predictions for the future while insisting that women shut up.
"I know there are bad mothers, bad women, bad sisters, bad aunts, and bad females of every stripe. But I have seen enough men in high office to last a lifetime. Let's give women a chance." This is the latest feminist rationale for Hillary.
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