So my friend sent me a link to this article full of mostly stupid opinions about a stupid subject (why aren’t young women voting for Hillary Clinton?) and my ankle is fucking broken so I not only had time to read it, I have time to make a post about this bit:
But I’ll admit that women are much better off today than when I was growing up, when, for instance, the right to contraception, abortion, equal pay, equal credit were non-existent. I can see why a young woman might look at the world today and fail to see the urgency of having a woman in office. Older women, while not universally wild about Clinton, are more likely to support her than millennials. They not only know the candidate better, but they have also suffered longer from gender discrimination and know the burden of caring for their families without adequate day care, parental leave, sick leave or other similar programs. They may feel more keenly the difference that a woman president would make in their lives.
HONEY. Millennials work in disrupted gig culture. They’re on 1099s, with no leave at all and certainly no cash for day care. That’s why they don’t have kids. Unless they’re polyamorous and already found a unicorn, they can’t afford babies. They’re not making your same painful choice between a baby bump or giant corporate shoulder pads. They can’t have either.
Not that they have a lot of reproductive choice, because that’s the other thing. All this fine-ass contraception and abortion you think you won the right to is being taken away bit by bit. Kids are still getting bullshit abstinence-only education and then there’s a legislatively-mandated transvaginal ultrasound up the hoo-ha if they ask about getting an abortion.
Second-wave feminists who enjoy yelling at us from atop your empty harpy-nests made of laurels, I am talking to you now: Everything you fought for, the things you’re so fucking smug about “getting” for your daughters and granddaughters (not for the inner city kids, but don’t worry, the Black Panthers were handling getting those kids free breakfast), all those things turned out to be paper castles. Burned up in mortgage or tech bubbles. Soaked into mush by high-deductible health plans. Stomped into the dirt by student loan debt and inadequate veterans’ services. Shot by a domestic terrorist. You didn’t win shit for them and if you think you got something so fucking great, turn around and check your hoard, because ain’t shit there either.
Equal pay? I think equal pay should mean everyone gets a living wage, free healthcare* and education, food, a safe place to sleep, and access to art and transportation. Like this is bare minimum shit I’m mentioning off the top of my head, and unless everybody has it, I don’t give that much of a fuck whether I’m earning 80 imaginary cents on an imaginary dollar. The male-identifying people on my team at my corporate job make the same wage I do.
None of this is to say that I don’t think sexism and misogyny matter. Of course they do. What I am saying is that if you thought women in their 20s were going to look at the shitshow of national politics and go, “wow, that Hilary sure is FEMALE and she’s been endorsed by the creator of GIRLS** so that just tears it!” then you are wrong and an idiot but maybe your shortsightedness will get us closer to an honest revolution. There is no “urgency” about putting a woman on the throne (which is what it sounds like when you talk about putting someone “in the White House,” did you know?).
What is urgent right now is ending economic violence, and that’s about class. I’m watching Black Lives Matter activists way more closely than the primaries. They might do something that improves things for young women. Hilary sure the fuck isn’t going to.
* healthcare includes abortion, services for trans people, mental health care, dental care, eye exams, pot, and everything else that for some fucking reason or another is hard to get even with “good” health coverage
** I’ve never seen Girls? But I think I’m talking about Lena Dunham here. I dunno.