On the front page of Saturday’s New York Times, reporter Lisa Lerer wondered why so many women were reluctant to vote for a woman (i.e. Elizabeth Warren) to run for president in “Taking Feminism to Heart, if Not to the Caucuses – Beating Trump Matters More Than Electing a Woman, to Some.” As is often the case, unfettered abortion rights was a priority:
Almost exactly three years ago, Leila Schlenker marveled at the crowds at the Women’s March in Des Moines, which drew more than 26,000 people to the grounds of the state capitol and reminded her of the large social protests of the 1960s.
Her daughter, now a mother herself, used to roll her eyes when her mom would talk about the importance of fighting for issues like abortion rights and equal pay. But Ms. Schlenker has seen how the current political moment has convinced her daughter that her rights could be taken away, and that sexism remains a force in both of their lives. And she’s watched in horror as the Trump administration has worked to roll back funding for clinics specializing in reproductive health care, the field she worked in for more than a quarter century.
The punch line: She supports Pete Buttigieg.
….Those sensitive conversations burst into public view this past week at the Democratic debate, in a nationally televised discussion about sexism and experience between Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
(The press may be contradicting itself on the challenge posed by sexism, given their own understanding that Hillary Clinton would have won 2016 if not for Russia-gate.)
Some voters who backed either Ms. Warren or Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota bristled at the idea that they might support them because they are women, even as many acknowledged a greater awareness of the sexism women candidates face. All the marches, protests and public discussion of gender gaps, double binds and sexual harassment seem to have led some voters to a perhaps surprising conclusion: This is not our time.
Lerer mostly gave purported Democratic feminists a pass for accusing others (never themselves) of harboring sexism.
…female voters were grappling with contradictory ideas. They thought the women were better equipped to run the country but worried the country was too sexist to elect them….Some frustrated supporters of Ms. Warren argue the concerns about electability have become a self-defeating prophecy for women.
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As she campaigned in Iowa over the weekend, Ms. Klobuchar argued that the sexism faced by women candidates makes them tougher opponents against Mr. Trump.
Lerer is quick to blame sexism for women’s self-inflicted political difficulties.
Shane Goldmacher and Sydney Ember’s front-page piece on Thursday also used the sexism excuse.
Then there are the worries about her ability to defeat President Trump as a liberal Democrat and to overcome the challenges presented by sexism….Electability is an amorphous concept that can be a disadvantage to those who don’t fit the mold of all but one past president: white men.