(And, yes, I, too, support Hillary Clinton. And, yes, I, too, am a longtime feminist. But that is so not the point.)
Here, I think, is the point: take note, if you would, of what the millennial feminist women I know, who #FeelTheBern, tell me:
--Since significant barriers to women's political participation have been overcome, and women now hold senior political positions you and I could only dream of when we were their age, they conclude that a woman will get elected POTUS sometime soon. So, a woman doesn't need to be elected now.
--They abhor the fact that Hillary Clinton stuck with President Clinton after his affair with Monica Lewinsky and the resulting impeachment. They view that decision as anti-feminist and demeaning, so not what they want in their first woman POTUS.
--They speculate that, if Clinton stood by her man because she needed his political capital to build her political career, (a view I've heard expressed even among those who support Clinton for president), then they see her as the quintessence of politics business-as-usual, which they really, really dislike, and which Bernie Sanders promises to end.
--They support Sanders because he is so forthright, (so feminist), so constant, when he calls for reducing income inequality and so vociferously states his willingness to take the biggest step needed to counter it to improve their lives (and those of millions of American women of every age). These young women hear Sanders, and they feel this is the committment they need in their POTUS. If not now, when, they ask.
My Twitter and Facebook feeds from these young women are exploding: "No. Just no." "Oh, I just can't even." "I am without speech that a woman I so admire could let me down so profoundly. It has hit me to my core, and I am breathless at how sad I feel."
Dear Gloria: I, too, am breathless at how sad I feel.
So, consider this, if you would: for decades, Hillary Clinton has worked as hard as anyone in politics to promote women's equality and public policies beneficial to us. She has worked as hard as anyone to develop her presidential bonafides on matters of state. She has held both executive and legislative office, providing her the governance training a POTUS needs. She has been a successful public advocate, proving she knows what it takes to mobilize movements for social change into winnable policy campaigns.
So, consider this, if you would: above all, above any other POTUS candidate, Hillary Clinton doesn't need blind allegiance in order to deserve voters' support. What she does (desperately) need is for us to help millennial women understand that since our fight for equality is not yet won, a woman POTUS could make all the difference in the world. Literally.
Dear Gloria: you have been uniquely situated to make this case. Now, you aren't. I, too, am breathless at how sad I feel.
By contrast, I was breathless, with happiness, when, decades ago in our campaign for equality, I read your friend Robin Morgan's book, Sisterhood is Powerful. Robin wrote words I'd never read before.
--We are sisters, regardless of our differences in age, race, ethnicity, politics, or sexual orientation, because we are women. That's what we build from. That's what we never forget.
--We are sisters because we know we can differ on policy approaches to achieving equality, and on who is best suited to lead those policy fights, yet come together for the common good we women know.
--We are powerful because we respect other women, whether or not we agree with them.
--We are powerful because our lives aren't determined by where the boys are, but by where we are.
--We are powerful because our lives are determined by what we decide to achieve for ourselves, individually or collectively.
-- We are powerful because we sisters honor the women who died for every woman's right to vote, for whoever. We are powerful because we know that, otherwise, we are nothing.
Dear Gloria: it's time to get women right and right this wrong. Let's hear from you.