I'm being attacked by women who feel like their support for Hillary Clinton is a feminist act. I've never been attacked by another feminist like this before, partly because we usually agree. This morning I woke up to Gloria Steinem's ugly pronouncement about young women are supporting Bernie Sanders in order to please their boyfriends and decided that I should defend my 21-one-year-old daughter and myself. To quote Bernie: Enough is Enough.
Gloria Steinem is out of touch. There is a divide in the Democratic Party that will hurt Hillary Clinton between older white women and the rest of us. The party needs all her women, young, old and in between. The DNC should make sure it doesn't let Hillary take us all down with her.
After reading about Steinem this morning, I thought to myself, gee, I'm glad my mom, who passed away in April, isn't here because she was a big Hillary fan. During the last election, when she was sure that America would never elect a black president and she was disappointed that Hillary didn't win the nomination. You see, my mom comes from a time and place where making it to the top of the ladder was impossible for a woman unless she was the bosses sister or wife or was somehow connected to a powerful man. My mom herself kept her married name and put it to good use when my dad was a senator up until it was no longer useful in post-revolutionary Iran.
Mom loved strong women who could stand up to men. But I never saw her stand up to my father or her boss, not once. Perhaps that is why she loved those who did. She lived a life where she felt she was underpaid and under appreciated. She often lamented that she was never even thanked for her numerous volunteer contributions during the Pahlavi era.
She loved Margaret Thatcher and saw nothing schizophrenic in also giving me advice like, "start cleaning the house when you know your husband is about to walk through the door." I am more understanding of this attitude, now, as some bipolar vestige of early feminism.
My mom and I may not have agreed on what constitutes a feminist or a strong woman, we had differences in our political leanings and tastes. But we shared one thing that sealed our relationship: our mutual love for my children.
The one thing my mother was worried about, besides my weight, when she passed away, was her grandchildren's huge college debts. She thought it so unfair that hard working smart kids have to be burdened in such a way. Back in ancient regime Iran there were many inequalities but good students found government funding easily. Even the Shah's dictatorial regime was more pro-student than the American government is today.
When they lived in exile as refugees in France, my father joked that he never thought that he would become a fan of the socialist Francios Mitterand because he helped regularize their status and changed laws to benefit minorities and immigrants. My dad used to say, "if before the revolution we were part of a minority now we are part of a majority." My parents, both on the right, originally, prayed for socialists to win elections here once they became refugees. Without French socialized medicine, they wouldn't have been able to leave me this roof I'm sitting under.
So, I know that my mom would Feel the Bern if for no other reason than for her American grandkids' future. I wish she was here because we also shared a love of politics and it would have been fun to convert her. She came to love and admire Obama and was in shock till the day she died that he could have gotten elected.
Let me tell you a secret, I'm in this partly because my kid made me reread Chomsky after 30 years. The fours years my son was in college I slowly moved back to the left mostly because of conversations with him. If you think, that a boyfriend can influence you, wait till you have sons and daughters.
One word from my Manoo or Jami and my mom would change her religion never mind her choice of presidential candidate. So we are not Bernie Bros or their clueless girlfriends as Ms. Gloria Steinam would like you to believe--we are Bernie Moms worried about our kids' future, and we are not all women either. Bernie Moms can be male or female, they are those individuals who are thinking about the future of our country and our planet like a mom. And they may or may not have a vagina. But their hearts are nourishing like a womb. Wrap your head around that Gloria, dearest.