It looks like we're stuck in this Groundhog Day primary for another six weeks or so, and that means the Bernie Bros will continue to pretend that it is okay to vote for a third party in November, or not vote at all, or even grudgingly pull the lever for Hillary after spewing hateful sexism for months. I know this because I went to a casual gathering of Democrats yesterday morning and came away with some honest-to-goodness real-life "You Might be a Bernie Bro" jokes. Yes, YOU might be a Bernie Bro if...
1. You use the word "emasculate" in reference to the entire Democratic party without thinking twice. The actual quote, during a conversation about Hillary Clinton, was: "Bill Clinton really emasculated the Democratic Party..." I snorted audibly, to which the man responded, "What? What's wrong with that?" I replied, "Can we start with why emasculation of the Democratic party would be a bad thing? Can we start there?" Really, we'd need to start before that, with assigning a male gender to an entire political party in the first place.
2. You think Bernie Bros can only be men. I haven't had any lengthy conversations with female Bernie Bros in person, but I know they exist. Ladies and gentlemen, writing in Bernie's name or voting for a third party in November is a vote for a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther and bully -- even if the GOP candidate ends up being someone other than Donald Trump. The GOP is currently attacking women's health and women's pay. Our government is a two-party system, like it or not. Don't make the same mistake Nader supporters made in 2000.
3. You're still tweeting #BernieOrBust like bonkers.
4. You've had comments removed by Facebook but don't think they were "real" harassment. Closely related:
5. You think that when someone refers to sexism, they are only referring to "typical wife-beater types." Sexism is not confined to domestic violence, although domestic violence certainly doesn't get enough attention either.
6. You've told a female Hillary supporter that she needs to have "thicker skin." Yes, this was spoken to my face as an argument for being more sensitive to the feelings of Bernie Bros so we can recruit their votes. Bros, I want you to vote for Hillary, don't get me wrong. But I won't accept harassment or silence myself about sexism to achieve that end. Please notice: nothing I'm posting here is critical of Bernie himself. I think he is a very fine candidate. While it is hard to watch him lose, his supporters aren't victims. The small subset of Bernie supporters I am critiquing here need to be called on their behavior.
7. You've mansplained feminism... to a woman.
8. You think Hillary's policies will be the same as Bill Clinton's were, "because they live under the same roof." Spouses are distinct individuals who can and do think for themselves. My spouse and I agree on some things, but disagree on others. This is hardly revolutionary.
9. You don't count Hillary's years as first lady as experience because she was married to Bill. This is my favorite example of the no-win situations women face every day. What, exactly, was Hillary supposed to do? NOT be first lady during that time?
10. You tend to end up at discussion groups dominated by men. Our group yesterday began with four women and three men. After some of these real-life "jokes" reared their ugly heads, women started excusing themselves for such pressing errands as "picking up a few groceries," or "preparing for guests to come into town this weekend." (It was Tuesday.) I eventually excused myself, too. It wasn't funny anymore.