Last February Jennifer Wright addressed Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders’ problem with women, writing Bernie Sanders’ Sexism Problem for Harper’s Bazaar.
“We have got to look at candidates, you know, not by the color of their skin, not by their sexual orientation or their gender and not by their age. I mean, I think we have got to try to move us toward a non-discriminatory society which looks at people based on their abilities, based on what they stand for.” Vermont Public Radio, Feb. 2019
Many women and people of color view that statement as a reaffirmation of the “let white men rule, we’re better at it” theory of political governance. Wright perfects her roast of Sanders, and I encourage to read her piece, while I pull out a few highlights that still simmer in my conscious as a super active person in the Hillary Clinton campaign.
There was a bit of poetic justice when women who worked for Bernie in his 2016 primary campaign came forward to discuss how they were paid less and experienced sexual harassment. You see, with rare exceptions — finally hiring Symone Sanders who served as his national press secretary until late June 2016 — Bernie couldn’t really find many good women of any skin color to hire at a high level. His campaign was run by white men — a feature that he has fixed in his current 2020 run for the Democratic nomination.
Still, when women working in the field and as organizers complained about both wages and fending off sexual advances from male staffers, Bernie grabbed his mop of white hair and defended his inaction saying initially “I was a little bit busy running around the country”. After all, Bernie Sanders said that “women’s issues were a distraction” and Planned Parenthood — who is getting the crap kicked out of them by the Trump administration — is “the establishment”.