In an op-ed for The Guardian’s Australian edition today, writer Van Badham railed against progressive men who have allegedly silenced Clinton’s female backers:
Whether “brogressives”, “brocialists” or “manarchists”, they denounce Clinton’s claim on American left leadership despite her popular nomination, policy, activist record, her spoken statements or her trouncing of Donald Trump in three debates.
Badham later attacked “cabinet ministers, WikiLeaks wannabes and Bernie Bros alike” for “minimizing” Clinton’s feminist record—without citing a single female Clinton critic. Instead, she paints in binary shades to create a revisionist history inhabited solely by angry men and cowed women. In her telling, Clinton criticism is the special provenance of a “testosterone left” because men can’t stomach a female president.
Sexism is everywhere, even in the left. But men are not immediately guilty of sexism for criticizing a female candidate’s economic and foreign policies. And it is particularly disingenuous for Badham to attribute those concerns to a “testosterone left” when women have criticized Clinton since she announced her candidacy. Many are women of color. They’ve written articles. Books, even!
But Badham isn’t the only writer to minimize or even ignore left-wing female Clinton critics. Behold Salon’s Amanda Marcotte:
It is self-evidently anti-feminist to pretend that Clinton criticism is only produced by a “testosterone left” or victims of internalized misogyny. No one’s liberated by portraying left-wing women as oppressed automatons incapable of independently formulating political thought.
Feminist writers who promote this rhetoric also leave themselves little space to pressure their candidate if she takes office. And they’ll need to, as Kathleen Geier previously wrote for The New Republic: Clinton’s political record contains several entries that should concern any feminist. And testosterone has nothing to do with it.