Feminist Democratic Process

Being committed to feminist politics, I am rarely called on to address the larger political situation by anyone. In 2014, when Hillary Clinton was not yet running for president, I stated that I was not in agreement with her politics. More recently, when asked my thoughts about Hillary Clinton during a public conversation with Gloria Steinem, I stated, “she embodies the very best of imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t vote for her.” It is troubling that my 2014 comments have been taken out of context and have made it appear that I am aggressively anti-Hillary Clinton. From my perspective, none of the candidates for the presidency concern themselves in a meaningful way with feminist politics and, therefore, I would not speak on behalf of any of them. Individual white women have prodded me to denounce black female support of Clinton. Their desire to castigate black women for their political stance is both condescending and disrespectful. As a firm believer in the importance of free speech, I consider it vital to feminist democratic process that all women be free to choose who they want to support—whether I agree with them or not. As a challenge to dominant thinking and practice, it is crucial to not construct images of individuals that are one dimensional and binary. No one is all good or all bad. Importantly, our focus should be on critical issues, standpoints and political perspective, not on personalities. In my private journal, I write “Michelle Obama for President!”   

-- bell hooks