woMEN’S March

The Women’s March has announced the opening speaker for its Women’s Convention.

And it is that dynamo rising female in politics … yes, you guessed it … Bernie Sanders. Really, does everything, everywhere have to be about Bernie Sanders? This is at the point of satire.

Maybe others don’t, but many of us do care about boosting women in politics. And think of what we’ve been through. Seeing the first woman nominee jeered with “lock her up” like we’re in the Salem Witch Trial, and then defeated by a man who brags about sexual assault. Watching industries dominated by sexism and abusers of women. Can’t we at least have the Women’s March? Is it too much to ask that women be the stars of the WOMEN’S CONVENTION?!

There has been fierce backlash to this announcement, and I am glad. Organizers are on the defensive, saying, “But we have Maxine Waters. We have Maxine Waters!” Meanwhile, some Sanders acolytes are furious that we are complaining, because of course Bernie should be the spotlight of the Women’s Convention. I can just hear their sneers now: “I don’t attend the Women’s March with my vagina!!”

It is absurd that a man is the opening speaker (unless they ARE planning to change the name to the woMEN’S March). Not just that, but Sanders is not exemplary on women’s issues. He is good. He is certainly a reliable vote. But he derides “identity politics.” (And aren’t the Women’s March and Convention the very definition of identity politics? I assume his speech is entitled, “This Convention Should Not Even Happen: Get Beyond Identity Politics.”) He spoke out against the unrelenting sexist bullies among his supporters a total of once and then turned a blind eye. He campaigned for an anti-choice candidate, saying we can’t be divided by “just one issue.” He essentially thinks reproductive rights are often distractions and secondary concerns. He slammed Planned Parenthood as the “establishment” when the organization did not endorse him. I also doubt that he will be peppering his women’s talk with quotes from his early rape fantasy essay, or the one where he asserts that a woman’s lack of orgasms causes cervical cancer. (Or maybe he’s saving the latter one for the women’s health breakout session.)

The event organizers said prominent women Senators were not available. Please. Not one of the 16 Democratic women Senators could fit it in her schedule? Get Tammy Duckworth on the phone and let me ask her. (By the way, women make up 19.6% of Congress, which is the most ever. So we’re done. No need to center women anymore.)

What other conventions will Bernie Sanders inappropriately headline? I assume he’ll keynote the Black Lives Matter Summit next.

But it does not end there. Below is a list of organizations and events where Bernie Sanders will fittingly be the lead-off speaker:

Asian Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California
Daughters of the American Revolution
Llego – the National Latino/a Lesbian, Gay and Transgender Organization
Catholics Daughters of the Americas
Black Girls Rock!
Hawaii Food and Wine Festival
South Korea Cerebral Palsy Football Association
Baptist Ministers’ Wives and Widows Organization of Washington, D.C.
Chinese American Dance Festival
National Association for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Engineers
National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation – NOAH
Boys and Girls Clubs of South Alabama
The American Society of Interior Designers
Brown Girls Do Ballet
Luxembourg American Cultural Society
Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations
… and many more to be announced!


Sam Jenkins
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