The Women’s Convention feels the Bern - The Herald: Opinion

The Women’s Convention feels the Bern

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Posted: Friday, October 20, 2017 10:51 am | Updated: 12:13 pm, Wed Oct 25, 2017.

Editor's Note: Since publication Bernie Sanders has stepped down as a keynote speaker at the Women's Convention to visit Puerto Rico. 

On Oct. 27, senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, will speak at the inaugural Women’s Convention in Detroit.

The Women’s Convention is an event held by the Women’s March--where Sanders was a featured speaker earlier this year. The convention is expected to be attended by more than 3,000 women and fellow activists.

Sanders is one of the most influential and popular liberals in this country following his 2016 presidential race, so it makes perfect sense that he would be speaking at such an event. The issue that many people, women in particular have, is not that he is simply speaking at the event. The problem is Sanders is one of the headline speakers.

This is the first Women’s Convention in 40 years. This convention will undoubtedly be a monumental event full of influential women. So what do the organizers do to celebrate such an occasion? They assign a man as a featured speaker.

This isn’t to say that non-female allies are an unimportant part of the women’s rights movement--it is confirmed that at least one other man will also be speaking at the event. Those people are vital to the continuation of equal rights for women. However, seeing as this event is meant to focus on women, women should be given the top speaker positions.

Rep. Maxine Waters is also scheduled to be a featured speaker. Perhaps that is how the organizers of the convention justified this action. At least they have one featured female speaker, right?

“Although their schedules did not allow them to join us in Detroit the weekend of Oct. 27, they will be fighting for our shared values, as they do every day,” Tamika Mallory, Women’s March co-president, said of female political leaders.

This particular quote makes it sound like no other woman was available for that spot. What about the more than 60 women who are speaking at later points in the event? Did they all refuse that spot? This only proves that Mallory and the other organizers are using Sanders as a source for publicity.

Bernie Sanders, until recently-- more specifically his presidential campaign-- has never been an outspoken advocate for women’s rights. Putting aside the fact that he is a man, any person given the honor of having a top speaking position at such an important event should have a long-standing history of standing up and speaking out for the rights of women.

It should not be someone who only spoke for it when he knew that it was his only hope of winning female votes over his female competition.

No one doubts that Bernie Sanders is a great, progressive leader. Women’s advocates have fought long and hard for better representation and the Women’s

Convention should not be an area where women have to fight for a center spot.

Women are among the many minorities that are underrepresented throughout society. We are told “speak up, your voice matters too!” So, you can imagine the confusion of many women when that statement then turns into, “your voice matters...but sit down for a second while Bernie Sanders speaks.”

The fact is, having Bernie Sanders as a featured speaker at the the Women’s Convention is not only taking away a voice from another woman, but taking away a voice from someone who has always fought for women’s rights--not just when it benefits them.

You can feel the Bern another day. This day is for women.

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1 comment:

  • Acaustik posted at 11:37 am on Wed, Nov 1, 2017.

    Acaustik Posts: 2

    Every day i'm awestruck at how clueless feminists are about why people don't like them (a recent poll in Britain found that only 7% of women in the country see themselves as feminists). It's really telling that instead of it being a good thing that a man such as Bernie shares their views on women and wants to speak, it's seen as a slap in the face. What happened to 'allies' in feminism? Oh right, they are supposed to shut up and let the women speak. That's real equality, am I right? Interesting how MRA's and other men who advocate for male rights are completely fine and in fact overjoyed that there are women speaking up for them like Karen Straughan. Equality is a good thing to strive for in society, but this? This isn't equality, it's power hungry control over society.


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