In an attempt to establish her feminist bona fides ahead of a likely run for president in 2020, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted on December 4th “Our future is: Female, Intersectional, Powered by our belief in one another. And we’re just getting started.” Gillibrand’s tweet is loaded with feminist code words. The tweet has three primary signifiers each targeting specific groups of voters. The first code “Our future is: Female” alludes to the phrase ‘The Future is Female’ a slogan that originated in 1972 by lesbian feminist activists who founded New York City’s first women’s bookstore, Labyris, in Greenwich Village. The catchphrase was printed on merchandise to fund their promotion of lesbian separatism, a school of feminist thought that advocates the complete isolation of lesbians from men and heterosexuals, either temporarily or permanently. The phrase didn’t become popular until it was co-opted by Clinton supporters during her campaign for president. The slogan started appearing on signs, t-shirts and buttons at Anti-Trump women’s marches. T-shirts with the phrase were advertised as a method to “support liberation, embrace our trans sisters and brothers, and call for the end of patriarchal ideology, domination, oppression and violence”. Once celebrities started wearing ‘The Future is Female’ shirts it became a very marketable symbol of sisterhood that grew into the latest feminist fashion fad. Senator Gillibrand’s use of the popular expression in her tweet was aimed at LGBTQ, feminist and Hillary voters.
The second code word in Gillibrand’s tweet is Intersectional, a reference to feminist theory and identity politics. Intersectionality describes how various systems of oppression intersect and overlap compounding the suffering of minority groups. For example, you can be the victim of multiple oppressions such as sexism and racism. The function of intersectionality is to create solidarity between oppressed groups to fight unrelated battles in the larger struggle for social justice. “Our future is Intersectional’ is a nod to the democratic left-wing base which is comprised of various identity victim classes.
The third sentence in her tweet “Powered by our belief in one another” is a reference to the controversial Kavanaugh hearings and the subsequent “I Believe Her” movement. The expression ‘I believe her’ is a direct reference to women believing Christine Ford’s allegations that she was sexually assaulted at a high school party by Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh three decades ago. Throughout the hearing process Senator Kirsten Gillibrand continually supported Fords allegations claiming that republicans bullied her into testifying. Gillibrand said, “I don’t know how they could hear her testimony and watch her testify so authentically, so honestly from the heart and not believe her”. Shortly after his confirmation the Senator spoke at a protest against Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation sharing the stage with women’s march organizer and anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour. Christine Ford became the symbol of oppression among anti-Trump women activists and Gillibrand’s tweet was designed to position herself as their champion.
The #IBelieveHer movement is the descendant of the #MeToo movement that supports survivors of sexual assault. Both movements have inspired women to get involved in local politics. In small towns and cities across the country newly elected councilwomen with newly acquired female empowerment but no experience were elected to city councils in November 2017. Although there are many well qualified experienced women in politics this recent crop of candidates provides a glimpse into a future based on feminist victimhood and identity politics.
In April 2018 West University Place, Texas Councilwoman Kellye Burke berated a group of teenage girls because one was wearing a Trump T-shirt. While a group of girls waited outside a popular West University Place cookie shop, Burke, launched into a vulgar, profane-filled rant that included her screaming “Grab em by the pussy girls!” and repeatedly screamed “MAGA,” while proceeding to snap pictures of them. The father of one of the girls said "They were absolutely scared. My little girl essentially wanted to know if this woman was going to hurt her." After the incident Councilwoman Burke portrayed herself as the victim, claiming that the national media attention had caused a negative backlash that forced her to flee her home. Although residents called for her resignation, she refused to resign her post.
In June 2018 in Huron, Kansas, small-town city councilwoman Carol Fowler kicked, hit and scratched deputies who had to use tasers on her to take her into custody for an outstanding warrant. She was arrested for failure to show up at a court hearing on charges related to public drunkenness and for interference with and battery on a law enforcement officer in addition to the warrant. Fowler refused to cooperate during booking and bit one of the corrections officers on the thumb hard enough to break the bone. Fowler is still listed on the county website as a council member.
In July 2018 in Waterloo, Iowa Councilwoman Margaret Klein was accused of threatening to stab Councilman Pat Morrissey during a weekend auction. The incident was brought up at the public comments session of a Waterloo City Council meeting where three people said they overheard her say, “If I was in a dark room with Pat Morrissey with a knife, I would stab him.” Klein denied making any threats. Klein did not face criminal charges because the Black Hawk County Attorney decided that the accusations did not rise to the level of a crime.
In an October 2017 city council meeting in New Brighton, Minnesota councilwoman Mary Burg lectured her fellow council members on white privilege. Councilwoman Gina Bauman challenged her assertions and the confrontation escalated when Mayor Val Johnson accused Councilwoman Bauman of being racist for refusing to accept that white privilege exists. An argument ensued ending with the Mayor in tears. A video of the meeting went viral with headlines “New Brighton Council meeting turns into 'white privilege' catfight” and “Mayor Cries After City Council Member Denies Her 'White Privilege”.
In October 2018 it was discovered that Deborah Reno, a candidate for city council in Evanston, Wyoming sold her used panties on a website catering to fetishists. Reno, who works as a massage therapist and yoga instructor, ran an online storefront under the alias Mystee Crockett where she stripped in videos and sold her soiled panties. Reno lost by a vote of 626 to 388 for the first ward seat.
In September 2018 during the national debate over the Kavanaugh hearings Seaside City, California Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Kayla Jones requested an independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment she made against her fellow council members. Jones who is the only female member on the City Council said she received inappropriate comments regarding her hair, make-up and overall appearance behind closed doors and in public session. Her claims of sexual harassment lost all validity when it was revealed that Jones spent more than $20,000 of city money on travel, food, and childcare expenses while supposedly conducting city business and attending leadership conferences. Approximately $12,000 was paid to Jones' grandmother for child care services.
In October 2018 several women including two councilwomen in Providence, RI criticized the Providence City Council President for being abusive, a bully and failing to support issues important to women. Councilwoman Carmen Castillo and Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan claimed that he screamed and intimidated them for not agreeing to vote the same way he wanted. Ironically, he was advocating for a vote that supports women and minorities. The Council President said that the incident was political, a power grab and that members of the City Council support a culture of corruption including Council members playing shell games with their financial accounting.
In October 2018 in Yardley Borough, PA first year Councilwoman Sandi Brady, who regularly and inexplicably breaks into tears during council meetings, claimed she was repeatedly bullied and verbally abused by one of the councilmen. Brady was so distraught that she introduced a “Safe Council Meeting Resolution” providing a safe and bully free environment in council meetings. The resolution provided for special expenditures so that whenever councilwoman Brady imagines she is being threatened the local police will be paid to personally protect her at the taxpayers expense. The resolution passed although there were no details of how it would be enforced or its effect on free speech at public meetings. The accused long-term councilman said that Brady’s public accusations were to deflect attention from his inquiries into the illegitimate search process and hiring of the town borough manager. Although there were several qualified male candidates longtime secretary Paula Johnson was given the position and provided funds for training, so she could eventually acquire the proper borough manager job credentials.
A combination of the #MeToo campaign, feminist movement and identity politics has resulted in a distorted interpretation of female empowerment that is based on victimhood. These new councilwomen envision themselves as female heroines fighting the corrupt patriarchy and making the world a safer place for women. Once they claim that they are being bullied, sexually harassed or in fear for their lives they inevitably prevail. Their false allegations stigmatize their targets regardless of lack of any evidence and small towns are forced to acquiesce to ridiculous demands and investigations for fear of law suits. This is the Christine Ford Effect, a legacy of the worst stereotypes of women as fragile, defenseless, erratic, unstable, irrational, emotional hysterics. In reality they are infantile, inexperienced, spoiled and privileged women who have no conception of politics or the world. The unintended consequences of feminist identity politics are that women politicians will not be taken seriously, real victims of harassment will not be believed, and companies will not want to hire women for fear of false accusations and lawsuits. This is a preview of Senator Gillibrand’s female future and as her tweet reads, they are just getting started.