During the 2014 midterm elections, Hillary Clinton campaigned for Sen. Joni Ernst’s Democratic opponent, former Rep. Bruce Braley, and criticized Ernst for not doing enough to stand up for women.
“It’s not enough to be a woman. You have to be committed to expand rights and opportunities for women,” Clinton said as she stumped for Braley.
But Ernst got the last word his past weekend at Ernst’s “Roast and Ride” event in Iowa. In an interview with CNN, Sen. Joni Ernst replied to Clintons accusation with this statement:
“I would say Hillary, it’s not enough to be a woman. You have to care about women’s issues,” Ernst said. “And women’s issues here in Iowa are that we have a strong economy; we have jobs that our sons and daughters can go off to someday; we have a great educational system. And women want strong national defense. We want to know that our families are going to be safe.”
Since when is supporting regulatory “equal pay” legislation and abortion laws the only way to express support for women’s rights and equality?
When Clinton says she supports women’s rights and women’s freedom, she is talking only about the exact issues she supports. Her limited view reveals hypocrisy, not only in her statement, but also in her entire feminist platform. Feminism doesn’t aim to support women. Feminism aims to support a predetermined, often liberal, agenda, and if you don’t support that agenda, then you don’t support women.
That’s why I love Ernst’s reply. Besides it’s obvious sharp wit and slight sarcasm (which I love), it provides a position previously not offered by Clinton. Unlike Clinton, Ernst does not limit women influence to areas like equal pay and reproductive rights. She instead expands women’s influence and opinion into other important areas such as the American economy, job creation, quality education, and national defense.
Ernst may understand that it’s not enough to be a woman, but she knows for a fact it’s not enough to be a Hillary-type feminist.
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