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March 20, 2016

Bernie Sanders & the Divine Feminine: Why so Many Feminists are Feeling the Bern.

Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Women who support Bernie Sanders have been called to reconcile this choice with their feminist beliefs and credentials, to ourselves or others or both.

Last month, after some unfortunate remarks about female Bernie Sanders supporters by Madeline Albright and Gloria Steinem, the discussion ramped up. When having a woman president is within reach at long last, could women who are supporting the old white guy possibly be real feminists?

We heard two conflicting messages from those who support Hillary—of course they weren’t voting for her just because she’s a woman (what an insulting suggestion!), but also, how could we who feel the Bern not be supporting the woman?

I found myself asking repeatedly: “Well, which is it? Are you saying that any self-respecting feminist must back the female candidate, regardless of other factors, or not?”

After the Albright and Steinem clusterf*ck, I took the opportunity to re-examine whether my choice of candidates is aligned with my feminist principles…

At the beginning of this campaign, I was conflicted. I voted for Hillary Clinton in 2008. I liked Obama, but I felt that all else being equal, I wanted the woman. This time around, I don’t feel all else is equal—I strongly believe Bernie Sanders is the president we need.

Still, a part of me felt sad that I wouldn’t be voting for Hillary in this primary. That inner conflict is quickly evaporating as I learn more about the histories of each candidate, observe how each is conducting themselves during the campaign, and consider how their proposed policies are likely to impact women’s lives.

I determined there is no conflict between my staunch feminist beliefs and my support for Bernie because of: a) his stellar record on issues affecting women and families, and b) my belief that his proposed policies will do more to better the lives of women and other oppressed groups than his opponent’s.

That was enough for me, and yet—I knew there was even more to it if I could just put a finger on it.

Fast forward to March 8th, International Women’s Day. I looked for an article to post on my Facebook page to celebrate the day. I wanted to shout out to my sister women and take it beyond gender by celebrating both women and men who honor the Sacred Feminine in all of us. While I was looking through articles, for that half hour at least, I wasn’t thinking about politics.

Then I found something that brought it all home. In this article about the Sacred Feminine, the author talks about how this manifests in different realms. Here’s what she says about the political realm:

“In the political dimension, [the Sacred Feminine] means using the authority of power to serve the greater good, to protect and serve life, not for domination, greed and self-interest. It means to protect the common wealth of planetary resources–such as water, food, air, soil, energy—and share for the greatest good of all, rather than hoarding, exploiting and commoditizing them.”

I read that and immediately thought: “That’s Bernie Sanders.”

Think about each candidate’s record and positions, particularly on correct placement of power and political influence (moneyed interests versus the people), the death penalty, foreign policy and protecting the environment. Let’s say you did a blind study with people who had no prior familiarity with either candidate and didn’t know their genders.

Imagine you presented them with detailed information on their records and everything they have said about these issues, then asked them to choose which candidate was better aligned with the above description of the Divine Feminine in the political realm. Which do you think they would choose?

So, there it is—the feminist in me supports Bernie, because of his record and proposed policies on issues affecting women and families, and because of my beliefs about the kind of leadership that will improve women’s lives the most.

And on spiritual level, I now realize, my support for him is fully aligned with my feminist principles because his politics completely embody the political aspects of the Divine Feminine.

No wonder so many feminists are feeling the Bern!

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Relephant:

“I Don’t Vote with my Vagina”—Susan Sarandon Feels the Bern.

I Am a Female Democrat & I Do Not Support Hillary Clinton.

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Author: Camille Williams 

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

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Claudette Cohen Mar 21, 2016 8:09pm

I liked this, actually, until attributes that are sacred to all humankind were tagged The Sacred Feminine. If anything, Bernie shows that using the authority of power to serve the greater good, to protect and serve life, not for domination, greed and self-interest; to protect the common wealth of planetary resources–such as water, food, air, soil, energy—and to share for the greatest good of all, rather than hoarding, exploiting and commoditizing them is a sacred responsibility of all leaders regardless of gender. And Hillary is showing that women hold no monopoly on what is divine about the human experience any more than men do. The Sacred is The Sacred. It cannot be contained within a sex or gender. We need Grandfathers like Bernie, and he’s not in any way reduced or compromised because of his masculinity. We don’t have to be misandrists like Hillary in order to be feminists. The world has a chance to heal when people are able to shine as who they are without having to pigeonhole themselves or feel themselves lacking because they champion a group without being a “member” of that group. His creed is compassion. That breaks through everything.

Bebek Mar 21, 2016 6:06pm

Bernie Sanders voted no on gun control one month after Sandy Hook. He has helped the NRA and gun manufacturers sell millions of dangerous weapons and oppose sensible laws. He has opposed the Democrats’ efforts to enact gun control legislation for 25 years and caused a huge increase in shooting deaths and maimings. The USA is eleven times more dangerous for women than any other developed nation thanks to Bernie Sanders and the NRA bitches.

Natalia Mar 21, 2016 4:30pm

Thanks for an interesting article. Im from the UK, where we already had a couple of decades with a female Prime Minister, who was about as empathic as Heinrich Himmler. Thatcher was for gender equality (or indeed any equality) what Hitler was for race relations. In my view, Sanders beautiful truthful open heart trumps Hilarys vagina every time. Vote with your hearts folks…everything else is tactical…and tactical is the problem with politics. Lets be the change…

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Camille Williams

Camille Williams is a mother, midwife and writer in Providence, RI.  In her work as a midwife, she is a passionate advocate for women’s autonomy and the sacred nature of birth. At home, she home-schools her two boys and learns at least as much from that as they do. She blogs about parenting, life in a bicultural family, midwifery and women’s health, spirituality, politics and more at Wake Up, Mama! Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.