Saturday, February 06, 2016

Sexism, Sanders, and Lee

Are you sick of hearing how you're a misogynist because you favor Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton? Tired of being called a "Bernie bro," whatever the hell that is? I am. I read a lot of things like that in social media, and a lot of it comes from Randi Weingarten, who I follow on Facebook and Twitter.

After all, that's kind of a straw man. How does anyone know why we support Bernie, or indeed anyone, unless they ask us? For me, I always liked what Sanders said better than what Clinton did. Sanders seems like a staunch advocate for a middle class and for working people. Hillary takes millions from banks and health care companies. The thing that really pushed me over the edge was when Hillary started talking about closing schools that weren't above average. I've personally decided not to vote for anyone who supports school reforminess anymore. And when Hillary said we were never, ever going to achieve single payer universal health care, that made the choice to support Sanders even easier.

But hey, if it's sexist to support a man over a woman for a political position, I say let's make it work for us. For example, I think Jia Lee ought to be the next President of the United Federation of Teachers. Now a lot of people disagree with me, and favor Michael Mulgrew, who is a guy. Clearly they are a bunch of sexist bastards and ought to be disparaged at each and every opportunity. But the whole "Michael bro" thing doesn't really resonate. The alliteration is completely off.

But there are other similarities, like vested interests. For example, a whole lot of Mulgrew supporters have signed loyalty oaths to make sure they get, you know, free trips and patronage gigs. They run around and say whatever they're told to say. They show the six-minute Mulgrew re-election video that masquerades as information about Friedrichs. And then, most importantly, they go to NYSUT and AFT conventions and vote any damn way Leroy Barr tells them to. And let me point out, in case it's not apparent, that Leroy Barr is also, indisputably, a man. As far as I know, he doesn't even try to hide it.

Me, I'm open minded and free thinking. That's why I support Jia Lee for UFT President. Jia's a leader in the op-out movement, and I absolutely believe this movement is what moved Andrew Cuomo to pretend to want to change his awful Common Core programs. Mulgrew tries to take credit in the latest NY Teacher, but it's like pulling teeth to get him and his Unity BFFs to stand up for opt out.

In any case, maybe it's time for us to take a page from union leadership. Let's start calling Mulgrew supporters Mindless Misogynists for Mulgrew. I don't really believe people support Mulgrew because they hate women, but if that's the tactic they choose to defend Hillary, why not use it? Since we already have the better candidate, why not throw in the kitchen sink?

The answer, of course, is because we have the better candidate, we can focus on the issues. You know, just like Bernie Sanders does.
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