Aya de Leon

author – activist – faculty – mom

Bernie, Come Get Your Bros -Standing Against Sexism on the Left

As a black/Latina feminist, I have to decide—over and over again—to continue my allegiance to the cause, in spite of racism among white feminists. I am that committed to the liberation of all women worldwide, so much so that I won’t let a few narcissistic white women deter me. Period. And this stance is partially possible because there are enough white women allies who are loud and equally committed.

Bernie Bros-1At this historical moment, the BernieBro phenomena is pushing me to look closely at sexism on the left. And it doesn’t look pretty. But I think this is a moment—like Kamau Bell was saying about white people and Trump—to “come get your boy[s].” This is a historical moment where we need to hear from Bernie that sexism isn’t okay. Yes, I would want my presidential candidate to be willing to risk hurting mens’ feelings to do the right thing in fighting sexism, including internet microaggressions and trolling. Even if there’s no big public chastisement of the Bros, any strong anti-sexist talking point would be welcome. It’s been reported that Sanders campaign staffers are working quietly to restrain the Bernie Bros. But isn’t that how liberal sexism works? One group says/does things that are totally offensive and another group quietly apologizes behind the scenes and gently encourages the offenders to change? If Bernie wants to stand against the billionaire class, he needs to do better than a whisper.

Because I want to know that fighting sexism is on my candidates agenda, and what larger commitment can a candidate have than fighting it among his own people? Because a free college education is of much less value to women if there’s no change in the epidemic numbers of sexual assaults on those campuses.

Bernie, come get your boys.

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5 comments on “Bernie, Come Get Your Bros -Standing Against Sexism on the Left

  1. Leftist White Bro With a Worthless Opinion
    February 5, 2016

    Huh? Who are these “Bernie bros”? What exactly did they do that is so bad? Nothing but a vague sweeping accusation is offered. I genuinely have yet to hear of this and it seems like yet another red-baiting smear of the candidate who would do the most for Black Americans – the ONLY candidate who would act conclusively and dramatically to challenge the status quo vis a vis our poor, black and brown communities. Bernie is a candidate, not a Rorschach blot to project whatever you think he should be and get mad if he doesn’t fit. I would encourage everyone, progressive or not, POC or not to look at Bernie’s actual policies and record and contrast them with the other candidates, and use that as their yardstick.

    • okay....
      February 5, 2016

      Comments like this come across like the “not all men” of Bernie followers. Do you feel like you’re being accused of being a Bernie bro? Is that why you’re leaving this comment? Instead of being condescending to a person who is speaking from a place of oppression, you could consider how you talk to people with dissenting opinions and reframe what you want to say. Comments like this, when coming from multitudes of white men trying to tell marginalized people that they know what’s best for them, or multitudes of white men shouting down a marginalized person expressing a criticism of someone they may actually support, is what makes a Bernie Bro. What you’re doing right now. Instead of saying “well, actually, you’re not educating yourself enough on his policies but before I say that I’m going to be completely not self aware and explain that your concern is ignorant and wrong” you could take a minute to consider why there are so many people expressing a concern about sexism on the left. The only responses that I’ve seen to concerns like this are “nope, you’re wrong” which is a lot like being told “nope, you’re wrong” when expressing concern about sexism in other situations.

      • Confused Latino
        February 7, 2016

        Figured I’d identify myself since that’s what we’re doing here. Weird that we feel like we have to do that. I literally have never heard of Bernie Bros. I guess maybe that’s what OP is also confused about. Yeah Bernie is a white guy. I’m not sure it makes sense to apologize for that. I thought the idea was we were supposed to judge people based on their policies and their character and not on their race or gender. Isn’t that what we’re fighting for here? I certainly don’t want to vote for Rubio or Cruz. But I don’t understand what’s going on here either. Are we supposed to attack white guys who are passionate about supporting Bernie? And Bernie is to be held accountable for a group of people that he probably doesn’t even know exists (just like myself and OP have never heard of these people)? I dunno if that makes a lot of sense. I’m concerned, like I think OP is, that there is a growing radical left that just wants to be upset about things and hold people accountable who had nothing to do with it. And I’m concerned that it takes away the concern from real things we should be mad about and makes the fight for equality look like a squabble over hurt feelings. I know you probably won’t agree on this, but I hope you at least consider how it looks from the outside. I lean pretty damn far left, but calling out Bernie for not policing dicks on the internet seems like a hell of a stretch.

  2. Pingback: How Chris Christie & Trump helped me clarify my reservations about Bernie Sanders | Aya de Leon

  3. Pingback: How Chris Christie & Trump helped me clarify my reservations about Bernie Sanders | Aya de Leon test

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This entry was posted on February 4, 2016 by in Uncategorized.

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