For the older white guy talking at an event for girls of color, the reception Bernie Sanders received at the current She the Individuals summit was chilly. Unlike the other 2020 candidates in the forum–such as another white man–many of Sanders’ answers were met with groans. At one pointhe answered a question concerning the recent growth in hate crimes by turning it back into a dialog on universal healthcare, drawing boos.
The response to Sanders didn’t surprise women’s rights advocates. The senator has one of the strongest and longest recordings on reproductive rights and pay inequality of these 2020 contenders, but he’s often criticized for not taking leadership on or prioritizing these issues–and, even more recently, for failing to learn from his past missteps.
(*)”You can put lipstick on the pig, however in the end the senator is someone who’s actually quite proud of not altering his thoughts,” Sarah Slamen, a Texas organizer and Sanders’ 2016 state effort coordinator in Louisiana, told The Daily Beast.
“I wish to think that older dogs can learn new tricks, but I really don’t find it with this puppy,” she added.
Sanders is a longtime supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment and also set the benchmark for demanding 12 weeks of family leave through his 2016 presidential effort. He co-sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act and contained cover equity for women employees due to his economic program. He spoke about the need for equal pay as recently as a year, at a campaign stop in Alabama.
He was one of the very first to vote against the Hyde Amendment, that blocks medication funding for abortion. (Joe Biden, Sanders’ closest competitor at the polls, lately said he supports the amendment though he shifted his place on Thursday night.) A 1972 article from Vermont’s Bennington Banner paper shows that the senator vocally endorsed abortion rights even before Roe v. Wade had been decided. Both Planned Parenthood and NARAL provide Sanders their highest rating on reproductive rights–although Planned Parenthood noted in 2016 which Sanders hasn’t introduced some women’s rights legislation himself.
“Bernie has been a decades-long winner for women’s rights and as president he would be a tireless advocate for gender equity, diversity and inclusion in policy and in practice, as he is now,” the campaign said in a statement to the Daily Beast.
The problem for a few, however, is not with Sanders policies, but how that he presents them. His laser concentrate on economic problems has pushed his position on sex issues to the background, at some time–article -#MeToo motion, with more girls in Congress than ever before–when many believe that they should be in the forefront.
“It can not only be the polices,” said Destiny Lopez, co-director of this All* Most Action Fund, who attended the She the Individuals summit. “You have to be able to participate in a dialogue about race and sex as well as the inequities in our system as a result of these two dynamics in particular.”
“We need to have the ability to discuss it, since we’re never going to be able to tackle those issues head-on just through coverage,” she added.
One instance came a month, as countries like Alabama and Georgia passed a series of intense diplomatic restrictions. Candidates such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris rolled out extensive suggestions to safeguard abortion rights, promising to codify Roe v. Wade in law. Warren’s program includes a national law enshrining the right to abortion accessibility, while Harris’ would require several countries to get federal permission prior to departure diplomatic restrictions.
Paradoxically, many of the plans drew from invoices that Sanders has supported–as well as co-sponsored–in the Senate. At a campaign swing through the South, Sanders created a well-received request for men to get involved with reproductive problems. In addition, he published tweets calling the abortion bans”disgraceful and”unconscionable.” But in an off-the-cuff instant on May 19–just days after Alabama passed its near-total ban–he outraged reproductive rights advocates by telling NBC’s Chuck Todd that so-called”sex-selective” abortions were a significant issue.