Recently, a man claiming to be from EMILY’s List called me for a donation. I told him I had read recently that the organization had been supporting corporate Democrats, and those candidates were not my priorities.
“No,” he insisted. “We only support progressive Democratic candidates.” He mentioned a few big name incumbents, such as Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren. I told him I didn’t think the Democratic party was progressive and asked what he meant. Apparently, he meant pro-choice, though he referred to it vaguely as “women’s health”. I should trust him, he said, because he supported Bernie Sanders in 2016.
When I asked, he said that they hadn’t supported Marie Newman, the Democratic woman who opposed Dan Lipinski in the Illinois Democratic primary last month. Lipinski is one of the few anti-choice Democrats in Congress. Now, that’s a race where some feminist help could have made a difference. But Emily’s List wasn’t there. That’s why I choose to give elsewhere.
The young man began to harangue me. He continued to talk over me and would not stop. When I hung up, he immediately rang back and continued talking over me as if nothing had happened. This time, I told him I was hanging up.
A Failure of Feminism?
I remember when EMILY’s List began in 1985. It was unabashedly feminist. It was needed, and it made a difference. Marie Newman was exactly the kind of candidate it would have supported, or so it seemed then. But apparently EMILY didn’t want to anger the Democratic establishment, which supported Lipinski. So much for feminism (which the young man never mentioned) and progressive politics.
I can only believe that EMILY, like the Democratic party in general, has lost her way. Since when does it sit out a race where a pro-choice woman seeks to replace an anti-choice man? And since when does a pro-choice, supposedly feminist organization, hire a man to treat women so disrespectfully?