“The future is female.” It’s a favorite slogan of the identity left that has now gone mainstream. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted it on Wednesday, adding that the future is also “intersectional” and “powered by our belief in one another.”
But if the future is female, what happens to our boys? And what message are we sending our present-day girls?
Gillibrand is one of about 30 Democrats considering running for president in 2020, and the tweet suggests she’s seizing some strategic left-wing ground (in a primary field crowded with lefties) by appealing to the Dems’ identity-obsessed base.
Her mentioning “intersectionality” is a nod to that base. Born in the ivory tower, intersectionality is a theory that various forms of oppression overlap and compound the suffering of minority groups. Thus, a woman might be oppressed; but a black woman is more oppressed; a black, gay woman even more so; and a black, gay, disabled woman is the most oppressed of all.
Gillibrand has two sons, who apparently aren’t part of the future their mother imagines. They won’t be saved by intersectionality, either. White, male sons of senators will find winning the grievance Olympics to be nearly impossible.
And that’s the problem with our “future is female” moment. It doesn’t so much celebrate women as make them compete in the hierarchy of victimhood in a world we tell them has never been theirs.
Your time is coming, women, but it isn’t here yet.
The accomplishments of women in history — the likes of Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman and Sandra Day O’Connor — become meaningless as we wait for a future where women will truly rule. It’s harmful to boys to imagine they are left out of the future, but it’s harmful for girls, too, to tell them they amount to little or nothing in our past or present.
It doesn’t help that the “future is female” slogan is several decades old. According to The New York Times, it traces back to a T-shirt made in 1975 for “Labyris Books, the first women’s bookstore” in the city. The irony that the slogan is popular again now, in the future more than 40 years later, seems lost on those splashing it on their social-media accounts.
The future they imagined in 1975 was going to be female. Did it never arrive?
In February 2017, Hillary Clinton used the phrase in a video she made for the Makers conference, a group that celebrates the achievements of women. It was the first time she’d spoken out since President Trump’s inauguration.
“Despite all the challenges we face,” she said, “I remain convinced that, yes, the future is female.” By then, Hillary Clinton had been elected senator, appointed secretary of state and nominated as the first female major-party presidential contender. It’s bizarre that she still thinks that the era of the woman is in some distant future.
Had she won the presidential election, would that have meant that era had finally arrived?
Now let’s tally the harms to boys. The slogan tells boys that they don’t matter — or that they belong to the past. The future belongs to women, we openly tell boys and then wonder why they are failing to become the men we’d hoped.
Fewer boys go to college. The number of men out of the workforce has spiked. More men commit suicide. More men live at home with their parents into their 30s than ever.
If the present is male, boys sure don’t seem to know it.
Boys are falling off a cliff, and we’re not doing anything to stop it. We’re making them the demons in the story we tell girls about who is at fault for keeping them down. It’s grotesque, and mothers and grandmothers like Kirsten Gillibrand and Hillary Clinton should know better.
Instead of waiting 20 years and then buying “the future is male” T-shirts to encourage men, let’s disregard those who divide us by gender and have an era with the kind of equality feminists claim to want.
This isn’t a time for women. Nor is it separately a time of men. We’ve been in this together since time immemorial. Americans shouldn’t allow divisiveness and reverse sexism to reign.
“I voted for you, but now I’m not included in your vision of the future?” one man tweeted at Gillibrand. He got no response. A slogan is far easier than an explanation.
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