When the Women’s March announced on Twitter that failed Democratic presidential candidate and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) would headline its “Women’s Convention” in Detroit later in October, I’m sure it expected the inclusion of “the most popular politician in the history of the world” (thoroughly debunked here) would boost sagging ticket sales. But 24 hours later, organizers are facing a PR debacle of their own making that threatens to derail the event completely.
The tone-deaf announcement has been met with incredulity:
— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) October 12, 2017
A cranky old man as the face of a Woman's Convention is good PR? Is everyone in this country insane?
— Tom Christy (@AthensNotRome) October 12, 2017
Choosing a MAN to give the OPENING SPEECH at a #WomensConvention?
A man who villified a woman many respect?
— leah mcelrath 🗽 (@leahmcelrath) October 12, 2017
And well-deserved ridicule:
Why not just have the #WomensConvention open with a choir of Bernie Bros harmonizing the word “actually”?
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) October 13, 2017
Shouldn't he be chasing those precious working class Trump whites who are totally not racist?
— Mr. Dixon (@JoeLewisdixon) October 12, 2017
Man alive, there has not been a better week for feminism since that time Bono was named Woman of the Year.
— Sady Doyle (@sadydoyle) October 12, 2017
At press time, the original tweet has almost 9,000 negative responses. The Women’s March Facebook page has 5,700 dissenting comments, with 700 more on the Event page, and I’m told thousands more were deleted Thursday afternoon. They are 99.99 percent negative — it’s hard to find any legitimate messages of support, and I have tried.
Hundreds of registrants are backing out of the conference, saying they want no part of this blatant attempt to prop up Sanders. The announcement conveniently came after the deadline to request a refund passed, but many are seeking redress through credit card companies, since the organizers blatantly misrepresented what the event was all about:
People need to just call & dispute with their credit card company. People are already getting refunds. Takes 2 mins.
— Susan (@susanswann99) October 12, 2017
If you go on Facebook to the event page for the convention there is a large group forming to demand money back
— ((Literally, Suki)) (@freeandclear1) October 12, 2017
I just cancelled and reported the charge as a fraud based on false advertising
— JW4Progress (@JW4Hillary) October 12, 2017
Instead of listening (there’s a pattern here), organizers ignored the comments and THREE Change.org petitions (Sign all three!) with 10,000 signatures and counting. Instead, they doubled down with a patronizing statement that completely missed the point and a lame attempt to blame the “mainstream media.” Neither was well received:
Spare me the ABSURB excuse that “well, the other women were busy” so that’s why a MAN was given this coveted spot?
Shame on all of you.
— Anne with an “e” (@mrsmaris) October 12, 2017
Bernie shouldn't speak at conf. at all, much less be “featured”. He lags on women's issues. Why shift blame for tone deaf choice to media?
— Leslie Poston (@leslie) October 13, 2017
Wait blame the media? Where have I heard that before....
— betterinrealife (@betterinrealife) October 12, 2017
When that didn’t fly, they resorted to deleting comments on Facebook, and when they kept coming, they attacked their detractors:
I'm really upset by this. I had no idea.
As soon as I posted my displeasure:
I was attacked and called divisive in the same sentence.
— Devon Sheetcake 🍰 (@DevonOhara) October 13, 2017
1) Man named opening speaker for “Women’s March”
2) Women protest
3) Other Women who support Man attack Women who protest
4) So much 4 unity
— JWMC (@jwmcapesbklyn) October 13, 2017
Yea. Can read. Frankly..who the fuck are you? “Fashionable protestor”. https://t.co/wqfjtMdrV3
— Denise Oliver-Velez (@Deoliver47) October 13, 2017
Including invited speakers who voiced objections:
— Sergio Grant (@sgrant525) October 13, 2017
Looks like you're attacking them for having the temerity to question why a man is opening the #WomensConvention. Many MANY women questioning
— Scary Scream (@sharilea68) October 13, 2017
Then, Bernie acolyte Nina Turner took to Twitter and compared Bernie to Jesus Christ:
Do you think Turner would be offended if Jesus Christ served donuts and water instead of bread and wine at the conference? 🤔🤔
— RozieK (@kenner3616) October 13, 2017
To be clear, there are countless men in public service who, unlike Bernie, respect their wives and daughters and fight tirelessly for the interests of women everywhere. Actual Democrats like Joe Biden, Gavin Newsom, Tim Kaine, Al Franken, Sherrod Brown, even former President Barack Obama. But why would an event billed as “a political groundswell showing that the rise of the woman IS the rise of the nation” have any man as a headliner?
To have a man open a women’s convention is absolutely a disgrace. I’m embarrassed for you.
— roxane gay (@rgay) October 12, 2017
You could've invited a woman, ANY woman to open your @womensmarch convention but instead u picked the old white dude who lost to the woman.
— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) October 12, 2017
Always inappropriate to have a man headline a womens' conference on women's issues. Bernie's campaign misogyny makes this especially galling
— Ali S. Pumpkins 👻🎃 (@alifwst) October 13, 2017
Especially this particular man. Sanders has proven time and time again he is no ally. Writing and publishing rape fantasies, per Snopes. Treating discussion of women's concerns as a distraction. Attacking Planned Parenthood and Human Rights Campaign as “establishment,” per The Washington Post. Deriding women’s rights and civil rights issues as “identity politics” that we should move beyond, according to Politico. Claiming cervical cancer is caused by lack of orgasms, per Mediaite. And especially, unforgivably, calling Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, a former senator and secretary of state, “unqualified” for the presidency.
The inclusion of Sanders is a slap in the face to women everywhere who overwhelmingly preferred Clinton. As women, we resent his campaign of character assassination and lies. We resent he claims he only lost because the system was rigged against him. We resent the brutal harassment we face regularly from Sanders’s minions. And we resent the elevation of Sanders above the 60-plus women on the program, including keynote speaker Rep. Maxine Waters:
I've looked. Why is he listed as Senator while she's plain old Maxine Waters? Honor HER accomplishments.
— Mimi Wells (@mimi_wells) October 12, 2017
If you do not instinctively see the problem in leaving off Maxine's title you have no business running the #WomensConvention
— JAM 🍩 (@Eviljohna) October 12, 2017
“Reclaiming our time” by ceding time to the man that helped get us into this mess? I can't even...
— Lisa L (@levert) October 12, 2017
This conference is a blatant attempt to capitalize on the passion and momentum of the largest protest in history last January to prop up the perpetual grift machine of Sanders.
Bernie's own statement kind of shows that he's really using the march to gain supporters for his movement... pic.twitter.com/rsANRMhSQ8
— Sasha Stone (@AwardsDaily) October 13, 2017
The organizers are the same ones who co-opted the January march from the women who originally planned it, then told Clinton she wasn’t welcome. Didn’t stop them from using her quotes without attribution though.
Their agenda was obvious to those of us following closely, but now it’s clear to everyone this conference is a nothing but a money-making venture to promote Sanders and further denigrate the Democratic party. It’s no surprise a Sanders-affiliated organization is raising money under false pretenses — that’s what his 2016 campaign was all about.
This is not a “women's convention” - it's an excuse to let Bernie Sanders have a captive audience for a campaign rally.
— Elizabeth (@RegulatoryHell) October 13, 2017
This is a Bernie Sanders rally.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) October 12, 2017
womens march is a nifty fundraiser for Bernie2020...nah man...
— MissLee (@icyjuicy) October 12, 2017
Ever since Sarsour glommed onto the Women's March concept ten months ago it's been nothing but a Sanders promotion tool.
— Phoenix Woman 🍩 (@PhoenixWomanMN) October 13, 2017
Sanders’s “popularity” has always been a myth. He lost the primary in a landslide, by 4 million votes and by every possible measure: open primaries, closed primaries, big states, small states, red states, blue states, early states, later states, and states in every region.
The polls Berners cling to are total BS (see here), and the much vaunted “enthusiasm” for his campaign was generated online by Russian bots (which explains why it never translated into actual votes.)
Emperor High Sparrow has no clothes, and we finally have, as they say, the receipts. It’s time to push back against the “most popular” fantasy buttressed by fawning media like Mika, Matt Yglesias, and Chris Hayes. The Democratic Party must disassociate from Sanders and Linda Sarsour so its radical far left agenda doesn't burden our 2018 candidates and diminish our chances of regaining any power. When Democrats win, women win.
- If you choose to #BoycottBernie, demand your money back and tweet/post any response you get, then file a fraud claim with your bank.
- If you choose to attend, vote with your feet. Skip Sanders’s speech and support women on the program. Apparently, there are some.
- Contact the women on the program, tell them you plan to #BoycottBernie and ask them to protest Sanders’s appearance to the organizers.
- Message Tom Perez, the DNC, and other party leaders and urge them to disavow Sanders and refocus on the Obama coalition, 66 million strong. (Need talking points? See here)
- UNFOLLOW all social media associated with the Women's March and the “Women's Convention.”
- Support organizations that ACTUALLY support women and are as disgusted with Sanders as we all are:
Our event will not focus on a man as our headliner. We are intersectional and fiercely feminist. We will spotlight WOMEN and Hillary Clinton
— Marching Onward (@OnwardMarchDC) October 12, 2017
— Mia Brett 👸🏻 (@QueenMab87) October 12, 2017
— Stephanie Schriock (@Schriock1) October 12, 2017
1. So what exactly is a SupePac for grassroots activism? Let’s discuss what Democrats Work For America is and why it’s so important.
— DemsWork4USA (@DemsWork4USA) July 28, 2017