Many have noted that Hillary Clinton’s speech tonight comes on the anniversary of women’s suffrage, but that’s not necessarily the uplifting coincidence it appears to be, writes feminist author Susan Faludi in the New York Times. Despite Clinton’s fantastic primary showing, her supporters remain disconsolate because feminist history is loaded with half-measures and failed successes—and suffrage was one of them.
Like Clinton’s candidacy, suffrage was both a goal and a symbolic “color guard for a regiment of other ideas,” Faludi explains. But those other ideas sputtered and died after suffrage’s passing. Feminism fell out of fashion, dying, in one feminist’s words, “of partial victory and inanition.” Today, too, the cause of feminism is failing, and today, as then, it has lost its color guard.