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Opinion

Readers React: Women’s rights might be a side issue to male candidates, but not to Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton in South Carolina

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally in Denmark, S.C., on Feb. 12. 

(Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

To the editor: Maria Bustillos dismisses what she calls “women’s issues” as less urgent than the issues of class and economic inequality that are Sen. Bernie Sanders’ exclusive focus. Bustillos also implies that “breaking the glass ceiling” is merely a vanity project for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the self-centered establishment women who support her. (“You don’t have to be a bro to support Bernie Sanders,” Opinion, Feb. 9)

I’d remind Bustillos — and Sanders too — of the ferocious assault on reproductive rights being waged by those who would deny women control over their bodies, access to contraception, healthcare and equal pay and, yes, ban access to abortion, even in cases of incest or rape. There is no liberal value more central, more basic, more urgent than the fight for full human rights and economic equality and opportunity for all persons, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.

American women, and especially American women of color, do not receive equal pay for equal work. American women and LGBT Americans are not equal under the law and are thus prevented from exercising their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Clinton is fighting for basic, too-long-denied human rights. This may be a side issue to male candidates, but it is urgent and real for more than half of America.

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Jo Perry, Studio City

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To the editor: Millennials are not being drawn by the prospect of Clinton being the first female president or her past accomplishments. The past is the past, and millennials are concerned with the future.

I am a grandparent of millennials, and I worry about how they will pay for college. Should grandparents sacrifice their lifelong savings to educate their grandchildren?

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I look at my grandchildren and wonder if they must incur lifelong debt for college that makes it impossible to buy a house or have children. This is the future, and it is now. Sanders is speaking about it — God knows someone has to.

Harriet Pollon, Malibu

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To the editor: Among many of the unfair criticisms of Clinton is that she voted for the Iraq war as if she were the only Democrat who did so and then went on to run for another office. She has been criticized for accepting speaker fees from Wall Street and asked to release the transcripts. Has a male politician ever been treated like this?

Clinton has received, since she was first lady, unfair and untrue accusations, including Bustillos’ charge that she has betrayed the principles of the Democratic Party.

Republicans fear Clinton. They would much rather run against Sanders.

Dolores Carrillo, Diamond Bar

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To the editor: If support for Clinton should not be a women’s issue, why does the title of Bustillos’ article explicitly make it one?

Gender should not be a reason to support a candidate for president. But have we heard of “men for Bernie” or “men for Bush” or “men for Obama”? Why all of a sudden “women for Bernie”? If gender doesn’t matter, then the headline should have been gender neutral. Readers must have been intrigued by the title “Women for Bernie.” I know I was.

“Men for Bernie” — I can’t wait for that headline.

Carol Hall, Diamond Bar 

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