Tamika Mallory, co-founder of Women's March, said on Wednesday night that Sanders was the right choice to headline the first National Women's Convention in 40 years. Sanders is due to deliver the opening night address of the three-day conference on October 27.
Women and supporters of the Women's Convention are not pleased, better yet angry, at the decision to hire Bernie to speak.
The Women's March, which attracted hundreds of thousands of protesters the weekend of Donald Trump's inauguration, has come to symbolize the resistance to Trump's administration - but many feel that the Women's Convention, happening October 27 through 29, should kick off with, well, a woman. Sanders in a press release. A spokesperson for Sanders said that the Vermont senator was invited by the Women's March, and accepted the invitation to honor "the women at the front lines of our struggle for economic, social, racial and environmental justice".
"We all know how busy women leaders are, and we are grateful for the support of women like Secretary Clinton along with Senators Harris, Warren and Gillibrand". But some were unable to get past the fact that Sanders, a man, has been selected for a prime speaking slot at a women's event.
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Some suggested that women should boycott the convention and its organizers.
Those who didn't understand that the backlash towards Sanders alleged that the convention's organizer's likely wouldn't be able to afford preferred speaker Hillary Clinton, who was reported to be priced at $275,000 in 2015.
The Women's March has not released an official statement in response to the outcry.
"I don't know what's dumber: people thinking the #WomensConvention can afford Hillary or Beyoncé or that they think it's a moneymaking scheme", one user tweeted.
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As the firestorm over Senator Sanders continued spreading on social media throughout the afternoon, the Women's Convention put out a statement on its Instagram page, suggesting that the organizers' hand was forced, in part, by scheduling conflicts.
The event still secured many high-profile women leaders for the weekend of October 27. Joining Sanders and Waters as speakers are Amber Tamblyn, Angela Rye, Piper Perabo, Raquel Castaneda Lopez and Lenore Anderson, among several others. Now, almost a year after Clinton's loss to you-know-who, the coast appears clear for female Sanders supporters - so much so that the women behind the post-inauguration Women's March on Washington have asked Sanders to give an opening night speech at their convention event in Detroit later this month. The event will be held at Cobo Center.
MSNBC political analyst Joan Walsh remarked sarcastically: 'Might just be me, but I'd have loved to see a woman keynote the Women's Convention'.
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