A revelation is occurring out of the Bernie Sanders campaign. Startling to some, is the fact that this 74 year old man is garnering the support of younger people, and in particular, younger women.
This has led to the consternation of some iconic figures within the feminist movement. They are chastising these younger women in less than flattering terms for not supporting their chosen candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Donning my pedantic hat, or even my spiritual attire, I view this as more than political, ideological battles. To start with, let’s parse the word “icon.” An icon is a venerated figure, image, portrait or idol, or perhaps reflected in a statute. An implication of icon is a static state or a reference to the past.
Iconoclastic, on the other hand, is characterized as an attack on or ignorance of cherished beliefs or institutions. A fresh or novel event can, at times, be seen as an iconoclastic one. A great example of this in music would be when Bob Dylan, the rising folk artist in 1965 went “electric” at that year’s Newport Folk Festival. Many purists in the folk establishment considered this an act of blasphemy. Yet, it led Dylan and the music he subsequently created, to even greater heights and influence.
I wouldn’t quite go as far as labeling these young feminists as iconoclastic, as they do have great respect for their pioneering feminist icons. It’s merely that the issues, concerns and times have changed. Economically comfortable septuagenarians and octogenarians, regardless of how great their history, insulting or admonishing younger women is, in my opinion, self-defeating.
As the venerable Zen proverb states, “change is the changeless.” Iconic images don’t change, but the times do.