Over the weekend, Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem went over the edge in their defense of Hillary Clinton.
Albright promised "a special place in hell" for women who don't support women.
Steinem went on Bill Maher's show and said that young women supporting Bernie are looking for boyfriends or some such nonsense. Steinem did apologize for her comment, but unringing a bell isn't particularly effective.
They did Hillary Clinton no favors with this. In fact, they did feminists no favors. While I can understand where they were going with it, it was inflammatory and most importantly, demeaning to young women supporting Bernie Sanders because they believe in his message and his candidacy. It is statements like this that made me want to rip the feminist badge right off my sleeve and scream back at them instead, which is also unproductive.
No one should support a candidate merely on the basis of gender. Period.
That quote about women helping each other, which The New York Times reminds readers often adorns the sides of Starbucks quotes, has always grated on me, because, in the name of female empowerment, it actually lets men off the hook. Why is there a special place in hell only for the women who resist women’s equality? Aren’t men exponentially more responsible for holding women down more than other women? Why are women the only ones expected to do something about gender injustice?
While it’s always tempting to reach for cheap explanations when other women disagree, feminists need to resist the hags-vs-bimbos narrative with all our might. It’s sexist on its surface, reducing women’s political disagreements to a struggle over male attention, and is clearly a narrative set up to demonize and shame all women. It also reinforces the toxic notion that men are irredeemable, that they can never be expected to support women’s equality and so have to be written off completely while all the focus is put on why women aren’t doing enough.
I couldn't agree more. It's the wrong reason to support a woman for any position, much less the highest office in the land. Imagine someone saying that men should support men, or black people should only support black candidates? It marginalizes the entire process of settling upon and choosing a candidate for office.
Primaries aren't about which "ism" a candidate is fighting or representing. They're about the opportunity for the electorate to make a decision about which candidate will best represent their values in a national race for the Presidency.
Gender might be a part or it might not. It is certainly a fact, but it's hardly the reason I'd give for the reason young people -- male and female -- are flocking to Bernie Sanders. His message is compelling, and he's campaigning on change young people are hungry to see.
Younger women support Sanders in higher numbers than older women do. This is not surprising. Younger men also support Sanders more than older men do. That the politics of idealism have always had more sway with younger people than with older, battle-hardened people. But rather than accept the simplest and likeliest explanation —that men and women tend to be more alike than different – much of the mainstream media has been eager to portray the age gap between women as a titillating catfight between jealous old hags and nubile bimbos.
Throwing cold water on young people by marginalizing them just isn't the way to influence people or to sell your candidate. It smacks of desperation.
Perhaps Hillary should tell them to just stick to the issues and lay off the 'isms'? Let the Republicans be the negative Nellies. We've got good candidates who are paying attention to issues. Let's stay up on that level.