08 Feb

Young Women vs Hillary Clinton

From the New York Times:

Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright Rebuke Young Women Backing Bernie Sanders

I think this is one of the biggest problems I have with Clinton. Not that she is a woman, as an undecided progressive that is something that I count in her favor. The argument that because she is a woman, other women supporting the male candidate somehow are bad people. Madeleine Albright stating there is a special place in hell for women who do not support Clinton is pretty ridiculous. Does that mean her second choice candidate is Carly Fiorina? Clinton may have a record of supporting women, but she certainly wasn’t in the corner of Monica Lewinski, or any of the other women her husband harassed. I feel this charge to support women comes with some caveats, like by support women they mean support this specific woman.

Worse though is Gloria Steinem, stating “When you’re young, you’re thinking: ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,’” referring to the majority of young women supporters Sanders has. What the hell is that? She’s a feminist pioneer and basically saying these women are boy crazy? She retracted the statement the next day, opologizing if the comments were misinterpreted. Seems like a non-apology though.

The possibility of a female president is a very big deal. Especially one calling for pay equality, paid family leave, and reproductve rights. Shaming women who choose not to support that candidate does seem like a winning move.

All that being said, women absolutely have to deal with a different set of standards, and Clinton has been a pro at navigating this. Clinton’s frustration at not having as much support with younger women is understandable. The optimism that draws young people to the big ideas of Sanders also likely leads them to believe sexism is something that they can end more easily. They haven’t had the experience dealing with institutionalized sexism for decades like the older supporters of Clinton.

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