According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC/Marist College poll of Democratic voters in New Hampshire last week, 64 percent of women under the age of 45 supported Mr. Sanders, while only 35 percent backed Mrs. Clinton. By contrast, women over 45 backed Mrs. Clinton by nine percentage points (Source).
Hillary Clinton is struggling to get millennial female voters on her team, and it is not because they are not democratic feminists. In a desperate attempt to sway young female voters, feminist icons Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem tried to “motivate” female millennials to get on board, stop being silly women and backup Hillary.
While introducing Mrs. Clinton at a rally in New Hampshire on Saturday, Ms. Albright, 78, the first female secretary of state, talked about the importance of electing a woman to the country’s highest office…
“We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of you younger women think it’s done,” Ms. Albright said of the broader fight for women’s equality. “It’s not done. There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other (Source)!”
Ms. Steinem, 81, one of the most famous spokeswomen of the feminist movement, took the sentiment a step further on Friday in an interview with the talk show host Bill Maher. Explaining that women tend to become more active in politics as they become older, she suggested that younger women were backing Mr. Sanders just so they could meet young men.
“When you’re young, you’re thinking: ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,’” Ms. Steinem said (Source).
Young feminists were outraged by the insults. It seemed Ms. Steinem was saying that young women do not take politics seriously and are too boy crazy to make informed decisions on who they will vote for.
If there is one thing millennial women (especially feminists) despise, it is being shamed and criticized for their personal choices.
If anything, Ms. Albright and Ms. Steinem made things worse for Hillary Clinton. Feminism is about empowering women to do what they think is best for themselves, their homes, their countries and their churches. The truth is that women have been told what to do and how to think since the beginning of time and are still trying to liberate themselves (and each other) from these invisible chains.
Later, Ms. Steinem recoiled her statement and wrote,
“In a case of talk-show Interruptus, I misspoke on the Bill Maher show recently, and apologize for what’s been misinterpreted as implying young women aren’t serious in their politics,” she said in a post on Facebook. “Whether they gravitate to Bernie or Hillary, young women are activist and feminist in greater numbers than ever before (Source).”
This second statement of Ms Steinem’s is the truth of the matter, so why are young feminists gravitating towards Bernie Sanders more than Hillary Clinton? One would think young feminists would be the first to back the only US female candidate that has ever had a real chance of winning the presidency.
The answer to this question can be boiled down to one word: transparency.
Millennial women (and millennial men too, really), both inside and outside of the Church are searching for something real. Since birth, we have been fed advertisement after advertisement. We have been lied to by preachers and politicians alike. We have watched “mighty men of God” and also, “the greatest world leaders” fall into all sorts of scandals.
Feminism is about tearing down unjust power hierarchies, because in these types of establishments, power is always abused and it is normally women who take the hardest hits.
Millennial women who are educated voters could not care less that Katy Perry and other celebrities are backing Hillary Clinton. We are highly skeptical of celebritism, especially when it comes to politics and religion. If Hillary were smart, she would distance herself from celebritism.
Millennial women are also wondering why Hillary Clinton, a feminist activist, would stay married to a man who publicly humiliated her and other women by abusing his power in the white house. Even the least politically informed voter, knows that Bill Clinton was (and maybe still is) a womanizer. How many victims has Bill Clinton had and has Hillary stomped on his victims to rise to the level she is now at?
Feminism is about standing with victims – especially female victims who have been traumatized by men in power.
If Hillary were smart, she would sit down with young women and start being transparent about these matters, instead of downplaying them and covering them up.
The truth is that young women feminists greatly want a female president, but they want one that they can trust. We would rather vote for a male feminist who is transparent and real, than vote for a female feminist that wears many masks and is bathing in scandal.
If Hillary wants to gain young female voters, she is going to have to remove her masks, bring herself back down to earth and honestly address each and every scandal she and her husband are associated with.
NOTE: I am not endorsing Bernie Sanders or attacking Hillary Clinton.
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If by “womanizer,” you mean “rapist,” then you’ve hit the nail on the head of why I don’t support Hillary Clinton for president. I realize that powerful men are targets for false rape accusations, but the earliest rape accusation against him stems all the way back from when he was a student at Oxford. Multiple women have accused him of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. I highly doubt all of those accusations are false.
I am not sure, Brita. I simply know that the allegations need to be addressed by the Clintons in a more transparent fashion.
It is a paternalistic tradition to judge a woman based on her husband’s behavior. Don’t judge Hillary based on Bill’s behavior. They are not the same person. Maybe you would do well to walk a mile in her shoes.
While it is well known that Bill is a philanderer, I would be highly suspicious of any rape accusation being trumpeted by the likes of Rush Limbaugh or similar. It’s not like those people give a crap about women or rape and most of those fools strike me as pretty rapey themselves. I’ve not seen this accusations in any credible sources and as far as I can tell, Bill’s been cleared of any criminal misdeeds and no one is willing to come forward, so this strikes me as deeply political. And I second the concern that your words here, whether you intend to or not, lay blame at her feet for HIS behavior.
Secondly, while Steinem’s comment was inarticulate and ham-fisted, I think she has a point. Young women are socialized to people please and the well-documented “Bernie Bro” phenomenon could be playing a role in who some women choose. It’s intimidation, plain and simple, and that sucks. Are they all doing this? Of course not, but it could be a factor. While it hasn’t swayed my choice, I don’t talk about it with some aggressive male progressives who might be inclined to shower me with a barrage of filthy misogynistic slurs. Patriarchy is still alive and well even in progressive circles and I’m convinced that for some, no woman candidate would ever be “pure” enough. In the mean time, I will vote for the candidate who best articulates her vision and values–and for me, that’s Hillary.
There were actually many accounts and allegations of rape. I’m 44yr old, and remember vividly reading the personal accounts of many woman. I believe Juanita Broderick sp? just re-surfaced with her story again. If this is something you’re interested in, I’m sure a simple Google search would uncover their stories from their very own words.
I did google it and found no sources that weren’t in the same vein as wnd or info wars. That makes me skeptical because those ppl do NOT care about women or rape.
I agree that Gloria Steinem’s remarks were both ridiculous and insulting.
It seems to me that Hillary is being re-victimized by your expectations. I would assert that with the exception of the very private business of the Clinton marriage, the special prosecutors etc., have ensured that a very bright light has been shined on Bill and Hillary. As any woman who has been involved with a cheater knows, Bill’s abuse of other women certainly made Hillary a victim too. And what any couple resolves within their marriage is very personal. The commitment to that marriage is admirable while your column seems to accept that she sacrificed her dignity – and failed to support other women – because she wanted to hold on to the power that being married to Bill gave her rather than wanting to maintain her marriage. In fact, I would suggest that your column reduces her to a reflection of her husband and her marriage and asks her to take responsibility for Bill’s behavior in a way that men are never expected to be responsible for their wives. It reeks of Hillary’s value being tied to her husband’s behavior. Have the young feminists you’re speaking of looked at her achievements and her commitment to justice, to children, to change?
Additionally, you seem to be asserting that Hillary’s “lack of transparency” makes Bernie more genuine. What would transparency look like in this situation? A heart-to-heart with Barbara Walters where Hillary confesses – what?
Perhaps you and the other young feminists you are speaking of should consider that Hillary has had to make her mark in a world where what you’re calling transparency would have resulted in sneering insults about women being too emotional to operate in the political (or business) world. That she has been successful on the national stage speaks to her ability to work within the system and overcome obstacles both personal and professional.
Though I am not a supporter of either democratic candidate, I appreciate your observations and perspective about Hillary Clinton. They have plenty of merit. Unless we had been in her shoes, can anyone of us truly say that we know what we would do? I feel for anyone running for office; it is a difficult journey- win or lose.
I was careful to say that Hillary was a victim of Bill’s too. There is a lot of speculation that Hillary covered up Bill’s abuse towards other victims. I would like to learn more from her directly about Bill’s other victims and how she handled things (yes, an interview with Walters would be a great place to do this). I am in no way blaming Hillary for Bill’s actions. I am, however, concerned that she may have covered up abuse for her husband’s sake and for political advancement. I am not against Hillary. I believe it is difficult for many of us to trust her due to a lack of transparency. In my opinion, she needs to humble herself and open up to the American people.
Though I am undecided between Bernie and Hillary. I have to say that I think your words here are spot-on. Excellent reminders of context and personal accomplishment. Thanks, Keely!
I’m with Brita. There’s evidence she conspired to cover it up, all the way back. I don’t blame her for the fact that he is what he is, but she is responsible for her own actions. What she did in Arkansaw was pretty bad.
Anyone who steps into the media spotlight better be ready to explain themselves. Marriage included. If she is a victim, she ought to say so at the very least, so everyone knows where she stands.
Good point Susan.
While I think so much of this article is spot-on, I was disappointed in the insinuation that by choosing to stay in her marriage, Hillary Clinton has somehow trampled on Bill’s other alleged victims to rise to her current place of power. Hillary herself was certainly the victim of her husband’s indiscretions, and I worry that this article heaps undo blame on Hillary.
I am a feminist finding myself leaning toward voting for Bernie Sanders because I like his ideas, I appreciate his ability to articulate his plans, and I find him trustworthy. I love that he hadn’t accepted money from superPACs, and I believe that he will not be owned by any special interest groups (ie. Monsanto).
I was careful to say that Hillary was a victim of Bill’s too. There is a lot of speculation that Hillary covered up Bill’s abuse towards other victims. I would like to learn more from her directly about Bill’s other victims and how she handled things. I am in no way blaming Hillary for Bill’s actions. I am, however, concerned that she may have covered up abuse for her husband’s sake and for political advancement.
I know what you mean Jory. I don’t have all of the facts but there seems to have been some cover ups involved.
I think this is a good moment here: “Feminism is about tearing down unjust power hierarchies, because in these types of establishments, power is always abused and it is normally women who take the hardest hits.”
This is one of the reasons I call myself a feminist.
I would love sometime to hear you speak to the question of “just hierarchies” as a female American Millennial feminist. Can there be a just hierarchy? Can the relationship of parent-child, boss-worker, teacher-student, elder-parishioner ever be just? Is mutual submission a kind of voluntary reciprocating hierarchy?
Great questions. I think it is impossible to totally get away from hierarchical leadership – it seems to be human to desire leaders. However, I believe that leaders should be more like facilitators and less like dictators or even “kings.”
My thoughts exactly Jory! I love the term facilitator.