To me, one of the most basic yet paramount principles of feminism is the belief that the thoughts and opinions of all women are equal, important, and beneficial to society.
Apparently, not every feminist feels this way.
Recently, two prominent feminists have publicly stated their support for Hillary Clinton, while simultaneously throwing shade at young feminists who support Bernie Sanders. During a discussion with Bill Maher, Gloria Steinem essentially hypothesized that young female feminists only support Bernie Sanders to attract men. Then, at a rally for Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright said, "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other."
I'm going to hell because I'm not totally obsessed with Hillary? I can think of way cooler things to go to hell for than not supporting a candidate (who has a history of flip-flopping her beliefs on issues I value, while the candidate I support does not) because she's a woman.
And don't even get me started on what Steinem said. (She later took to her Facebook page to clarify that she misspoke.) I'm pretty sure her assumption that young feminists support Bernie Sanders just to attract boys set feminism back at least 50 years. Yikes.
Don't get me wrong: I am all for a female president. I am so here for it, and I do not doubt that equal representation matters and that a woman would bring different skills to the presidency than a man. But the problem is, I can't morally or ethically support a candidate who doesn't have a sturdy passion and dedication on imperative issues. Moreover, I can't trust that Hillary will 100 percent uphold all of her current stances on the issues we do agree on.
I'm sort of freakin’ outraged.
There is just an alarming hypocrisy in the words coming from Steinem and Albright. What happened to letting women stand strong with their own beliefs? What happened to thinking women are so much more than floozy men-chasers who can’t formulate their own opinions?
Ironically, these reeking-of-the-patriarchy statements directly exemplify the irrelevance and hypocrisy young feminists like myself want to avoid. Many older feminists seem to be unaware of the intersectional feminism of today, which is focused more than ever on issues like race, religion, and sexuality, among so many others. If Steinem and Albright were more tuned in, then they might understand why Hillary's white feminism isn't so appealing to so many young women.
Is there a really good chance that Hillary will be our next president? Yes. I do not doubt that. But I find it immensely troubling that older feminists are dismissing my opinions simply because I support a different candidate.
If Clinton, Steinem, Albright, and other older feminists truly want the support of young women, they should probably let us form our own opinions and hear us out every once in a while. And they absolutely should not assume we are formulating our opinions to attract men (good lord).
Assuming that these women refuse to let us young girls make our own decisions, let me tell you, they're really going to feel the Bern.
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