Women Vote for Hillary – Or Else?
“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other,” says Madeleine Albright, referring to women who do not support Hillary Clinton for president.
Oh boy. Two prominent feminists caused quite the controversy around women voters recently:
- First, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright made the above statement when introducing Hillary at a campaign rally. To be fair, I’m sure she made the statement in jest and to be provocative. It does provide insight, however, into the feminist perspective. She also implied that the fight for women’s equality is not over and that younger women did not understand the importance of Hillary’s candidacy. If they did, they would vote for her.
- Second, Gloria Steinem (leader of the modern feminist movement) was interviewed by Bill Maher. He asked her why Hillary did not have more support from young women. She explained that young women are mainly looking for boys, and there were more boys to be found at Bernie Sanders’ events. She later apologized for dismissing the seriousness of female voters and said that she misspoke.
At first glance, these comments may seem a bit shocking. The underlying themes, however, are not surprising.
- These statements demonstrate that feminists are not actually proponents of women generally; they are only supportive of women who agree with their agenda. It is frustrating to me that they have successfully claimed liberal ideas to be synonymous with “women’s issues.” I think this ignores the many accomplishments of more moderate and conservative women. In this instance, however, they are even speaking against women who support the other (more liberal) Democratic candidate.
- Feminists are not giving women enough credit. Neither Steinem nor Albright appears to recognize that women could have valid reasons for supporting other candidates. Expecting women to vote blindly based on gender does not seem to respect women’s diverse opinions, thoughts, or perspectives.
It is curious to me that Hillary would want women to vote for her just because of her gender. To me, this dismisses women voters’ legitimate concerns regarding national security, the economy, education, and many other important issues. It’s rather contradictory to their feminist message.
Labeling anyone who does not support Hillary as sexist or shaming women voters for having different viewpoints is disappointing. Moving forward in this election, I hope that women are encouraged to evaluate candidates based on the issues, leadership ability, and character traits. That’s my vote.
Question on the ballot: Should women support Hillary because she’s a woman? Should that be a factor?