Guest Editorial: Steinem got it wrong on gender
No one escapes the travails of aging, not even impassioned feminists from the still smoldering 1960s.
And so we were treated to a senior moment (our generous reading of the situation) from 81-year-old Gloria Steinem, who explained why so many young women are flocking to Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton.
Echoing a phrase not from the Sixties, but the more antiquated Fifties, Steinem said young women are turning to Bernie because that’s where the boys are.
“When you’re young, you’re thinking: ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,’” she told talk host Bill Maher.
Startled and amused, Maher retorted, “Oh. Now if I said that ... you’d swat me.”
Apparently determined to turn every Millennial woman into a mortal enemy, the Clinton campaign put former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on stage to hector them:
“We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of you younger women think it’s done. It’s not done. There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”
Millennial women don’t need our help exploding this myth. But here goes.
Imagine if Sarah Palin were at the top of either party’s ticket. Would Steinem and Albright demand votes for Palin because she’s a woman?
Of course not.
To her credit, Steinem apologized for her remark. And we’ll cut Albright slack because she was repeating boilerplate she’d used long before the 2016 election.
In fact, we’re not too worked up about any of this. But we thought it worth devoting space here in praise of Millennial women, who have apparently decided they’ll vote their conscience over gender.
They also have a better grasp of feminism than its earlier icons. Yes, the women’s movement was about removing barriers, but it was also about ending the privileges of gender.
Does anyone doubt today’s White House is accessible to women? Women are so common in today’s executive offices that the first woman in the Oval Office will not represent jarring social change so much as a lagging indicator of what is well underway across the land.
There will be a woman president, and she might even be Hillary Clinton.
Better for all women if she wins on her merits. Not her gender.