Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Let Me Defend Gloria Steinem and Madeline Albright

Ok. Regarding what Steinem said, she's apologized. So I'll let that speak for itself. She agrees she didn't put it the right way.

I agree it's not true that all young women supporting Bernie do it just because their boy crushes are. On the other hand, Amanda Marcotte makes a very good point.

"Younger women support Sanders in higher numbers than older women do. This is not surprising. Younger men also support Sanders more than older men do. The politics of idealism have always had more sway with younger people than with older, battle-hardened people. But rather than accept the simplest and likeliest explanation —that men and women tend to be more alike than different – much of the mainstream media has been eager to portray the age gap between women as a titillating catfight between jealous old hags and nubile bimbos."

When the media asks the gloating question, 'Why aren't young women supporting Hillary.. It must be a generational thing.' they are, to be sure, comparing the support of young women vs. the support of older women.

No question older women support Hillary in higher numbers than younger women. Or if you want, younger women support Hillary in lower numbers than older women.

But on the other hand, young women support Hillary in higher numbers than young men. While the media delights in asking why younger women don't support Hillary as much as older women, they don't ask why younger women support Bernie in lower numbers than younger men do.

What's clear is that there is a clear gender gap in all age groups. Yet no one questions why women of any age 'don't support Bernie.'

But this shows you that the media chooses to frame this in certain ways.

As to Gloria Steinem, I think she's a little frustrated. She and many of her sisters have fought for women's rights their whole lives and they find it dispiriting that many young women seem to view the possibility of a female President so casually. It is somewhat worrisome that some young women seem to think that we are living in a post gender age.

There is a noxious claim out there that somehow this is a post gender election. This is why I think in some ways we are even less advanced on matters of gender. At least those who claim we are post racial get called out.

As for Madeline Albright, this is something she has been saying for a long time: that there is a special place in hell for women who don't help women.

That doesn't have to be read as meaning if you're female you have to vote for Hillary just on gender lines. Why does Albright now have to stop saying something she believes in because the Bernie supporters want to convince us this is a post gender election?

Finally, let's be clear. There are many young women who do support Hillary.

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