As far as living legends of the second wave feminist movement go, activist and author, Gloria Steinem might be the most influential. She inspired a generation of women and girls with her social and political progressivism and, indeed, paved the way for the framework of our modern feminist movement. But, nobody is perfect, even our most beloved heroes.
gif via Buzzfeed
On Friday (February 5, 2016), Steinem made a comment about women only supporting Senator Bernie Sanders' presidential run because "the boys are with Bernie." The uncharacteristically condescending remark came in a moment where she was expressing her support for Secretary Clinton's own bid for the White House.
Needless to say, women aren't happy with Ms. Steinem.
@GloriaSteinem saying that young female voters support Bernie because we want to find boys is so comical its painful— Jen Koester (@jenkoester) February 6, 2016
Can't wait to hang out in Hell w/ all the women supporting Sanders. Hopefully all the men we wanted to impress will be there #NotHereForBoys— Katie Bowers (@iamkatiebowers) February 7, 2016
Gloria has since issued an apology for her remarks but the damage has already been done. The legacy of a woman who did so much for the ever-evolving feminist movement has been tarnished by flippant remarks made about the very sort of women Gloria Steinem has encouraged us to be.
It's a very slippery slope to go down when we assume that women must support Hillary in order to preserve some misguided sense of sisterhood--irregardless of HRC's policies. The absence of critical thought in that is damaging, especially for women who support Bernie for his liberal attitudes on women's issues.
Gloria's comments also accompany former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright's comments that "there is a special place in hell for women who don't help each other,". Presumably meaning that every woman who doesn't vote Hillary 2016 is going to hell.
gif via giphy
It's also an exceedingly foolish way to campaign.
Women have become increasingly important as a demographic in winning elections. The insinuation that women don't know what's good for them is disparaging and counter intuitive to our suffragette roots. Instead of trying to convince women that they're only supporting Bernie for the boys, maybe Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright (two pioneer trailblazers in their respective fields) should spend more time clarifying Hillary's stance on women's and minority issues and fairly earn votes for Hillary.