Media has been blowing up with offense upon some woman who has in some way or form stated that young female supporters of Bernie Sanders are doing so for the boys. So what exactly happened?
On "Real Time with Bill Baher," Maher asked Steinem, "They (young women) really don't like Hillary. What do you think that's about?" and even narrowed the focus down to how younger women were more for Bernie Sanders, in specifically America. The media has taken it upon themselves to highlighted one specific part of Steinem’s response which is how she said, "When you're young, you're thinking: 'Where are the boys?' The boys are with Bernie."
With the Internet plastered with information highlighting Steinem’s interview and her statement that suggests that young women's political loyalties lie with men, almost any young woman who is politically active would be offended. There is just an overwhelming scream from politically active women who are offended that anyone would suggest and believe that women would promote a presidential candidate on the basis of attracting men. It is something that not only Bernie supporters should be offended by, but all young female voters who have been portrayed as shallow individuals who chase boys and look for their approval.
So some might be wondering who Gloria Steinem is, and why a woman would say such things about other women? After further research into who Steinem is, one would come across that she is a trailblazer for the feminist movement, since the late 1960s. One of her famous quotes is that, “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” Steinem has used her words and acted in such a way that suggests that she believes that a woman does not need a man to function in society, and she is practically a walking ideology of being “An independent woman who don’t need no man.” Earlier in the same interview as the controversial response, Steinem compliments the young women of today when she said, "I find that young women are very, very activist, and they're way, way more feminist than we were. I mean we were like 12 crazy ladies in the beginning and now they're the majority."
She has been a leader for the feminist movement since its rise, yet she is saying that young women base their votes on where they can meet men. Is this really what she said, and why would a feminist bash other women active in politics? With a lack of interviewing Steinem herself, I cannot speak on her part, but I can share what other media sources have suggested.
The New York Times have lumped together Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright together in Alan Rappeport's article, "Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright Rebuke Young Women Backing Bernie Sanders." Albright recently said, "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other!" when addressing women who are not voting for Hillary Clinton. The use of religion and damnation sounds more out of the right wing's playbook rather than a supporter of the democratic party, and another inspiring woman portraying women in a negative light is quite upsetting. Comparing Steinem and Albright has just intensified the negative connotation of Steinem's response.
While Cosmopolitan writer Jill Flipovic has taken a different outlook on the matter through her article, "Why Everyone's Wrong About Gloria Steinem's Controversial Comment." In said piece she comes to Steinem's defense claiming that the message was interpreted incorrectly. Flipovic asserts that the real message is that following the boys is more or less falling what is cool, such ideology takes away the shallowness of chasing boys, but still suggests that young women are followers. Further into the article Flipovic goes on to state, "...'guy stuff' is cool and enviable, whereas 'girl stuff' is lame, uncool, and, well, girly. In this primary, Sanders is the guy stuff. Clinton is the girl stuff." I think this addition to the argument is less than endearing and has taken away from the defense of Steinem.
There are various ways to look upon what Steinem has said, but ultimately people should not diminish Gloria Steinem on the basis of what she has said about young voting women. Whether her intentions were so, or her words were misinterpreted, Steinem and women alike have had an undeniable impact on the world and have made enormous steps for the feminist movement.