On Gloria Steinem’s Remarks on Young Women or: I was going to support Hillary. But now I realize that I can get a boyfriend by supporting Bernie, so I’m unsure.

I don’t usually respond to the daily news, but I am so irritated at Gloria Steinem that I’ve been fuming. She insisted young women vote for Hillary not Bernie, saying “When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,’ ” Ms. Steinem said.
This is beyond the Pale in terms of a sexist remark. But it is also a huge insult to Millennials. Why on earth is Gloria Steinem attacking the current generation of young women?
Millennials are in the forefront of the gender discussion, and a major reason gay marriage became legal. Millennials seem to have “Free To Be You And Me” tattooed on their communal shoulder. Who fought to put transgender into public discourse and acceptance, who practices a poly armory that makes “love the one you’re with” seem superficial and uncaring? Millennials. Who, despite the world’s frightening prognosis, still have the optimism to marry, raise children, create art, sustainable housing, and more? Who works at often ill paying jobs to survive and pay off big student loans? Who is obviously planning to care for us when we’re old? Who holds the door for me at work, gives me books to read, suggests moisturizer, argues, challenges me, supports my endeavors, and asks for my advice? Millennials.
Gloria Steinem is speaking as if she has no daughters, god-daughters, nieces, protégées, or even friends in this generation. Or she would know better. Her comment is a misunderstanding of sexuality, motivation, and youth. It’s also insulting. And authoritarian. Since when doesn’t the freedom to choose extend to electoral politics?
Well, I was going to support Hillary. But now I realize that I can get a boyfriend by supporting Bernie, so I’m unsure. Yes, I’m happily married, but God forbid I should be single, this sounds easier than going on J Date. Luckily for me, Gloria Steinem was never a heroine of mine. Nor, for that matter, is Hillary. No candidate for president has ever inspired that. I’m sticking with Colette and Margaret Sanger and Margaret Mead and a whole lot of others who believed that wanting a boyfriend didn’t destroy a woman’s ability to think.
My final word—criticizing the young is a lot like wearing badly applied dry lipstick. It’s aging.

7 thoughts on “On Gloria Steinem’s Remarks on Young Women or: I was going to support Hillary. But now I realize that I can get a boyfriend by supporting Bernie, so I’m unsure.

  1. Thank you so much for writing this! When I heard it I was just so outraged. It completely ignores the complexities of gender and misses an opportunity to talk about the real issues of sexism in our country. Instead of saying “Vote for Hilary because she has a vagina OR ELSE you’re just a boy-pleasing bimbo” it might be better to look at the systemic sexism which led to there being such a dearth of viable progressive/liberal women candidates. Women make up only 19.4% of Congress and there are currently only 6 female governors of the 50 states, despite women comprising about 51% of the population. I may have sympathy for Hilary and suspect that to compete in politics she adopted many patriarchal policies to get ahead — but I am also a thinking human being, able to compare two candidates and choose the one whose policies and overall vision are important to me.

  2. Great piece, Miriam! I was already leaning towards Bernie, but now maybe I can get a girlfriend too! Way cool. Thanks for speaking up for the millennialist, and by doing so, the generations to come after them.

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