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Newton: Women aren’t sexist just because they don’t support Hillary Clinton

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Newton: Women aren’t sexist just because they don’t support Hillary Clinton


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Sydney Newton
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Between our two Democratic candidates, the competition to win over the young generation of America has seemingly been a never-ending battle. All millennials have their own reasons on whom they support and why. Many of them are very passionate and educated in their support. But that doesn’t seem to be enough for some Hillary Clinton supporters.

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem recently spoke out with the comment, “When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys?’ The boys are with Bernie.”

As if it isn’t enough that millennials continued to be labeled as lazy, politically unaware, and sensitive, they are apparently now being sexist as well, in Steinem’s view. If woman don’t like Clinton, they are not being good feminists.

It is possible to support other women and have your own political views. It apparently isn’t enough for a female to have an opinion about politics without being criticized about not being educated.

I don’t believe this approach would be the best way to attract younger female voters. Clinton has a lot of support from female icons such as Demi Lovato, Katy Perry, and Lena Dunham, to only name a few. She clearly has focused on that strategy, and it seems to be working. Is it working enough, though? Sen. Bernie Sanders doesn’t just have the support of famous males, he has women, too. Maybe having the backing of people other than famous females could give Clinton the support she needs.

I think it would be offensive to target young women who support any other candidate and tell them that they aren’t supporting women or just following the boys. Clinton, of all people, should know how hard it is to be a female in the male-dominated field of politics. She is a role model for all women, and her supporters shouldn’t shame women for not supporting Clinton.

An article in the Washington Post argues, “The implication is that young women haven’t yet realized the importance of feminism and solidarity with other women.” If Steinem’s comment is representative of this view, older women in this country think that younger women just don’t get it yet, they don’t realize that the feminist icons we have now, like Steinem, paved the way for us today. This is all very true, but I also think it’s possible to still stand up and support other women while supporting a male candidate.

According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC/Marist College poll, some 64 percent of women Democratic voters younger than 45 backed Sanders, while just 35 percent supported Clinton. Instead of bringing gender into this, we should realize how well Sanders’s ideologies sit with younger women. There must be something that attracts them to his campaign. Or, it could be something Clinton is doing to turn away young female voters.

The statistics show that some women must agree with this. He attracts female voters because of his stances on issues, not because he’s a male. I argue that it means a lot that he has so many young female supporters. It shows how many female millennials are trying to make their voices heard and stand up for what they believe in.

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