Monday, February 08, 2016

February 8, 2016--The Gender Trap: Albright's Inferno or Where the Boys Are

At a campaign event on Saturday in Concord, NH, when introducing Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, scolded young women for supporting Bernie Sanders.

With the grinning Clinton at her side and New Jersey Senator, Wall-Street favorite, Cory Booker on stage left applauding enthusiastically (see below), the 78-year-old former secretary mocked Bernie Sander's political revolution, saying that electing the first female commander in chief would be "a true revolution."

Feeling it, she added--

"We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of younger women think it's done. It's not done."

Feeling it even more, she apocalyptically shouted, "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other!"

A "special place in hell"?

Later, to double-down, in an interview with NBC News, Albright said that "women could be judgmental toward one another and they occasionally forget how hard someone like Mrs. Clinton had to work to get to where she is."

Note that she referred to Ms Clinton as Mrs. Clinton. A bit of a hint about how hard she felt Hillary Clinton, wife of Bill, had to work to get to where she is.

Not to be outdone, Friday night on Bill Maher's Real Time, 81-year-old Gloria Steinem, perhaps the feminist movement's most prominent remaining icon, while explaining how women tend to become more active in politics as they grow older (this not verifiable by facts or data), claimed that younger women were backing Senator Sanders mainly because they could meet young men--"When you're young, you're thinking, 'Where are the boys?' The boys are with Bernie."

This self-revealing comment suggests that this might be some of what motivated Ms Steinem back in her day, but it also ignores the obvious evidence that half or more of Bernie's youthful supporters are women. The polling numbers show that.

This suggests, in Steinemian terms, that in reality "the girls," more than "the boys," are with Bernie and perhaps, to Ms Steinem, more comfortable projecting herself back to the 60s, it's deja vu again. As a reminder, check 19-year-old James Kunan's 1969 best seller, Strawberry Statement: Notes of a College Revolutionary, in which he confessed that a lot of guys showed up at the "revolution" to meet girls and get laid.

To be honest, that was at least half the reason I showed up at my Alma Mater, Columbia University, during the campus-occupation "revolution" of 1968. I did meet some girls but didn't manage to get any. Though I did manage to get my hands on one of President Grayson Kirk's cigars. Symbolism abounds.

This parade of strident, aging feminist supporters is the reason Hillary Clinton, to her tone-deaf chagrin, has thus far been unable to appeal to young women. Or to young men.

An astonishing 85 percent of them are with Bernie.

Talking at them, shaming them, and assigning them to hell will likely mean that 100 percent of young voters will soon be with Bernie.

It's not that young women (and many young men) are unaware of feminist history and how far the Madeleine Albrights, Gloria Steinems, and Hillary Clintons have come, or how hard that was, or how significant their achievements have been--how they blazed a trail and punched many cracks in the glass ceiling, all those good and remarkable things--but it is 2016 and young people do not want to be reminded constantly how much they are beholden to their grandmothers'' generation. (Yes, grandmothers--time is whipping along).

They want to live their lives, frankly taking advantage of the opportunities and ways of living brought about by their predecessors. They do not want to be told to look at everything through a gender lens. And they decidedly do not want be hectored by being told what to do, what to think, or what to feel. By men or by women.

It's their time.

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