Excuse me, but why are there still articles like these coming out about how young women neglected to vote for Hillary Clinton? The latest, in WaPo this past weekend, recounts how former vice-presidental candidate Geraldine Ferraro lost it when her daughter didn’t vote for Clinton. An excerpt:
Ferraro was livid, and distraught. What more did Hillary Clinton have to do to prove herself? How could anyone — least of all Ferraro’s own daughter — fail to grasp the historic significance of electing a woman president, in probably the only chance the country would have to do so for years to come?
…Mothers and grandmothers who saw themselves in Clinton and formed the core of her support faced a confounding phenomenon: Their daughters did not much care whether a woman won or lost. There was nothing, in their view, all that special about electing a woman — particularly this woman — president. Not when the milestone of electing an African American president was at hand.
Didn’t it ever occur to Ferraro that young women can think for themselves? Ferraro’s daughter undoubtedly did grasp the significance of a woman president. It’s just that Clinton wasn’t the woman for her. Not because, as the article hypothesizes, “[s]he was the wrong woman at the wrong time; she was a Clinton; she hadn’t gotten there on her own; a woman could be elected another year.” Most likely because she pondered the candidates’ policies and campaign promises like any other normal person. Ferraro’s comments eerily echo the opportunistic language of the GOP and other off-the-mark journalists, who criticized feminists for not supporting Sarah Palin just because she was a woman. It doesn’t quite take that plunge, but it’s dangerously teetering.
Personally, I didn’t vote for Hillary because she endorsed the Iraq War–an inexcusable move that went against my core value system (of course, I didn’t know at the time the extent Obama was going to escalate action in Afghanistan, but anyway…). And that’s only one of the many factors I weighed when I voted in the primary. I did believe that Hillary would be an advocate for women’s rights, but, based on his campaign, I felt the same way about Barack. And so far, he’s been pretty good–by overturning the Global Gag Rule and signing the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay act–and although I’m disturbed by the increasingly anti-choice language in the health care debate, I’m not convinced that Clinton would have any more power in this case.
It’s also disturbing that the author of the piece assumes young women privilege race issues over that of gender. And yeah, some people feel that way, including some of our Girldrive interviewees. Still, I know I’m not alone when I say that I don’t think of them as competing issues. I think of race as intertwined with gender, that sexism worsens racism and the other way around. That’s the thing about our generation–we’re holistic, intersectional, and adverse to boxes. We’re the generation trying to break down the unproductive cycle of the oppression Olympics. And yes, more than a few of us are feminists. It’s just that the mainstream press seldom pays attention to us.
This isn’t the first time the Washington Post has made me livid with a piece chastising young people, with an extra-special focus on females. These kinds of articles insult the intelligence of young women everywhere, and I’m starting to get really damn sick of them.