If you’re a young woman who voted for Obama, it’s not because you agreed with his policies or thought he’d be a good leader. You voted for him because he’s black and because you don’t understand that sexism exists. Or at least, that’s what Anne E. Kornblut at The Washington Post says.
In an inaccurate and offensive article that rehashes the same tired arguments that young women decried in 2008, Kornblut writes that a nation of ungrateful daughters disappointed their mothers by abandoning Hillary Clinton and turning a blind eye to the country’s history of sexism. Yes, seriously.
As the primaries played on that spring, the same scene played out in living rooms from coast to coast. 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.
…Raised in a world where women made up more than half of all undergraduates on college campuses and half of the students in all law and medical schools, where discrimination was illegal, where nearly half the work force was female and their mothers had been free to work — or not — younger women were not drawn to Clinton by any sense of history, and they recoiled at being told they should be. Feminism had long ago been declared dead, then rendered meaningless. (Emphasis mine)
So young women didn’t think a female candidate was an important political moment and only voted for Obama because of the “milestone of electing an African American?” Really? You know, I would love to see the statistics to back that up. Because without them, it would appear that Kornblut is making a wildly inaccurate generalization. (Not to mention, hello Oppression Olympics! Apparently people only vote by identity?)
What’s truly unbelievable is how Kornblut expresses the disappointment and betrayal of older women by disappointing and betraying young women. Diminishing our political beliefs as nothing more than ignorance and hero-worship is not only false, it’s offensive. Like women who voted for Clinton, women who voted for Obama had their own nuanced, thought-out, intellectual, political reasons to do so.
The feminist movement’s existence and future is dependent on young people. Instead of insulting their intelligence and belittling their politics, let’s tell the truth about their passion, knowledge, and adeptness. Because I can’t imagine that a generation of young women is going to want to stay (or become) part of a group that consistently describes them as stupid.