Gloria Steinem’s Real Time Comments

After a visit to Bill Maher’s show, “Real Time with Bill Maher” Gloria Steinem found herself under fire for comments made about young women’s candidate preference for the 2016 Presidential race. Steinem is quoted saying,

“When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,” insinuating that young women are only backing Bernie Sanders, because that is who many young men are supporting.
These comments struck a nerve with many and ignited social media, with the hashtag “#NotEntitledToMyVote” becoming popular. What was most odd in this situation is that Gloria Steinem is a strong figure in the feminist movement, yet she made sexist comments implying that young women are making their decision for the democratic candidate based on hormones. This is what most shocked me, and made me want to share this story with the class.
This reminded me of the reading, Oppression by Dr. Marilyn Frye, because Dr. Frye expresses that commitment to political ideas is one of the many networks in which women are exposed to penalty (p. 12). Frye states that, “The experiences of oppressed people is that the living of ones life is confined and shaped by forces and barriers which are not accidental or occasional and hence avoidable, but are systematically related to each other in such a way as to catch one between and among them and restrict or penalize motion in any direction.”
The fact that a renowned feminist icon is expressing sexist ideas, such as “young women only want to impress boys,” shows that some patriarchal notions are deeply ingrained in all of us. They can and should be avoided, especially by someone who has fought for gender equality for years, yet here they are being used as a way to describe why young women may not necessarily vote for Hillary Clinton.
Additionally, I thought of the term heteronormativity. She is assuming that all young women choosing to back Sanders instead of Clinton are heterosexual and “just there for the boys.” Her statements are dismissing intersectionality and completely disregard LGBTQ supporters of Sanders, which was not taken lightly.

A Woman in the Race…

While scrolling through Yahoo’s coverage of last nights debate, I came across an interesting tweet. Now, I don’t personally use Twitter or have an account, but I had to click on this particular tweet from @DCHomos (what a name).

Obviously, having the first woman president would be groundbreaking, but I think focusing on sex of the candidates in the way that this twitter account, as well as many other people are, is changing the race.

To bring this back to our course, I will use the cultural theory of anthropology. Anthropology says gender isn’t absolute, nor is it a universal concept. So, what is considered masculine or feminine in our culture, may be dramatically different or even opposite of another culture. Traditionally, our culture views the job of President of the United States of America as a masculine position. So how would our ideas change if Hillary Clinton were to win the race? Would that make Hillary masculine, or would that make the job more feminine?

Something to think about…

Third Wave of Feminism

This article from Everyday Feminism written by Kelsey Lueptow really helps to elaborate more on the Third Wave of feminism discussed in the online lecture and in chapter 3 of the textbook. I found it really interesting and helpful with how in depth the article talks about this Third Wave of Feminism and also how it broke it down into different parts. Something that really stuck out to me from the article was where it says, “Therefore, language has a phenomenal power over internalized ideologies that comprise a culture.” I think that statement definitely sums up a lot of what we have been talking about in the course as far as gender and culture goes, but especially through a theory like symbolic interactionism where language plays a very important role.

Is Beyoncé the new face of (modern) feminism?

Beyoncé dropped her new audio-visual album without any notice to her fans in December 2013. The self-titled album sits at #6 on Bilboard’s Top 200 and #11 on iTunes. Beyoncé and her album have been under a lot of scrutiny from the media because of how sexual it is, even having Michelle Williams weighing in on it, despite how popular the album is with Queen B’s fans. In Bey’s video “***Flawless” she includes an excerpt from Nigerian feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie TED talk as her as her second verse saying “…We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.” Throughout Mrs. Carter’s self-titled album she portrays to women that being a sexual being is something we should embrace and not suppress because we are just that, women. To even further confirm Beyoncé’s somewhat feminist stance, here is an article about her interview with British Vogue last spring.

Woman challenges tradition, brings change to her Kenyan village

Click here to read the uplifting story of Kakenya Ntaiya, who negotiated with her father to accept female circumcision in exchange for his allowing her to complete high school.  Once she did that, she continued on to college and eventually earned a doctorate in the US.  She now operates a school for girls in her village and is challenging FGM.