You can be a feminist and not support Hillary Clinton

Ashley Andrews, Staff Writer

Madeleine Albright, a former United States Secretary of State and ardent supporter of Hillary Clinton, was quoted at an event in New Hampshire as saying, “We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of you younger women think it’s done, it’s not done. There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

In Albright’s opinion, out all of all the presidential candidates, Clinton would best serve the needs of American women and feminists. That quote was received humorously and probably not seriously by some, but others took it as an insult to a feminists’ intelligence. One can be a feminist and not support Clinton for president.

American women have become free and independent thinkers largely due to the Feminist Movement started by Gloria Steinem. The focus of that movement advocated equal pay for equal work and opportunity to obtain leadership positions in careers. Feminists also advocate for equality in the political and social environment. Statistics from the Pew Research Center, a social and demographic trends website, indicate that women outnumber men in college and continue their education after college.

Record numbers of women also run for public offices and are now serving in Congress. Research has also found that women were indistinguishable from men in leadership and managerial positions. Women make up 19 percent of Congress, double from 20 years ago. More than half, 52 percent, of managerial positions were held by women. This is an increase from 30 percent in 1968. Pew notes, women were also better at making compromises and being honest and ethical.

The gender of a presidential candidate should not take precedence when voting. Feminists need to consider a candidate who will address their concerns and issues and continue to work for their causes. According to the Pew Research Center, the pay gap between men and women is an important issue. Currently the gap is 77 cents for whites and 64 cents for blacks. This is a big concern for women who are also the sole providers in the family. Feminist agenda also seeks to end gender discrimination by insurance companies and gain free contraceptive coverage. Women in general have to do more to prove themselves.

As a female candidate, Clinton has been an advocate for women’s rights and protection from abuse. This position has raised many questions and concerns involving her husband, former President Bill Clinton and his relationships with other women. A feminist would most certainly abhor this situation and think twice before voting for Clinton.

Feminists have gained status and have empowered themselves to become free and independent thinkers. Their choice of a presidential candidate, male or female, should depend on a platform that involves women’s issues and meeting those needs. A feminist should choose her candidate, on the platform that best addresses the needs of American women.