Clinton Decries Political Correctness
Image: Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire by Ted Eytan, via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0.
Supporters of Hillary Clinton have been making statements possibly even more controversial than the candidate herself.
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem received criticism the last few days, after stating that younger women are overwhelmingly supporting Bernie Sanders in order to get attention from boys (yikes). Steinem has since rescinded her remark by apologizing for belittling the efforts of young activists.
Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright also made news when she stated at a rally, “Hillary Clinton will always be there for you. And just remember, there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” This remark comes dangerously close to saying that any woman who doesn’t support Clinton deserves to burn in hell. Because threatening women with hellfire if they don’t behave in the prescribed way has always been a progressive strategy.
Apparently Albright wasn’t considering that women may be against Hillary Clinton because they instead choose to support women in the global south that have been impacted by what many have dubbed her white-centered, imperialist feminism, or that they may choose a candidate they believe will better supports the needs of women in their generation.
Ultimately what reflects most tellingly on the Clinton campaign are her own comments. In her response to concerns about these comments, Clinton exclaimed, “Good grief, we’re getting offended by everything these days! People can’t say anything without offending somebody.”
The remark comes off as mocking, both of women’s dislike for being coerced into supporting Clinton and of the concerns of women with alternative viewpoints. If Clinton is looking to attract that younger demographic of women voters from the left, mocking their sensitivity is a terrible tactic. Her comment all too closely echoes the endless criticism of millennials. This generation has continuously been called over-sensitive, coddled, and unrealistic. In actuality, many people this in generation continue to push the envelope in their activism. This is the generation that has fought for the use of trigger warning, and that has championed political correctness as a tool for showing respect. Clinton can keep mocking millennial sensitivity, and millenials will keep creating new options.