Albright, Steinem, and the right to vote… for a man

“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”
Madeleine Albright at a Hillary Clinton rally in Concord, New Hampshire, 2016

In the past week, icons of second-wave feminism Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem have openly chastised women who betrayed their sex by supporting Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary elections.

Albright alleged that younger women take the achievements of their fore-bearers for granted and fail to take responsibility for continuing the gender rights revolution. Steinem, for her part, complained that young women voters support Sanders because they see it as an opportunity to meet young men.

As expected, female Sanders’ supporters lashed back that it is anti-feminist to suggest that they had allowed their libidos to cloud their political judgment or that they should determine their vote solely based on gender loyalty.

This debate echoes recurring tensions that have shaped the history of the feminist movement. It begs the question, what might the founders of feminist thought make of this controversy?

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