I have always admired Madeleine Albright. As the first female Secretary of State, she has paved the way for many women in politics.
Albright has long been famous for her saying: “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support each other.” A pretty harsh quote, but her message is clear: for women to make any progress, we must work together.
This was repeated again recenty at a political rally for Hillary Clinton. Albright directly inferred that women who don’t vote for Clinton are misogynistic, and apparently going to hell.
Such backwards and ironic thinking for a self-proclaimed feminist.
To me, feminism is the idea that women have the ability to think critically for themselves, and make their own decisions about everything from their career to who they vote for on Super Tuesday. Sadly, comments like Albright’s destroy this notion. This is the biggest problem I have with modern-day, radical feminism.
To become a modern-day feminist, you must have a set way of thinking. According to Albright, you must be a Clinton supporter. She isn’t even the worst offender; Lena Dunham has specifically said that “you don’t get to decide what a feminist looks and acts like,” yet she also needn’t “indulge” pro-life women.
How incredibly alienating these women are to their own kind, whether it be pro-life women, conservative women, or Bernie Sanders supporters. If you don’t fit a certain mold, you are ostracized by feminists. Albright and Dunham abuse their political and media power to push their own agendas. Feminism isn’t about one individual’s “vision” for what the movement means. By not supporting, or, at the very least respecting those who have opinions different from their own, these women tear down others and contradict their ideals of “equality.”
As a woman, I feel that my ideology is most oppressed not by men, but women like Albright and Dunham. Who are these women to speak for everyone? Women should be celebrated for having different ideas and ways of thinking, not shamed by people who hold more power. It is incredibly hypocritical to tout one’s self as a champion of women’s progress, yet criticize half of the population of women for their way of thinking.
Perhaps, if they would like to be taken more seriously, folks like Albright and Dunham should adopt the radical notion that not everyone has the same ideas as they do, and it would be in their best interest to not resort to name-calling when faced with a dissenting opinion.
Let’s support all women, no matter who they vote for or how they stand on social issues. Otherwise, we are all destined to run in circles and damage any potential progress there is for women and gender equality as a whole.
Collegian columnist Megan Burnett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @megsbcollegian.