Women are independent and responsible voters, not followers

by Hanna Moon, Contributor

Gloria Steinem, a spokeswoman and a leader of the feminist movement who is known for her support for Hillary Clinton, made an appearance on Bill Maher’s TV show, saying young women are only voting for Bernie Sanders to “please the boys.”

“When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys?’ The boys are with Bernie,” Steinem said.

The truth is, this is not the first time Steinem has criticized women for not supporting Hillary Clinton. In recent months, she has also said “there is a special place for women who don’t help each other.”

The fact that someone who claims to be an icon of feminism is promoting identity voting, rather than congratulating young women voters for their first independent political participation and for looking out for their own interest, is quite an irony.

So why are the girls voting for Sanders? Is it really like what Steinem thinks? Don’t young women believe in feminism, equal pay and women’s rights?

The group Steinem is making inferences about are the younger women voters, the majority of whom are college students and are fairly new to political participation. This demographic is known to have the lowest voter turnouts.

It’s quite possibly true that young people don’t care as much about politics nowadays and don’t think that any candidate is the “right one.” Despite these statistics, young people happen to be the biggest supporters of Sanders, which is most likely due to his radical agenda of social reforms including free college tuition, health care and other issues that are relative to the younger generation.

To say to these college students who deliberately chose to support a candidate whose values and interests align with those of their own, that they are supporting him just to appeal to the “boys” (whatever that means), is equivalent of assuming that they are not capable of thinking on their own.

When you’re young, there are so many causes you support and care about. You may still be in college, drowning in debt, with little time to decide your path. You see social injustice every day all over the news and are swamped with different virtues and ideals you should side with. You are at a stage of life where you are still trying to understand and make sense of all the corruption in the world and the way you fit into the picture.

Sanders does believe in feminism, equal pay and women’s rights. He doesn’t explicitly play the feminist card to gain voters.

He just simply supports the cause, among many other causes, and seems to truly want to see the change.

And this is why young people vote for Bernie, because he wants to see the change they want to see, and he wants voters to vote for him not because he is a liberal, but because he sees the world the same way they see it.

If Steinem truly wishes to liberate women, she should give them a voice and let them stand strong on their own. And before anything else, she must first trust them to make the right decision with their votes.