When Authentic Support Clashes With Societal Expectation

When Authentic Support Clashes With Societal Expectation

With a female candidate making a run for the White House it’s hard as a woman, regardless of your political affiliation, not to be somewhat interested in what happens with the campaign. But when powerful and respected women like Gloria Steinem and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright attempt to shame other women into backing Hillary Clinton, does it do more harm than good? There seems to be a societal expectation that women should blindly vote for a female candidate. But shouldn’t people’s support be authentic and tied solely to the qualifications and platform of the person running?

Let’s examine what Steinem said in her interview with Bill Maher. She claimed the only reason that young female voters were supporting Clinton’s opponent Bernie Sanders was to meet young men. This comes from one of the most iconic feminists to walk the planet. Let that sink in for a moment.

Now to Ms. Albright’s statement at a rally for Clinton where she bluntly claimed, “ There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” The sentiments may be authentic for Steinem and Albright, but if they’re trying to make a positive difference in the campaign, then they have failed. The backlash from young females and older women alike was swift.

The Expectations

Is there a societal expectation that we back anyone who comes from our gender, race, or religious group regardless of their message? There are some who would like to see all females fall in line and support other women without regard to the consequences. Why is it that women are so quick to judge or to shame other women for not meeting the requirements of the ‘lady club’?

Yes, as women it is in our own best interest to be helpful and supportive of each other, especially when it comes to various life choices like whom we marry, how we raise our kids, what we choose to wear, and why we work or don’t. Judgment has no place in a positive world. The same should be said for our choices of the candidates we rally behind or the co-workers we help to promote. Whether they are men or women shouldn’t enter into the equation as long as the support is authentic and justified according to that individual’s own standards.

The History That Spawned the Present

From ancient times when women were viewed as chattel and had to pull together to aid each other in order to survive up through the past century when women fought for the right to vote, our past has birthed the societal expectation that we always walk hand-in-hand into the arena. But come election day, there will be millions of women who enter a voting booth in solitude, without the judging eyes of our sisters, and will select a candidate based on reasons that may have nothing to do with gender. If we hope to make a positive difference in the lives of women, let’s support each other’s choices, regardless, even if those choices include helping a man we deem worthy.

Do you believe gender should be the main reason to support a candidate? What are your thoughts on helping people from your gender, race, or religious group, regardless of their actions or beliefs?

Share this article :