By Robin Abcarian
Los Angeles Times.
I have spent most of my adult life feeling grateful to Gloria Steinem, whose clear-headedness and apt prose helped turn me into the feminist I am today. She has devoted her life to making the world a better place for women, and has, in many spectacular ways, succeeded.
Women run for president. We lead companies. We are astronauts. Supreme Court justices. We have the right to rule our own reproductive lives. We have our own credit cards and our own mortgages. You like that? Thank Steinem, and thousands of other feminists, who fomented this country’s second feminist wave. (And not only that, she has done it with a flair for the enduring mot juste: “If women could sleep their way to the top,” she once said, “there would be a lot more women at the top.”)
Eventually, though, the times catch up to us all. And then, sometimes, pass us by.
Ms. Steinem, much as it pains me to say it, you are living in the past.
The other night, Steinem, 81, told comedian Bill Maher that millennial women are flocking to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders instead of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential contest because, basically, they want dates. Eventually, she implied, they will come to their senses.
“They’re going to get more activist as they get older,” Steinem said, implying that a vote for Sanders is not an activist vote. “And when you’re young, you’re thinking ‘Where are the boys?’ The boys are with Bernie.”
“Now if I said that, ‘Yeah, they’re for Bernie ’cause that’s where the boys are’, you’d swat me,” Maher said.
“No, I wouldn’t,” replied Steinem. Um, maybe not, but everyone else would.
On Sunday, recognizing the disservice she has done to her candidate, Steinem posted a non-apology on Facebook: “In a case of talk-show Interruptus, I misspoke on the Bill Maher show recently, and apologize for what’s been misinterpreted as implying young women aren’t serious in their politics.”