Gloria Steinem: Young Women Only Support Bernie Because 'That's Where the Boys Are'

The past week has been tough on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. The 2016 primaries and caucuses were supposed to be a coronation, not a a contest. They've seen that some of Joe Biden's donors, dissatisfied with the prospect of Mrs. Clinton or Bernie Sanders at the top of the Democratic ticket, want the Vice President to seriously consider jumping in. The sight of supporters at the Iowa headquarters of Bernie Sanders shouting "She's a Liar" as Mrs. Clinton appeared on TV on the night of that state's caucuses had to be unnerving.

What's really getting to Team Clinton more than anything else is how poorly she is faring among young people, particularly young women. It's so bad that "feminist" icon Gloria Steinem hauled out a tired, decades-old line so offensive that if a male candidate on the left or right were to use it, his political career would be over the instant the words left his mouth.

Appearing on Bill Maher's execrable HBO show, the 81 year-old Steinem hearkened back to the days when coeds were ridiculed for allegedly attending college for the sole purpose of getting an "MRS degree."

Steinem contended that young women who support Sanders are going to his rallies and participating in his campaign efforts only because "that's where the boys are" (relevant video segment begins at the 3:35 mark; HT Bradford Richardson at The Hill):

Relevant Transcript:

BILL MAHER: They (young women) really don't like Hillary, though. What do you think that's about? Mom likes her, so I —

GLORIA STEINEM: First of all, she does have a huge gender gap and race gap.

MAHER: Huge.

STEINEM: Women are more for her than men are, and she has the black —

MAHER: But not younger women, they're are more for Bernie.

STEINEM: It depends where you ask, but I do —

MAHER: America. In America. No really. In America, I mean, it's just true.

STEINEM: I mean, first of all, women get more radical we get older, because we experience —

MAHER: Women get more radical? That's —

STEINEM: Yeah, it's the opposite of the — I don’t mean to over-generalize —

MAHER: No-no.

STEINEM: I'm sure that you're more radical than (most) men — but men tend to get more conservative because they gain power as they age —

MAHER: Riiiight.

STEINEM: — and women get more radical because they lose power as they age.

So, it's, it’s kind of not fair to measure most women by the standard of most men, because they’re gonna get more activist as they grow older.

And when you’re young, you’re thinking, y'know, "Where are the boys?" The boys are with Bernie. Or, y'know —

MAHER: Ooh. Now if I said that, "Yeah, they're for Bernie because that's where the boys are," you, you, you'd swat me, c'mon.

STEINEM: No I wouldn’t, no I wouldn’t … because the boys are — How well do you know me?

MAHER: Not that well.

Maher and his backing band, which went into a silly riff, then let Steinem off the hook, and moved on to other topics.

Steinem, who for several decades said (but did not originate) the aphorism that “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle,” nonetheless got married in 2000.

Despite her denial, Steinem would be first on the attack if any male politician said something similar to what she said to Maher — with the exception of Bill Clinton, whose perjury over statements relating to his sexual harassment of women cost him no support among radical feminists.

Earlier in the interview, Steinem stated that she dedicated her latest book to the doctor in London, England who aborted a baby she was carrying at age 22.

It's clear that oldtime feminists are furious at younger women for not marching in lockstep with Hillary Clinton's candidacy.  In Steinem's case, it's accompanied by a barely concealed, seething and condescending contempt.

In the case of Madeleine Albright, it's more overt. Yesterday, as yours truly noted, the former Clinton Administration Secretary of State told the audience at a New Hampshire Clinton rally that "there's a special place in Hell" for women who don't vote for Hillary.

Cross-posted at

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.