There’s Always a Defender, Even for Madeleine Albright


We’re almost two weeks out from the Gloria Steinem/Madeleine Albright moment, when women under 30 who weren’t supporting Hillary were labeled as sex-crazed dimwits headed for a special place in hell.

Even though Albright herself issued a grudging apology in a NY Times op-ed, she still has her defenders, I learned. Check out this conversation on Facebook between two women with opposing views on the subject, who I’ve renamed Bernadette and Chelsea.

The impetus was a Salon article by a writer named Sarah Lazare, who had taken Albright to task.

Bernadette: This: “The good news is that more and more of us are ready to change the whole system, and fewer and fewer are willing to believe that imperial feminism is the best we can do,”

Chelsea: Bernadette, your statement is proof to what Madeleine Albright is talking about. What your statement proves is not that more women are willing to make changes, because the real change would be to break the glass ceiling of power, but it is just the opposite. What you are claiming is thinking freely is just the opposite. Women, or should I say most women, didn’t support other women for positions of power. Many women give into the same concepts about women that men do. That a woman isn’t a lady if she is strong. So there is a catch 22. If a woman meets the job requirements of being able to be President, then she can’t possibly be a “lady”, and must be a bitch, so then she won’t get elected because she is not “likeable”. Women who don’t support other women are instruments of the oppression of women. Albright, by the way wasn’t just talking about in running for President. Women don’t have a tendency to lift each other up, we tend to look at each other as rivals. If women voted for other women, as a general rule, there would have been a woman President by now.

Bernadette: Chelsea, you’re making a host of assumptions here. First of all, those were not my words – they were a quote from the article. Secondly, if I’m voting to break the glass ceiling, does that mean if a GOP woman were to get their nomination vs. a Democratic man, I should vote for her? As for your many explanations of how hard it is to be a woman – apparently you missed the fact that I AM one and well aware of the dynamics we face – all those arguments do is underscore why I don’t support HRC. Her many machinations over the years to appeal to sexists have led to debacles like the Iraq War vote. Finally, as to the Albright comment? Please. Her definition of supporting women has meant supporting wealthy white straight women, while women of color and lesbian, bisexual, and trans women can just wait our turn. Oh, we can be hauled out for photo ops, and we never have to but our own drinks at political events, but that ‘s it. HRC is Kyrsten Sinema on steroids, running on one platform and governing on another. I’m done with establishment politicians.

Chelsea: My statement wasn’t meant as an attack on you. It was meant as a statement as to the fact that women do not naturally support other women, as a statement like you said in your response says. It was not clear to me that your statement was from the article, so I apologize for my mix up there. I happen to know personally, and respect Kyrsten Sinema very much, so I’m. not really sure what the comment about her is all about. To me, being compared to Kyrsten Sinema is a compliment. She works her a– off for her constituency. You are gonna find it very hard to get anything done in government at any level, if you aren’t able to work across the aisle. Albright did not define supporting white woman over any other if the women you supported. She said supporting women. No, I, nor she is not talking about supporting women for a job that is not qualified for a job. I and she is talking about a double standard that exists where, for instance if HRC had Bernie’s record, and would appear looking disheveled, as Bernie does, she would not be receiving the support that Bernie does. They would not be thinking “What a cute old grandma”. They would say “Look at her, she can’t even keep herself together, how can we expect she can keep the country together, yet no one has questioned that with Bernie. It is fellow women who continue that perception of other women the most, not men. I don’t support Carly because I think she votes against the interests of herself, and other women. I really can’t see why any woman would run as a Republican right now, seeing as the person leading the Republican race is blatantly misogynistic. But what I am talking about is when there really isn’t that much difference in philosophy, (which by the way, when HRC was in the Senate, she and Bernie voted together 93% of the time), why would a woman vote against a fellow woman just to say I don’t vote with my Vagina, when they otherwise agree with the candidate.

Bernadette: So if I don’t vote for establishment women, I don’t support women? Really? That’s a first class manipulation. I also know Kyrsten, have for years. Watched her change into a moderate Republican opportunist before my very eyes. And if HRC and Bernie vote the same way 93% of the time, I’ll vote for the candidate whose biggest contributors are not the people who got away with gutting the economy. Why don’t you? Is it because you don’t support me, a fellow woman? Or is it only certain kinds of women you support?

So, who was more convincing, Chelsea or Bernadette?


  1. Chelsea also needs to explain why Hillary didn’t lead by example in her own state in 2014:
    Zephyr Teachout

    ” Imagine an alternate universe where Hillary was the champion of progressive women in her own state.” It’s easy if you try.

    “…If you aren’t able to work across the aisle”. HRC would probably call “Obamacare” (in fact I think she has, in debates) Obama’s biggest accomplishment. We do remember that not a single Republican voted for it, House or Senate (multiple House Democrats voted against it). Which is why he resorted to executive orders when the Democratic legislative majorities evaporated–because working across the aisle didn’t work, either term.

    So sorry Chelsea

  2. 93 percent ≠ 100 percent.

    Has anyone thought about the significance of that thus far undisclosed 7 percent on which they did not vote the same way?

    “Chelsea” needs to address that before she can even come close to be persuasive.

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