Readers React: The truth behind Gloria Steinem’s and Madeleine Albright’s impolitic remarks

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem at the 2016 MAKERS Conference at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. 

(Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images)

To the editor: In her critique of feminist writer and activist Gloria Steinem and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, both of whom expressed dismay that many young woman support Bernie Sanders for president, Robin Abcarian may be sending a confused message. (“Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright: You are not helping Hillary Clinton,” Feb. 8)

One keeps hearing the narrative that young women know little about Hillary Clinton because she and whatever she did were before their time. Does Abcarian believe they know Steinem, age 81, or Albright, 78? Well, ignorance is not an excuse. Why not read and learn about the struggle for equality in the “olden days” and the women who fought to make life better for our gender?

Like all politicians, Clinton is not perfect, but she is incredibly qualified and has paid her dues to become president. Sanders is indeed idealistic, but he is promising much more than he can deliver. And I think he knows it.

Steinem and Albright may have been impolitic, but I think Abcarian knows what they meant. It is not too much to ask young women to reject a pipe dream and seek the truth about both candidates.


Elizabeth M. Foster, Pasadena


To the editor: Brava to Abcarian for her thoughtful take on the recent comments by Steinem and Albright. Take a look at the women who head other nations, some of whom have failed miserably, and ask yourself if gender alone is a logical reason to choose Clinton.

Steinem’s comments about women wanting to get dates by supporting Sanders is just one more reason the word “feminist” has had a nasty connotation for so many people. It’s always been their way or the highway, and heaven forbid a woman or girl has male friends.


As someone supporting Sanders for his integrity, honesty, clear thinking and solid strategy for helping all Americans, I applaud the young women and men who support him as well. They see that Clinton doesn’t answer questions directly and that she rationalizes her vote on the Iraq war and her accepting of hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs.

Diane Ohanian, San Diego


To the editor: Albright, who said “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other,” put the philosophy of politics front and center: Do whatever it takes to win. She tried to intimidate women into voting for Clinton.

I suggest there is an even greater place in heaven for those who vote based on character, ethics and integrity instead of playing politics.

Karen Mathison, La Cañada Flintridge 

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook

Get our weekly Opinion newsletter