Gloria, I love you, but youre bringing me down.
  • Thinkstock
  • Gloria, I love you, but you're bringing me down.

When Gloria Steinem said that dumb thing about young women who support Bernie Sanders, I just kind of rolled my eyes, because 100 percent yes, Steinem is a luminary of the feminist movement, but she's also old, and though she's made some interesting shifts entering her dotage (like she's way better on trans issues, specifically, because people can learn and grow!), I'm frankly not that surprised to see her falling into the "young feminists are x" trap.

I'm not even a Bernie fan. What I am is very, very disappointed.

Aw, the grand tradition of "young feminists" or "young women" are "x"! It's that election season hobby that comes out among our most beloved elder stateswomen (oh hey, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz!) and research-averse pundits and unrepentant woman-hating candidates alike. Behold: Here are some things that reporters, lawmakers, and even feminist heroes like Steinem have said about young women and politics recently:

Young women don't like Hillary Clinton.
Young women like Bernie Sanders, because they're looking to hook up with Bernie Bros*.
Young women are complacent about abortion rights.
Young millennial women are just now learning about Bill Clinton's indiscretions for the first time.

Suffice it to say, these are flawed statements, since they're largely impressionistic blanket statements about an entire generation of humans. Young women aren't a unanimously-voting monolith! We are not the sphinx! You do not get access to our singularity by having the right all-emoji password, because no such singularity exists.

Some young women support Hillary Clinton (one of Clinton's most arguably visible supporters is Lena Dunham, for crying out loud!). Some support Bernie Sanders. Some are Republicans! (And call me crazy, but I wouldn't call Bernie Bros a selling point.) Many young women are active in the pro-choice movement. Many slightly older millennial women grew up in the '90s, which means they were around for Bill Clinton's presidency, actually (and, for many of those women, Hillary Clinton was the first woman they ever saw on a major political stage—like this reporter, then a starry-eyed five-year-old).

Whether it's Gloria Steinem or the New York Times style section, I'm extremely tired of hearing sweeping generalizations about young women and who we do and don't support for whatever reason, especially when way too many of these preachy claims aren't coming from young women themselves. Some of these articles do at least cite some polling, but many lean hard on anecdotal evidence (some even straight-up admit to it), and, as Ann Friedman correctly points out at The Cut, they merely serve to pit generations of women against each other.

There are plenty of bad looks in this election cycle (Overt sexism! Even Bernie doesn't like Bernie bros! TRUMP!). Let's not have this be one of them.

*A little note about Bernie bros, in case you're awful angry and about to accuse me of reverse-sexism or tell me I am a traitor to THE BEST MINDS OF MY GENERATION: First, hi! Thank you for reading, and cool Howl reference! But also, I suggest you read this.