Young Women in NH 'Offended' Clinton Using Gender as Political Tool

February 5, 2016

Young women in New Hampshire were offended by the way Hillary Clinton uses her gender to garner support, an MSNBC survey revealed Friday.

When MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall asked young female voters about Hillary Clinton’s claim on Wednesday that she is not an establishment candidate because she is a woman, they responded negatively.

One of the respondents said that she did not like how Clinton assumed that her feminism was identical to the feminism of all women.

"I also am a woman. I also face discrimination as being a woman. Her feminism does not represent my feminism, and I think it’s really important to differentiate that," one young woman said. Her complaint is a common one among young women and reveals a generational divide within the Democratic Party.

Another respondent said that Clinton’s gender does not automatically make her the best candidate.

"You have to realize that, you know, everybody's human and … you have to go for who has the best ideals," she said. "Just because she's a woman doesn't necessarily make her the best candidate."

Hall expressed shocked at the responses she received to her questions. Although it is well known Clinton’s opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) polls better with young voters, Hall did not expect young women to react negatively to Clinton’s use of gender.

"Here you are in New Hampshire, this progressive college environment, and young woman after young woman really shrugging it off and taking issue with the fact that Hillary Clinton brought it up," Hall said. "I thought that was fascinating. It blew me away. Of all the things last night, I didn't see that coming."

Though Clinton has long relied on a base of feminist voters, multiple scandals, trust and authenticity issues, and closeness to the "establishment" of the party have put a dent in her following.

In addition to incorporating gender as an important positive aspect of her platform, Clinton has leveraged her gender to attack her opponents, interpreting Sanders’s claim that she was "shouting" about gun control as a sexist remark.

"I’ve been told to stop, and I quote, shouting about gun violence," Clinton said in October. "Well, first of all, I’m not shouting. It’s just when women talk, some people think we’re shouting."