Do Women Go Through a "Cute & Little" Phase?

Kathleen Reardonsays young women support Bernie Sanders because they go through a “Cute and Little” stage:

Do young women go through a “cute and little” stage?

It’s probably a fair assessment that women generally wield more social power in their 20s and 30s than they will later in their lives.

I’m not sure how that connects to preferring Sanders over Clinton for the democratic party nomination, as Kathleen Reardon suggests.

The article comes across as generational sour grapes: young women these days don’t know how bad we had it!

I’m really sick of the trope that women who favor Sanders over Clinton are somehow misguided, naïve, or insufficiently feminist. It’s actually a form a misogyny to assume that women who support Sanders aren’t doing so for legitimate, thoughtful reasons or that women ought to support Clinton because she has a vagina.

Young people are more likely to support Sanders than Clinton. Young women are a subset of young people. Case closed.

There’s also no convincing reason to think that if elected, Clinton would do more to advance gender equality than Sanders would.

The argument Clinton supporters should be focusing on is electability. Sanders may be too far to the left on economics to win the general election, and a Republican president would be terrible for feminist causes.

I can picture a thoughtful strategic intelligent decision to support Sanders, if one feels that he better represents one’s interests than Hillary Clinton and even while recognizing that he has virtually no chance of securing the nomination. The longer he stays in the race, I could imagine, the more inclined Clinton will be to try to win his supporters to her side, i.e. she may incorporate some of his relatively leftist ideas. If Sanders gets no support, Clinton could casually ignore him and his backers and just take them for granted.

Based on the section of the column you excerpted, it sounds far-fetched and dismissive. However, the next few sentences flesh out the concept more fully.

As described above, yes, this “cute and little” phenomenon is real. That said, women of all ages have valid reasons to vote for either of these candidates. That said, it should be noted that Hillary Clinton has faced and continues to face hurdles due to sexism that Bernie Sanders has never had to face.

Perhaps. But it’s a little difficult to argue that Clinton (who certainly has benefited politically from being the wife of a POTUS) is a good poster child for overcoming sexism.

I think that’s a pretty offensive way to put it.

If you are bright, attractive, young and ambitious it’s pretty easy to get cast as a “rising star”, with all the help that comes with it. But it’s far from universal (the overweight African American single mom is less likely to be seen in that light), and I think young women get the less helpful version.

We get to be “ingenues”, but the guys get to be “young hot shots”. Being a young hot shot transitions into being an older hotshot. But transitioning from an ingenue to someone to be taken seriously is a lot harder and less sure. Add on the way that motherhood changes how you are seen in the workplace, and it can be pretty surprising how quickly things change.

I also think this the dynamic varies a lot by industry.

I’ve read this piece three times now but I can’t follow the steps in her argumentation and I’m still puzzled what she’s trying to say exactly. Young women vote for Bernie because they dislike succesful older women? Young women vote for Bernie but they shouldn’t? Buy my book?

Anyway, in response to OP question: I do recognize the phenomenon. I work at a place which attracts ambitious young people so now and then a new ‘Cute-and-Little’ woman as described comes work here. I pity them - they’re smart and ambitious AND have the advantage of being, well … a young woman. Which they will not be anymore in ten years time.

(I’m a man in my 40s in case you were wondering)

I don’t understand this at all either. My only wisp of thought is that maybe she’s saying they would go for Hillary if they understood what life was like for prominent, successful middle-aged women. It’s certainly true that Hillary gets a ton of unjustified crap thrown her way.

I think the transition from A to B (at least likely Reardon’s thinking) is that younger women who are more even in power to younger men in the job market (as opposed to older women to older men) are more likely to believe that the major issue to tackle is general non-gender-specific economic inequality. Where as someone older, who has been sidelined by anti-female office politics, may see that there needs to be more than just a focus on economic inequality. The idea being that the former position is more Sanders while the latter position is more Clinton.

Well, I guess this is a great example of how perspectives can vary.

I can see many points in Clinton’s career in which she allowed her husband’s career to take precedence, including his stint as Commander in Chief. Then, I can also see that having been First Lady gave her a visibility that more easily allowed her to be elected as a Senator and then serve as Secretary of State. Now that she is running again, I see examples daily of the inherent sexism that she is up against. It is frustrating because (among other things) it detracts from discussion of actual issues.

When push comes to shove, I’m going to vote for the Democratic nominee, because across the board, I believe that is best for the country. I may not agree with every single stance that Clinton has taken, but I respect the hell out of her for fighting a fight that is pretty much stacked against her at most levels, especially the current one.

Madeleine Albright’s joined the fray:

“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”

I get that women are supposed to vote for a woman, because they’re women, and she’s a woman.

But at the same time, it seems a bit unfair to women, since they’re deprived of a choice that men have (to vote for a person of a different gender).

I will say I’m not surprised Satan has a special place in hell for women. He would be sexist like that.

Why is that?

I have no problem with the idea that younger women don’t face as much sexism and thus don’t value fighting it as much. What I don’t get is the connection to this and being “cute and little.”

Yes, there are some women who use their small stature and physical attractiveness to their advantage when they are younger. But neither smaller women nor physically attractive women are a majority. So you’re talking about, at most, 25% of young women. I’d cut that in half, easily, based on the people I know.

Heck, I thought this thread was going to be about whether women go through a phase where they like small cute things, like in toys and such. And when I saw it connected to Sanders, I assumed there was going to be an argument that he was a cute old man, compared to how Clinton is more like a schoolmarm.

Not that younger women don’t know the trials of older women.

Hillary claimed, afterwards, that it was said light-heartedly. And indeed, if you watch the video, everyone chuckled afterwards. But… I don’t get it. Is this some sort of inside joke that “womyn” just get but that men don’t? It didn’t seem at all funny to me-- it sounded obnoxious.

Younger women, while not necessarily all “attractive” in a conventional sense, are still more attractive than older ones. That grants them power that older women don’t have.

I remember when I was a little bit younger and was thinking that I tended to find most women attractive. I didn’t even think about older women, as I just didn’t think about them.

We as a society seem to forget about older women even existing. We avoid them in our media. We don’t really try to sell to them–beyond selling to homemakers.

When you are basically invisible, it’s much harder to have any power. When at least the sexist men wish they could fuck you, you have a little more power.

This is similar to what Gloria Stienem just said on Bill Maher’s show. She claimed that men gain power as they age, and thus become more conservative, and that women lose power as they age, and so they tend to become more radical. And there is currently a wave of outrage that is spreading on social media about her claim that younger women are more likely to be Sanders supporters because “that’s where the boys are”, or something.