Gloria Steinem apologized on Sunday for suggesting young women support Bernie Sanders to chase boys.
“In a case of talk-show Interruptus, I misspoke on the Bill Maher show recently, and apologize for what’s been misinterpreted as implying young women aren’t serious in their politics,” the feminist icon wrote on her Facebook page on Sunday morning.
“What I had just said on the same show was the opposite: young women are active, mad as hell about what’s happening to them, graduating in debt, but averaging a million dollars less over their lifetimes to pay it back. Whether they gravitate to Bernie or Hillary, young women are activist and feminist in greater numbers than ever before.”
The Women’s Media Center co-founder came under fire on Twitter after appearing on HBO’s “Real Time” Friday night.
“When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,'” Steinem told Maher, who leapt right on her comment.
“Now if I said that, ‘Yeah, they’re for Bernie because that’s where the boys are,’ you’d slap me,” he said.
The statement Steinem said viewers “misinterpreted” came in the context of discussing a poll that suggests young women are backing the Vermont senator over Steinem’s preferred Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.
“Women are more for [Clinton] than men are,” Steinem said. “Women get more radical as we get older…. I don’t mean to overgeneralize, I’m sure that you got more radical, but men tend to get more conservative because they gain power as they age and women get more radical because they lose power as they age.”
Steinem wasn’t the only feminist icon to criticize women supporting Bernie Sanders. Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright spoke out at a Clinton rally in New Hampshire this weekend, saying, “We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of you younger women think it’s done. It’s not done.”
Albright added: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”
Meanwhile, Steinem’s apology wasn’t necessarily met with forgiveness from her fans.
“I’m a little unclear here. Are you apologizing for a poor choice of words or because you believe your poor choice of words have been misinterpreted? Respectfully, if it’s the latter, then that’s not really an apology at all,” one women wrote in a Facebook comment beneath Steinem’s post. “Normally, I think you’re a pretty cool feminist icon.”
Wrote another critic:
“While I appreciate the apologize, this statement doesn’t really confront the problem, nor how much damage your statement did. You chalked up an entire generation of women as brainless who vote for a man’s approval. That’s not why we earned the right to vote.”