During an interview with Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin, the lone female candidate in the hunt for the 2016 Republican nomination said that long-time feminist icon Gloria Steinem is a “feminist hero” even if she and Steinem do not always agree.
In a clip posted on Friday, Halperin asked Fiorina for specific names of feminists she thinks should be called a “hero.”
The California Republican immediately named Susan B. Anthony, but next came up with feminist activist Gloria Steinem.
“Susan B. Anthony, Gloria Steinem, they’re all heroes in their own way because, when someone challenges the status quo, that’s heroic. Even if I don’t always agree with them,” Fiorina said.
But Fiorina didn’t leave it at that, adding a qualifier to her choices:
But I think what’s happened is that, that heroism to challenge the status quo and to stand up and say, you know women are equal to men and so we should have the same opportunities as men. What’s happened is that’s turned into a political ideology, and that political ideology is very specific, and so when women of the left tell me that I’m a threat to women’s health, or tell me that I’m offensive as a candidate, that’s not about women. That’s about ideology.
Susan B. Anthony is certainly an American hero–not just for feminists, but for all Americans. As an activist for securing the right to vote for women, Anthony helped lead the way in bringing women out of second-class citizen status and into the modern age. Anthony also led the way to enfranchising African Americans, a move that, at the time, was outrageous even to many supporters of women’s rights.
For her part, Steinem has long been a leader in the modern feminist movement as a journalist, speaker, and author. While her work is not nearly as compelling as Susan B. Anthony’s, Steinem has for the better part of five decades been a leading figure in the women’s rights movement.
This modern feminist has been at the heart of most doctrinaire liberal issues since she burst upon the scene in the 70s. One of her most famous quotes is the somewhat misanthropic saying that,”a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”
She also once quipped that if woman are “less rational and more emotional” just before their menstrual cycle, then “why isn’t it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long?”
While Susan B. Anthony sought civil rights for women at parity with those of men, Steinem seemed more interested in tearing men down than reaching out to be considered their equal.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.