Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is trying to fix a mess she made when she told women at a Hillary Clinton rally there’s a “special place in hell” for them if they don’t vote for Clinton.
Albright wrote an apology in the form of a New York Times op-ed Friday titled “My Undiplomatic Moment,” in which she blames the “excitement” of the rally for her mistake, while at the same time reiterating the statement that got her in trouble.
“I absolutely believe what I said, that women should help one another, but this was the wrong context and the wrong time to use that line,” she wrote. “I did not mean to argue that women should support a particular candidate based solely on gender.”
It’s hard to see how else women were supposed to take her comment in the context of a Clinton rally: “Just remember: There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”
Albright firmly implies — whilst apologizing — that gender-based voting is exactly what she really meant. She gives women permission to vote based on the issues that “matter most to them,” but then strongly implies “gender equality” should top the list and that Clinton is the only candidate to vote for in that case.
“Voters must make an informed decision about whom they elect based on the issues that matter most to them, which of course are not limited to those of gender: education, a growing economy, national security. These affect us all, regardless of our sex,” she wrote. “Even so, I am concerned by the tone of the debate about the many problems that specifically affect women.”
To conclude the op-ed, Albright says she hopes young women will “build on the progress” old feminists such as herself have made, and that the only way for that to happen is if “women help one another.” She then reiterates her “special place in hell statement,” with a more positive twist: “And for those who do that, there will always be a special place of honor.”
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