Did you think that Wellesley would be a bastion of support for its most famous alumna?
Interestingly, the Washington Post reports that the feminist vote at the prestigious women’s college is split:
“Everybody who knows me thinks of me as a feminist,” Keller said. “Nobody imagined I wouldn’t vote for Clinton.”
“Three weeks ago, Keller changed her online profile to announce her support for Obama. She likes his rhetoric and his stance on the war, she said, and she considers his effort to become the first black president as historic as Clinton’s bid. Within a few days, a handful of Wellesley friends had called or e-mailed to teasingly call her a traitor.
“‘It’s like I’m ruining this great opportunity for women by not voting for her, but honestly I’m not too worried about that,’ Keller said. ‘I don’t think gender is a good enough reason on its own to vote for or against anybody. I’m sure there are going to be other women in my generation, soon, who are able to run for president. This isn’t like our only chance.’
“Her stance is what some professors on campus refer to as an ‘inevitability attitude,’ and they say it marks a generational divide. Women who experienced Wellesley in the 1950s and ’60s, such as Clinton, enrolled at a time when some schools still refused to admit women. They believed, intrinsically, that they would have to scrap and claw for every opportunity in an unfair world. Wellesley functioned as their cocoon, a place for camaraderie and support before they were sent off as graduates to break barriers and challenge stereotypes. As feminists, they were linked by a cause.”
If the campus feminists are split, older alums may be more solidly behind Hillary:
“My mom didn’t like hearing me talk about Obama much at all,” Neff said. “She started telling me about how our generation takes for granted a lot of advances that women have made. She told me what it was like in the ’70s and ’80s and, you know, the general feeling that you were never as good or as important as your brothers or the men who you worked with. She talked about how women’s stakes are so tied up in Hillary’s candidacy, and how it could change what it means to be a woman and what all these little girls will think is possible in their own lives.”