Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright made a lot of waves with feminists in this election cycle when they basically called for young women supporting Bernie Sanders to switch allegiance over to Hillary Clinton. They've since offered clunky clarifications, but the whole debacle made one thing very clear: In 2016, feminists can support whichever candidate for president they choose, regardless of that candidate's gender. So who are prominent feminists supporting for president? Because they know they're definitely not limited to one option.
As the Democratic race starts to wind down, the support of high-profile feminists will become increasingly important. Bernie Sanders will need nothing short of a miracle to overthrown Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, but there are certainly still celebrity feminists who remain with him in the struggle. As for the Republican side, well, I doubt that there are many feminists who are coming out in support of Donald Trump, but hey, it's a whole new world.
For the purposes of this piece, there weren't any big-name feminists that I could find who are supporting Trump (though Fusion had an interesting look at some of the feminists supporting the presumptive Republican nominee). But there is no shortage of outspoken feminists who have gone all in on Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
One of the biggest and Clinton supporters is Lena Dunham, who joined Clinton early in her campaign and has been on the road supporting the candidate. Dunham interviewed Clinton for her newsletter, Lenny Letter, in the fall. At one point in the interview, Dunham asks Clinton point blank if she's a feminist. Clinton answered:
Yes. Absolutely. I’m always a little bit puzzled when any woman of whatever age, but particularly a young woman, says something like, ‘well, I believe in equal rights but I’m not a feminist.’ Well, a feminist is by definition someone who believes in equal rights. I’m hoping that people will not be afraid to say, that doesn’t mean you hate men, it doesn’t you want to separate out the world, so you’re not a part of ordinary life -- that’s not what it means at all! It just means that we believe that women have the same rights as men.
Katy Perry, who has finally decided to embrace the feminist label, is also an outspoken Clinton supporter. "Roar" is one of Clinton's key entrance songs, and Perry has made appearances at Clinton fundraisers. Speaking of singers, the diva, Beyoncé, has showed up at a Clinton fundraiser and has donated to her campaign. Other notable feminist Clinton supporters include Kerry Washington and Uzo Aduba. And, judging by the short firestorm they created, Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright are willing to go to bat for Clinton, too.
Although there has been no shortage of think pieces about how Sanders is a better feminist than Clinton, celebrity feminists haven't really offered much support for the candidate. That's not to say that Sanders doesn't have support among feminists writ large, but the only heavy hitters for Sanders have been Rosario Dawson and Sarah Silverman, who have publicly supported the candidate.
Feminist writer bell hooks, though not specifically saying that she is a Sanders voter, said that she could no longer support Clinton after years of showing outward support for her.