With just a year to go before the 2016 presidential election, the candidates, press and public are not mincing words.
While much of the rhetoric is the same as years past, this year -- with two serious female contenders -- the typical mud-slinging has become even more controversial.
One major source of controversy has been "The View’s" comments about Carly Fiorina and Hillary Clinton.
"The View" is a show targeting middle-aged, American women, and it has been known to stir the pot when it comes to politics.
However, this time, the women of "The View," as well as the writers of other media outlets, are being criticized for criticizing the female candidates.
While feminists have decried this as not supporting other women, the truth of the matter is this: The women of "The View," CNN, Fox News and the general American public have the right (if not the obligation), to criticize, question and debate other women.
1. Universal sisterhood is a myth.
In no way can anyone but the most naïve among us expect billions of women on the planet to set aside their judgment, personal beliefs and values to show nothing but unyielding support and love toward our fellow women.
Anyone who believes women will suddenly stop criticizing, judging and making comments toward other women needs a serious dose of reality.
2. Criticism makes us stronger.
It seems any time a woman calls out another woman on the Internet, television, in the press or on social media, she is considered to be anti-feminist.
The truth of the matter is, all people will (at some point in their lives) do something they should rightly be criticized for.
We are told not to question the personal life choices of our gender. But when members of our gender make questionable life choices, they should be questioned.
3. Support doesn’t mean “blind support.”
As women, if we all threw our blind support behind Hillary or Carly, few men would take their candidacies seriously.
As anyone familiar with politics knows, it’s not always about who has the most votes, but who is the most electable when it comes to campaign donors opening their checkbooks.
If a candidate was polling well simply because she had lady parts, many donors and PAC groups would probably take her far less seriously than if she was a woman able to defend her position, counter her opponents and articulate her political ideology.
4. Equality is a two-way street.
Last year, I wrote an article about the challenges of fourth-wave feminism, in which some women seem to believe they should be entitled to not only all of the rights (and more) that men enjoy, but also be able to live in a world free from criticism.
If tomorrow, all whites blindly supported all other whites or all males blindly supported all other males, there would be rioting in the streets and outrage over the blatant racism and sexism.
As women, we need to understand that if we wish to enter traditionally male-dominated spheres of the workplace and politics, we need to brace ourselves for the same criticism and analysis of our actions.
5. It’s not just about politics.
Criticism is necessary for society, as it sets boundaries about what is acceptable behavior.
Throughout history, groups have self-policed themselves by dictating what is and what is not acceptable behavior. As women, we must continue to strive to be the best we can be.
This sometimes means distancing ourselves from, and in some cases, even denouncing the actions of certain members of our gender.
Where would we be if we blindly defended the actions of Casey Anthony, Lorena Bobbitt, Sydney Leather, female celebrity train wrecks and even our peers who make poor life choices?
If we remove that element of criticism from one group (females), it has the potential to go down a slippery slope about what is acceptable morality.
If we do have a woman in the White House, it will be necessary to question her actions and hold her to the same standards and judgment as we do with male presidents.
6. If you want to be respected like a man, act like a nobleman.
In my personal opinion, the hosts of "The View" were absolutely wrong to attack either candidate’s physical appearance.
However, both female candidates have not sunk to the level of the women on "The View," and have maintained their positions with dignity, while assertively standing up for themselves.
Clinton calmly replied to the criticism on CNN by asserting her looks were “not something that deserves attention.”
The best thing a woman can do is remain calm, noble and dignified, while facing her opponents head on.
The truth is, free speech and criticism (no matter how ridiculous) are a part of our rich American culture.
Generations of women before us have fought to be a part of this culture, and that means embracing the good and bad of it.
The myth of universal sisterhood is a completely false ideology at best and a dangerous precedent at worst.
It is preventing women from moving forward.
As everyday females who are not running for office, if we want the same level of respect as our male peers, we can’t go crying, "Mean girls suck" every time another female says something mean on the Internet or in person.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Elite Daily.