Hillary Clinton laid pretty low following her withdrawal from the Presidential campaign back in June, although her historic run was somewhat overshadowed in the last leg of the race by Sarah Palin’s vice presidential bid. Now comes news that Clinton is a strong contender for secretary of state, replacing Condoleezza Rice. At the same time, a new New York essay asserts Clinton and Palin have set women back. Together, the author says, the women seemingly fit two sexist female stereotypes — The Bitch and The Ditz. I don’t entirely disagree with writer Amanda Fortini’s assessment of Palin’s mental prowess, but I do think she not only sells Clinton short, but misjudges her impact entirely — and that history will soon prove otherwise.I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton in the presidential primaries. I didn’t love the way she and her handlers ran her campaign. Then again, I don’t love the way most politicians run their campaigns, so she’s hardly alone. But the idea that Clinton ran an according to Fortini “bitchy” campaign is ludicrous and sexist. Clinton ran her campaign the same way any politician, male or female, desperate to win, would have done. Fortini likens “bitchiness” with anti-femininity, asserting Clinton cloaked her womanhood “in hawkishness and pantsuits.” Aside from those days in the early ’90s, when a “Swan”-like makeover put Clinton in headbands and skirts, Hillary has always been the president of the pantsuit sisterhood. Fortini equates Clinton’s bitchiness with her so-called likeability issues.
“She was likened to Tracy Flick for her irritating entitlement, to Lady Macbeth for her boundless ambition. She was a grind, scold, harpy, shrew, priss, teacher’s pet, killjoy — you get the idea. She was repeatedly called a bitch…and a buster of balls.”
The Tucker Carlsons of the world may guard their testicles when Hillary’s name is mentioned, but that doesn’t mean the nation is sees her as a “feminazi.”
Clinton was cast by some as “The Bitch,” but that doesn’t mean America listened or agreed, including me. Sure, Barack Obama won the nomination, and ultimately the presidency, but Hillary won the popular vote among Democrats. Those “18 million cracks in the highest glass ceiling” may not have resulted in her becoming president (not this year, at least), but it damn sure will get one woman a hell of a lot closer to blasting through it in the nearer future.
Small-minded man-boys like Carlson will always be threatened by smart, powerful women. Until recently, the good ol’ boys were always running the show. Today, Obama is not only president-elect, he’s also very clearly deeply respectful of Hillary’s civil service record, her intelligence, and her ambition, which will ultimately make her a more respected member of the Democratic Party. Sure, it sucks that it takes a man’s validation to hush up the naysayers, but Hillary Clinton’s record is hers and hers alone. If she’s appointed secretary of state, she’ll have earned herself a big, bitchy “comeback.” [New York]