Hillary and the melting ice packs

Posted by Ann Evans in feminism, nasty feminism | 4 comments

I have been recently bludgeoned into silence, but think I will say a few words anyway.

I am feeling a lot of nasty feminism around me, and Hillary is encouraging it.

During a debate, she was asked what would be revolutionary about her presidency, and she responded, “I’m a woman.” And the crowd went wild. I was disgusted. That was a serious question warranting a serious answer, and she reduced it to a punchline.

This militant defensiveness surprises me. Why doesn’t she embrace the successes of Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, and many others? There is no question that women can be strong leaders, can lead their countries into war, can figuratively lop off the heads of their opponents. America and Hillary Clinton are late to the test of female leadership, yet her supporters suggest that she is the proof we need that women can lead. What balderdash!

Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem castigated women who weren’t inclined to vote for Hillary, and then my Facebook page started to get nasty.

I have lived in and visited many countries where the policies promoted by Bernie Sanders are functioning, and I like what I have seen. In many of these countries, women have become prime ministers or otherwise powerful figures. Policies he espouses, like humane parental leave, free tuition in public universities, universal health care, and so on, have favored these women’s success.

Responses to my Facebook posts about Sanders have become increasingly virulent. Women tell me that I “don’t understand” how misogynistic the attacks on Hillary are. She is a “strong woman” who has stood up against attack. She “deserves” to be president. If I haven’t felt the misogyny, then I just haven’t been looking. I’m a WINO. I wrote that I found vocal fry ugly, and a female former linguistics professor of mine exploded in anger at me – people were always “putting women down” for the way they talked, and so on. I’d be interested in a linguistics research project about it, but I don’t have to enjoy listening to it. Bludgeoned into silence.

When someone asked Ruth Bader Ginsburg what the right number of female members on the Supreme Court would be, she said, “Nine.” Why not? We’ve had nine men forever. Maybe they will view the world differently, it’s worth finding out. I would love to have a female president; maybe Elizabeth Warren, or Kirsten Gillibrand, or Tulsi Gabbard, or Pramila Jayapal. Hillary is not my choice, not because she is a woman, but because I don’t like her policies and her past choices.

My most important objection is that Hillary, our likely future president, is weakened by leaning on the feminist crutch. Vladimir Putin won’t give a damn. The melting ice caps won’t give a damn either.

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Comments (4)
  1. Arlene Teck says:

    Excellent choices for worthy female leaders. I would like to see Kirsten Gillebrand come to the forefront.

  2. Ellen says:

    Hillary is an effective leader who would be a great president. That is the point people should focus on. And if Sanders really cares about global warming — to me the number one issue we face — then he would encourage his supporters to get on the Hillary Clinton bandwagon. At least this way the environmental initiatives President Obama has been able to put into place through executive order will not get overturned — not to mention we won’t have to sit on the edge of our seats every night worried about what Trump might do when it comes to everything.

  3. D.S Thorne says:

    Re: “I have lived in and visited many countries where the policies promoted by Bernie Sanders are functioning, and I like what I have seen.”

    It’s worth bearing in mind that most of these leftward countires are smaller in population than New York state, and much more homogenous of opinion (see for example: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/01/the-danish-dont-have-the-secret-to-happiness/384930/).

    Above all else, it is the *relatively small and homogenous populations* of these countries that make consensus on ambitious government programs possible. Here in the US, with it massive and massively diverse populations, such consensus is not possible, so large government action requires coercion. We’ve seen this brand of coercion in Justice Robert’s crafty transformation of penalties into taxes in the Obamacare decision, and in Obama’s interim appointments and executive orders. I fear Sanders, for all his fine personal attributes, would be even more extreme in this regard, and furthermore would show even less concern for the national debt, to which Obama has added more than all previous presidents combined. Ironically, who gets screwed by ambitious government action is always the vulnerable, that is, the very ones large programs aim to help (read Robert Dallek on LBJ if you have any doubts about this). I personally wouldn’t be surprised if Sanders doubles the national debt, which will be around 20 trillion when Obama leaves office.

    This doesn’t mean I’d be for HIllary Clinton either. I vigorously agree with Ann that women have proven themselves as heads of state time and again. To her list I would add Angela Merkel, who together with the German economic powerhouse she heads, is the main reason the EU is holding together at all. But Hillary specifically is in too deep with Wall Street and the defense contractors to make levelheaded decisions about foreign policy. We’ve had a foretaste of this in her Libyan action, which was practically a repeat of the Iraq war (i.e. depose a dictator and hope things will work themselves out), albeit on smaller scale. And the fabricated story about the video that was to have sparked the uprising in Benghazi. And then there’s her blithe indifference to legal processes evidenced by her email controversy. If any humble IT worker inside the Beltway showed such contempt for classified material, they’d be fired by close of business.

    Above and beyond all this , the mere fact she’s stayed married to Bill though the years casts suspicion on any of her claims to being a feminist–time and again, I suspect that self-promotion has trumped self-respect in her mind.

    And then there’s the Jerry Springer freakshow that is the Trump campaign…

    All in all, quite a loathsome trilemma.

    • Arlene Teck says:

      Interesting and very well said. Given the loathsome trilemma, there are two obvious front runners, both presumptively shoo-ins for their respective nominations. Let’s wait and see what running mates they choose – may help in working through the remaining loathsome dilemma.

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Life went on

Life went on again after Daring to Date Again: A Memoir ended, so I began this wide-ranging blog about life as a writer and as a woman in the early 21st century, especially as an older woman.

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