Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hillary Clinton and the Main Streaming of Misogyny

Apparently opinion polls about the "Bitch" losing to the New Kid on the block in the New Hampshire Primary were a bit exaggerated.

Much has been made about Senator Clinton's emotional moment during a Q&A in the “The Granite State”. I think the truth can be found about one month earlier.

The Commander came across the following commentary on the Newhouse News Service website in December.

    Hillary Hatred Finds Its Misogynistic Voice
    c.2007 Newhouse News Service

    WASHINGTON — In the coming months, America will decide whether to elect its first female president. And amid a techno-media landscape where the wall between private vitriol and public debate has been reduced to rubble, Sen. Hillary Clinton is facing an onslaught of open misogynistic expression.

    Step lightly through that thickly settled province of the Web you could call anti-Hillaryland and you are soon knee-deep in "bitch," "slut," "skank," "whore" and, ultimately, what may be the most toxic four-letter word in the English language.
Calling the crap that Senator Clinton has been subjected to "open misogynistic expression" is like saying that Barry Bonds is being investigated because he took some aspirin. The hatred of Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton is like a living thing, a festering wound in the soul of America that opened up over 30 years ago with the start of the modern feminist movement.

Susan Faludi's excellent book Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women details the ongoing effort by the right to destroy the economic and social gains made by women such as Senator Clinton with the same techniques they used to destroy the civil rights of African Americans. It was first published 15 years ago, and it is a text book example of the reason Hillary Bashing is alive an well in 2008.

In The Huffington Post Erica Jong's excellent posting Seeing Sexism shows the difficulty men and even women have in understanding what Ms. Faludi meant by the term backlash:
    Seeing Sexism
    By Erica Jong
    Posted January 10, 2008 12:55 PM (EST)

    It's not easy to see sexism. It's such a part of our lives it seems invisible. It's in us and outside us. We want not to believe in it---until something---like men making fun of Hillary Clinton, like women making fun of Hillary Clinton---stirs it up. And then something inside our heads shouts: "THERE IT IS AGAIN! I thought--I truly hoped we were past this."

    ...So now we have the cool dudes saying Hillary is dead, the fall of the house of Clinton is here, baby-boomers are so over...youth is roaring again, hope is the watchword, Obama has a feminist wife...And the cool chicks echo it: Hillary is over, we have our rights, we have the pill...we have the vote.
    Let's be honest here. We don't know how a female President would act. But we could look around...we could look at Germany, Ireland, England, Pakistan, India...We could ask why the USA, out of all the so-called "civilized" countries, is so damned afraid of a woman leader (emphasis mine).
Yeah we could ask, but could we deal with the answer? Could we as a nation finally have the courage to admit that we are afraid to hand over the power of the State to the 50% of the population we treat like frail children? Can we admit the truth, get over the fear. Can we grow up and start acting like adults?


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