Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hillary Clinton's Run No Real Gain for Women or Feminists

The three women at left graced the December 22, 2002 cover of Time Magazine as "Persons of the Year." The article describes how Sherron Watkins, an Enron vice president; Coleen Rowley, an FBI staff attorney; and Cynthia Cooper, a WorldCom staffer, all risked their jobs and careers by exposing mistakes or crimes by their male bosses. Even if they weren't feminists, they were women other women could look up to.

And then there is Hillary Clinton, who has covered up for every patriarchal crime imagineable, including sexual assaults and even rape by her own husband, in her quest to become the most powerful person on earth. Of course, that's only because our patriarchal nation state has created more conventional and nuclear weapons than all other nations put together. (Which is why we also are the most in debt nation on the planet.)

I've found two female pundits who agree with me.

Sherrilyn A. Ifill, a civil rights lawyer and University of Maryland School of Law professor, in a June 8 article called “No loss for feminism” in the Baltimore Sun writes: “...very little about the candidacy of Hillary Clinton reflected feminism. First of all, to be a modern feminist necessarily means to reject racism. No 21st-century feminist could fail to understand the complicated but very real connection between patriarchy and white supremacy. Thus, it is impossible to run a campaign as a feminist while making racist appeals to white, male voters....When she knocked back a shot and a beer in that bar in Pennsylvania, Mrs. Clinton ended any pretense of running as a feminist. The whole point of feminism is to reject the idea of masculinized power. Feminism seeks to counter the mythology that stereotypically masculine behavior is the only legitimate way in which leadership can be exercised....Finally and most important, Mrs. Clinton's campaign at the outset was premised on the idea that she was the inevitable nominee. This air of inevitability was based largely on her connections to one of most powerful men in the Democratic Party, her husband, the former president. She campaigned hard, but it was her relationship to Bill Clinton that enabled Mrs. Clinton, who had never held elective office, to walk into New York - a state with which she had no historical ties - and become a U.S. senator on her first try. Given Mr. Clinton's political gifts and legacy and the power-packed Rolodex of both Clintons, it never occurred to Mrs. Clinton until after Iowa that she wouldn't be able to attain the presidency on her first try as well....Achieving power largely on the name of your husband is not feminist. In fact, it's very traditional.”

Susan Campbell, in a June 15 Hartfort Courant Column “I Am Feminist; Hear Me Roar Against A Clinton Mandate,” writes: “My take on feminism is this: If you believe in the radical notion that women are people, too, then you know that means we think outside the box. You know that no job is the special provenance of any gender. Our genitalia does not limit our choices, whether it's how we earn our living, the compensation we receive for said work, or how we choose our political candidates...And it means we fearlessly examine and then choose our political candidates, regardless of their — or our — gender....She was not my candidate, but not because of gender. Suggesting we all move lock-step to support only the people who look like us robs grown-ups of their ability to make their decisions based on a candidates' promise and past practice.... Because I am a woman, I must think for myself because I don't trust the yahoos to do it for me.”

And then there is the 1999 allegation of former Clinton campaign worker Juanita Broaddrick, who told a national television audience that Bill Clinton raped her in a hotel room in April 1978. In a "Letter to Hillary Clinton" published by the DrudgeReport on October 15, 2000. In it she wrote:

I have no doubt that you (Hillary) are the same conniving, self-serving person you were twenty-two years ago when I had the misfortune to meet you. When I see you on television, campaigning for the New York senate race, I can see the same hypocrisy in your face that you displayed to me one evening in 1978. You have not changed.

I remember it as though it was yesterday. I only wish that it were yesterday and maybe there would still be time to do something about what your husband, Bill Clinton, did to me. There was a political rally for Mr. Clinton's bid for governor of Arkansas. I had obligated myself to be at this rally prior to my being assaulted by your husband in April, 1978. I had made up my mind to make an appearance and then leave as soon as the two of you arrived. This was a big mistake, but I was still in a state of shock and denial. You had questioned the gentleman who drove you and Mr. Clinton from the airport. You asked him about me and if I would be at the gathering. Do you remember? You told the driver, "Bill has talked so much about Juanita", and that you were so anxious to meet me. Well, you wasted no time. As soon as you entered the room, you came directly to me and grabbed my hand. Do you remember how you thanked me, saying "we want to thank you for everything that you do for Bill". At that point, I was pretty shaken and started to walk off. Remember how you kept a tight grip on my hand and drew closer to me? You repeated your statement, but this time with a coldness and look that I have seen many times on television in the last eight years. You said, "Everything you do for Bill". You then released your grip and I said nothing and left the gathering.

What did you mean, Hillary? Were you referring to my keeping quiet about the assault I had suffered at the hands of your husband only two weeks before? Were you warning me to continue to keep quiet? We both know the answer to that question.

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