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Thursday, December 26, 2013

 
Waiting for a woman

by digby

This article in the Daily Beast reprises some of the hideous sexist attacks against Hillary Clinton through the years reminding everyone of what fun it's going to be if she runs for president.

This one is fairly characteristic of the 90s I thought, although they left out the usual lesbian accusation:
In April 1992, U.S. News and World Report, called her the “overbearing yuppie wife from hell.”
That's US News and World Report, not National Review. The Beast article assumes that it will be Republicans alone doing this if Clinton throws her hat into the ring, and we may have finally evolved to the point where that's true. Yes, evolved. Because until recently, it wasn't only the Republicans but the mainstream press and plenty of Democrats who said the same sort of things --- and worse. I think there has probably been some consciousness raising among the media over the past few cycles, mostly thanks to the utterly neanderthal behavior of the far right. And the Democrats will be unlikely to let their sexist slips show unless there is someone they like better than Clinton running for the nomination. So maybe it will be an honest, non-sexist campaign about the issues, at least among the press and the Democrats. (Forget the Republicans, sexism is a vital element of their ideology -- gotta keep the traditional hierarchy going or they have nothing.) But I will not hold my breath. People revert to overt sexism very easily when they get angry, pressured or challenged. In fact, it's shockingly reflexive.

I wish I believed that America was ready to elect a woman president. After all, the machismo culture of Chile just featured a race between two women and the socialist won! But I honestly just don't know. And the weird thing is that I thought differently a decade ago. It's the last ten years that woke me up to the deep, underlying psycho-structural uniqueness of American sexism.  (And, needless to say, the prospect of Clinton vs Christie conjures images of an epic battle between the bros and the ... rest of us, that is enough to give me hives.)  Yes, I fear we really could see a presidential campaign that makes your average 7th grade student council election look deep by comparison. We are just that exceptional.

















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