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Friday, July 20, 2007

The Lady Is A Tramp

by digby

Wow, this is serious. Hillary Clinton apparently almost did a hootchie-coo pole dance on the floor of the senate, shaking her luvly lady-lumps like there was no tomorrow. Why it's a miracle the mensfolk could concentrate!

There was cleavage on display Wednesday afternoon on C-SPAN2. It belonged to Sen. Hillary Clinton.

She was talking on the Senate floor about the burdensome cost of higher education. She was wearing a rose-colored blazer over a black top. The neckline sat low on her chest and had a subtle V-shape. The cleavage registered after only a quick glance. No scrunch-faced scrutiny was necessary. There wasn't an unseemly amount of cleavage showing, but there it was. Undeniable.


With Clinton, there was the sense that you were catching a surreptitious glimpse at something private. You were intruding -- being a voyeur. Showing cleavage is a request to be engaged in a particular way. It doesn't necessarily mean that a woman is asking to be objectified, but it does suggest a certain confidence and physical ease. It means that a woman is content being perceived as a sexual person in addition to being seen as someone who is intelligent, authoritative, witty and whatever else might define her personality. It also means that she feels that all those other characteristics are so apparent and undeniable, that they will not be overshadowed.

To display cleavage in a setting that does not involve cocktails and hors d'oeuvres is a provocation. It requires that a woman be utterly at ease in her skin, coolly confident about her appearance, unflinching about her sense of style. Any hint of ambivalence makes everyone uncomfortable.

All this from a simple v-necked black shell and a pink blazer. Who knew that outfit was filled with so much meaning?

I happened to catch a little bit of that segment and I didn't notice Hills hills at all. But then I'm not a pulitzer prize winning fashion reporter so maybe I just don't have Robin Givahn's highly developed boobage radar. Perhaps because I come from the land of la la, where ta-tas are highly visible in virtually every situation, I am just not attuned to the statements that breasts make in the nation's capitol.

But I think what surprises me the most is the fact that Washington DC is still fascinated by Clintons' sexuality at all. They are 60 year old's, fergawdsake. I say this as a person of a certain age myself, so I don't mean to imply that they are not sexual beings, but it seems odd to me that they still get this particular kind of attention. Big Bill has had a quadruple bypass and practically all he talks about these days is his low cholesterol diet. Hillary is the busiest woman in the world --- she's running for president. At this point in their long and accomplished lives, sex is, by far, the least interesting thing about them --- as is true for most 60 year olds.

As it happens, they both look as good as they ever have in their lives (they do love campaigning) and they seem in robust good health and good spirits. Hillary, in particular, looks just great these days. But they are not sex-symbols (not even Bill, who is about ten years past his Kissingerian "power is an aphrodisiac" appeal.) So this ongoing obsession with the sexuality of Bill and Hillary Clinton has gone way beyond the mere sophomoric, tabloid obsessions of yesteryear and has morphed into some kind of kinky beltway fetish.

I do have to wonder why this important article was written by the fashion reporter rather than the political journalists who cover the campaign. It's right up their alley. But I'm sure they are all tittering away in the newsroom over it nonetheless, erecting ever sillier narratives about the significance of Hillary's shocking flashing episode on the senate floor. It's tailor made for them.