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Hot For Hillary

July 28, 2011

Originally posted 8November2007

I read an article earlier today that said that both male and female feminists have better and more satisfying relationships. (more and better sex, too!) I was enjoying the article immensely until I got to the end where it said that the suspected reason that men who said they were married to feminists were more satisfied is perhaps because they have help sharing the financial burden. Are we still defining feminism in such narrow terms? And is this the only good that has come from feminism? Help paying the mortgage?

Feminism is still a highly misunderstood word. I once dated a man who announced to his family that I was a feminist, but not THAT kind, so not to worry. You know the ugly bitchy angry man-hating lesbian kind that many people picture when they hear the word.

There’s this person, named Hillary Clinton, seeking the democratic nomination for President. You may have heard of her. She’s a woman, as my pronoun suggests. This is drumming up a lot of conversation about women in this country, as it should. Hillary has been accused of playing the feminist card when it’s convenient for her. (as far as I can tell, this is just how Hillary rolls) If Hillary captures the Democratic nomination, I will vote for her. Not because she is a woman, but because I believe she is better suited for the job than any of the Republican candidates. But I have some qualms. I fear that Hillary will do the job “like a man”. I wonder if she has any choice. Perhaps the only way to achieve that level of power is to behave in a masculine way (all the while being criticized for it). And if that’s true, then Hillary being elected President really isn’t an indication of how far women have come. If we’re still requiring women to act like men in order to achieve the same status that men have held for years, then all we’ve really accomplished is gender-ignoring.

Hillary’s supporters right now are young, single, working, and middle to low class women. Older, wealthier, white women don’t like her very much. I find this interesting since Hillary herself is an older, wealthier, white woman. Self-hatred? Perhaps. Maybe the difference in opinion lies in the fact that young single women’s ambitions are still intact and haven’t yet suffered through the compromises required to “have it all” in a patriarchal society. Older married women, on the other hand have been through it. Maybe they tried to balance a family and marriage with career and personal ambitions and maybe it hasn’t worked out the way they’d imagined. And then comes Hillary – ambitious and still thinking she can be the woman from the Virginia Slims ads. Hillary’s ambition has always been her downfall. Women hate her for it just as vehemently as men do. How dare her want what men have wanted for centuries! How dare her stay with her cheating husband, without apology, for political gain! (Sarkozy, anyone?) Or worse, for love! How dare her!

I do love the idea of a woman president, but voting for a woman just because she’s a woman – well that’s anti-feminist. Feminism would require that you vote for the person who will best further and uphold feminist ideals of peace, equality, and freedom for everyone, male or female. I think Kucinich is probably the only candidate who is a true feminist, but we all know he’ll never get the nomination. He’s not masculine (or tall) enough and therefore himself a victim of this patriarchal system (and the munchkin genes).

So what’s a girl to do? Well this girl bought her brother a t-shirt that shows support for Hillary by objectifying her, and then made him wear it in front of his mostly Republican family. And then took a picture.

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