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Are We Living in a Post-Feminist World? Hardly.

070112_hillary_vmed_7a.widec.jpgI guess the sudden onset of blind, all-encompassing disdain I’ve developed for Hillary Clinton over the last few months has obscured something that I didn’t realize existed to the extent it still does. I’m used to seeing ugly misogyny in the gossip world, but aside from the usual right-wing nutjobs, I’m not as accustomed to seeing it as much in politics. However, New York Magazine ran a fascinating piece over the weekend on Hillary Clinton and the way her candidacy has brought the sexist douchebags out of the woodwork, including the punditry world (which I mostly avoid these days, outside of Anderson Cooper). Moreover, it shows that — as much as many of us would like to believe it — we’re not living in a post-feminist world. Here’s a taste:

It was hardly a revelation to learn that sexism lived in the minds and hearts of right-wing crackpots and Internet nut-jobs, but it was something of a surprise to discover it flourished among members of the news media. The frat boys at MSNBC portrayed Clinton as a castrating scold, with Tucker Carlson commenting, “Every time I hear Hillary Clinton speak, I involuntarily cross my legs,” and Chris Matthews calling her male endorsers “castratos in the eunuch chorus.” Matthews also dubbed Clinton “the grieving widow of absurdity,” saying, of her presidential candidacy and senatorial seat, “She didn’t win there on her merit. She won because everybody felt, ‘My God, this woman stood up under humiliation.’ ” While that may be partly true—Hillary’s approval ratings soared in the wake of l’affaire Lewinsky—Matthews’s take reduced her universally recognized political successes to rewards for public sympathy, as though Clinton’s intelligence and long record of public service count for nothing. Would a male candidate be viewed so reductively?

Check out the entire article.

| Comments (15)


A male candidate wouldn't have married into her position in the first place. If Hillary had some claim to fame outside of her marriage to Bill, she's be a more interesting candidate. But as it stands, her ability to lay any claim to a Senate seat (in New York, no less) is completely based in her experience as First Lady.

As a feminist, I would have liked to have supported a female presidential candidate, but no one who uses tears as a campaign tool.

I gotta say, even though I find most of the pundit crowd's behavior, with regards to this at least, repugnant, Chris Matthews line was at least clever.

Assholish, but clever.

Can you clarify "married into her position"? My understanding was that the Clinton's married before either of them entered the political arena. So are you saying a male candidate wouldn't have married Bill Clinton? And considering all of the works she did for the rights of children before her husband became president or even governor I think she does have some claim to fame besides having been married to a womanizer.

One more thing. Dustin:

I would think that the guy who said this:

"Ha! She would’ve left a church with a controversial preacher, but she wouldn’t leave her husband when he fucked half of Little Rock and D.C.? What happened to stand by your man, Hillary? That’s all Barack was doing. And at least Jeremiah Wright didn’t run the risk of giving Obama an STD.

Goddamnit, Hillary: You’re making me lash out at Bill, and I don’t want to lash out at Bill, but I’m starting to understand why the right detests you so much — it’s infectious."

Would be the least bit surprised about the extent of sexism brought out by the Hillary campaign.

OK, a couple of items.

One, I don't think the dislike for some characteristics that are primarily found in one gender or another qualifies as misogyny or misanthropy. A person's dislike of a woman's bitchiness is the equivalent of a person's dislike for chest thumping by a man.

Two, she won the Senatorial race because her oppponent was Rudy Guliani.

Christ! Don't any of you pay attention?

You're right Khia, only golddiggers go to an ivy league undergrad, and Yale Law. Clearly those are not worthwhile credentials in and of themselves.

Basically, Hillary can't win. If she shows emotion, she's fake and conniving, or not "strong" enough to run the country. If she's assertive, she's an emasculating bitch.

It's not her showing emotion that causes me to dislike her. Honest feelings would be welcomed like they are most everywhere else.

I liked Margaret Thatcher and she was certainly assertive. So it's not that.

What I think is that it's the disingenuousness that permeates her whole campaign! I just feel slimed whenever I see her. It is the lack of integrity that causes most of us to dislike her.

BTW, would it be inappropriate to say that Three Elle is just a cute as shit little name?

Well, when I see John McCain, all I can think is that he used my University Commencement to whore out his book, but I digress...

Ha! I'm actually a bit concerned. I graduate in a month (egads!), and will no longer be a 3L. What will my alias be then???

i dont know how the hell you didn't think misogyny existed in politics. it is EVERYWHERE, my friend.

Bill Weldon: You had me with both comments until "I liked Margaret Thatcher". Really? This means you're either an arch conservative or really haven't looked at the havoc she wreaked on Britain and the social conditions and divides that she fostered and that persist to this day. The woman is evil incarnate. She makes Dick Cheney look like a do-gooder. There's a reason why she was the leading light in the campaign to lobby against Pinochet being prosecuted for crimes committed while in office.

Arch conservative? That sounds like arch bullshit. (ok, I admit that's a little lame). I do know that the excesses of the nanny state in GB were addressed by her in ways most thought were impossible. Also, it was the very assertiveness she exhibited that was so cool.

Maybe next month Three Elle can change the name to "Jesus Keerist, am I going to be able to pass that fuckin' exam?" Let me know if that's helpful.

Bill Weldon: Hillary Clinton defeated Rick Lazio for the NY senatorial seat. Rudy dropped out because of his medical problems and basically his fucked up life.

You believe that about his health problems? Anyway, Rudy was the only person in the whole fucking world that could lose a popularity contest to Hilary.

"But as it stands, her ability to lay any claim to a Senate seat (in New York, no less) is completely based in her experience as First Lady."

Khia, even if this were true, why is being "First Lady" an invalid prerequisite for Senate? But, of course, it's not true. Hillary has been involved in public service since she was in college.

And Bill, the sexist aspect of this statement, "A person's dislike of a woman's bitchiness is the equivalent of a person's dislike for chest thumping by a man." is the implication that bitchiness is a flaw of only women, while chest-thumping a flaw of only men.

We may never know what Hillary would have been have she not married Bill. She never ran for office until after he was President.I do know that not many men could have parlayed their marriage to an office holder into a Senate seat.

I do know that being married to Bill no more qualified her to be president than being married to me qualifies my husband to practice law.

To borrow from Kanye, I ain't saying she's a golddigger, but sleeping with the president and putting up with him cheating on you doesn't qualify you for office, either.