I'm wearing my Hillary t-shirt today, in celebration. I had started a blog post in reaction to asshole Jake Tapper's post on ABC.com (I refuse to link to it) after Clinton's debate appearance in New Hampshire. For responding firmly and cogently on a question, and refusing to accept the condescension that John Edwards was attempting to hand her, Hillary was dubbed, among other things, "shrill" and "angry."
And the comments . . woah. Why is it that it's unacceptable to refer to Obama's race and background in perjorative words, but it's perfectly acceptable to call a woman candidate a "bitch," or even more disturbingly, a "c***?" (I hate that word so much I refuse to type it.)
Well, trust priestess Gloria Steinem to hit the nail on the head: It's all about the boys, and the fact that they are scared. In her Op-Ed piece in the NYT, "Women are Never Front Runners," Steinem says "Gender is the most restricting force in American life," and reminds us that black men received the vote 50 years before women did. American men, apparently, don't have the cojones to support a woman president.
And when Hillary suffered a defeat in a primary that she never really thought she would win, the boys emerged. They hooted and hollered over the perceived comedown of a powerful woman, one who's consistently been held to higher performance standards on the campaign trail, and who has handled the challenge with grace and dignity. The worse they've been able to come up with to date? A few debate missteps on one incident of "tearing up." Get real, guys.
Who came to the rescue? Women. Out in force. Even those who previously said they weren't supporting Hillary noticed how unfair her treatment was. Read Rebecca Traister's excellent article in Salon. Women are beginning to realize that the calm around Hillary's candidacy was unnatural, that standing back and waiting for "another woman candidate" may mean waiting for a day that will never come. The glass ceiling seems to get higher and higher, but it never seems to go away.
And look at the countries we revile. We're smug about Pakistan, aren't we? And yet the crazies there had the balls to put a woman in office years ago, and then martyr her just to make her story stick. India. Israel (okay, we don't revile Israel, but most Americans still think we're better than they are). Even ever-proper Brits thought a chick would do a good job. But we still keep sticking the Christian white guys in office, even while they become an endangered species. And if we can't find a white one, well then, we'll take a black or brown one, gosh-darn it. Anyone but a woman. (Never mind that we make up the majority of the voting population.)
Boys, beware. I think women might be waking up. I want to send a giant shout-out to all the sisters who marched out in New Hampshire and handed a great big "up yours" to self-appointed pundits like Chris Mathews. Let's keep up the good work. Carpe diem, ladies.