Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Oh the Sexism...

In a recent communications class, the question was posed to the women: Can you be anything you want to be? There was some chatter, and then I responded, "I don't think that I can be president." Besides not meeting the age requirement, I think it may be a long road until I, or any woman for that matter, will become president. I'm really pulling for Hillary Rodham Clinton in the upcoming election, but I suppose we'll see what happens.

Curiously, though, Susan Estrich of claims that the First Whiffs of Sexismin in Hillary's Presidential Coverage are already upon us. I know that there will be talk and media coverage about Mrs. Clinton, but Estrich makes a valid point in the buzz she has already generated.
"Dick Morris criticizes her for the 'coy pretense of indecision' that he says characterized her attitude towards the presidency until she won her Senate seat. Who is kidding whom? Was Dick fooled? Was anyone in New York confused? Since when does putting first things first, dealing with challenges in an orderly fashion, constitute a 'coy pretense of indecision?' Did anyone accuse George W. Bush of a 'coy pretense of indecision' when he ran for re-election as governor of Texas – and then ran for president?"

Point taken! And really, when was the last time that you heard a male referred to as 'coy'? I'd say that the word has a pretty feminine connotation. But wait, it just gets worse.
"Dick Morris said to Fox’s John Gibson that Hillary would insist on being called President Rodham if/when she is elected president. How does he know? He hasn’t spoken to either Clinton in years, other than a handshake with the former president in a hotel lobby. Yet there he is, pontificating as to how she will insist on being addressed as president. And on television no less, taken seriously, as if he knows. But then, when it comes to Hillary, hysteria reigns, and the facts don’t matter."

Sounds to me as though Mr. Morris may be a little intimidated by Mrs. Clinton, or Mrs. Rodham for that matter. In all honesty, why would it matter? Just because a woman keeps her last name, or hyphenates it for that matter, doesn't mean that she's a bra-burning liberal feminist. Mr. Morris could use a little reality check.
"You don’t have to like Hillary to hate sexism. You don’t have to sympathize with Hillary to take issue with how she is treated. It will be a long road to November 2008. And don’t expect anyone to be coy when it comes to Hillary. Our reactions may, in the end, count for as much as anything she does. Interesting times, these."

I can't wait to see what's said when or if she actually enters the race. It will be an interesting road ahead, that's for sure.


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