People need to stop pretending that Hillary Clinton breaking some “glass ceiling” is a good thing. More than a stadium of people are in tears over the prospect as if it is the fulfillment of feminist prophecy or destiny. That’s fair enough to feel that way, larger context aside, but I say be careful what you wish for. Not every step is forward just because it’s “historical”.
First, let’s get something straight. Hillary Clinton isn’t a feminist because she’s a woman any more than it makes me a chauvinist because I’m a man. In fact, I am a feminist. Hillary is not. Even if she didn’t actively protect her husband’s exploitation of women, she has little if any reason to justify waving the “fighting for women” flag.
I admire strong women. I married one. I believe in matriarchy as the default setting for us as a species. And there are SO many women I wanted to see aspire to the Oval Office. Hillary isn’t one of them, so naturally I will be accused of being scared of strong women or hating them altogether. But I don’t care. That says a lot about them and nothing about me.
But they are the voters who will damn integrity for a historical platitude. Women voting for her because she is a woman makes as much sense as vegetarians voting for Hitler. (BTW, no, I didn’t go there. If you think that statement is an attempt at comparison, you need reading lessons.)
Worst of all, if Hillary becomes the encyclopedia entry for the first (American) woman president, it will be marred by countless dark stains where her soul and conscience should be. You can only rationalize away so much by a “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” and rewrite her husband’s habits as her nobly overcoming a personal obstacle, when her marriage was arguably one of deeply calculated political advantage in the first place.
Do we want to reward and then deify a woman BECAUSE she played her cards right with a powerful man, who to this day makes back door deals on runways to protect her from her own sins? And what else had to be done to protect her from scandals that would have resulted in incarceration had they been anyone else? There’s a long, well-documented trail if you’re willing to go down that path of discovery. And if you don’t, the historians and our descendants will, and will judge those who refused to look.
The bottom line?
Do you really think it doesn’t matter what SORT of woman is the next president?
Can you ignore or deny her blatant stances on military interventionism, environmental issues, and her insanely pervasive connections to Wall Street? Doing-anything-to-stop-Trump aside, at what point is this a voter IQ test rather than just blind-sidedness due to personal bias?
To me, a candidate is not foremost a woman or a man, but if I chose a woman, it would be a real woman, not a caricature of a “strong woman”. Should we admire a man because they are “strong”? The strong women I know can smile without years of practice in front of a mirror. They can stand up to criticism without playing the party or gender card. They don’t whine about double-standards because they set their own standards.
You may not accept that the decades of scandals and investigations are more than enemies taking advantage of wishfully perceived or contrived sins. You may not have researched years of back-page-reported international connections that reveal the Clintons to be among the most dangerous and unaccountable people on earth. You may be among so many people who could see her eat live babies on stage and find a way to make it “not true” or the concoction of adversaries and haters.
But if you vote for her because she is a woman, it will be an act based on the same sexism you pretend to fight against. If it’s some twisted ends-justify-the-means to get a woman president at all costs, you are responsible for the potential irreparable degradation of feminism by choosing the WRONG woman. She will become — as unfair as it is to those who come after her — the expectation, the model, the stereotype.
You may be proud for a while of your part in history for its own selfish sake, but you choice will just as likely be an embarrassment to your children and grandchildren.
That’s why, even if I did not know beyond any shadow of a doubt the prolific political corruption of the Clintons, I would not vote for her. My wife would not vote for her. And my daughter, for whose own feminism gives mine impetus and hope, would never, ever, vote for her simply because she is a “woman”.
Don’t expect not be judged by us real feminists if you do.