A very powerful and moving essay. This guy (I am going to assume its a man) pulls no punches with his admonishment of Hillary Clinton and feminism. Read on...
By P. T. Mycas
I have no objection to electing a female President of the United States. As a matter of fact, I believe there are millions of women who could do a better job than the current male President. But that's a pretty low bar. I would like to vote for the most qualified person for President, male or female. Because I do not believe Hillary Clinton would be President for all Americans, I do not believe she is qualified.
Politically, I like to think of myself as an Independent, but in order to vote in primaries, I declare as a Democrat. I am liberal. I hold the usual liberal views with one exception. I generally do not like feminism. Feminism is defined as equality between women and men, but the name itself belies this definition. It is like trying to coin a word which expresses the harmony and equality between Ford and Chevy owners and coming up with the name "Fordism." Chevy owners would not allow such nonsense. By saying feminism is about equality, feminists are hiding that much of feminism is about sexism. Why have we let feminists get away with this?
Of course, there are several varieties of feminism, some of which are fine. For example, I have little problem with equity feminism (is that an oxymoron?). However, I think radical feminists form, for the most part, a sexist hate group which has hijacked feminism.
Hillary Rodham Clinton appears to be far closer to the radical feminists than to the equity feminists.
Living History is her rather pompously-entitled autobiography. It is also a long campaign speech, in which she engages in blatant Presidential self-promotion, especially aimed at women. I found it a disorganized and rambling, stream-of-consciousness screed. It felt more like a diary.
As one might expect in a diary, there are many examples showing her emotional side. Perhaps these examples are to counter her reputation for being an ice queen. Or perhaps they are to appeal to female voters. But I feel they revealed weakness, insecurity, indecisiveness and superficiality. For example, she inadvertently showed her weakness when she said she couldn't eat or sleep and lost 10 pounds before testifying before the Grand Jury. Another time she mentioned being "flat on my back and unable to move" due to tension and high heels. And during the Starr investigations she mentioned that she thought Bill was sailing along, while she was "buffeted by every gust of wind." There were also many examples of her holding back tears and leaning on friends for support. She several times described her separation anxiety when Chelsea left for Stanford. She quoted Eleanor Roosevelt as saying, "A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she's in hot water." I do not think Hillary is a very strong tea bag. Indecisiveness showed in her slowness in marrying Bill, deciding on a career, moving to Arkansas, and running for the Senate. She often complained about how the press focused on her hair and clothes, but the book was peppered with examples of her focus on appearance and style, hers as well as others'.
My biggest objection to President Hillary is that she would only be President for about half of the people of the United States---the inny half. Living History reflects this. She constantly plays the gender card in the book. She is obsessive about her focus on women. Certainly different people could come to different counts, but I counted 315 instances of her playing the gender card---that's once every 1.7 pages. Some of the examples are fairly insignificant, such as using her maiden name, adding a bust of Eleanor Roosevelt to the Roosevelt Room, and telling us that so-and-so was the first woman to do such-and-such. Some examples may even exhibit pettiness. For example, she got a haircut and a perm to show solidarity with a woman whose hair was criticized. However, most examples are significant, and added together, they indicate a maniacal focus on women and women's issues.
In fact, Clinton states explicitly that working on women's issues is a prime focus for her. In the first paragraph she says she wasn't born a women's advocate but was free to make that choice. Later, she details the organizational and staff changes she made upon becoming First Lady, so that she could work on women's issues. She also mentions at one point that she "had been working for twenty-five years on improving the status and dignity of women...." At the Democratic Convention in 2000, she thanked the nation for allowing her to work here and abroad on issues that matter most to women. At another point, she mentions that Admiral Elmo Zumwalt told Chelsea that her mother will be remembered "for opening the eyes of the world" to women's rights.
While deliberating to run for the Senate, she writes, "I had traveled the world on behalf of women's rights...." She details in the book the many trips she has taken as First Lady (e.g., China, Mongolia, Africa, Ireland, South Asia, Australia, Italy, The Philippines, and Thailand) and the focus on women's issues of each trip. She met with women and women's groups, at girls' schools, women's banks, and maternity hospitals, and gave speeches to women's groups on women's issues. In fact, on her trips without Bill she focused almost exclusively on women's issues.
She also seems to only think of herself in gender terms. In her testimony to the Congress on health care she said, "I'm here as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a woman."
Her focus on women occasionally makes her overly sensitive. For example, after telling us that she is skilled at public speaking, she then relates how after she had testified before an Arkansas legislative joint session, a male legislator commented that perhaps the state had elected the wrong Clinton to the governorship. It's hard to know exactly how the legislator meant this, but it sounds like a compliment to me. However, Clinton took this as an insult to women. She thought the legislator was expressing amazement that a "woman" could be articulate and knowledgeable. She refers to this offense as the "talking dog syndrome." Apparently, this is a distortion of a quip by Samuel Johnson: "A woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hinder legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all." She was similarly offended after testifying before the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee on health care.
I am also concerned about her appointments, advisers, and staff if she becomes President. It appears nearly all of her advisers and staff when she was First Lady were women. Living History shows a group picture of her staff and only 2 of the 30 shown are men. She seems to surround herself with women, which included going to a women's college and attending an all-female prayer group. Cronyism has been a serious problem of the Bush administration. We do not need to continue the problem with Clinton hiring women just because they are women, when there may be more qualified men available.
As First Lady, Clinton often met with world leaders and their spouses. In Living History, she nearly always (25 times) describes the spouses in more glowing terms than the leaders themselves. The one exception to this rule is when she talks about meeting the female Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Brundtland. Brundtland's husband is not mentioned.
Clinton also shows some antipathy toward men. For example in Living History she says that in fifth grade she had a reputation for being able to stand up to the rowdy boys. Also, she twice refers to the Chinese saying that women hold up half the sky, but adds, "but in most of the world, it's really more than half." It appears she doesn't think much of men. She also twice quotes Joyce McCartan's condescending comment, "It takes women to bring men to their senses." After the Lewinsky scandal, she writes that she "wanted to wring Bill's neck." This also brings to mind her recent "joke" when asked how she would handle the evil men in the world. She implied she had experience from dealing with her husband. When confronted with the harshness of this "joke," she responded, "You guys keep telling me to lighten up, be funny. I get a little funny and now I'm being psychoanalyzed." Well, yes. Why did she choose to make fun of men? Was she really joking? If she thinks her husband is evil, what can the rest of the male population expect? Or was she just pandering to the lowest instincts of female voters?
In Clinton's speech to the UN Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 she said, "...it is no longer acceptable to discuss women's rights as separate from human rights...human rights are women's rights...and women's rights are human rights, once and for all." Perhaps she meant this rhetorically, but it is odd that she demands equating women's rights with human rights considering she does quite the opposite throughout Living History. She constantly makes "women's rights" the focus of attention and treats them as separate from "human rights." In fact, the two phrases often occur in the same sentence, confirming their difference. I suspect her purpose in equating the two is to deny that women's rights are "special" rights, which is belied by her book. She does something similar when accused of feminizing politics, by insisting that she is humanizing politics. This is the same trick I mentioned earlier when "feminism" is defined as "equality." It is actually an attempt to deny her own sexism. And by saying women's rights are human rights, and human rights are women's rights, she is strongly implying that men have no rights, or that they are not human.
Living History is not the only example of her woman-centric attitude. Her Talking-It-Over columns during her years as First Lady often dealt with women's issues. Examples included topics such as birth control for women, low-income women, a woman-friendly workplace, encouraging women to vote, her trip to the United Nations Conference on Women, drive-thru deliveries, the U.S. women's soccer team, trafficking of women, renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, women's rights in Viet Nam, Irish women for peace, microcredit for women, the pay gap, and women leaders. And two of her last columns summarized her work on women's issues as First Lady. Her campaign website also has a page on women's issues, but none on men's issues. This page includes the incredibly popular but incredibly wrong statement that "women still earn only $.76 cents (sic) for every dollar men earn for doing the same work."
Clinton has often touted her concern for children. How much of this is genuine and how much is a smokescreen for her concern for women? In her speech to the Democratic convention in 1996, she listed eight ways for the government and citizens to help children: longer maternity hospital stays, home nurses and hot lines for new mothers, expansion of the new family leave law, flex-time, health-insurance for all, tax breaks for people who adopt, an end to racial preferences in adoption, and reading proficiency by the third grade. Most of these have more to do with helping women than children.
Contrary to what feminists want us to believe, American women have a tremendous amount of power today. They dominate politics because there are more female than male voters. Therefore, all elected officials must cater to women in order to be elected. Women control the economy because they spend nearly all of the money while their husbands are alive (the spending gap), and all of the money when their husbands die. The spending gap results in women controlling the media. Women also receive much power from chivalry and imposed guilt, which has probably increased during feminism. And let us not forget the ever-present sexual power that women have over men. Just think of all the powerful men humbled by women like Monica Lewinsky, Donna Rice, Elizabeth Ray, Fanny Fox, Jessica Hahn, etc.
I'd like to say more about the spending gap. The power in money comes not from making it but from spending it. So the ever-present controversy about the pay gap is misplaced. The spending gap is far more significant. Women spend roughly 80 cents of every consumer dollar. This gives them enormous power. Advertisers, as a result, aim their advertising at women. As a consequence of this, nearly all advertising media must also aim at women in order to attract advertisers. So, newspapers, television, magazines, etc., bias their content toward women. These media pander to women at nearly every opportunity, presenting woman as strong, intelligent, victimized, and superior, while presenting men as weak, dumb, victimizing, and inferior. This results in such media fiascoes as those associated with the pay gap, the Duke lacrosse team, girls’ self-esteem crisis, domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday, Jessica Lynch, and runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks. The media seem to have new rules like: Focus on female victims. If female victims can't be found, focus on mothers or wives of victims. Focus on discrimination against women. If discrimination against women in the United States can't be found, focus on discrimination against women in the third world. Highlight all accomplishments of women. As well as becoming more and more tabloid to appeal to women, the media are also discriminating against men, resulting in the devaluing of men by society. I suspect female candidates for office are also receiving more beneficial coverage.
Another example of women's power is that chivalry results in an inordinate amount of charity going to women. For example, what disease receives more attention and funding than breast cancer? Why? Lung cancer kills more women and prostate cancer kills almost as many men. And why ignore pancreatic, liver, or brain cancers? Obviously, we value women's lives more than men's. Some criticized this inordinate amount of attention on breast cancer by pointing out that many more women die of heart disease. In response, a campaign was instituted to focus on heart disease, but only in women. The Go Red for Women campaign focuses only on women even though heart disease kills a comparable number of men and kills them 10 years younger.
Considering that we abhor gender discrimination, women's power has resulted in some odd legislation. For example, even though girls are doing much better than boys in schools and colleges, we have the Women's Educational Equity Act. Even though women participate in school extracurricular activities more than boys, we have Title IX enforcement only in sports, the one area where boys dominate. Even though men generally die five years earlier than women and die earlier in 14 of the 15 leading causes of death, we have the Women's Health Equity Act and the Women's Health Initiative focusing only on women's health. Even though men are victims of violence 2 to 3 times more often than women, we have the Violence Against Women Act giving women special protections and programs. Even though men receive harsher prison sentences than women for the same crimes, states have instituted women's commissions to study discrimination against women in the justice system. And the ironic fact about all of this legislation is that it was passed by, for all practical purposes, male legislators.
We constantly hear that the country is becoming more polarized, with more and more people unwilling to compromise. Clinton, with her openly women-based attitude, will add to this problem by separating the sexes and contributing to antagonism between them. We need a President to bring the country together.
All politicians pander to women. But I feel this pandering would become extreme under a Hillary Clinton Presidency. Women who were influenced by women's studies programs and feminism from an early age are now entering power positions such as CEO and President where they can exert much influence over policies and direction.
If these women bring radical feminism with them, men will become, more and more, second class citizens. Because of their chivalrous nature, I fear men will do little to stop this.
Some women are probably saying, "Good, it's about time." But I don't see how discrimination against our great-grandmothers justifies discrimination against our brothers now. I expect women to be more magnanimous than that. Let me remind you of Harry Burn. He voted for the 19th Amendment to give women the right to vote after his mother told him "be a good boy, Harry, and do the right thing." In fact, nearly all of the legislators who did the right thing and voted for the 19th Amendment were men. It is time for women (and men) to do the right thing. Hillary Clinton would be a disaster for half of the country.