Patterico's Pontifications

3/9/2008

Girl Power, Clinton-Style

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 6:34 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Tina Brown of Newsweek has an article about Hillary Clinton and the women that support her entitled Hillary and the Invisible Women. It is, to put it charitably, a gender-based puff piece that I consider an insult to American women.

However, on the slim chance I overreacted to this article, or for those who may not be as hard-hearted as I am, here are a few excerpts that may touch your feminist hearts and minds:

At a campaign stop in Westerville, Ohio –

“She stands with her hardy brown ankle boots planted firmly center stage—the indomitable image of a seasoned, capable 60-year-old woman, handsomely groomed as always in her imperturbable (blue, this time) pantsuit, belting out bread-and-butter positions on health care, No Child Left Behind and college loans.”

At the Clinton campaign office in Columbus, Ohio –

“There was just an outpouring about the way she was being treated by the media,” Ruccia said. “It was something we hadn’t seen in a long time. We all felt, as women, we had made a lot of progress, and we saw this as an attack of misogyny that was trying to beat her down.”

From the sound of it, in every bedroom and boardroom in America –

“In the relentless youth culture of the early 21st century, if you are 50 and female, the novel that’s being written on your forehead every day is “Invisible Woman.” All over the country there are vigorous, independent, self-liberated boomer women—women who possess all the management skills that come from raising families while holding down demanding jobs, women who have experience, enterprise and, among the empty nesters, a little financial independence, yet still find themselves steadfastly dissed and ignored.”

And, finally, in every Mother-Daughter home in America –

“What saddens boomer women who love Hillary is that their twentysomething daughters don’t share their view of her heroic role. Instead they’ve been swept up by that new Barack magic. It’s not their fault, and not Hillary’s, either. The very scar tissue that older women see as proof of her determination just embarrasses their daughters, killing off for them all the insouciant elation that ought to come with girl power in the White House.

She might have a chance of winning them over yet, if she set about dividing the Obama girls from the Obama boys. Maybe start with some mother and daughter rallies in Pennsylvania, summoning an audience that would mirror the winning image of Chelsea onstage at her side on Tuesday night in Ohio.”

Brown concludes the article by noting the Clinton campaign was “raising the roof along with the band to the old 1965 McCoys hit Hang on Sloopy.” She described it as the anthem of the 50-something “Invisible Women” who are the backbone of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

That’s odd. I could swear I heard Helen Reddy belting out I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar.

— DRJ

20 Responses to “Girl Power, Clinton-Style”

  1. I see we’re back to the “elect Hillary because you’re a woman” mantra. I am a woman. I am a thinking woman. I do not elect any candidate based on their skin, gender, age or other physical feature. I vote them in because of their policy. Why is that so hard to understand?

    Chris (d4124c)

  2. It boggles the mind that some people fail to grasp the fact that Hillary Clinton simply is unappealing to around half of the electorate, and rather uninspiring to a large portion of the other half. Hillary is a Democrat version of Newt Gingrich — someone whose intellect, drive, and ambition everyone generally respects, but who inspires ambivalence in half of her own party and outright disgust in virtually all of the other party.

    Obama is wrong: Hillary is not “likable enough.”

    JVW (85f15c)

  3. Ugh. It demeans womens’ inteligence and assumes that if you’re one of the ‘girls’, you’ll be on board for Hillary. The thing that is troubling is there is an assumption that because one is a woman, one will automatically support Hillary – and the issues be damned. This is the biggest insult of all.

    I don’t feel hard-hearted in this at all, rather practical and pragmatic and smart enough to realize the POTUS is so much more than gender and scar tissue.

    Dana (b34c3d)

  4. p.s. that is not to say the playing field is level. It isn’t. Obama’s clothing, hairstyle, age lines, etc are never scrutinized by the media, as Hillary’s are (even Rush took unkind potshots). But ironically, even Tina Brown in this linked article, makes mention of Hillary’s clothing and shoes as an indicator of something sturdy and reliable…

    However, when this is said,

    “All over the country there are vigorous, independent, self-liberated boomer women—women who possess all the management skills that come from raising families while holding down demanding jobs, women who have experience, enterprise and, among the empty nesters, a little financial independence, yet still find themselves steadfastly dissed and ignored.”,

    …it makes me think how ironic is it is that never before in American history have women aspired to and very much realized positions of relevance and power as they have now. And at the top of the list would be Oprah herself (54), and the list goes on. I hate it when the great strides made are ignored for the sake of trying to prove a point.

    Dana (b34c3d)

  5. Agree totally with the previous comments(#s 1,2,3 as of this writing). My wife and I raised 4 children. She took time off from her teaching job to stay at home when they were little. She’s also an excellent teacher, wouldn’t even consider an admin. job because she loves the classroom. Our 2 grown daughters are very good at their jobs, can think for themselves, and aren’t particularly enamored of either Hillary or Barak either (they think he’s an empty suit). The Newsweek article is pure, unadulterated crap.

    sam (a75ffa)

  6. Good comment, Sam. In addition, in your last sentence you (perhaps unwittingly) found a theme between this post and my previous post entitled “Word of the Day.”

    DRJ (a431ca)

  7. I recently watched a re run of the Dick Van Dyke show,where Laura was taking an English comp class.She’d written a dreadful essay.Sally asked Rob,”How old is she?Because this is really good if she’s 14 years old.”

    corwin (493172)

  8. “She described it as the anthem of the 50-something “Invisible Women” who are the backbone of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

    That’s odd. I could swear I heard Helen Reddy belting out I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar.”

    I could have sworn that the anthem for 50-something women like Hillary is “These Boots Are Made For Walking”.

    Jerri Lynn Ward (bf2d8c)

  9. …steadfastly dissed and ignored.

    They’re just not that into you!

    The narcissism and girliehness of this article embarrasses me as a woman of their age.

    Patricia (f56a97)

  10. What saddens boomer women who love Hillary is that their twentysomething daughters don’t share their view of her heroic role.

    Heroic?
    Baking all those cookies has damaged their reasoning.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  11. …the indomitable image of a seasoned, capable 60-year-old woman…

    “There was just an outpouring about the way she was being treated by the media,” Ruccia said. “It was something we hadn’t seen in a long time. We all felt, as women, we had made a lot of progress, and we saw this as an attack of misogyny that was trying to beat her down.”

    And, these are the people who support the woman who is supposed to stand up to the men who put their women in burkas and perform honor killings?

    “In the relentless youth culture of the early 21st century, if you are 50 and female, the novel that’s being written on your forehead every day is “Invisible Woman.”

    That’s interesting in that it was the sort of novel that the boomers, originators of the relentless youth culture of the latter 20th century, wrote about their own parents; and, they are still writing it about conservative women (and men).

    Someone buy them a dictionary with the word “irony” highlighted.

    Paul (0f949e)

  12. this is funny shit. i liked the imperturbable pantsuit. the jeans i have on now are world-weary and cynical, but my long underwear top is cautiously optimistic. when i got to the new barack magic, i could hear santana in the background:

    she’s my barack magic woman
    she’s trying to make a devil out of me.

    assistant devil's advocate (10791e)

  13. What I want to know is, when the phone rings in the White House at 3:00 a.m. do you want the person who answers it to be wearing imperturbable clothing, or some sissy pajamas? I’d say imperturbable clothes and hardy boots will surely put the fear of God into the enemies of America.

    Don (c9e244)

  14. Hillary sleeps with her boots on.

    Techie (ed20d9)

  15. This isn’t a feminism problem. It’s an identity-politics problem, and it infects the entire Democratic Party (including the campaigns of both remaining candidates) and most of the mainstream media.

    So yeah, it’s 2008. A white woman or a black man can be a credible presidential candidate notwithstanding their race or sex. That’s nice. But duh! Unless you’re utterly fixated on slapping labels on people, and then viewing them and everything they say and do through the context of that label, that should be the end of the discussion about Obama’s race or Clinton’s sex. Whether Obama’s “black enough” or whether Hillary’s pantsuits are color-coordinated with her nail polish have nothing to do with either’s fitness to be POTUS.

    But the Dems and the MSM are indeed fixated on slapping lables on people, and then viewing everything they say and do through the context of that label. That, of course, is the most widespread, and the most invidious, sexist and racist philosophy in America today.

    The only way to stop discrimination on the basis of race and sex is to stop discriminating on the basis of race and sex. I know it took a brand new SCOTUS Chief Justice to come up with that bon mot (and I’m stretching his phrasing slightly to include sex discrimination), but it’s self-evidently true.

    Beldar (433d17)

  16. my cautiously optimistic long underwear top (see #12) just asked me an interesting question about anthropomorphic clothing: how should we properly characterize monica lewinsky’s blue dress? did it consciously arrogate historical significance to itself like an attention-hogging diva, or was it more like an ingenue, innocent and unconscious of her own allure, who inadvertently stepped into the path of a full charge of arkansas presidential man-mayonnaise?

    assistant devil's advocate (10791e)

  17. “She described it as the anthem of the 50-something “Invisible Women” who are the backbone of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

    That sounds about right. 50 or so “invisible women” for Hillary. Can’t be many more than that!

    kimsch (2ce939)

  18. Kimsch,

    The same thought occurred to me when I typed that, but I decided to leave it in anyway — kind of my own little inside joke. How delightful that we can share it together.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  19. “Brown concludes the article by noting the Clinton campaign was “raising the roof along with the band to the old 1965 McCoys hit Hang on Sloopy.” She described it as the anthem of the 50-something “Invisible Women” who are the backbone of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”

    I figured Tina Brown’s journalistic prowess would have led to the discovery that “Hang on Sloopy” is the official State of Ohio Rock Song and a staple at Ohio State football games. So playing it at a rally in Columbus was just a typical politician, pandering to the locals. However if the song does get hijacked by the 50 something feminists crowd, it will make even the most avid Buckeye fan sick to their stomach. You might see 90,000+ Buckeye fans puking in unison in the Horseshoe this fall, if Hillary get the nomination.

    Buckeye Tom (5b7fb2)

  20. I didn’t know that, Buckeye Tom, and it makes a lot more sense. Maybe Tina Brown hopes the Clinton campaign will chose its songs to please its older female supporters, but pleasing the local OSU fans makes a lot more sense.

    DRJ (a431ca)


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