The Kitchen not the (White) House
I've said it before and I will say it again: I am no fan of Hillary Clinton's. My feelings about the misogyny shown towards her and her run for the White House are in no way connected to my politics, except sexual politics.
I want to make that very clear because, as soon as I write anything attacking the sexist hordes, I am reminded of how she endorsed the invasion of Iraq and her many other sins.
Yes, I know. I have columnized about that for years.
And another thing: I recognize that Clinton tries to have it both ways, in one breath saying that people shouldn't vote for her because she's a woman and in the next that she's trying to break the highest and hardest glass ceiling there is.
So what today's treeware column is about is all those people who promote or ignore the sexism. Are we straight on that?
Here's an excerpt:
The New York Times, no less, has printed a lengthy analysis of Clinton's "cackle," a word that conjures up witches. Talk show hosts and pundits refer to her "screeching" and "nagging." One radio guy calls her "Her thighness." When the hecklers yelled and held up a banner saying "Iron my shirt!" the media treated it like a joke.
She shows a modest amount of skin at the top of a sensible suit jacket and a horrified Style writer at The Washington Post writes: "It's tempting to say that the cleavage stirs the same kind of discomfort that might be churned up after spotting Rudy Giuliani with his shirt unbuttoned just a smidge too far.
"No one wants to see that. But really, it was more like catching a man with his fly unzipped. Just look away!"
Clinton is guilty of being a woman, and faulted for not being feminine enough.
So afraid of making a blunder and coming across too girlie, she even turned down a chance to appear on the cover of Vogue.
"The notion that a contemporary woman must look mannish in order to be taken seriously as a seeker of power is frankly dismaying," noted editor Anna Wintour in February.
"This is America, not Saudi Arabia."
Meanwhile, there was Barack Obama looking the cool dude on the cover of Men's Vogue, not a second thought in the world.
The thing about misogyny is, it's so ingrained and we women are so mentally colonized that we often don't recognize it even when it is aimed straight at us.
But, though we may not agree with her politics, or the way she has managed (or rather, mismanaged) her campaign, Hillary Clinton could be us.
You don't have to watch a lot of cable news shows to see it. Just read your daily newspaper where you'll find that most published photos of her make her look older, or angrier, or more hysterical than she is. It's as if she is perpetually caught in a Howard Dean scream.
But who wouldn't scream under the circumstances?
She's too hot, too cold, too hard, too soft, too weak, too strong, too feminine, too masculine ...
Too much like any other ambitious and successful woman who doesn't know her place.