You want snapping?
Here's me really angry at the coverage accorded to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was in eastern Congo where she spoke out against the horrific mass rapes there.
According to UN estimates, some 3500 women have been raped this year alone. This is a subject about which I have blogged before, and is deserving of serious and extensive international attention in the mainstream media.
But, today, yesterday, while taking Clinton was speaking with a Congolese audience, an interpreter mistranslated a question from a student.
What happened next then became top of the news.
"My husband is not secretary of state. I am," an obviously annoyed Clinton replied sharply.
A week after former president Bill Clinton travelled to North Korea to secure the release of two detained American journalists and stole the limelight from the start of his wife's first trip to Africa, Clinton was clearly nettled by the question at a town hall forum in Kinshasa.
"You want me to tell you what my husband thinks?" she replied when the male student asked her what "Mr. Clinton" thought of World Bank concerns about a multibillion-dollar Chinese loan offer to the Democratic Republic of Congo. "If you want my opinion, I will tell you my opinion. I am not going to be channelling my husband," she said.
And so, Clinton ''snapped.'' She ''lost her cool.'' She had an ''outburst.'' She ''replied sharply.''
If you ask me, and I you must be asking me since you're reading this, I too would be snippy if, in the middle of a town hall on the violent abuse of women in a virulently sexist country, I were queried on what my husband had to say on another subject.
Her behaviour, while less than diplomatic, is understandable.
The sexist coverage of it is not, not when women are suffering the way they are in Africa.
UPPITY WOMAN DATE: For some reason this post has inspired 15 (and counting) comments on my Facebook page. Most of the guys claim Clinton was out of line. But some of us are wondering what may have transpired before this badly-translated question was asked.
In a forum with University of Kinshasa students yesterday, Clinton confronted questions about past U.S. involvement in backing authoritarian rule in Congo, formerly known as Zaire.
“I cannot excuse the past, and will not try,” Clinton told the questioner. “Many countries, including many in Europe and many in Africa, have interfered with the development and the potential of the Congolese people.”
This might explain her obvious irritation, as well as her body language as that ''husband'' question was posed.
UPPITY YOURS DATE: Just in case the rest of the media need a cribsheet, the New York Times has the story on what Clinton has proposed for Congo.
She announced that the American government would train doctors, supply rape victims with video cameras to document violence, send American military engineers to help build facilities and train Congolese police officers, especially female police officers, to crack down on rapists.
Finally. Some action. It took a woman like Clinton to take it.
Which is why I couldn't care less how snappish she got.