Hillary Clinton: Anti-Feminist?
In a dialogue with one of his readers, Andrew Sullivan argues that if Clinton manages to win the Presidency, it will hardly be a victory for feminism.
Hillary Clinton had a chance to pioneer feminism. But she preferred her own ambition to her alleged principles, and when it really came down to it, she deferred to a man. Bill came first, however brutally he humiliated and used her. But she knew her place – and coped by trying to leverage it for more power. A profile in feminist courage she has never been. Too risky.
I find myself agreeing with this sentiment. While there is certainly no doubt that Hillary Clinton is very intelligent and is a capable politician and campaigner, it’s just as clear that she is, in large part, riding on her husband’s coattails. There would definitely be some extraordinary mixed messages should she become the first female President. On the one hand, her victory is a testament to the ongoing process of progressively better attitudes towards women in the United States. On the other hand, the fact that she owes a significant debt to her husband for her political success does diminish that accomplishment.
Personally, what I find most disturbing about a potential Clinton victory isn’t any qualms about her politics or personality (although I do have many, many qualms on those scores), but rather the fact that a Clinton victory means that for over 20 years–and potentially close to 30–the Office of the President will be occupied by a representative from one of two families. That’s simply not healthy for a democratic society.