Meryl and Kate both respond to my quip yesterday about the rampant sexism of the blogosphere.

Kate replied with a quip of her own about not wanting another blogwar.

Meryl thinks,

The list is as sexist as the last one, for several reasons. Hillary hatred goes beyond partisan-bashing. Hillary hatred has huge amounts of sexism involved. From the first moment it became clear that she was going to be an active First Lady, the howls from people who think that First Ladies should be seen and not heard came out. The screams about how she was not elected president, her husband was, rose to the heavens. Many of these objections came from the same people who ignored the fact that Nancy Reagan was an active part of Ronald Reagan’s presidency. She prevented him from having meetings with world leaders because she believed his horoscope was bad for that particular time. This was documented in books afterwards, and whispered of while he was in office. And I have always felt that his Alzheimer’s disease struck long before we knew about it, and questioned who exactly was running the Reagan presidency during those last years. Reagan’s famous “I don’t recall” answers during Iran-Contra may actually have been true, and not simply dodging the question.

But that’s still only a small part of why the list is sexist. Right wing bloggers couldn’t find a single woman to put on the Best American list. Some even came out and said that no woman “deserved” to be on that list (nicely refuted by Kate). Yet they’ve managed to find two women to go on the Worst Americans list, and threw in one for the honorable mention while they were at it.

While I agree that HRC didn’t deserve to be on the list, I disagree that she’s disliked because she’s a strong woman. I mean, Wonder Woman is quite popular and she could whip Hillary. Ditto Margaret Thatcher, even though she’s got a couple decades on the Rodster.

We don’t like Hil because she’s a hyperpolitical shrew who rode to fame and fortune on the coattails of her husband despite her own obvious talent. And then plays the poor stupid victim who didn’t realize that Bill could be unfaithful. Please. Not to mention cattle futures, the travel office mess, missing documents, the health care fiasco, talking to Eleanor, having always been a Yankee fan growing up in Chicago, not standing by her man, standing by her man, kissing up to Yasir Arafat, and all manner of scandals real and imaginary.

And, no, we generally don’t like First Ladies who get involved in public policymaking. If they want to make public policy, they should run for office. Which HRC did and won subsequently. And, really, there’s virtually no criticism of her for anything she’s done in her capacity as a Senator. And Meryl may be too young to remember, but Nancy Reagan caught hell in the press for all manner of things, down to spending too much money on the White House china. The astrology thing came out in 1988, near the end of her husband’s presidency, and may or may not have had much basis in reality. But she caught hell for that, too.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Meezer says:

    I’m a woman and H. Clinton makes my teeth itch. She’s still not one of the worst Americans, though.

    Ans as for Susan B. Anthony, MY ancestresses gave her lessons on how to do it. Mormon women had the vote while still a territory and had to give it up to become a state. Susan B. and others came to Utah to help the “poor, downtrodden, paternistically oppressed” Mormon women and went home with a flea in their ears. Not to mention greater motivation to get for the rest of US women what the Utah women had had for years.

  2. Toni says:

    I remember the press being particularly shrill about Nancy Reagan and I wasn’t even a Republican at the time. I just don’t think most women are realistic about there own group and give too many free passes to their gender (By the way Toni is female). I couldn’t recall any women in history even comparable to the men listed. To have Gloria Steinam on the list was inane. That’s having to look pretty deep for someone of importance ’cause Gloria WASN’T important. Hillary has not accomplished anything but deceit and deception. Of course, her accomplishments in that area are historical – to perpetrate a hoax of her magnitude is quite an accomplishment!