Sorry for the hiatus.
I’ve just been reading yet another article on the likelihood of female support for a Clinton administration. I find it interesting that Hillary’s success, according to analysts, hinges on her ability to pull in the female vote. This to me implies one of two things: that she is either pandering to the female vote, or still not quite a candidate in the eyes of men. Either way, both of these hypotheses are somewhat unsettling. Whether or not Hillary is indeed pandering to female vote is a less pressing issue. Her inability to sway other voters is more troubling. Why is this? She is certainly no longer “the doe in the headlights.” In fact, she is, as this article notes perceived as an insider to the political “game.” Perhaps she was a piece of furniture in the boardroom before she became a candidate?
I don’t get it. Yes, Mrs. Clinton has been privy to much of the political game during her tenure as first lady and as a result of her own political career, but does this make her any more of an old hand than the next woman? Or for that matter the next political minority? (And I use “political” in the sense of elected official). Chances are Clinton had about as much political clout in her early days as the the furniture in the above boardrooms.
Is she blurring the gender lens? Does this even matter? Should there be a gender lens when we speak of candidates? Not really. Certainly candidates can and should address issues as they pertain equally to the sexes. But to ask them to dial in on either gender is tantamount to campaigning solely on behalf of a special interest group.
Though, I do find it frightening that Clinton has yet to address women’s issues in her campaign, which SHOULD be a part of any candidate’s campaign; however, that she should be obliged to view her campaign through the lens of gender annoys me.
Furthermore, do we now castrate Margaret Thatcher for her so-called “iron fist.” Criticizing Hillary for her experience and knowledge, or perhaps adaption to, the working environment of US politics would be to return to such a debate. I for one find it irritating that Thatcher is given “male” characteristics. This is gendering politics as male. And since we all know politics is an insiders’ game, the game then becomes a gendered one with gender rules.
However, gender should not rule. We all know this. As any feminist from the 1980s would remind you, the personal is political and, as Antigone argues, vice-versa. So, to bring in such “lenswork” and generalist assumptions complicates Hillary’s task immensely. Not only does she have to work through her own personal experience, pejoratively counter intuitive (according to some), but she also must consider the distortions of glasses she doesn’t need.
Let’s not ruin Mrs. Clinton’s Myopia shall we?