Sunday, June 08, 2008

Hillary Clinton Made Me Teary This Weekend

Saturday was a beautiful day in Connecticut, but I spent part of it inside watching Senator Clinton's speech. And despite the fact that I was upset with her last Tuesday for not conceding then, I found myself teary as she began her talk.

Just like last Tuesday when the delegate count confirmed Senator Obama as the nominee, Saturday was also historic. I've written here that as a teenager, I aspired to one day be a Member of Congress with only a handful of role models. I resonated when Senator Clinton said that because of her candidacy, no one will ever doubt again that a woman can run for President of the United States. And I believe had she not had some of the baggage from her past and the most charismatic opponent we have seen in decades, she would have won the nomination.

But, that is not to say that sexism is not alive and well. The Women's Media Center has put together this compilation of sexist tapes from the media (largely Fox but not entirely) that took my breath away. It's really worth the five minutes to watch it. And to my younger readers who don't claim for themselves the word "feminist", I can't think of a quicker way to show you how misguided that is. It was not just "iron my shirt" -- it was comments about her hair, her cleavage, her clothes -- words like "nagging wife" and "castrating" and innuendos about her sexuality. My pulse is still racing a half hour after watching it.

In one of the many articles I read today about "what went wrong", one person (I'm sorry, I can't remember who) suggested that it is time for a national dialog not just on race but on gender. Perhaps together Senator Clinton and Senator Obama could start.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to that video. That's quite painful….

Anonymous said...

I am not sure I want to watch these as I am already aware of much pain and suffering..maybe later in the week or at a time when I feel I have the strenght...

Anonymous said...

First I'd like to say THANK YOU for this blog. I love the things I learn from it and what you have to say, Debra. I always feel like I'm listening to a good friend.

As for Hillary Clinton's speech last Tuesday.... I have heard all week how "poorly" she handled that speech. Why not just give in when it was clear she was not going to be the nominee. Was she trying to strong-arm Obama? Was she a spoiled loser? Was she... anything other than a thoughtful person who understood the ramifications of conceding. She knew who her supporters were and how many of them would not take this well.

I think her pause in conceding could have been due to the fact that this other huge moment--a woman president--in history could not be ignored by the other side, and she wanted to make sure that didn't happen.

Now, maybe she was just a spoiled loser, but maybe she understood that some of her supporters would take this loss at an opportunity not easily come by so well. It would have been nice for someone in the media to have explored that option.