I Won't Support Hillary Just Because She's a Woman
By Allison Hantschel, Sirens Magazine
Posted on October 19, 2006, Printed on October 19, 2006
If I were to support Hillary Rodham Clinton for president in 2008, it would only be out of hope that this would be the thing that would finally make Rush Limbaugh's fat head just explode.
The talk-show blowhard, who rants about the New York senator and ex-First Lady's clothes and hair and presumed sex life all day long on his program just might be pushed over the edge into complete and utter loonytown if he had to watch her campaign cross-country. And who wouldn't love watching that?
But aside from its potential entertainment appeal in that vein, I'm unexcited by a Hillary candidacy. I'm uninspired. I'm ... indifferent.
I am nagged by the feeling that this makes me a bad feminist. After all, a woman president, any woman president, is a victory for womankind, right? Ovaries for the Oval Office!
I don't think it's the height of feminism to have a woman president. I think it's the height of feminism to be able to look at presidential candidates as people who will or will not meet our needs and serve our interests. Regardless of whether those candidates are men or women, black or white, Hispanic or Asian.
And looking solely at Mrs. Clinton's political credentials, she's not the candidate for me.
She's too centrist. I'm a bleeding-heart, borderline-socialist, anti-war liberal who believes corporate wealth is the source of most of the country's problems. Hillary never met a credit card company lobbyist she didn't like, she won't push for legalization of equal rights to marriage for all, she concentrates her attention on a culture of sex and violence in the media instead of on the culture of corruption and violence in Washington today.
She represents a Democratic ideology of the past. The 1990s were fun. I was in college then, and I enjoyed the tech boom that had people fighting for my job skills when I graduated. I loved that period of my life. But it's over, and so is the political climate that made her and her husband's bipartisan compromising palatable to most Americans.
I don't like legacy elections. Government's too incestuous as it is, and after watching the havoc wreaked by a guy who got the job because his dad was president, I don't want somebody getting the job because her husband was.
True feminism is about wanting women to have the same freedoms, choices and opportunities as men. And that means an equal opportunity to be judged by our actions and our beliefs, not our gender.
Besides, we didn't need to wait for Hillary to support a woman presidential candidate.
The late Shirley Chisholm was elected to Congress in 1969. The Brooklyn-born African-American woman was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the author of two books. Her run for president in 1972 was the first woman's candidacy to be considered seriously by the Democratic convention-goers, and she received more than 100 of the delegates' votes for president.
Throughout her political life, she told young women to follow their dreams no matter where those dreams took them.
When Chisholm announced her historic run, she said, "I stand before you today as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency of the United States. I am not the candidate of black America, although I am black and proud. I am not the candidate of the women's movement of this country, although I am a woman, and I am equally proud of that. I am not the candidate of any political bosses or special interests. I am the candidate of the people."
Now that was a woman I could have cheered all the way to the White House.
Allison Hantschel is Sirens Magazine's political editor and a 10-year veteran of the newspaper business. She publishes First Draft, a writing and politics blog, and edited the anthology Special Plans: The Blogs on Douglas Feith and the Faulty Intelligence That Led to War.
Â© 2006 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
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