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I, Virginia Bergman, pledge not to vote for a male presidential candidate in 2016 just because he's male.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Gloria Steinem addresses Hillary Haters, Democratic Party leaders, and the rampant misogyny in 2008




https://www.hillaryclinton.com


Reading an excerpt from Gloria Steinem’s book, My Life on the Road, brought back all of the angst I experienced in 2008 when Hillary Clinton was dissed by many in the media; thrown under the bus by Democratic Party leaders; and assaulted by a contingent of the electorate that came to be known as Hillary Haters. The stench of misogyny became overpowering throughout the 2008 Democratic primary.

In her usual incisive style, Steinem effectively portrays Hillary’s 2008 experience:

I know Hillary Clinton mostly in the way we all do, as a public figure in good times and bad, one who became part of our lives and even our dreams. I once introduced her to a thousand women in a hotel ballroom. Standing behind her as she spoke, I could see the binder on the lectern with her speech carefully laid out – and also that she wasn’t reading from it. Instead, she was responding to people who had spoken before her, addressing activists and leaders she saw in the audience, and putting their work in a national and global context – all in such clear and graceful sentences that no one would have guessed she hadn’t written them in advance. It was an on-the-spot tour de force, perhaps the best I’ve ever heard.

But what clinched it for me was listening to her speak after a performance of Eve Ensler’s play Necessary Targets, based on interviews with women in one of the camps set up to treat women who had endured unspeakable suffering, humiliation, and torture in the ethnic wars within the former Yugoslavia. To speak to an audience that had just heard these heartbreaking horrors seemed impossible for anyone, and Hillary had the added burden of representing the Clinton administration, which had been criticised for slowness in stopping this genocide. Nonetheless, she rose in the silence, with no possibility of preparing, and began to speak quietly – about suffering, about the importance of serving as witnesses to suffering. Most crucial of all, she admitted this country’s slowness in intervening. By the time she sat down, she had brought the audience together and given us all a shared meeting place: the simple truth.

When she left the White House and decided to run for the US Senate from her new home in New York State – something no first lady, not even Eleanor Roosevelt, had dared to do – I was blindsided by the hostility toward her from some women. They called her cold, calculating, ambitious, and even “unfeminist” for using political experience gained as a wife. These were not the rightwing extremists who had accused the Clintons of everything from perpetrating real estate scams in Arkansas to murdering a White House aide with whom Hillary supposedly had an affair. On the contrary, they mostly agreed with her on the issues, yet some were so opposed to her that they came to be called Hillary Haters. It took me weeks of listening on the road to begin to understand why.

In living rooms from Dallas to Chicago, I noticed that the Hillary Haters often turned out to be the women most like her: white, well educated, and married to or linked with powerful men. They were by no means all such women, but their numbers were still surprising. Also, they hadn’t objected to sons, brothers, and sons-in-law using family connections and political names to further careers – say, the Bushes or the Rockefellers or the Kennedys – yet they objected to Hillary doing the same. The more they talked, the more it was clear that their own husbands hadn’t shared power with them.
If Hillary had a husband who regarded her as an equal – who had always said this country got “two presidents for the price of one” – it only dramatised their own lack of power and respect. After one long night and a lot of wine, one woman told me that Hillary’s marriage made her aware of just how unequal hers was.


Other recently published, truth-telling articles on Hillary Clinton:


Republicans Leveled By Bombshell Report That Clears Hillary Clinton On Benghazi

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