By Heather Leslie, Guest Contributor – I realize I’m not going to win friends or influence people with this post but, whatever, I’m going to say it anyway.
For those who say Hillary is a corrupt, crooked liar– you’re probably right. Welcome to politics. Show me an honest politician and I’ll show you a unicorn. They don’t exist. It is impossible to be incorruptible in politics, from local government on up, even if you start out with good intentions. People make deals and exchange favors. No one is free from this sin, especially with the media machine critiquing your every move and being held under a microscope. This is the way it works and if we were in the same shoes we’d probably do it too. As Omar says in The Wire: “The game is the game.” And Hillary has played it damn near perfectly.
Hillary is NO different than the political masterminds who came before her. In fact, she may be even more shrewd. She’s a hard ass gangsta bitch and she knows how to handle it.
Think her criticisms began with Benghazi or emails? Far from it. People and the media have been trashing her for decades. There’s just something about her. She’s “cold,” “calculating,” “inauthentic” and those are some of the nicer words people use to describe her. She’s been endlessly mocked, made fun of, and blasted. Again, how is she different than all other politicians? She.
But come on, we’re past that whole sexist thing, right? This is 2016. Women have the right to vote and hold 20% of seats in the house and senate. And let’s not forget we hold 4% of CEO positions at Fortune 500 companies. Even though there are more men named ‘John’ than women chief executives. We should be grateful. We’ve come a long way baby.. but not all the way. But, ladies, let’s not nitpick or whine. Be patient. After all, we’ve waited 240 years. What’s another 4?
According to society: Women are so much different than men. Women are caregivers and nurturers. Women are, by nature, virtuous. And as far as men held to an ethical standard, well, boys will be boys, right? That’s where their wives are supposed to make honest men out of them. Those are society’s expectations of women. True, some women fit that description but not all are and that’s the point. Men certainly aren’t expected to be nurturing and glamorous (although Goddess bless those who are). Men can shoot from the hip and tell it like it is.. not be “politically correct” and not worry about being perceived as “unlikable” “threatening” “power hungry” or, my favorite, “ambitious.” God forbid a woman has ambition to become President of the United States.
Men are praised for showing these traditionally masculine traits of strength and aggressiveness while women who show those same characteristics are shamed for not fulfilling our traditional gender ideals of femininity and benevolence. Men are revered for climbing to the top of the ladder and building an empire but if a woman does it? How dare she! That’s so unladylike. Doesn’t she know that the most important thing about being a woman is that she looks pretty and fashionable?
As girls, people talk to us differently than they do with boys. What’s the first thing you say when you meet a little girl? “Awww you’re so cute! What a pretty dress you have.” Meanwhile, with boys, “Oh cool dinosaur toy! Do you like dinosaurs?” When the first thing we notice about girls is their appearance we are teaching them that looks are more important than anything else. Girls are protected and seen as innocent, chaste, delicate little maidens pure of heart and virtue. Boys, on the other hand, are taught to be brave, tough, and adventurous. They build things and explore while girls play with dolls and paint their nails. That beauty standard becomes ingrained in the quest for physical perfection. Teen girls are more likely to have eating disorders and low self-esteem compared to boys. This social conditioning that, as females, our looks are valued more than our thoughts and accomplishments says a lot about how our society views women.
This expectation for how we, as women, are supposed to look and act carries with us throughout our lives. Women are more likely to be promoted in the workplace when they wear makeup and dress nice. Studies have been conducted of both men’s and women’s perception of a qualified job candidates. When comparing identical resumes with a man’s name and a woman’s name, the man is usually the one perceived as a better candidate. Women are judged on what they have done while men are judged on their potential.
When women have kids people think they will not be as committed to their job. They often get passed over for men who, after also having kids, are viewed as more motivated to provide for their families.
Women are told that our biggest career decision in life is who we marry. I’m not undermining the importance of partner selection in marriage but I’m pretty positive men aren’t told the same thing in regards to their careers.
I’ve been hearing from men and women alike from varying political affiliations that they do want to have a female pres., “just not her.” But if the single most qualified person ever (which many have said she is including our current President) running for president is not the obvious choice, as it has been for our entire history as a country, then we may have something deeper going on. Maybe our collective internalized sexism is finally coming to the surface. We’ve been hearing “just not her” our entire lives. When will it be time?
People have lots of reasons for hating Hillary. Many have hated her for not leaving her husband and instead using it for political gain. Did she put her career before her marriage? Probably. But would we judge a man the same way if he put his career first? What about if it were Hillary who cheated? Her career would be over. She’d be called a slut and a tramp and a whore. They would say she had motives for doing it. Because women can’t possibly like sex enough to be tempted to cheat.
Hillary is not the subservient little wifey society expects her to be. She didn’t limit herself to being Decorator in Chief when she was First Lady. Instead, she decided to take on healthcare reform.
If a major political party includes in their platform the disallowing of women to serve in combat how can we expect them to respect a woman Commander in Chief? The whole argument against women holding the office of POTUS in years past is that they are too emotional and fragile. Like, a woman might get her period and set off the nukes. Hillary doesn’t fit that stereotype. She’s tough and measured. She’s a politician no different than men. But she gets vilified because women aren’t supposed to have ambition or be tough or be corruptible. That’s for those handsome devils, according to society. Women are just supposed to be docile, beautiful, and, above all, likable and non-threatening.
On the other hand, if men do something corruptible, we just shrug, “Well he’s not running for Pope.” But if a woman does it: For shame! Lock her up! Hang her! Kill the bitch! Like it’s the Salem witch trials. We give men the benefit of the doubt and women just get doubt.
Hillary, and all women, are held to a higher standard than men. Not only are we expected to be perfect and do the job flawlessly but we also need to look good while doing it and be seen as warm and and nice and sweet. And she should laugh lightly and gently. What cow of a woman would actually laugh so hard she cackles or snorts? This fucking cow right here. I am hereby coming out of the closet as a cackler and yeah I even snort sometimes. So what! It feels good to laugh with your whole self and not worry what it sounds like. Ladies, don’t hold back #releasethecackle and all that feminist shit ?.
Heather Leslie is an ardent feminist who lives in San Diego. She and enjoys writing, playing with her dog, dismantling the patriarchy, and pizza. Heather created the Facebook page called The Happy Housewife https://www.facebook.com/The-Happy-Housewife-283362848699640/. It’s a tongue-in-cheek satire that glorifies the 1950s housewife and points out every day sexism we see in the news.