A Bernie Guy’s Defense of Hillary. CAUTION: Adult Language
For the record, I am not decided on whether or not I’ll vote for Hillary in the general election. I might write in Bernie Sanders, I might vote for the Green Party Candidate, Jill Stein,” as I did in 2012. In part, that is because my vote is sovereign. I decide what happens with it, and while I’m on the topic, Hillary people should lay off. Don’t try and shove Hillary down our throat. Enough of the guilt and the fearmongering about Trump and the supreme court. We get it, but we already knew all of that during the primaries. We feel burned and abused and betrayed by a really corrupt system, and backing us in a corner and demanding to know how we’ll vote just makes that system seem all the more corrupt and undemocratic.
There, now that all that is out of the way let me also throw a few more things on the table. You can call it the start of a rapprochement if you like, but don’t push it, Hillary people. I hold a great many criticisms of Mrs. Clinton but there is one case I’ll make for Hillary. Shades of my militant feminist past. A funny story. One year my wife, who holds a Bachelors in psychology with a minor in Gender and Women’s studies, as well as a Masters in Education, was getting hammered with a full and overwhelming schedule of really heavy classes, including two hefty math classes, along with a full time work schedule. One of them was a Classical Roman studies class with a preeminent Roman scholar. Classical Roman history is a hobby of mine, so I offered to be a resource for my wife. Instead she asked if I could back her up just once with a single paper for a women’s studies class. I helped with a piece about women walking through a dark alley, equating that with a combat soldier’s thousand yard stair and PTSD. More editing that writing, but I threw in a few choice lines. The professor gave my wife an “A” for the paper, commenting that she knew my wife was an ardent feminist, she just didn’t realize she was so militant!
I tell you that to tell you this, the reason that Hillary Clinton drives the Right crazy is that she’s not a pawn. She’s not another weak willed woman. She might be in the pocket of the wealthy and powerful, but she isn’t subservient to men and their interests. She isn’t looking for male validation, nor is she about to kowtow to male hegemony, and that drives the misogynist Right crazy. Token candidates, like Carly Fiorina, who never really had a chance, require male validation and plugged into a male-dominated system, pandering to the male-powered, Handmaid’s Tale anti-choice crowd to the detriment of women’s bodily sovereignty. In other words, had she become President, she would essentially be a puppet to men; male directed and dictated. Hillary, on the other hand is, well, a bitch, but she is a bitch with a purpose all her own.
And I mean bitch in the most respectful sort of way. We routinely describe men in politics and business with the qualities of a bitch as go-getters, shrewd or aggressive. Rarely if ever are powerful women in such “Alpha-Male” adjectives. Women with those qualities are called something else, meant to degrade and devalue them yo something overly emotional and unserious, so I say own it, Hillary! That’s the sort of bitch, with a capital “B” I’m talking about. A strong woman who thinks as a sovereign person, resisting fully the long held stereotypes and archetypes of a patriarchal hierarchy. That sort of woman has always scared and intimidated and pissed off weak men. The Right is replete with men hiding their little boy fears and phallic anxieties about strong and, yes, bitchy women behind guns and war and power politics.
For better or worse, like her or hate her, Hillary has carved out a substantial amount of power that allows her unprecedented autonomy and near full separation from the structures that still bind women in 21st century America. The Right is centered fully on patriarchy. I have my own misgivings about Hillary, but respect for her as an independent and powerful woman is hardly one of those misgivings.