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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Gender and Hillary's candidacy

Digby, one of the smartest political minds on the left, has an excellent post about gender in presidential contests and particularly around Hillary Clinton's bid for the Democratic nomination. Hillary's been getting a ton of flack in the pundit world for 'playing the gender card' during a speech to her all-women alma mater Wellesley College.

An excerpt from Digby's post here:

Every presidential candidate, and most other politicians, since 1980, have been bowing and scraping before this constituency. But for some reason, the hunting trips and codpieces and brush clearing and all that metaphorical crotch measuring isn't considered playing "the gender card." It's just considered the normal political pander to an aggrieved minority vote: the poor white males who've been treated terribly by all those powerful women and minorities and gays. What could be wrong with that?

I'm sorry, but this is truly sexist crap. Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney are out there one upping each other on who will be the most macho sadists among the crowd of warring GOP thugs. Hillary goes to her alma mater and says that her education at the women's college prepared her to do battle with the political boys club and the gasbags' eyes roll back in their heads and they start drooling and whining that she's she's broken the rules.

Well boo fucking hoo. The rules are changing. Get used to it.

This is right on. Gender plays a central role in every election. But now a candidate wants to use her femininty to advance her candidacy instead of manliness, the punditocracy flips out. Just another indication of the long road ahead of any candidacy operating outside the normal phallis measuring framework.


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