Carol Platt Liebau: The Reality of the First Female President

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Reality of the First Female President

Anna Quindlen writes wistfully of her "fantasy" of the first female president -- how it would be someone who would come in and turn the whole, "lousy" system upside-down.

Quindlen's unfulfilled fantasy is very revealing of what left-wing feminism is really about. Implicit in her dream of what a female president would be like is the assumption that women aren't just different than men, they're somehow better -- and that superiority would be reflected in the woman they chose to lead them (and America). Now, how disappointing to find that Hillary Clinton is, at base, just another . . . politician.

Given all this, it's hard not to feel just a twinge of pity even for Hillary -- who, after all, could live up to this standard? It strikes me that conservatives have had a much healthier approach. Margaret Thatcher, for example, was a person of principle, but conservatives lauded her not for serving as some kind of female political Messiah, but rather because she was able to effect real, positive change and stand by her convictions, even as she beat the men at their own game. Some Republicans have touted Condoleezza Rice, not because they believe she can effect some kind of female-driven revolutionary change, but because they think they could win, or because they believe she'll fight hard against terrorists, or whatever.

Anna Quindlen should have gone to a girls' school in her early years (she attended college at Barnard). What it taught me was that -- though boys and girls are different -- girls, and later women, aren't any better than boys. Boys are aggressive . .. so are girls, in a different way. Etc., etc. Yes, a woman can be president, but chances are that it won't usher in some kind of "I am woman, hear me wrong" Golden Age of high minded political discourse and sweeping reform.

Hillary has, apparently, come to terms with that fact. It's just that those who should, perhaps, be her srongest supporters can't quite summon that level of pragmatism.

6 Comments:

Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

I have no idea who the sort of people are that you're criticising here, Carol. Lefties are not rushing to vote for Hillary with starry-eyed notions of feminism. Quindlen may have such an attitude, but hard-nosed lefties are looking for a competent, intelligent candidate. Hillary hasn't impressed them yet.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

That's pretty funny OSO. What's turned their heads from Hillary is not competence, message or anything else substantive, but a guy who's black. It must be quite a treat to have a woman and minority from which to choose. But as far as "a competent, intelligent candidate", they'll be looking for a long time.

7:04 PM  
Blogger Ruth Anne Adams said...

Was that a typo?--'I am woman, hear me wrong'--or a Freudian slip?

I've always known it as 'roar.'

9:39 PM  
Blogger Earth to Carol said...

Carol do you think girls are not girls in a coeducational environment? There is a much better chance that you don't know about little boys, unless you can prove a mouse can learn in a vacuum.

Well at least we now know why, given all your brain power, you can't see Bush and Cheney for who they are, failures as human beings, just little boy bullies that never grew up.

2:34 AM  
Blogger Diane Tomlinson said...

Marshall,

What Ivy League Law School did you graduate from? Dubya might be a man of faith but he's not an intelligent human being beyond the fact that he was smart enough to go along with his corporate and media-evangelical masters that got him the money to get elected.

Both Ms Clinton and Mr Obama are certainly intelligent enough to do the job the real question is are people like you smart enough to know when your theocratic pipe dream has come to an end.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

What theocratic pipedream would that be exactly? No one has been pushing for a theocracy, except maybe kids who like to think they're from hell or work for hell's newspaper.

And Hillary is smart, why exactly? Seems she was smart enough to ride her husband's coattails but made no real name for herself until that union.

And what makes you think Obama has any real sense? Well, he's smart enough to say nothing when behind a podium and microphone, except for platitudes that suck in the stupid. Anyone you know?

10:41 PM  

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