Carol Platt Liebau: The "Hillary Resisters"

Friday, December 07, 2007

The "Hillary Resisters"

Funny how opponents of the Clintons always end up with a nickname -- "Clinton haters," "Hillary resisters" -- isn't it? Where are the cute monikers for the people who spend their time obsessed with incoherent rage against the current President?

In any case, is it really any surprise that upscale, left-wing women who made it on their own are ambivalent about a woman who is the presidential frontrunner only because of the man she married? I'm no lefty -- and a lot of these women in the story leave me cold -- but who can blame them, or doubt that their reaction to a self-made female politician like Dianne Feinstein would be different?

The only part of their critique that I find offputting is the following:

"Hillary, in a sense, is a tragic figure," said Clara Oleson, a 65-year-old retired lawyer and union educator in West Branch, Iowa, who supports Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). "She seems to feel she needs to be a social male -- aggressor, commander in chief."

As a woman who is pretty feminine in appearance and deportment, I've grown tired through my life of left-wing feminists telling me either that I'm a self-hating woman or a man in a woman's body simply because I don't share their views.
The problem with left wing feminists is that they define man as the adversary -- and so anyone with whom they disagree or are uncomfortable is, by definition, acting like a man.

And although I've no brief for Hillary Clinton, of course she has to be commander-in-chief (whether these women like it or not) and if she intends to win, she'd better convince the country that she's tough enough to be up to it.

But really, that's Hillary's problem. Once again, she's wanted it both ways -- acting like a traditional left-wing feminist (remember her disdain for women who "baked cookies and had tea" and, more recently, her allusion to the "old boys' club" of presidential contenders?) but then not wanting to be pegged as one. No wonder her quasi-cohorts are a little less than happy with her.


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