As Hillary Clinton gets bitter in a televised TV debate with Barack Obama, the singer Amy Winehouse is frolicking on a beach in the Caribbean with her ex-boyfriend. Who do you think does more to further the cause of women?
Most would probably say Hillary. She was (and some may say still is) likely to become the first ever female president of the US. She strides around making important speeches and leaves men quaking in her wake. Amy, on the other hand, is a drug addict lunatic with a husband in jail and more tattoos than David Beckham.
My view is that women like Hillary do more damage to women’s causes than men do. She has become worse than a man. She is more aggressive, more strident and totally charmless. Just because you’re in a position of power, there’s no need to give up being a warm and attractive (even sexy) person. Her husband certainly didn’t. Here in France we saw a similar change (although not nearly as bad) in Segolene Royal. In the end Sarko outpolled her among women, as Obama has just done to Hillary in the US.
Amy may be flawed and faithless. But she is pure woman. She is talented and successful and behaving badly. In her song You Know I’m No Good she says “Upstairs in bed with my ex boy, he’s in a place but I can’t get joy”. This may all have changed now.
But the point is that women are not fooled by a woman trying to be a man. That’s not what we want when we talk about the first female president. We want a first WOMAN president, not some pastiche of a man whom we hate on sight. If Hillary were a touch more like Amy (or even Bill) we would like her a lot more, chinks and all.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2008
You are completely correct.
Besides, I hate her politics. She doesn’t have any real platform, she just makes things up as she goes.
Sorry Helena, but you are wrong. As someone who participated in the feminist movement I am here to tell you that you have to be tough as nails to succeed in the old boys club in this country, be it in politics or business. There are glass ceilings everywhere for women and you’ve got to be better and meaner than the men if you want to get to the top. Any overt sign of a feminine trait is seen as a reason to dismiss you as a qualified person. While it may be different in Europe, my impression as an American is that the men can’t keep their penises in their pants and the women tolerate their behavior and cave in to the popular demands of what is “beautiful” and “attractive”. Generalizations about anything are dangerous but there it is. Until you’ve been denied an opportunity because you are a women who will just get pregnant and leave or trivialized because you just can’t take the heat, don’t talk to me. Why so you think there are alot of women of my generation who are childless? The generation of women after mine have abandoned the movement for true equality so they are not seen as “bitches”. “Let’s not crush their fragile little egos.” Ultimately the aim of the movement was about choices. I don’t think many women appreciate the sacrifices necessary to get to this point. While we may be able to soften our image, we cannot let men in charge backslide into discriminatory behavior. Whether you agree or disagree with Hillary’s politics she has broken into the old boys club and stepped on a few pols to get there. That takes guts!
Hmm, a tricky one this. I remember a school friend of Helena’s I discussed women and problems with getting on in a male dominated society with, pointing out to me that the UK had a female prime minister. My comment was as well: can you give me an example of anything female about her? Apart from all that I am convinced that women are far too clever to stay away from politics. They can influence the men instead and so rule in a different sphere. My father explained the lack of decent politicians like this. Not many decent people want to become politicians and if they do, they soon get corrupted. I tried being a politician once and soon gave up when I realised that was NOT how to change things. Your main job is to maintain status quo and we all know what it then entails to change that. Since we do not really want a bloody revolution we have to work towards something different, a more humane society for men as well as women. Let’s just be people and whether male or female is really not that important.
OK. Jumping in with both feet…. who is it that defines what female attributes are? Why should I be content with being the power behind the throne? Women can be smart and not play coy with every man and still be a woman. Sometimes the only wake-up call to the men in power is to be in their faces without apology. This is the only thing they will notice. “Influencing men and ruling in a different sphere”….. what century do you live in? That is the most insulting thing I’ve heard this year??? If my choice is to be a politician than why is my behavior evaluated by my sex? I think not, mister!
Dear Héléna and Jules.
A member of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet once reminisced during an interview about Margaret’s presence and leadership. At a post lunch cabinet meeting she was standing behind him and lent over to point out a paragraph in his presentation. “I could feel her breasts pushing into my shoulder and the heady, sensual perfume of Chanel No.5 and 15 year old single malt. It was a most exciting and arousing moment”.
Margaret Thatcher was a woman who wielded power with ease and intelligence but never, ever resorted to the “Feminist” ticket. Nor have any of the other women who have risen to high-level politics – And for good reason. They know that any mention of the word would be fatal to their commitment as a serious player.
India, Iceland, Malta, The Philippines, Argentina, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany and many more countries vote for the politician they believe will do the most for their people, regardless of gender, race or religion. Let’s leave that hysteria to the American public.
Snap Helena we both chose Hillary as subjects of our blogs – hence Graham’s reply to both of us – although with very different views. Here’s a quote from mine to give you an idea of how I’m thinking: “Hillary can’t win and she probably won’t. Whether she cries or fights like a man she is accused of being soft or having a hissy fit. She can do nothing right but she sticks at it because every little inch she gains now – clawing her way to the White House – is a huge leap for the sisterhood. She is laying down tracks and we should all be grateful to her. Our mother’s generation never had a sense of their options, we do but also the sense of our boundaries invisible though they may be. The next generations of women can have even greater expectations.” Julesritter.com