The Anti-Palin Hillary Clinton Discusses Empowering Women
Liberal men often ask me why I write about Sarah Palin so much, assuring me that she is “stupid” and a “non-issue” if only I would leave it alone. But the women never ask me. They never ask me because we shared a collective blow to our solar plexus when we heard about McCain’s choice. We knew immediately that this was a woman who would set the woman’s movement back 100 years with every word she spoke, and the indignation, grief, and rage haven’t left us yet.
Last night, though, we were treated to an interview with Hillary Clinton on CBS’s “60 Minutes”. Clinton hardly dominates the media since becoming Secretary of State, so seeing her was a stark contrast to the daily Palin saturation of the news. Watching Hillary was healing, uplifting and encouraging. Hillary is the anti-Palin, and she’s out there kicking ass for us every day.
Here is the video courtesy of 60 Minutes:
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My favorite moment was Clinton’s forceful response to a question in the Democratic Republic of Congo, “What does Mr. Clinton think through the mouth of Mrs. Clinton?” a man asked. “You want me to tell you what my husband thinks? My husband is not the secretary of state. I am. You ask my opinion, I will tell you my opinion. I’m not going to be channeling my husband,” Clinton said.
Cue the accusations of what a “strident” “shrill” person she is – but you know, those accusations come from the Right and frankly, I don’t give a damn. She was brilliant and unapologetic in her demand to be treated as the authority she is.
Scott Pelly asked Clinton, “You felt it was expressed from a viewpoint of gender bigotry so to speak?” Clinton replied by talking about the great 21st Century mission of expanding rights for women and girls, “That’s the way I heard it. Yes. And since I believe strongly that one of the great moral, economic, political and cultural challenges and unfinished business of the 21st century are the rights and aspirations of women and girls. I am going to stand up for that principle.”
We now have a female leader fighting for us every day. So while we’ve taken a hit with Palin, we also have the guts, glory and grace of Clinton to celebrate.
Let’s compare Clinton’s ideas of feminism to Sarah Palin’s. Here is Sarah’s definition of feminist, “I do. I’m a feminist who believes in equal rights and I believe that women certainly today have every opportunity that a man has to succeed and to try to do it all anyway. And I’m very, very thankful that I’ve been brought up in a family where gender hasn’t been an issue.”
When asked by Katie Couric for her definition of feminist, Palin said, “Someone who believes in equal rights. Someone who would not stand for oppression against women.”
Palin is the front man for misogynistic policies systematically stripping women of their rights, such as charging for rape kits and being anti-choice and she sells all of this with her body. There’s a word for that and it’s not empowerment.
While she was governor, Palin once claimed she couldn’t support Clinton because Clinton “whined about the media.” Video here:
Not only is Palin’s smear of Clinton inaccurate, but the fact that Sarah Palin is an unprecedented coward regarding the Press only serves to exemplify her lack of empathy and support for the women’s cause. It also demonstrates her stunning ability to think of herself as the woman for whom things will and should be different. In other words, she doesn’t fight for all women or any other woman’s rights but her own. These are not the value of any feminist, not even a supposed “pro-life” feminist or traditional feminist. These are the values of the dominating patriarchy.
Palin is one of those women who derive pleasure from keeping other women down, while at the same time, not holding herself to the standards she preaches (for example, in stark contrast to Clinton, Palin’s husband ran her office when she was governor). Palin once giggled with delight while a radio host called a female senator, who was previously a friend and ally of Palin, a “bitch”, suggested she was too fat to fit into an airplane seat, and called the breast cancer survivor a “cancer”.
No sister does that to another woman. In feminism, we are not in competition with one another, but banding together – old, young, rich, poor, brown, black, yellow and white, gay, straight – holding hands in solidarity against a world which does not see us as equals. As hard as it is for the Right to believe, there are other values than the exterior of people, contrary to the current Republican party’s obsession with false narratives and plastic puppets. Not all women crave the lust of the patriarchy.
So while Palin joins the patriarchy as their Misogynistic Barbie, Clinton carries the mantle of civil rights and social justice in our names, across the globe with dignity and power.
Clinton is a force to be reckoned with. She does not pander to the patriarchy or soften the perceived blow of her power and intelligence with a flirty wink.
Clinton is her own woman. Clinton has more courage, smarts, integrity and guts in her in little pinkie than Palin has in her entire bedazzled encased self. Thank God for Hilary and for an administration that recognizes and supports the importance of women’s rights around the world.
As the Secretary of State said at the UN, “We must declare with one voice that women’s progress is human progress, and human progress is women’s progress once and for all.”