WRONG ABOUT HILLARY
In response to Katha Pollitt’s “HRC: Can’t Get No Respect” [“Subject to Debate,” Nov. 20]: Sorry, Katha. Feminism today is much more complicated than you let it be. And you haven’t done your homework on Hillary–she says yes to cluster bombs, yes to Israel’s bombing of Lebanon, yes to curtailing abortion, yes to a constitutional amendment against flag-burning, no to gay marriage. She has one of the ten most conservative voting records in the Senate. You need to do your research before you claim Hillary is a good thing for any of us. You rant against Code Pink as though they were the same as the right wing in this country. Shame. And let us take the past forty years of feminisms, as you mention, and realize that your old-fashioned liberal feminism, which claims that a female President will give women power like men, is deeply flawed. Most feminists across the globe know better than this.
Just ask the women in Sweden or Liberia or Chile or Germany, for that matter–many with women presidents today. If you follow your own claims, I guess you support Condi Rice as a gain for women and for the world more generally. And she clearly is not that for women here or in Afghanistan or in Iraq.
Last, if you quote me, could you quote the entire sentence? I have said and written elsewhere, “I think Hillary is a dangerous remedy to the present antidemocratic drift in this country, not because she is a female but because her being female allows a cover for her masculinist militarism.” You really have this wrong, Katha. You allow the right wing to push you into a corner, and you end up authorizing Hillary the decoy, not a viable progressive or feminist candidate. It would be great if your column precipitates a Nation dialogue on the complexities of feminisms for this war-torn moment we all face.
New York City
Katha Pollitt’s “HRC: Can’t Get No Respect” is a brilliant, dead-on summation of the unique challenges faced by Hillary Rodham Clinton, often from the most unexpected camps. Indeed, it seems as though the level of scrutiny she faces in her political career has only increased to include the very feminist forces you would expect to be behind her every step of the way. I guess she needs to bake cookies and stand by her man as the first steps in her presidential platform, if we’re to take her seriously at all. As for me, I’ll stick with the bitter, ambitious career woman all the way.
New York City
My column was a satirical riposte to the sexist insults and gender stereotyping heaped on Senator Clinton, not a serious commitment to vote for her. As I wrote, I would prefer a more left-wing candidate. I just don’t like to see a woman knocked, mocked and insulted for being a woman, or held to higher standards than men. I have trouble with Code Pink’s focusing on Hillary Clinton when blame for the Iraq War and militarism in general is so widely shared, even among Democrats–despite the title of Eisenstein’s essay, the war in Iraq is not “Hillary’s War.” Unlike Code Pink, I don’t expect women to be better than men, and I don’t think peace is a women’s issue. It’s everybody’s issue.