A semi-interesting piece in today’s Ottawa Citizen by Susan Riley about Hillary Clinton’s “sudden display of emotion” at a recent campaign event which has reportedly helped her avoid another defeat in New Hampshire.
…no one would portray Hillary — wealthy, well-educated, well-connected and white — as a victim. As an individual, she obviously isn’t; as a woman trying to become president of the United States, however, she faces as daunting and history-shattering a challenge as does Obama — and her odds may be longer. In the New York Times, veteran feminist Gloria Steinem argues that “gender is probably the most restrictive force in American life, whether the question is who must be in the kitchen, or who could be in the White House.”
This argument can quickly become futile and self-defeating: who has it tougher in America, black men or women? Both do, in different ways, says Steinem — and, of course, intolerance hurts others, including Jews, Muslims, and, in the case of Republican candidate Mitt Romney, Mormons. But when it comes to winning political office in North America, Steinem argues, it is still hardest for women. The evidence is everywhere — including at 24 Sussex, where Prime Minister Stephen Harper is dining tonight with the 13 provincial leaders, not a woman among them.
Perhaps I am weird. But this endless victimizing really bothers me. So it’s tough for a woman to become president of the United States? I hope so! It ought to be tough for anybody.
UPDATE, Jan. 14: Re Judi’s comment – there is a third possibility. Maybe Hillary Clinton is losing (or in danger of same; I’m not counting her out just yet) because people don’t like her, irrespective of her gender.