Hillary Clinton and Feminism
Fake Hope, Fake Feminism, Fake Presidency
If Hillary Clinton is voted president in November, she will be noted down in history as the first-ever female American president. However, is that even relevant at this point, considering her profile? Her becoming president simply isn’t synonymous in any way with her actual representation of women’s often unheard voice as we know it. To clarify, let us note that the first rule to a clean and ethical government is being able to work with one’s opponent while refraining from making them appear as the devil simply for personal gain of political points. And while at it, Hillary condoning Madeleine Albright’s statement “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other” (Analysis, 2016) in reference to Hillary’s campaign directly contradicts that imperative. From Albright’s point of view, most women are going to hell because, their political ideology doesn’t align with that of a single woman, who frankly, isn’t a voice for women and feminism in the first place.
Let’s start by assessing Hillary Clinton’s competence not only by her gender, but by her merit. Going back in the past 25 or so years, several contradictory issues as to Clinton’s record of honesty and righteousness have arisen. For instance, back to the famous incident of her husband Bill’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, she automatically replied in disaccord to all the statements and allegations surrounding her husband’s voluptuous misconduct, saying “These women are trash. Nobody is going to believe them.” In addition, Clinton has received sizeable amounts of donations from various countries that visibly trail at the lowest tier of woman inclusion in society and womanly rights, such as Saudi Arabia and Oman.
Moreover, forcefully telling a woman who to vote for most evidently strains the perception of their mental capacity. It’s as if saying: this is the choice you must make, and any other choice will be detrimental to your society and will hinder the greater good. Subliminally, it’s informing the women that they are generally “stupid” if their choice doesn’t move in a certain direction (Scheer, 2016). Now, isn’t that merely going back decades and centuries in the past, to the ancient beliefs women fought so hard to overcome? Thus, there is no way one could say that it heightens the value of women in society’s eyes: all it does is tarnish it. What truly empowers women is their ability to support whomever they choose without the fear of being labeled as weak or stupid. Also, many people tend to stipulate that it is sexism that is driving away the support from Clinton’s campaign (yet another political stunt) while forgetting that, with all due respect and love to the women of this world, it’s the women themselves who feel that she just isn’t the right voice, or any voice for that matter, that advocates for women’s rise on social and political stage.
Generally, Hillary Clinton’s track record doesn’t present her as the most suitable option when it comes to the advocating of women’s rights and gender equality. Yes, we have yet to see a female hold the highest office in the land, but a candidate should always be accepted or rejected based on their actual merit, and not simply due to their coincidental adherence to the current status quo. Clinton has without a doubt lagged in her performance as a voice for women, as demonstrated not only by the fact that most women don’t seem to be voting for her, but also by the fact that her core principles and actions go against that of which most women would stand up for in our present day. If there’s one fact that Hillary can affirm without causing feuds on both sides, it’s that she represents herself and no one but herself. And oh, Wall Street too.
Written by MWR writer Bilal Gomdah, edited by the MWR team
Analysis. (2016). Why Young Women Don’t Buy Hillary Clinton’s Feminism. Telesur. Retrieved from http://www.telesurtv.net/english/analysis/Why-Young-Women-Dont-Buy-Hillary-Clintons-Feminism-20160228-0030.html#comsup
Scheer, H. (2016). Women Have Good Reasons For Not Supporting Hillary. The Federalist. Retrieved from http://thefederalist.com/2016/03/11/women-have-good-reasons-for-not-supporting-hillary/
Hillary Clinton is a Feminist and represents hope for American women
Hillary Clinton is a feminist. The very fact that she wants and believes she will the next president of the United States, a position that has only ever been held by men, proves this. She has proven that she believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes, and therefore is a feminist. Does this mean that she’s perfect? Trustworthy? The ideal candidate? No. However, she doesn’t have to be all that to be a feminist and to be a hope for American women. And she most certainly shouldn’t be held to a higher standard because she is a woman.
As the rapper Killer Mike, quoting Jane Elliot, said during a Bernie Sanders campaign event, “Having a uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president.” Although this is true, the fact that no president of the United Sates has ever had a uterus cannot be ignored. By having any woman as president, female power is normalized. Having a woman as president challenges cultural norms. Not one of the other candidates in this election could empower women in this way and if Clinton does win this election, another glass ceiling will be shattered. Having a woman occupy the most important position of executive power in America (and arguably the world) will bring hope to American women. When so few women are CEOs, are members of Congress or even get speaking roles in movies compared to men, having a woman as president would truly empower women in the United States and around the world.
Furthermore, as president, Clinton will do the most to improve the lives of women and girls. She has advocated for universal prekindergarten (Quinlan, “Hillary Clinton Officially endorses Universal Pre-K”), paid family leave (Sussman et al., “Clinton Offers New Details About Paid Family Leve Plan”)and a child care tax credit (Oliphant et al., “Hillary Clinton Urges Tax Cuts To Help Families Pay For Child Care”) . Bernie Sanders’ promises of free healthcare and free college (Gebelhoff, “The key details missing from Bernie Sanders’ free college proposal”) might seem appealing to the average middle-class individual, but will have very little impact on the lives of low-income women who already have children. Clinton’s policies, on the other hand, will have a huge impact on the lives of both low-income and working-class women. She might not promise the sweeping changes that Sanders does, but she has a better chance to be able to make her policies a reality. Her record is also much better than Sanders’, who has been light on details in his campaign and who has passed very few significant bills (Lazarus, “Hillary Clinton was a more effective lawmaker than Bernie Sanders”; Abramson “Sanders is bad on detail, but he has what Hillary lacks: the spirit of protest”).
Clinton is running a campaign as a woman and as a women’s rights activist. She has long been in favor of abortion rights, supports the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which blocks federal funding for abortion care for low-income women, and supports the U.S.’s funding of abortions for rape victims in conflict zones (Crockett, “Both Clinton and Sanders want to help rape victims aboard by changing this major policy”) . On top of this, she has the support of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice America (Filipovic, “There’s a strong feminist case for Hillary Clinton”). To accuse Clinton of not being a feminist or not supporting women’s rights is absurd. To be criticised for trying too hard to win the female vote during an election where, by definition, politicians are trying to win votes, is illogical.
Maybe Hillary Clinton is not the most trustworthy person out there and maybe she is using the fact that she’s a woman to get more votes, but this does not mean she isn’t a feminist as her record clearly proves she is. Clinton is acting like any other male politician would, but that does not mean that she can’t also be a feminist and represent a hope for American .
Written by MWR writer Ila Ghoshal, edited by the MWR team
Abramson, Jill. “Sanders is bad on detail, but he has what Hillary lacks: the spirit of protest”. The Guardian. April 9, 2016. Web. April 24, 2016.
Crockett, Emily. “Both Clinton and Sanders want to help rape victims aboard by changing this major policy”. Vox.com. February 12, 2016. Web. April 24, 2016.
Filipovic, Jill. “There’s a strong feminist case for Hillary Clinton”. Al Jazeera America. February 20, 2016. Web. April 24, 2016.
Gebelhoff, Robert. “The key details missing from Bernie Sanders’ free college proposal”. The Washington Post. April 1, 2016. Web. April 24, 2016.
Lazarus, Jefferey. “Hillary Clinton was a more effective lawmaker than Bernie Sanders”. The Washington Post. April 7, 2016. Web. April 24, 2016.
Oliphant, James et al. “Hillary Clinton Urges Tax Cuts To Help Families Pay For Child Care” The Huffington Post. June 15, 2015. Web. April 24, 2016.
Quinlan, Casey. “Hillary Clinton Officially endorses Universal Pre-K”. Thinkprogress.org. June 17, 2015. Web. April 24, 2016.
Sussman, Anna Louie et al. “Clinton Offers New Details About Paid Family Leve Plan”. The Wall Street Journal. January 7, 2016. Web, April 24, 2016.