My Profound Political Change

Love Her, Love Her Not: The Hillary Paradox, #hillaryparadoxbook, Hillary Clinton presidentA few people angrily asked me why Clinton didn’t quit the race for president, as they thought she was standing in the way of Obama. I think what they really wanted to know was why I wasn’t quitting Hillary.

Now that Love Her, Love Her Not: The Hillary Paradox is officially out in the book stores and online, and since many of the essayists are regular contributors here at The Broad Side, we thought we’d give our readers little bites of the essays through the month of November. If you like what you’re reading here from your favorite – or new- writers, please consider supporting us by purchasing a copy. Believe us, whether you ‘love Hillary or love her not’, there is plenty of thoughtful, fun and interesting writing here you won’t want to miss.

Today, an appetizer from Jennifer Hall Lee’s essay, Hillary Clinton Changed My Life:

The sexualization of women who dare enter the male halls of authority is a common tactic to suppress female ambitions for the White House. And men aren’t the only ones who resort to it. When the liberal Air America radio show host Randi Rhodes called Hillary a “big fucking whore” and another Air America host, Stephanie Miller, continually referred to Hillary as “Mrs. Clinton” instead of Senator Clinton, these subtle and not-so- subtle attacks succeeded in doing two things: They relegated Hillary to a mere sexual being, and they erased her substantive political experience, both as United States senator and as First Lady.

A few people angrily asked me why Clinton didn’t quit the race for president, as they thought she was standing in the way of Obama. I think what they really wanted to know was why I wasn’t quitting Hillary. Now the dimmer switch was turned up to full because I had to answer this for myself. And, this is where my shift in understanding took place. It was June of 2008, and it was the end of the primary race.

My old hallmarks of progressivism that formed part of my identity had dissolved, and I saw partisan politics more objectively. I had developed a new way of looking at the political world, especially with regard to women. All the writers, anchors, and politicians just looked like a deck of cards to me. In my mind I took the deck, placed it between my thumb and fore- finger, and jettisoned the cards into the air. I didn’t look to see where the cards fell because I had already walked through the political looking glass. I was in the wilderness. I felt alone, and it was just a little bit cold. But in reality, I was with eighteen million voters who stayed with her, those cracks in the male ceiling of the Oval Office. We could all see differently now after having experienced that campaign.

To read more of Jennifer’s essay and 27 others, pick up a copy of Love Her, Love Her Not: The Hillary Paradox, an Amazon #1 New Release, from your local bookstore or preferred online bookseller. #hillaryparadoxbook

Image via Wikimedia Commons/CC License/Ava Lowery

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