vendredi, janvier 11, 2008

Hillary tears up-a defeat for American women?

There's a lot of hyperbole going around in this winter of our discontent. Perenially bewildered by the Clintons, political pundits have spent a good part of this past week examining a few minutes in New Hampshire, when candidate Clinton actually seemed to be close to shedding a tear.

Although she makes what I think is a very helpful point in her 'blog post from yesterday (see link), Judith Warner is also guilty of contributing to the plethora of navel-gazing essays and interviews on this fleeting phenonemon.

It's ok to feel empathy for a tired woman. I would hope that in this more enlightened age, we'd feel some empathy if John/John or Mike or even Rudy came close to tears. It would be darned good for the country if these very macho males felt secure enough to get a little emotional without worrying that they'd be watching themselves tear up (almost) for years afterwards on Fox or CNN...or Oprah.

If candidate Hillary cries again, the press will vivisect her.

Another wet-eyed moment would signal typical Clintonian artifice, they will claim. Weakness. An impending nervous breakdown.

I read Warner's piece right after a piece on the 20 year old pregnant Marine who complained about the alleged advances of a higher-up, and apparently paid the ultimate price. Two lives lost-a mother-to-be and her child.

Don't tell me women are playing on an equal field now, and we can examine a candidate on the merits. But also, don't assert that to be critical of her is to be unfair or sexist.

Fact is, I won't be judging Clinton by an emotional moment in a coffee shop in New Hampshire. I'll be wondering how she proposes to protect women much more vulnerable than her when they risk not just their careers, but their very lives.

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