A few weeks ago, frustrated with the general bullshit sexism surrounding Hillary Clinton in her second bid for the Presidency, I wrote a Facebook post outlining a history of what she's been told--or had said about her--in her lifetime. Although moderately popular among friends, I quickly forgot about it.
Inspired by Courtney Enlow's flat-out fantastic commentary on the same topic for Pajiba, I decided to post it here.
To be clear, I do not believe this represents all Bernie supporters. The Sanders campaign has passionately argued on a number of issues and attracted support from a variety of quarters, including some feminists. I respect that.
However, the current social media trope of "LOOK AT HILLARY PANDER TO THE KIDS LOL" is about as intellectually dishonest as it gets. No politician on the federal level has achieved their success without tailoring their message (and appearance) to the interests of the electorate. There's a reason Sanders talks so much about free college for everyone and economic inequality: because his core base of support lies in young voters.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, by the way. I may not agree with Sanders' approach, but I do agree with him that in a perfect world, college would be free for everyone. That's not the point here.
The point is that while every major male politician does pander, rarely do they get called out on it and none are as vociferously criticized for "pandering" as Hillary.
The tragedy of Hillary's career is that, unlike male politicians on her level, she has always had to tailor her appearance, tone, and cultural awareness to what America believes is appropriate for a woman.
1959: "Hillary, sweetie, girls can't be astronauts. Only boys can do that."
1965: "Hillary is very bright for a young woman, but she should act less ambitious."
1969: "I just think Hillary is too radical. And I don't like her glasses. Women typically don't look good in glasses."
1974: "That young woman is such a bitch. I'm fine with women being lawyers, but she needs to tone it down. Nixon is a good man, and she's helping smear his reputation."
1979: "She's the First Lady of Arkansas. Have some fucking pride. Stop looking like a frumpy old
hag. And what is with those glasses?"
1980: "Bill lost reelection for Governor because of Hillary. She's not feminine enough. I hate her."
1987: "I just can't stand her. Women shouldn't be more ambitious than their husbands. And have you seen how she dresses?"
1992: "Look, Bill. I'll put it to you straight: if you want to win this thing, Hillary has to look the part. She may cost you the election."
1994: "Why is the First Lady interfering in public policy? She needs to learn her place. Be a good hostess. Leave the policy to us. The men."
1992-2000: "Her hair looks awful. Now, it looks okay. Now, it looks awful again. Everyone comment on her hair. Why does she care so much about what people think of her hair?"
1998: "She's an evil, conniving bitch. This marriage is a sham. Why doesn't she dump him? I bet she's a lesbian."
2000: "She's running for the Senate? In New York? Does this woman have no shame?"
2003: "She looks weak. Women need to look the part. Wear something a bit more masculine."
2004: "She's so robotic. She has no soul. I know this because she wears pantsuits."
2005: "Her pantsuits are great, but I still hate her."
2006: "I hate her, and I don't know why, but I think it's the pantsuits."
2008: "I just wish she were more human. Who cares if the Senate is full of old white men who are just as serious."
2008: "She cried?! Politicians can't cry. So weak."
2008: "She should cry more. It would make her look more human."
2009: "Goodbye, State Department. That evil lesbian bitch who can't decide on her haircut is going to destroy this country."
2012: "Oh, look. Her hair changed again. What a surprise."
2012: "The Benghazi incident is directly related to her pantsuits. I'm sure of it."
2016: "Why does Hillary pander so much? Doesn't she know that all she has to do is be herself and Americans will accept her?"