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Cold, Calculating Hillary

Yes, Hillary is calculating. She's calculating exactly how carefully she has to say things not to be construed as a bitch or a nag by our stereotyped gender lens.
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Super Tuesday is upon us. So, let's just get ready for the polls to be wrong, the media to be loud, and Rush Limbaugh to have an aneurism when McCain sweeps the Republican side.

One more thing we can count on is our sexist cultural undertones to continue. Let's take a moment to talk about the megalomaniacal Hillary Clinton. Clearly, she could only be in the race because of calculated political ambition. Hers is a power-grabbing exercise. The men running for president are just exercising leadership.

In fact, Obama just happened upon his multi-million dollar campaign. He hasn't shoved his political career into overdrive because he has ambition, geez, what do you think he is, a politician?

Obama uses a teleprompter, but indeed that's not disingenuous. It's part of presenting his image to the public. It's what some people do when they make major speeches. But can you imagine if that same night in New Hampshire, Hillary's speech had been teleprompted? It would have given fodder to the media for days. "Is she too weak to speak on her own, is she too scripted?"

So yes, Hillary is calculating. She's calculating how many times she has to ignore mainstream news anchors and commentators using the word "witch" to describe her or say only white women support her. She's calculating exactly how carefully she has to say things not to be construed as a bitch or a nag by our stereotyped gender lens. She's calculating how to communicate complex ideas while not coming off as overly aggressive.

In a normal world, we should be calling her approach diplomatic, pulled-together, and smart.

As Stanley Fish's New York Times blog entry "All You Need Is Hate," and Jason Horowitz' GQ article "The Hillary Haters" point out: she's damned if she does and damned if she doesn't. I wonder if any of those slinging around their "hatred" of Hillary really thinks they'd last one day in her world.

And just like the swaggering guy who calls me "little lady" at the gas station and then offers up some unsolicited nonsense (or common-sense) advice -- I'm tired of hearing the likes of Chris Matthews and Bill Kristol among others implying that women are voting for Hillary because of our own gender. Some young women are scared of voting for Hillary for fear of being accused of voting with their vaginas.

Reverse that argument and see if it still sounds as 'sensible.' In this iron-clad logic, if men vote for a male candidate, what are they voting with? Come on, we're all using our brains here, not our reproductive systems.

I wrote last month about being genuinely undecided between Barack and Hillary. Clearly I've decided -- and I got a t-shirt. If Obama wins the nomination, I'll change my shirt and campaign for him. But instead I hope my new shirt will read: "Clinton/Obama '08." Because we need to win this election and that's a winning ticket.

Kim Mance is a writer and women's advocate; she has launched a new blog in anticipation of her book "Religiarchy."

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