Hillary Clinton Good for Gender Equality
10 Apr 2015
With the news that Hillary Clinton is entering the Presidential race this Sunday, big media continues its faux hand-wringing that her campaign will feature a singular focus on the woman-ness of her candidacy as a means to woo women to the polls. EPIC TIMES founder and syndicated radio host Jerry Doyle voiced his own concern that the Hillary Clinton would “set gender relations back decades” because of the media’s need turn her campaign into “the gender wars – namely the women against the men.” However, author, activist and commentator Anita Finlay argues that “Secretary Clinton’s fight has always been to bring more women to the table as a means to help both men and women succeed, in families and economically.”
“In the upcoming election cycle, the challenge for the American people will be to see past media spin and gain as much direct access to each candidate as possible. As social media becomes ever more powerful, we have an opportunity to do this as never before.”
Tune in to this spirited interview…Jerry and Anita don’t come to blows, but sure as hell have a great time sparring!
And don’t miss my note to Jerry
Since Jerry stated that he read a number of my talking points on the air today in advance of this interview, I’ve attached my original email to him. The few sentences added in italics reflect an addendum made for clarity.
* * *
Respectfully, I could not disagree with you more on your monologue [Tuesday] that Hillary is bad for gender equality.
I would welcome the opportunity to debate it with you.
Despite the false media narrative, Hillary is not “divisive” and has worked collegially with both sides. That is her record. As far as the “weapons” she will use to get elected, she has long maintained, and governments around the world bear this out, that when women succeed, the economy succeeds. It is also a proven fact that lasting peace has a better chance to be achieved when women are involved in the peace process.
President Obama [chiefly through his surrogates and media fans] used the rhetoric of divide and conquer, but that is not Hillary’s weapon. While her supporters may call out media sexism on her behalf, Hillary just doggedly keeps going, no matter what. Unlike 2008, will she mention media bias? You bet. But as even the heretofore Hillary-averse Bill Maher recently noted, “She takes her beatings like a man.”
I personally think she takes them like a woman. Any man, like Chris Matthews, on the receiving end of the media diatribes that Hillary has gotten would complain bitterly and run for cover. See Matthews’ ribbing from Jon Stewart on the Daily Show – Matthews referred to it as “the interview from hell” and looked ready to hide under the desk.
Will Hillary’s womanhood, i.e. “I am woman, hear me roar” define her candidacy? No. She does not need it to. She just needs to be the adult in the room.
I hope you do not equate “feminism” with man hating. Nothing could be further from the truth. I also have a different perspective, which you might find encouraging, regarding the women-centric “titled” events in which Hillary is participating at next week’s Women of the World Summit. Men have long been the dominant force in business and the political arena. Occupying the halls of power for centuries means both a male dominated business model and paradigm. Women, only in the work force for the last 50 years, are still new to networking and accepting the idea that they too can sit at the table – and/or lead the table. Women-centric titles at a conference dominated by women are not designed to exclude men over the long haul, but merely to change the paradigm. That may be shocking to some men, but only because they are spoiled to the reverse.
The idea that relations between women and men will be set back with the election of a female president is simply a fear of upsetting the status quo. It is a fear shared by both women and men and has nothing to do with “men hating Hillary.” You might be surprised by how many men on both sides of the aisle think she’s great.
Is there a danger in having a woman president as far as upsetting the traditional domestic balance for some people? Certainly. But that insecurity will not be resolved just because we continue to have a male Commander in Chief. For an insecure male, no woman can ever occupy a small enough container.
Given that women score higher than men in many leadership markers and tend to work better through gridlock, (it was women Senators who brought an end to the government shutdown), this change is well worth the risk.
Forgive me, but in our current polarized government, going down the same old path with another male will just lead to more of the same. And that, ultimately, will be worse for gender equality and do nothing to grow our success as a society. Don’t we at least have the obligation to hear the person out before deciding she’s bad? Walking down the same street just means we fall into the same pothole.
Your ball, my friend! Thanks, as always, for your amazing support of my work.
Like Anita Finlay, Author on Facebook.
Follow @AnitaFinlay on Twitter.