I was waiting until after the NH primaries to post about the interesting incident yesterday in which Senator Clinton was nearly brought to tears by a question from the audience. The media has a lot to say about it, but her own explanation is so much more striking: “In an interview on Monday night, Mrs. Clinton said she choked up at the Portsmouth event because the other woman had expressed concern for her feelings, after months when Mrs. Clinton was focused on voters’ anxieties. ‘It was just so touching when this woman said, ‘Well, what about you?’ Mrs. Clinton said. ‘I just don’t think about that, I think about what I can do for other people I have spent a lifetime trying to help others; I’m very other-directed. That’s maybe why people don’t get me in the political world” (read the whole article, and see a video of the incident, here).
This seemed like such a… motherly attitude, the idea that she is willingly shouldering some sort of quiet, difficult burden. Like righteous degradation, except more authentic? Idk, but I think it’s helpful to consider that particuar moment (and her reaction) when reading the compelling article by Gloria Steinem, Women Are Never Frontrunners. Whether or not you totally agree with Steinem’s stance, her insight into the politics of gender is almost undeniably dead on: “…because sexism is still confused with nature as racism once was; because anything that affects males is seen as more serious than anything that affects ‘only’ the female half of the human race; because children are still raised mostly by women (to put it mildly) so men especially tend to feel they are regressing to childhood when dealing with a powerful woman.”
Thoughts on Steinem’s article? On female presidents?
(ps, Mitt Romey cries too).