Monday, February 18, 2008

Anti-Feminist Feminism

In Friday's WSJ Elizabeth Wurtzel had a really interesting piece. It was her theory on why women hate Hillary Clinton. Wurtzel has a history of feminist theorizing, after her critically acclaimed Prozac Nation she wrote a book called Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women. I hated that second book, and most critics seemed to agree with me but Friday's piece demonstrates more thought and dare I say even maturity. Part of the argument:

A young woman I respect in northern California describes Hillary as "grotesque." A middle-aged successful artist I know -- herself a bit of a virago -- thinks she's "evil." And my mother, who is admittedly a Republican, is capable of going on and on about how Hillary is in it all for herself, that she'll do anything to win, that she'll kill to push her agenda through, that she's just a disgusting human being, that the sound of Hillary's voice is enough to send her racing for the remote control to turn off her beloved Fox News. The New Republic points out that many Democrats describe Hillary Clinton as "mendacious, brutal, willing to bend (or break) any rule in pursuit of power." And they're on her side.

This special anti-Rodham anger is especially troubling because it's impossible to separate from sex or sexism. Hillary Clinton reminds me that it's possible that all powerful women are, as my friend puts it, "grotesque." They are exaggerated humans, extreme cases, everything to everybody.

I guess we aren't so ready for real change, no matter how often Obama says it.

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