— GloZell Green (@GloZell) December 21, 2015
I try not to be too overt about supporting HRClinton here, because right now the Balloon Juice readership seems to be divided into three classes: those who also support her candidacy, those who are willing to accept her as our best candidate at the moment even if they don’t agree with everything in her history or her platform, and those who will never get over hating on Hillary for her real or imagined sins. The first group doesn’t need persuasion, the last group is unpersuadable, and the middle group probably doesn’t want to hear any more from either side. But after all the bullshit of the last few days — from the more paranoid Sandernistas insisting the data breach was a HRC-crafted trap, to the Media Village Idiots wondering if Daesh is really using a specially-crafted video of Trump insulting Muslims for recruiting purpose, to the stench of Trump’s latest free-media filth-slinging — I have to share Sady Doyle’s brilliant exegesis, “Likeable”:
… You’d think, given the impressive amount of unfair and often cruelly personal scrutiny this woman faces from the media, it would make sense for her to be pretty cautious about how she presents herself in public. Any misstep or miscalculation will result in a flood of negative headlines, and stands to damage her. Well, apparently, that doesn’t make sense at all. Hillary Clinton, you see, has a reputation for seeming “distant” to the press, not “open” enough to media exposure, “secretive,” “paranoid.” That public presence of hers sure does seem “calculating.” I mean: It’s almost like, after over twenty straight years of being attacked for her appearance, personality, and every waking move, breath and word, Hillary Clinton is highly conscious of how she is perceived and portrayed, and is trying really hard to monitor her own behavior and behave in ways people will accept. Which is disgusting, of course. Nowadays, we want “authentic” candidates. Hillary Clinton isn’t “trustworthy.” She doesn’t seem “real.”…
Hillary Clinton is the impossible woman. The pressures she lives under, every moment of her life, are so numerous and so all-encompassing that she barely has room to breathe. She doesn’t have an inch of leeway, a single safe option; there is no version of Hillary Clinton that won’t receive visceral hatred, and loud, personal criticism. And the version of Hillary Clinton we get – this conflicted, conflict-inspiring candidate, the woman who has a genius-level recall of global politics but has to assure the world she’ll spend her Presidency picking out flowers and china, the lady who books a guest spot on Broad City but can’t pronounce “Beyonce,” the woman who was twenty years ahead of the curve on women’s rights but somehow thinks it’s a good idea to throw in a Bush-esque 9/11 reference at a debate – is the inevitable product of these pressures…
And her story moves me, on that level, simply as an example of a woman who got every misogynist trick in the world thrown at her, and who didn’t let it slow her down. On that level, she’s actually become a bit of a personal role model: When people yell at me, or dislike me, I no longer think oh, how horrible this is for me. I now think, well, if Hillary can do it. Seriously. If Hillary Clinton can be called an evil hag by major media outlets for most of her adult life and run for President, I can deal with blocking ten or twenty guys on Twitter. She’s dealt with more shit than I have. She’s still going. I really have no excuse not to do the same.
But she shouldn’t have to deal with it. This is all the byproduct of a misogynist culture. If you can cut through those expectations, or change them, a different woman – potentially a very different candidate – would emerge on the other side. So saying nice things about Hillary Clinton, for me, isn’t just something I do because I feel good about her. It’s not even something I do to piss people off. It’s a way to shift cultural dialogue, to allow for a world where women aren’t suffocated or crushed by our expectations of them – a world where Hillary, and every future female President or Presidential candidate, can focus on the task at hand, and not have to climb over a barbed-wire fence of hatred in order to change the world.