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Hating Hillary: The One Thing Left and Right Men Can Agree On

Hillary Clinton announced her Presidential candidacy on April 12, 2015. In the moment, it was great news. I like the woman; I believe her to be the single strongest and most qualified candidate in either party; I had been hoping she would be the next President ever since she stepped down from her Secretary of State position in 2013.
So I was happy. For an hour or so. And then, it was replaced by a feeling I’d nearly forgotten: A pit at the bottom of my stomach, a stress headache, a steadily mounting fear.

Oh, God, I started thinking. They’re going to do it to her again.

“It” is Hillary-hate. It is the tendency for people to decide, at regular intervals, that Hillary Clinton is not a mainstream Democrat who’s carved out a groundbreaking career in politics, but a blood-drenched, boner-killing, venom-dripping hellbeast who is out to destroy America.

“They” is more nebulous, and worse: Hillary-hate is often, but not always, the province of men. It is often, but not exclusively, Republican; conservatives launched The Hillary Project to stop her candidacy back in 2013. (“Hillary Clinton—the name alone strikes dread in the heart of freedom loving Americans.”) And it is often, and unacceptably, embraced by otherwise progressive men, who abandon their principles and their common sense in order to trash her, demonize her, and loudly proclaim to anyone who will listen that they Just Don’t Like Her.

You know Hillary-hate. You’ve seen it before: It’s Tucker Carlson proclaiming that “when she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs.” It’s Chris Matthews scolding Clinton, when she criticized Bush’s homeland security spending in 2005, by saying that “you look more witchy when you’re doing it like this.” It is sainted progressive icon Jon Stewart getting huge laughs, off a shot of Clinton smiling politely, with the line “that look is where boners go to die.”

And it goes on, and gets worse, until Hillary is not just portrayed as an ugly, mean old lady these dudes don’t want to fuck, but as an actual monster. Hillary-hate is the fact that, while Clinton was grieving the suicide of her friend Vince Foster, Republicans spread rumors that she had seduced and murdered him. Hillary-hate is Maureen Dowd calling Clinton “Godzilla” and “Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.” Hillary-hate is the not-remotely-subtle implication that Clinton abuses her husband, spread by the New York Post; next to a photo of Clinton with her mouth wide open at a Benghazi hearing, they ran the headline “NO WONDER BILL’S AFRAID.” Hillary-hate is the persistent, bizarre need for major media outlets to go along with Dowd’s calling Clinton the “50-Foot Woman” and to make Clinton look scary by portraying her as superhumanly huge: On the cover of TIME as a rampaging, pantsuited giantess the size of a skyscraper (photographed in the act of stepping on a powerless man, of course) or on the cover of the New York Times Magazine as some sort of Lovecraftian elder God the size of a planet.

Hillary-hate is Nation contributing editor Doug Henwood, greeting Clinton’s candidacy, this time around, with a book cover in which she is portrayed as a murderer aiming a gun at either (a) you, the reader, (b) the Democratic party, or quite possibly (c) Democracy itself.

Henwood turned out to be my breaking point, for this particular hate-wave. He provided the moment when I found out what happens on the other side of dread; when the anxiety of my internal monologue (they’re going to do it to her again; they’re going to do it to her again; they’re doing it to her again) broke, and clarified.
I don’t care if I have to end my career, end my friendships, or end my life with a Twitter-fight-induced heart attack, is what I thought, on the other side of fear. If there is anything I can do about this, they will not get away with doing it again.

Now: I am not a diplomatic person. Electoral politics is not usually my beat; what I track is pervasive cultural bias against women, through the frame of the media. I’m not a politician, or a paid shill, and if Hillary knew I was on her side, she’d probably beg me to shut up. I’m a voter, and I’m a woman, who knows that Hillary Clinton has been the lens for America’s feelings about women and power since I was a small child.

I do not object to Hillary-hate because I always agree with Clinton, or because I am committed to unthinking defense of her every word and move. I even acknowledge that there are valid reasons to dislike her: I’m sympathetic to the people of color who’ve pointed out that she can be very bad on race, and that she has a lot of work to do to convince them that she will be responsive to their needs. That’s not Hillary-hate, that’s rational criticism, and it ought to be heard and respected, particularly by Hillary Clinton. What I oppose is Hillary-hate. I oppose misogyny. And I do it because I know, as sure as I know anything, that what men say about Hillary is what they’ll say about other women, what they’ll say about me, if we get too strong for them to control or ignore.

And I’m telling you: If you like Hillary, or if you just don’t want women to be portrayed as castrating bitches for being successful, the time to speak up is now. If we stay quiet during the previews, then, when it’s time for the show — the race to become the next President of the United States, which she will almost certainly wind up running — we may be too late.

I am also telling you: Do not allow yourself to be shamed for this. Hillary-hate has a lot of rules, which makes it predictable; one of them is that it intensifies whenever she stands to advance. Another rule is that it plays fast and loose with the facts. The final rule is that, in the midst of a hate-wave, people tend to forget everything they liked about her before it hit. But when it passes, people like her again. A lot. In 2013, she had a 69% approval rating (including 92% of Democrats) and was more popular than any other Secretary of State since 1948, with the exception of Colin Powell.

It is OK to like Hillary Clinton. It is! She’s made mistakes and she’s been wrong, like every politician, but when you hear that Hillary has only ever made mistakes or only ever been wrong, or that she is somehow more wrong than anyone, including the many liberal Democrats who share her policies, you are not hearing the whole story.

None of us wants to hash out the “BernieBros” problem again — in short, they’re real, and they’re not spectacular — but their common line that Hillary Clinton is “Reagan with a vagina,” to quote the nightmarish comment section of this fine Kathleen Geier piece, or the second coming of Margaret Thatcher, to quote roughly every lazy comparison-maker on the Internet (they’re both women, so they must be identical, I guess?) is in fact wrong.

Hillary Clinton has a liberal record. While in the Senate with her purported opposite Bernie Sanders, they voted the same way 93% of the time. She was rated as more liberal than 85% of her fellow Senators; in fact, despite the narrative in ’08 that Obama was the only liberal choice (I backed him that year, and I’m glad I did) she is slightly to the left of Obama, who stands at 82%. This isn’t to say that I have never disagreed with her, or that I won’t disagree with her in the future, or that Sanders isn’t to her left on economics. It is simply to say that the “Clinton = secret conservative” narrative is not grounded in fact, including the glaringly obvious fact that actual conservatives hate her. Maybe Clinton just pissed in their cornflakes one fine morning, but I’m betting it’s because she’s not conservative.

Clinton also has a feminist record. In fact, it’s been the primary source of much hate against her, starting in 1992, when Pat Buchanan riled the fears of the Republican base at the RNC by pointing to her agenda of “radical feminism.”

She is a strong defender of reproductive health care: Planned Parenthood hailed the announcement of Clinton’s candidacy, in a press release proclaiming that “there has not been a candidate for president with a stronger commitment to women or a clearer record on behalf of women’s health and rights,” and she has been the first candidate to bring up the attempts to de-fund Planned Parenthood in both Democratic debates. (In the second debate, she was also the only candidate to even mention it.) She has consistently and uniquely centered the role of women and girls in foreign policy, beginning with her historic 1995 speech in Beijing — “human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights” — and continuing throughout her time as Secretary of State, and has been credited by some with breaking the long-held but unspoken rule that women had to be “tougher” (meaning: more militaristic and conservative) than men in order to be seen as credible on the international stage.

She is not a do-it-alone feminist or a personal exceptionalist; she has consistently worked to promote and foster female leadership, everything from hiring many women as key campaign staffers to mentoring Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, one of the very few women who’s been put forward as a potential Presidential candidate for the next generation. She has worked to frame gun control and police violence as women’s issues; she is the only candidate so far to make the domestic violence crisis part of her platform, advocating to close loopholes that allow domestic abusers and convicted stalkers to obtain guns. And on the topic of violence against women — and this is particularly delightful for those of us who have certain key reservations about feminists of Clinton’s generation — she has been actively campaigning to address transgender rights and needs, including what she has called “the crisis of transphobic violence.”

I respect feminists, like Geier, who are debating whether Clinton is a perfect feminist. She is not. Nor am I. Nor is any feminist or woman I know. There are valid critiques of her gender politics; again, Clinton has work to do, particularly on racial justice, in order to be the best feminist she can be. Yet Clinton is, in fact, a good feminist, and an unprecedentedly electable feminist, and I would argue that levels of feminism would most likely not even be a subject of debate if she were not in the running. (I like Sanders’ record on certain feminist issues, but for all his strengths, he seemingly subscribes to the old-school lefty theory that class is the determining factor in all oppressions — an approach that tends to invariably marginalize issues of identity as “less important,” and which much feminism, including socialist feminism, has been built around refuting.) When was the last time you debated whether a male Presidential candidate was a great feminist, or merely a good one? When was the last time you questioned whether a male candidate was qualified to represent all men?

Those are the questions to ask yourself. Because this is when the issue snaps into focus. Hillary-hate isn’t just big, obvious declarations that she is a monster. Hillary-hate is also the double standards, the quiet elisions and distortions. It’s what happens when Ben Norton, one of the loudest and most vehement critics of Clinton’s Iraq War vote, advocates for Joe Biden’s candidacy without mentioning that Biden also voted for the Iraq War. It’s what happens when H.A. Goodman declares that voting for Clinton would be a violation of his principles, because she’s too much like a Republican — even though he was openly planning to vote for an actual Republican, Rand Paul, last year. It’s the fact that Hillary has to pass all the same tests that men do, plus several they are never required to take, and that she always has to score twice as high just to get a passing grade. As, for example, in the Democratic race, where she is consistently framed as a risky candidate to nominate, despite literally scoring twice as high as her nearest competition.

And whether or not you like Hillary Clinton, that has a massive impact. This is how little girls learn to doubt their own competence, to play down their ambition or intelligence. This is how little boys learn to treat little girls with contempt. It is how a new generation of young left-wing men is learning that they can leverage sexism to get their way, and that they can deal with women’s criticism — no matter how accomplished those women may be as progressive voices — by condemning those women for “playing the victim,” or calling them insufficiently leftist. It may be how young left-wing women learn that, if they see or experience sexism from the men in their lives, their only safe option is to be quiet and look the other way. And it’s why some white men are able to claim that they care more about marginalized groups than those women do, while also saying that if Hillary gets the nomination, they will attempt to split the Democratic vote and bring on a Republican administration that would be unmitigatedly disastrous and oppressive for immigrants, people of color, the poor, GLBT people, and (oh, yeah) women.

It’s tempting to identify the Hillary-hate with Sanders, since his fans engage in it, and to dislike him. I’ve succumbed to the urge myself, and I’m not proud. But you shouldn’t. Though I believe he’s more of an economic policy guy than an effective world leader, he’s a brilliant economic policy guy. I’d love to see Bernie working in the Clinton administration, economic-policy-ing the heck out of things. And not only is getting mad at Sanders wrong, it’s beside the point.

The current Hillary-hate is an overture: A fraction of the sheer tonnage of misogyny and dishonesty that’s going to come if and when she wins the nomination. Hillary Clinton has already been the subject of over $1.8 million worth of attacks from PACs — more than any other candidate. Republicans know she can win, and they know that Hillary-hate is their best, possibly only weapon. If you track the hate, you know: The Big One is coming. And it’s going to come from people who don’t have any investment in progressivism, people who aren’t using Hillary-hate for even vaguely admirable reasons.

And if we don’t speak up now, if we give a pass to Hillary-hate early on, they will be able to use our own words — or our own silence — against us. It will gain that much more traction. It will be that much harder to fight. It may mean we miss our chance, not only at electing a female President in the foreseeable future, but at electing a Democrat at all.

It is hard to speak up against Hillary-hate. It is thankless. People will attack you, trivialize you, demonize you, sexualize you, lie about you, hate you. In fact, they’ll treat you… well, they’ll treat you like they treat Hillary. But once you’re part of it — once you break on through to the other side, and experience a little of the sheer crispy-fried gender Hell that must be Hillary Clinton’s day-to-day life — it’s a lot easier to see why and how they’re wrong. And it’s a lot easier to see that Hillary-hate needs to end, not for Hillary Clinton, but for any woman who wants to make her way through this world.

Photo by Keith Kissel, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

53 thoughts on “Hating Hillary: The One Thing Left and Right Men Can Agree On

  1. If you think that Clinton would ever have Bernie work on economic policy in her administration, you don’t understand Hillary’s real, demonstrated political views. Sorry. I don’t like Hillary Clinton based both on her policies, past votes and on how she campaigns (she’s already told blatant lies about Sanders at least twice – not counting her super-PACs or surrogates). I am a feminist and have been since the day I was born. I don’t like Hillary Clinton because I am a progressive, and while there may be some progressive men who are sexist, (certainly are, indeed), many of these progressive men simply dislike Hillary for the same reasons I do. We think she co-opts the progressive message and makes it more difficult to elect a real progressive, while having no intention of leading as a progressive. In this particular political climate and economic reality, that’s a terrible thing to do. We have never more needed real change and real progressivism than we do in this moment. That’s Bernie Sanders. Sorry he’s not a woman, but I’d rather have a real progressive than a woman – It’s actually just as rare. I’d also lay good odds that Elizabeth Warren or a progressive woman will at least be asked to serve as VP in a Sanders administration. If not, I’d really dig Keith Ellison up there. Imagine the first Jewish/Muslim administration. That would be pretty amazing too, in my book.

  2. For the record, I wasn’t enthusiastic about Obama either, and I voted for Kucinich in the primary. I love progressives. I never thought Obama was the real deal when it came to progressivism either. If that helps you to understand that I’m not just anti-Hillary. I’m anti the whole corporate/moderate Democrat mess that has all but ruined the Democratic Party I believe in.

  3. You speak about all of the Hillary hate, and say that “this is how little girls learn to doubt their own competence, to play down their ambition or intelligence.” I 100% agree with you, but why not mention the “hate” on Carly Fiorina too? Why not mention the “hate” that is put upon so many female politicians??

  4. It’s very similar to what the female targets of GamerGate face. M

    Brogressive men who would blanch at depicting Obama with bone through his nose, or hanging from a tree, have no qualms about using the sleaziest stereotyped slanders against Hillary.

  5. well said, but I have to mention it isn’t as bad this time, or maybe it’s too early. The NYT seems worse, Maureen Dowd wrote a piece on female directors that was ironic given that she’s against having a female director of the USA, but MSNBC has improved. The claim is that she’s sui generis, those sexist memes are really true about her, while actually none of it’s true, there is not a squarer policy wonker on earth.

    Hilly hate is woman hate, and letting that go costs lives, literally and in all the other ways.

    Thank you for writing this.

  6. How nice to see Sady Doyle take her vendetta against me to another medium besides Twitter. Two points: 1) she doesn’t mention that the cover artist is a woman, Sarah Sole who is quite infatuated with Hillary, as you can see from her website sarah-sole.com, and 2) the book isn’t out yet, though it will be very soon. so she has no idea what I actually think about HRC.

  7. I admire Hillary Clinton for her intellect, her strength of character, her personal courage, her toughness, her experience, and her love for her country. Hillary-hate is the hatred that all strong women endure in this country. It is the hate in the hate crimes of domestic violence and murder of women. Hillary is our best chance at freedom and equality, and any woman who really values herself will not speak against her.

  8. Please, she is a neocon. Nuff said. If she were a man, I’d loathe her. Do women candidates get a break when they lie, pander for money, and otherwise harm working class women (never forget she put us under the bus in the 1990s along with Bill with the pandering neoliberal welfare reforms that pushed us into low wage jobs.) Yes, you can like your elite woman candidate, who leaps over dead bodies, suggests that Iranians are her enemy. But don’t insult my intelligence.

  9. Sady, your eloquently expressed story made me weep. It is beautiful. And so true. I will share it. Thank you! Connie

  10. Your piece ends up reading as invalidating political criticism of a centrist/militarist candidate. It provides left cover for the center/center-right drift of the Democratic Party by essentially tarring legitimate (and this goes beyond CYA hat tips to POC activists and token efforts to say blah, blah Bernie) left uneasiness with her as a leader as being misogynist. In other words this is propaganda.

  11. Some men will always hate intelligent women. Sad but true. I have a strong dislike for Bill Clinton, who uses women like napkins, convienient when needed and when youre done throw them away. I don’t want HIM in the White House again, as the spouse. So if Hilary can get rid of Bill, then I’m with her all the way.

  12. Dude. Don’t throw in women or people of colour like we’re something you can mention in a rush. This is really sickening to be honest. White feminists like you are the reason we are treated like shit. You keep on ignoring us only to bring us up in order to attack someone. Christ this is horrible. I am fed up with this shit. The very idea that you were likely paid to write this trash is even more infuriating.

  13. Ya got me. I’m strongly opposed to Hillary’s candidacy only because she’s an evil harpy of a woman. It’s not because she created the TPP when she was Secretary of State only to come out against it right after it passed. It’s not because she threw LGBT people under the bus by declaring, loud and clear on the floor of the U.S. Senate, that marriage is between one man and one woman, only to change her mind when public opinion swung the other direction. It’s not because she said that Walmart was great for America at a board meeting and helped with Bill’s death blow on welfare only to start speaking like an economic populist when the chickens came home to roost. It’s not any other things that make her as opportunistic as anybody in Washington.

    Nope, it’s only because she’s a strong woman that makes me penis want to detach and run far, far away. The jig is up.

  14. In the 2008 primaries I supported Obama because I considered him more electable than Hillary–precisely because I feared the Hillary haters effect could result in a Republican presidency. Never because I considered him more liberal than Hillary. He seemed less liberal to me, so I’ve never had to feel disappointed (only annoyed) by some of his policy positions (in action as opposed to in rhetoric). Or by some bad calls on appointments–looking at you, Geithner and Summers–and his wussy handling of Republican congressmen his first years. He’s actually come through for us a lot, and Hillary has become more rounded in experience. Nice to see that big brain of her’s in action as Secretary of State. She’s learned a lot, her tendency is to learn for experience anyway. (Now that was a nice appointment.)

    This time, I think she can overcome the Hillary haters. I always have liked Sanders very much as a senator. He is a voice of economic sanity in interviews, but I do not think he will make as effective a president on the levels Hillary can. She’ll be as likely to get better economic legislation passed than he could, make better appointments and will have better coattails for other Democrats downticket–which we need to get anything passed. She has shown herself to be a sterling administrator as Secretary of State and a capable negotiator and creator of legislation in the Senate. Looking at the actual record and not at the fear will help progressives and the general electorate understand what she’s about and who she really is.

  15. Interesting article. Very good food for thought. My issue with Hillary Clinton doesn’t have anything to do with her gender. My reservation with her has to do with her Wall Street ties. My fear is that she will get them ahead of working class Americans. They haven’t given her millions of dollars out of the goodness of their hearts. They expect a return on their investment. The fact that she isn’t keen on reinstating Glass-Steagall concerns me greatly. The fact that she called the TPP a “gold standard” but know opposes it makes me think her position is poll tested and not indicative of her true feelings. I take issue with the fact that it took until 2013 to “evolve” on gay marriage. Hillary Clinton is not a liberal. Bernie Sanders is much more in line with my values and my political beliefs than Hillary. That said, if she wins the nomination she will get my vote. She is one million times better than anything the Republicans have to offer.

  16. Nice try. I won’t vote for Hillary Clinton in my primary. I don’t like her, don’t trust her and I think she’s dishonest. Don’t try to question my feminism or blame me for the imaginary future harms that will come to smart young girls if I don’t support this out of touch career politico just because she’s female. There will be more female candidates and I will support them if I agree with them. Not supporting Clinton as a candidate does not mean I support misogyny and I don’t appreciate the implication so obvious in this piece.

  17. The Left has not attacked Clinton for being a feminist or a woman, please. Doug Henwood’s book cover was painted by a Hillary supporter which I think you know but decided to leave out of this piece. Of course, Henwood choose it to represent her nearly pathological determination to become President. This pathology has has led her to distance herself from her own policy positions (e.g., TPP, Gay marriage) and ingenuously suggest Sanders was being sexist when he said people were shouting about gun control. A quick search of the internet will find a myriad of harsh cartoon and graphics of politicians. I am not sure why Clinton should be off limits. Ironically, when I saw the painting my first thought was how badass it made her look, then I found out it was painted by a supporter, it made sense. There is no male conspiracy on the left against HRC, I simply do not like her politics and her way of doing business.I am a feminist any my feminism goes beyond the idea that a woman president with reactionary politics is progress.

  18. This is so politically correct it is instant parody. Misogyny indeed. All of this drama-queen hysteria about Hillary as Victim is utterly absurd. She is a terrible candidate for everyone. And she has made no secret of her contempt for men and the male vote. The far left is starting to implode. I suggest you catch up.

  19. I don’t think Bernie Sanders would take a job in Hillary’s White House. I do think that his Senate career will have been enhanced by his run, and I can see him chairing a few key committees. He and Elizabeth Warren are better off staying in the Senate.

    As for Bernie’s political chances outside of Vermont:

    Where lefties repeatedly err is in writing off social concerns as mere ‘distractions’ or (in the case of women’s or LGBTQ issues) ‘gonadal politics’, as opposed to economic issues – no war but class war and all that. Yet if white working-class American males voted their pocketbooks, Trump wouldn’t have their votes locked up tighter than a drum, and the Southern Strategy wouldn’t be the foundational document of the modern GOP. The Archie Bunkers are lost to us and will stay lost unless they evolve, die, or are drowned out by the nonwhite groups that are waxing ever more numerous and ever stronger at the ballot box.

  20. We judge her more harshly then any politician I know. After awhile you start believing all the crap they say about her. I must say when the Bengazi hearings started I was struck by how poised and how knowledable she was, I remembered why I love this woman. She may not be as far to the left as I would like her to be but we are talking about winning an election here, defeating the Republicans. Building on what Obama started. We have mentally sick people on the Republican side that people hardly question when they say such false, sick statements. Not just Trump but the whole slate. There should be no question that she would be a better president than any man on the ballot.

  21. Hmmm – anyone else besides me wonder if the commenter from 12/24/15 @ 6:30 am is really a white conservative trying to pull a Mary Rosh?

    Geez, yet another GamerGate similarity: MRAs pretending to be something they’re not.

  22. Hey —

    If there’s one thing I can ask that we NEVER do, it’s race-bait each other. It is true that Clinton has more work to do on racial justice — and it’s also true that we’re in active crisis on that front right now. People are dying. Police departments are corrupt. Islamophobia and anti-Latino, anti-immigrant dogwhistles are becoming a campaign platform. One of the guys running on the other side is actively courting white supremacist groups. If people of color don’t trust, like or agree with me (or Clinton), they have every right to that, and every right to express it. Forging conspiracy theories about who’s secretly white, or downplaying the level of racism that Obama’s faced over the course of his career, is not only offensive, it’s hardly likely to win anyone over.


  23. “I even acknowledge that there are valid reasons to dislike her”

    Maybe it’s just as simple as that. Too many questionable past agendas, too many times caught in lies, to great an impression of untrustworthiness.

    This election is about real change; no more corrupt career politicians. Hillary is among that group, and the only option for realistic change without ties to corruption narrows the field of Presidential candidates down to one very obvious choice for BOTH parties, and that is Bernie Sanders.

    Sure it would be fantastic to have our first woman President, but not at the expense of her being deeply entrenched in the politics as usual the majority has declared it is determined to reject.

    Perhaps there are Hillary haters, but except for Bernie Sanders, what other politician doesn’t have his or her dedicated detractors?

    You must also realize that Bernie is every bit as supportive of women’s rights and equality as Hillary, maybe even more so.

    The bottom line is simply this; for those who want the corruption in Government to end, and desire to become part of Democracy the way it is supposed to be, governance by, for, and of the People, Hillary is not a viable option. Bernie Sanders is the ONLY choice for any chance of reclaiming Democracy.

  24. Would it be more acceptable.. to state that it is the Clintons plural that are disliked for their policies…
    Not a female based issue.. But NAFTA..3 Strikes… Glass Seagal.. Saudi Arms Deals…Haiti… And on and on
    But Bill is not the Candidate this time.. so It’s easy to think gender

  25. I consider it obligatory that I support Hillary against all and any attacks on her. I strongly want her to win the presidency, but, whether she wins or doesn’t I’ll be with her, and continue to defend her whatever her pursuits. I take it for granted that the fierce opposition Hillary faces, is mostly misogyny, something both sexes, often fail to see in themselves. Hillary embodies all those qualities we see in women. that inspires misogyny. But when it comes to women as leaders, this appears to be the last straw for serious misogynists. This very determination, annoys and offends many males, and probably some women. Determination, after all, is thought to be a male characteristic. The poll numbers tell us much of we need to know. Tell me why there is such a large difference between the support Hillary receives from women, compared with men? It’s hard to see how misogyny is not at the foundation of this condition. It seems to me, that a good deal of misogyny, is actually operating in people, precisely because they can’t see it. I also have a problem with the precise definition of the word misogyny.
    I’ve talked enough.
    all the best

  26. Such incredible nonsense: She’s been a follower on the issues, not a leader, except where it’s concerned her wall street funders like goldman sachs, her big business lobbyists like monsanto or her political convenience like her stances on same-sex marriage, private prisons, trade agreements that destroy american labor, iraq and so on and on….: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kB7eTmOVIg4

  27. Well said. I agree completely and I am a feminist female. To support a person for any job based on their sex is the very definition of sexism. Shillary is NOT the right person for this job, Elizabeth Warren IS. To make this issue about her sex is the very height of sexism.

    I’d also like to challenge the sexist assumption that women in positions of authority, from which they have been historically denied because they are women, will necessarily change anything about the status quo for the better. And I point to the current district attorney for Chicago to make my point.

    Progressives, real progressives, would have to be completely daft to want anyone, male or female, with a track record like HRC. I will not be chided and scolded into voting for a candidate that is not in my best interest. I do not like, do not trust, do not respect HRC as a person. Her sex is not relevant to my complete and utter disdain of everything she stands for.

  28. Bill Clinton is riding high in public opinion polls and is a surrogate par excellence. Why is he not getting a higher profile in promoting Hillary? Seems there was a day of news that he was going to be campaigning for her, then nothing.
    I am not suggesting that Hillary cannot make it without the help of a man; only that her husband is a popular ex-president who would benefit her tremendously among the men in the party and the women’s vote, as well.

  29. I have wanted to like Hillary Clinton since 1992. However, she keeps doing and saying things that dissuade me from liking her. I even saw her in person when she appeared in Potsdam, NY while she was still in the Senate. Despite it being abundantly clear by then that the Iraq War was a blunder and the business about “weapons of mass destruction” a big lie, Hillary was still gung-ho for the war. Her other positions at that time were also less than stellar.

    Thus far, there has been absolutely nothing “ground breaking” about Hillary Clinton. She was not the first woman admitted to the bar. She was not the first woman to be married to a president. She was not the first woman to be a Senator. She was not the first woman to be Secretary of State. She was not the first woman to run for president. Further, both the Democrats and the Republicans have nominated female candidates for Vice President. Other women from both political parties have served as Governor of states. Hillary doesn’t have a notable record of legislative accomplishments. Further, her accomplishments while Secretary of State such as selling advanced weapons to dictatorships and advocating for the Trans-Pacific Partnership are at best highly questionable.

    I do not agree with Hillary’s record on important issues such as going to war with Iraq. Nor do I agree with her proclivity for supporting unilateral intervention. I do not agree with her positions on regulating Wall Street including he opposition to reinstating Glass-Steagall. I do not agree with her opposition to universal single payer healthcare.

    People are claiming that Hillary Clinton is “courageous” or a “hero”. I am curious about what this is based upon. I do not know of any instances of Hillary placing herself at significant personal or political risk. I know of no examples of Hillary exhibiting courage. Hillary claimed a number of years ago that she was under fire during her visit to Tuzla, Bosnia in 1996. This claim has been thoroughly debunked by video of her arrival. Most recently, she appears to have invented an attempt to join the Marine Corps. This attempt is conveniently beyond being verified one way or the other.

    Incidentally, I voted for Bill Clinton both times he ran for president. I first voted for George McGovern. Yes, I am old. I date from an era when a company guard told me that it was illegal for women to work after midnight. Sadly, I do not and can not support Hillary Clinton. I am disturbed by the constant drumbeat by Hillary and her supporters that any sort of opposition to her is misogynistic. I am bothered by Hillary’s incessant mentioning of her gender during her public appearances instead of focusing on the very real issues which confront the country. I was offended by her playing “dumb blond” with her wiping the server “with a cloth” non-answer to a reporter’s question. I believe that this all falls far short of feminism.

  30. Doug, Doug, Doug, Doug, Doug… Bless your little, tiny heart. I somehow missed on the first go ’round that this article was all about you and Sady’s personal vendetta against you, but on a reread, I see it. Oh. Wait. No I don’t. She devotes one sentence to you. And your cover artist is a woman?!?! Do you “have black friends” too? Because that’s how that reads. Way to prove a point and make an article that is about a woman all about you! Congratulations, you suck.

  31. Excellent article – objective, accurate and explicitly supported regarding the context and particulars of the 2 decades plus smear and especially the past 10 years as the GOP has spent $500B to remove her credibility…which the Sander’s supporters have regurgitated…ginned up by the trolls that have infiltrated and infected the Sanders’ revolution which as the participants know, is a movement by the embittered and under-informed to replace Capitalism with Debs Socialism, that has driven Bernie forever.

  32. Thanks for writing this. As someone who as admired Hillary since the 90’s, I know she is a progressive and I have supported her every step of the way. It is disheartening to listen to white males in our own party denigrate her and some women too. I believe she will make one of the best Presidents we ever had and it is finally time for a woman to rise up and take this spot. If not now, when? If not her, who? We need to change our thinking and having a woman in the top spot can do this. Not only for America, but more importantly – the World.

  33. I am sick and tired of the hate for Hillary and will criticize any such remarks that I read. Hillary is the most qualified candidate running game for President in either party by leaps and bound.


  35. The dignity and courage that it takes for Hillary to get up every day is an inspiration. The Hillary hate is real on the right and the left. The humor she manages to muster about herself, her husband and life is a joy to behold. And the incredible list of accomplishments in her life is remarkable. Thanks for this great essay. Fighting back against the hate every day. Go Hillary!

  36. Many of the comments in here prove the author’s point. Too much of it is dripping in right wing talking points and presented as fact by those claiming those reasons to be the reason they aren’t for her. The entire Wall Street meme is a right wing talking point, people. Notice how when one shuts down their arguments from her previous campaigns by pointing out that 90-98% were from individuals and that Wall Street quit donating to democratic nominees as of 2010 (thanks to Dodd-Frank’s passage), they move the goal posts. Now, it’s her speaking fees that prove she’s owned. Proving they don’t understand people do make a living off of speaking fees, not just politicians, and they aren’t owned or owe favors once they’ve made the speech and received payment for that requested service. We hear more about her being a shill from supposed leftists than we hear about any of the republican candidates. That is where the proof of what the author addresses lies. It’s not just men who are guilty, it’s the women who fear being seen as being ‘too feminist’ who go out of their way to demean the one woman who has a real chance of getting elected to the highest office in the land. They most likely agreed with the flawed and dismissive argument made by much of the right and even Senator Sanders that minorities only voted for Obama because of his skin color and don’t want to be accused of only voting for Clinton because of her gender. To this end, they feel the need to prove to the men of the world they’re on their side. Patriarchy at its best and its victims are none the wiser.

  37. I am a WWII veteran and been through and observed these evil tactics of assassination of character by false rumors which the Republicans are famous for. I will never stand by and allow this to happen to anyone especially one that has a lifetime of service to people and country.

  38. Thank you for saying what needs to be said. I support Hillary, not because she is a woman but because she is the most qualified candidate the US has ever had. Those women who say they don’t like her are the same ones who voted for George H.W. Bush because Dan Quayle was so cute!

  39. Has nothing to do with hate or the media warping my mind- she is a corporate shill that is thoroughly unlikeable tha nks to her coziness with Wall St. and Monsanto, her neocon positions, her failed and hawkish voting history. Her actions are objectionable, has nothing to do with being a woman.

    Sad article. Please don’t project your emotions or your ” pit in the stomach” to society.

  40. Very well done and so true. We need sanity in government and Hillary is stable emotionally and sharp intellectually. She will be an excellent president.

  41. Thank you Sady…..so well said. The misogyny is palpable in this political climate and literally makes me sick!
    You’ve summarized Hilary’s history beautifully and once again I feel a pride in her and her accomplishments and hope that the American public can see past the crude and rude sound bites and get behind her. She really deserves to be the next American President….woman or not.

  42. Hate is visceral.
    Disagreement is cerebral.
    I both hate and disagree with Hillary.

    Hatred cannot and need not be explained. I hate the smell of cigarettes because I hate the hate the smell of cigarettes. I hate Hillary because I hate Hillary. Enough said. And frankly, who the hell cares anyway?

    I suppose that no one really cares about why I, an anonymous stranger, disagrees with Hillary either. But the difference is that I can, if called upon to do so, offer arguments and explanations.

    Any questions?

  43. What a great article! I completely agree with everything you have said. Unfortunately, the horrific level of sexism affects people on both the right and the left—but the left does not see it. Leftists think they are somehow immune to what they hear. Too bad.

    Thank you for writing this!

    And M: we are against sexism against Fiorina. But there is just not that much of it that we hear, and certainly not over the course of the last 30 years.

  44. Jennifer: whoa…. Your post just did something I’ve always thought impossible. Before I explain, I should clearly state this is not meant to be sarcastic. Tonight I came across this blog after searching Madeline Albright’s classy quote from earlier today “there’s a special place on hell..” It just sickened me that people would so openly promote voting purely on gender…. My political views are as polar opposite of yours, for me GW Bush is too far left. Until I read your response I could never have imagined having respect for anyone touting progressive positions, further I assume all progressives think like Madeline A. Practice reverse discrimination and support their position with crazy double speak. But I am proven wrong, while Im still sure we disagree on every issue, you presented a clear, well reasoned, nom-discriminatory argument for your choice. I’m taken back, I hope you are the start of a trend. Imagine if political discussion were elevated to real communication instead of two way hate mongering from left and right…. I dare to say, there could even be a possibility of someday discovering common ground.

  45. Thank you so much. I’ve been enjoying your writings, especially on this issue. One thing I must say though, lately I’ve had some very rabid Hillary Hating from progressive and left-wing women who claim to be feminists. This is particularly disappointing. And now we have Steinem and Albright pissing of young feminists with stupid statements only making it worse.

  46. FWIW the actual voters show that young people break overwhelmingly for Sanders, regardless of gender, while older people, both men and women, vote heavily for Clinton. Ethnicity is also more predictive than gender, so far, when it comes to the demographics of the two candidates’ supporters. So despite a vocal minority of misogynistic commenters I suppose, it doesn’t seem as though gender is a big part of the story.

  47. Yes, people can dislike Hillary for legitimate reasons, but the fact of the matter is, there are tons of politicians with unsavory policies and who have done not-so-great things and people don’t HATE HER!!!!!!!!!!! like they do with Hillary. You’d really think Hillary was Hitler from how people talked about her, as if she isn’t just a moderate extremely successful politician who understands the game of politics, is a tireless worker and can get shit done.

    If she fails on one thing she’s this evil evil woman whom men want to punch in the face. Youtube comment sections on her videos are a thing to behold; no one can deny there’s latent misogyny in the way people think and talk about her. It’s beyond disgusting how much she has a target on her back compared to other imperfect politicians. Thank you for writing this and I hope gamergate types haven’t harassed you too much over this.

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