One of my first thoughts upon hearing the (not surprising) news that Hillary Clinton is officially in the running for the presidency was: “She wouldn’t have gotten here without Bill.” It’s not as if they adore each other or anything. They clearly understand that they’re both one-half of a politically motivated duo whose role as a power couple won’t be ending any time soon. While Hillary Rodham Clinton may be in the process of breaking the ultimate glass ceiling, she is standing on Bill’s shoulders to reach it.
Despite what the media and her supporters have already begun telling you, and despite what you will hear for 18 more months, your opposition to Hillary is not sexist. You just don’t like Mrs. Clinton’s policies or her past practice, and as those with common sense understand, disagreement does not equal hate. This is the same Hillary we’ve seen attempt to explain email deletion, world affairs, Benghazi’s lack of making a difference, the concern for her (brand new) home state of New York, the right-wing conspiracy of a vast size which was seeking to supposedly derail her husband, and “misreported” reasons she was fired from the Watergate investigation. Yes, that gender of hers really is such a bother.
Her turn as First Lady was unconventional in the sense that she wasn’t content with just being the face of the country’s most famous home, like many former presidents’ wives. No, she was Hillary. Her years there included a well-known and harsh demeanor, deep involvement in the dismal failure that was the Clinton healthcare plan of 1993, a very vocal public persona unusual for someone in her position, and a Grammy award winning recital of her book praising communal parenting. With this background she was elected to be a U.S. Senator from the state of New York in 2000, the very first time a First Lady was a candidate for an elected position. And we all know the story since then. Without her history of being the wife of a governor, then the wife of a two-term president, Hillary would not be where she is today. At all. Her last name and the opportunities afforded her for all the years she played in Bill’s shadow are what has led to her chance(s) to step out of it. She wasn’t a great anything, she was only the wife of that guy who a lot of people hated but plenty of people loved; the charming Bill Clinton. And now that he’s the hip vegan spouse in the shadow, it’s her turn.
Although independence is a supposed hallmark of modern-day feminism, I don’t believe Hillary could be described as the embodiment of such a trait. She can’t stand on her own accomplishments. The man she is married to helped propel her to places of opportunity she would otherwise not have had alone. But it goes beyond that. Her husband is well-known for his history of womanizing, and Hillary has often placed more blame on the women involved rather than the man, in this case her husband. For a so-called feminist icon and women’s rights activist, she sure seems more a dependent victim.