The Nosey Woman?

I’m sick as a dog today, so I came home from work.  I tuned into CNN because it’s the least objectionable thing on TV at this hour.  I said “the least objectionable.”  They were interviewing an editor from Jet Magazine, discussing the recent interview in that magazine with Michelle Obama.  Right away, the questions turned to, “What kind of woman is she?  Is she a folksie woman?  Is she stiff?”

Most importantly, the interviewer wanted to know, “How much does she call the shots in the Obama Campaign.”  Why this question?  I suppose I’d be right to ask why they would ask any of the above questions, but this idea of her running the campaign is particularly objectionable on a number of levels.

Hillary Clinton had her own political aspirations, separate from Bill’s, its obvious.  Moreover, that was her educational background in the first place.  So, when they became partners in an effort to win the election, we should none of us been at all surprised.  When upon winning the White House, Hillary was granted extraordinary powers to create the policy for which she was trained, it was nothing all that shocking.  Of course, the jokes about her running the show and Bill being the timid husband abounded, but I think that in ways, Hillary still fit into a certain mold of womanhood that fits with our society’s general conception.

I’m not putting Hillary down.  She has had the good fortune to have married a person with whom she shared the same passions.  Any person, be they male or female, to find themselves in such a situation should count themselves among the fortunate.  And there’s plenty to be admired in a relationship that is a partnership such as Bill and Hillary.  But in terms of the perception, the Clinton’s relationship could be molded to fit our prejudices.

Because the only ambitions a woman is expected to have are those that she can attain through her husband.  Hillary wasn’t just a woman who happened to marry a man in politics.  No, no.  All women in positions of power are presumed to be the wives of Caesar, scheming and treacherous, forever whispering into their consort’s ear, pulling the strings of power gently for their own ends.

Its simply not worth talking about the notion of a woman who is capable of her own ends and her own career.  That’s not newsworthy, but the sneering implication that a man cannot run his own affairs without running it past his betrothed, well there’s your story!

Can we do no better in this country?  After all this time?

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.