I was just marking your essay in the NYTimes OpEd in my Ma.gnolia when I realized I was writing too much for a simple bookmark. I have long appreciated you and your historic contribution to feminism, but I have to disagree with this essay titled “Women Are Never Front-Runners”. I’m sorry, but it’s a crock. The media has been plugging Hillary since whispers of the 2008 election began. I think they would love the idea Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton run of presidents. Also, Clinton was polling high among registered voters before the Iowa caucus. So your essay title rings false. Obviously, Clinton (a woman) was viewed as a frontrunner.
The first paragraph that asserts that America wouldn’t vote for a female version of Obama may ring more true. I’d like to think that if a woman like Obama was running that I would be more excited about this race. I might even take time off of work to go help out in New Hampshire. As it stands, I’m disappointed at the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency. And not because she’s a woman.
I am a feminist who wrote a fan letter (yes, I admit it) to Ms. Clinton after reading her It Takes a Village. I was so moved by that book; I have only written three fan letters in my life, and one of them was to Hillary. I remember being inspired by her role as a strong woman in the White House.
And yet, and yet. . . I was so excited when Clinton ran and won for the New York Senate seat. But then she went on to vote for war. And has yet to apologize for that.
So let’s not make a big deal about how she can’t win because she’s a woman; I think that is an easy excuse that makes no mention of her voting to go to war, her acceptance of big-money contributions, and her current phony veneer. Where has the real Hillary gone? Like Andrew Sullivan says in this piece, “She’s hiding her true feelings. We know it, she knows we know it, and there is no way out of it.”
So Ms. Steinem, I’m afraid I cannot agree with your assertion that the reason Hillary can’t win is because she is a woman. There is so much more than that going on here.