Monday, September 17, 2007

More Sounds Off on OUR Hillary Problem

O happy day! At last, an article on Hillary that focuses on our problem, not hers. Well, actually, their problem -- "them" being older, affluent, highly educated women. Younger women seem to be supporting Hillary in droves.

The October issue of More magazine has a great dialogue between veteran political analyst extraordinaire Donna Brazile and Deborah Tannen, linguistics prof and author most recently of You're Wearing THAT? Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation. The two pundits speculate on the age gap that's emerged among Hillary's female supporters (hint: younger women, women with no more than a high school education, working class women, and women of color support her in droves) and ask an important question: Just what is it that ambivalent, older women -- women who say they want to want Hillary but don't -- want to hear?

I remember the comment from a panelist at a political session during BlogHer -- that women Hillary's age feel lesser because Hillary "has it all." (I repeat my reaction: with all due respect, barf.) Brazile says that the older contingent are less excited than the younger gals are about the mere fact that a woman is running. Tannen adds that we always expect more of Mom than we do of Dad. Is that why W has gotten away with what he has? But I digress. Age gap aside, Brazile and Tannen very smartly sound off on the ridiculous double standards imposed on female leaders by men and women alike. This is indeed my own answer whenever I get the question during my readings about what I've come to casually refer to as "Hillary Hate." There is only one of her, and we expect her to be so much.

I'd love to hear others' thoughts, though, about Hill and the age gap. Do tell. Why are younger women seemingly more prone to support her so far, while older affluents are hedging their bets? (And for more, check out TAP's recent article on it all, here.)


PunditMom said...

I wish I could figure it out. I have to admit that I am one of those women, but my reason is this -- I just don't think Hillary is electable. I don't think voters in the vast mid-section of this country are yet ready for a woman president. Brazile and Tannen are right -- I WANT to want her. And if she is the Dem. candidate, I will vote for her. But I just think there's too much baggage there and too much fodder for the GOP that I'm sure they're holding back until after the convention.

Anonymous said...

I, too, am one of those women. I don't hate Hillary. I'm just not convinced that she's the best candidate, and I won't vote for her just because she's a woman.

writermeeg said...

I keep thinking about this! I don't have an answer that isn't wildly speculative and perhaps treasonous as a Gen X feminist who holds much gratitude to our foremothers. So I'll hold my tongue, keep thinking and get back to you -- but this is a VERY interesting topic!

Deborah Siegel said...

Yeah, my feelings about Hillary are definitely still evolving...

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