Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hillocracy Studies

Sorry. Couldn't resist, after that last post about Glamocracy. It's just too much fun, the neologisms this season.

Following on that last one, on the historical memory side of things, here's another Carol weighing in today--Caryl, actually, over at Women's eNews. Caryl Rivers advises Hillary at this point in her campaign (when the inevitable no longer is) to remember JFK:

People worried that, as the first Catholic president, he'd build a tunnel to the Vatican.

You face the concern that, as a female, you will either collapse in a crisis (the weak woman myth) or run roughshod over everyone (the dragon lady myth). Either way, you can't be trusted with power.

...[P]lay the "change" card. Don't let your critics get away with saying you echo the past, and represent the establishment. What would be a bigger change than the first female president in history? Your instinct is to be bold; remember, as a Wellesley student you challenged Sen. Ed Brooke--who had become a hawk on Vietnam--to his face and told him he was dead wrong about that war.

Sometimes, forget the lawyer part of you and channel the young rebel.

Another thing: Ignore the well-meaning advice of your sisters who say you are not feminist enough. We'd all love for the first female president to be Gloria Steinem, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul all rolled up into one. It's not going to happen. Maybe someday, but not now.

No "first president" emerges from identity politics. JFK was as far from the familiar Irish Catholic pol as he could get; he talked Harvard and dressed Brahmin.

It's not surprising that the first black candidate who is seen as having a real chance, Barak Obama, does not come from civil rights struggles but is seen as transcending race. His father was from Africa, not Selma. Let your feminism emerge in those policy initiatives you support after you get elected.

You don't need to croon "I am woman, hear me roar." At least, not yet.


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