Like many, I watched the 2016 US Presidential elections closely. Not because I’m American – I’m not – but because a woman I’d admired for over 20 years was finally standing for office and I thought if she could make it to the White House then there might be a knock on effect around the world with women stepping forward in nations everywhere.
If you’ve watched Hillary Clinton for as long as I have you might have been shocked by the way she was portrayed in the media during the election campaign. Not progressive enough for the left and a criminal by the right. Of course, the right had always been looking for a way to silence her and have always used the age old tactic used since the witch hunts of demonising women. The swing however, from being viewed as the most progressive woman in the world, to being too pragmatic and not progressive enough for the left, was the one that really surprised me.
This is something Bordo explores in the books as well as something I hadn’t really reflected on; that older women are amongst the least respected individuals in our communities and that this too impacted on the way Clinton was perceived.
Here’s a sneak peak; ‘…the classic dilemma of the ‘public’ woman (is this)… (s)tep outside the boundaries of appropriately contained feminine behaviour and you are likely to be perceived as unstable, shrill, overly aggressive, or overly emotional. But being too controlled is a problem, too; you then become ‘cold’ and ‘stiff’ and ‘unable to connect’.’ If you ever intend to run for public office or to vote for a woman in public office, this is an important book to read.
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