Well like the title says, gird yourself and get ready for the sexism fest to pick up where it left off if Hillary Clinton decides to run for president again. I am under no illusions that anything has changed. If anything, our culture has become so crude that no boundary to sexism expressed exists anymore. If 2008 proved anything, it was that there is no shame in expressing sexism ------no shame in any way. And an HRC candidacy in 2016 will only illustrate that point once again. If anything, I expect that the sexism will be even WORSE this time around.
I don't mean to repeat all that Anita Finlay wrote yesterday in this splendid piece on the very same subject. She certainly wrote it better than I could, but it bears repeating that we must prepare ourselves for the worst. In 2008 when the vile sexism started to run amok, we were frozen in place in disbelief. It seemed impossible that in our modern times in 2007--2008 that the expression of sexism would go unchallenged. But for all practical purposes, unchallenged it was. Worse, there are plenty of self described "feminist pro women supporters" who still have their heads in the sand that it ever happened at all.
I want to see a woman president more than just about anything as far as women's advancement goes. It is at the very top of my feminism wish list. I ascribe, as I have often said, to former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet's sentiment that nothing did more for the women of her country than having a woman president----no law, no demonstration, no protest, nothing. (As a side note---it's looking like Bachelet, who stepped down from the presidency in 2010, is going to make another go of it!!).
At any rate, I tend to agree with Bachelet. A woman president would shatter a bunch of myths, belief systems, and cultural conditioning about women. It won't by any measure shatter all of it, but it would be a landmark event for all women regardless of political persuasion. That old saw that if you keep doing the same thing over and over you will keep getting what you've been getting over and over is true. And we may be finally ready to have that conversation started about what we need to do to break the logjam women are in, illustrated even these last few weeks by the profusion of articles and discussion about why women's progess is frozen. At least people are waking up to the fact that women run little in this country. The head-in-the-sand thing has been one of the least attractive traits of the "pro-woman" crowd of late. I for one am happy to see that this conversation may have some staying power wherever it leads us.
I really hope Hillary Clinton runs and I will feel highly dramatically let down if she doesn't. Her whole life has been leading up to this moment of her being president. Why would she walk away from it NOW when all the winds are finally at her back? I do believe that once she regains herself after her pause to rest and reflect, she will come to the same conclusion, age be damned. It would be hard to resist it in the position she is in, a national icon of sorts, the most qualified women ever. It will be said that the inevitability factor existed last time around, but it is of an entirely different magnitude this time.
For the four million of us who left the Democratic Party as a result of the sexism in 2008, this will NOT be a repeat kind of sexism because the sexism will be ramped up in quarters where we've been hanging out. Get ready for the vicious sexism to come from the Republicans if HRC is the nominee. It will be really bad. The place where we anchored for a bit will become repugnant. Worse, we will FINALLY see the Democrats stand up against it, and for those of us in the 4 million, that too will be repugnant. Where the hell were they in 2008?
We will be in the unenviable position of looking not so enthusiastic because of the disorientation that the above events will inevitably produce within us. I can see it now as clear as day, being told over and over again "but I thought that this is what you wanted---if not, what was your protest all about?" as a reaction to my appearing lukewarm to an HRC candidacy.
Let me say this again, I want a woman president RIGHT NOW. Let it be Hillary. I understand that she has been tainted in the eyes of many by her association with Obama. That affiliation includes people's upset about the Benghazi debacle. I feel upset about those things too. I pulled out all of the stops and went all out eventually to work for HRC in 2008. I'm not sure I can see myself doing that again at this point. My principle hangup is that I will have to work side by side with the same people who heralded the age of Obama and swept the sexism under the rug. My second hang up is that I will have to side with people who still think that Obama is a god, and I don't have the tolerance to deal with that approach. It just infuriates me.
But once the sexism spew begins in earnest, I'm sure that that will bug me even more, and I will once again be called to do my part to fight it. But this time around, I'll be less Pollyanna-ish about it. It's coming, and it will be awful. And I guess I'm going to just have to steel myself.........