Saturday, April 23, 2016

Why We Love Her

It's been a brutal season for primaries. Even with great candidates, the war managed to get rather ugly. Bernie Sanders followers blame Hillary followers and the opposite is also the case.

There is truth to both sides no doubt. I've seen that personally, although I must say, that a good many people I know who believe in Mrs. Clinton's candidacy, try hard to stick to real issues and differences and not fall victim to the game of pointing out failures on the part of the other candidate. Mostly they don't at least, except when anger takes over.

We all get tired of hearing Mrs. Clinton referred to as "$hillary and HilLIARy". And we are very tired of "paid speeches" crap. Why do we call it crap? Because the Bernie folk admit right up to the top of their team, that they have not a clue if there is any incriminating in her speeches to various banks and other corporate types. But as long as she doesn't release them, they claim they feel free to insinuate that "there must be something bad in them."

Well, that is probably not true for a couple of reasons. Why would Mrs. Clinton risk (in a large venue speaking engagement) assuming that all those present are lovers of her such that they wouldn't record "evidence" of her vile speechifying and release it? And then there is the argument many attach to this, Mrs. Clinton's well-known history of refusing to give in to the crass bullshit raised by her opponents by dignifying their charges with actual proof to the contrary.

But I'm not here to explain and defend Hillary.

I'm here to tell you unabashedly, that we do love her.

And I'll tell you why.

You see, I"m just 66. I was born in 1050. Do you remember the world then?

I grew up as a preteen knowing a few things. I could NOT be a fighter pilot in the Air Force. I could NOT expect to ever be part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the military. I could NOT be a police officer, except as a jail matron. I was not EXPECTED to be a lawyer or a doctor, but rather a nurse or school teacher. I was most suited to being a secretary, executive or otherwise. I could be lots of things no doubt that I had no idea about, such as a physicist or chemist, but nobody encouraging me to be a psychologist or city manager.

In other words, I was either utterly not welcome in a whole list of professions because of my delicate composition (uteri and bosom), or I was dissuaded from trying because only the best of the best of the best of my gender was given a chance in this or that endeavor.

In the 50's women were expected to stay home and take care of children and husbands. They might work, but only at certifiable "ladies" jobs, such as check-out clerks, waitresses, the aforementioned secretarial jobs and so forth. We weren't paid much, but then we were only supposed to be "supplementing" our hubby's salary. We were, if employed expected to do the laundry, clean the house, do the shopping, the cooking, and well, most everything else other than car repair and perhaps run the lawn mower.

We had trouble signing contracts, buying cars and houses without male assistance. We were looked upon suspiciously when it came to jury duty. We could vote, but most of us followed the lead of the male in our lives.

Hillary grew up in the same world.

As we attained near adult hood, things had changed. Universities were setting up "affirmative action" for women like other minorities. Some law schools, and no doubt medical schools started with quotas, trying to increase the numbers of women in their classes. We benefited from that process, and we became lawyers and doctors and all the rest in much bigger numbers in the late 60's.

We saw Hillary as Bill's wife. But slowly, we discovered she was not like other first ladies. She actually had a brain and intended to use it. You might recall when she got in all sorts of hot water by "insulting" homemakers with her, "I"m not Tammy Wynette, standing by her man" and references to not "staying home and baking cookies."

You see, we were not the least offended, but we realized that a lot of women were. The women who remained in the same old stereotypical roles that has always been assigned for women? Oh they were insulted, and angry that we "professional" women had the temerity to look down upon them.

In fairness, we did of course. It took us some time to get over our radical rhetoric and realize that we were attempting to give women choices, not turn them all into CEO's and engineers. It was enough if you had the real choice to be WHATEVER YOU WISHED.

But I don't think some of those housewives ever forgot. We had made them feel small and insignificant, unwilling but more likely UNABLE to make it in the world of business where real decisions were made.

So secretly, (or not so) we were outraged at how Hillary was treated thereafter. She was the subject of every one's ire it seemed. The GOP of course, but also women who were "traditional".

We've watched her over the years. We've watched as a totally different set of rules and standards were set for her, unlike any of her male counterparts. We have seen her soldier on, overcoming, holding her head high.

She was accused of all sorts of things when she didn't throw Bill out for his sexual misadventures. She was judged, plain and simple. And there was no right to do that. Nobody knows what goes on in anybodies relationship, and nobody has the right to judge another for their decision to stay or leave, or what conditions they imposed for doing either. It was her business.

Hillary represents to us professional women of a certain age, all that we went through and endured in this "man's world". I can sit here and tell you a dozen examples that I faced as a lawyer, still operating largely among men. I was called to the bench one day by a judge that I had probably never spoken ten sentences to that didn't revolve around the law. He asked me out to lunch. When I demurred, he got mad, asking his court workers "what was wrong with her?" When they told him that I was dating a police officer, he really blew. How dare I turn down a judge for some silly cop?

Sometimes you paid for such "wrong answers" for weeks or months, before some semblance of professionalism returned to your relationship.

Hillary was one of our role models. When we grew weary of playing "the game" ( and make no mistake we all played), we looked to her and gained renewed strength. I don't want to make more of this than it was, but to all you men out there, and perhaps a certain segment of women who stayed home, it was rather awful at times. It was simply not fair. And it was the "way things were".

As the years have ensued, and Mrs. Clinton has gone on to success after success, the hatred of the right wing has if anything grown greater. They are still determined to take her down. Mostly they have not been successful. She is not down. But they have made life harder for her certainly. And over the years and decades of such attacks, a certain degree of it inevitably sticks.

Mrs. Clinton is perceived as "untrustworthy" by men and women who should know better. It is this vague thing they speak of, for they surely are unable to point to anything specific when you put it to them.

Now, by and large, we are prepared for that. Such is the life of all politicians to a degree. But with her, it has been over the top. And to hear people on our own "side" call her slanderous names in the hope that somehow that will translate into somebody, anybody, being will to throw a vote their way, is maddening, sick, and troubling.

Bernie's followers have been merciless. Out of control often, and not within his ability to control apparently, they flock to her events and try to cause trouble by calling her names. They threw money at her recently and referred to her as "Hey, HO, Hey HO, Hillary has got to go." in some sick sing-song reminiscent of her being propositioned as a streetwalker.

When you do this, you do it to us. We feel it, just as stingingly as if you had said it to us directly. You are reducing her to a vagina, unworthy to be talked to on equal terms. We have tried to gently explain this to you Bernie Bots. But you won't listen because you have found (or have been told it is possible) that all this attack business with garner a vote or two. Perhaps it will, but never enough.

Never enough because with each slur you offer this woman, you make US more determined than ever. And of course, it is all over now. You can of course continue to help the GOP by running her down, but we kind of all know how this will end. And we will remember.

You may suggest that we "friend" up again on Facebook. I'd suggest you don't bother. We are gulfs apart you and I, I suspect. I don't place all the blame on you. I share in it as well. Apparently we never impressed upon you younger men and women just how fucking UNFAIR it was when I was a kid. Apparently you think this "women are paid 79c on the dollar business" as some relic from something you can't even imagine.

Well, we can imagine, because we endured. We lived through it. We struggled, never sure where our professionalism did or should leave off and our womanly attributes be thrust forth. We had to figure out where to "draw the line" a dozen times a week, sometimes in a day. What to resent. What to react to with hostility. What to ignore. What to forgive. What to SMILE THROUGH AND TAKE!

We didn't teach you fools just how bad it was, so you could be protective of FREEDOM to be who and what you want. It's why we are so damned supportive of gays and trans people, and immigrants, and all the "others" of the world. Because WE DAMN IT HAVE BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT.

Yes, kiddo, Bernie is a fine fellow with a fine agenda. He tells us what we can dream for. His sort are always necessary and desirable. But she is one of the doers. She translates the dreams as she has over the years, into policies and legislation and coalitions of people ready and willing to work to improve the lives of average women and children and men too in incremental ways. And as the decades go by, all that incremental stuff adds up and we make another leap forward. We moved from DOMA to full marriage equality didn't we?

So defriend me all you want, I'm better off for it I'm sure. But know this. If you attack her, you attack me. And I'm not nearly as nice as she is.


  1. I'll speak my peace nicely, although she's not my first choice. I can think of no one better qualified. I've always liked her. I liked her before I was old enough to vote. She's a brilliant mind.
    I'll vote blue no matter who.

    While I understand that occasionally we can no longer deal with the opposition and we unfriend them, I don't understand this huge schism between fellow Democrats. I suggest we direct our anger at Congress, who clearly do not serve the people or their mandates.

  2. You said it very well, Sherry. I'm going on 63 and remember the "old days" as well. I went to a women's college (Simmons in Boston) that was emphatically feminist and made sure we knew that we should push for all the advantages men had had in the past. Our Communications professor even told us to tell potential employers we didn't know how to type so they wouldn't make us be secretaries! (Of course, once the computer culture came of age, our typing abilities became an advantage). We've come a long way, Baby, as the old cigarette ad went, but until a woman is President we haven't come far enough. I do think Hillary has done some foolish things that have made things a little harder for her than they needed to be - like using her own server for her emails when she was Secretary of State - but you can't really blame her given the level of scrutiny she has suffered from her enemies, for being more cautious than most to let anything be available to the public. I do like the things Bernie tells us but as the campaign goes on, I have realized he is talk and not action. I am an incrementalist myself, believing the perfect is the enemy of the good, and I think Hillary would agree. Bernie is, more and more, becoming the way Gene McCarthy was in 1968 - McCarthy didn't endorse Humphrey until the last minute out of spite, and the result was we got Nixon for President. I don't want history to repeat itself.


Speak your piece, but nicely