Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dowd: A Flawed Feminist Test

Here's the latest from Maureen Dowd on Hillary. I think she's spot on with several of her points, including her statement that many women empathize with Hillary, "knowing that any woman in a world dominated by men has to walk a tightrope between femininity and masculinity, strength and vulnerability." Just what we were talking about in class yesterday.

Dowd goes on to suggest that if Hillary loses, it is not necessarily because we're not ready for a woman president:
But Hillary is not the best test case for women. We’ll never know how much of the backlash is because she’s a woman or because she’s this woman or because of the ick factor of returning to the old Clinton dysfunction.
I'm not so sure about Dowd's less-tentative conclusion: "If Hillary fails, it will be her failure, not ours." The "ours" refers to women's -- or perhaps more broadly to our society's inability to accept a female leader. All the subtle and not-so-subtle misogyny on display on so many fronts during this campaign makes it impossible to excise "gender" from any assessment of the outcome.

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