What do you think about Hillary and her loss among women?
What do you think? Add your comments to this post at the bottom.
No one expected Clinton to sweep 90% of Democratic women voters, but 60% wouldn't have been an unreasonable accomplishment for the first woman to have a serious chance of winning the presidency. Instead, Clinton won just over a majority of women's votes.
So what does that mean? Clinton and her supporters have charged that sexism is responsible for her loss of the nomination. But it seems more likely that women themselves cost her the nod. The reasons more women haven't voted for Clinton tell us something about the evolution of feminism and what the future may hold for female politicians.
Clinton's run has exposed a divide between what could be termed optimist and pessimist feminists. It's a split between those who see Clinton's candidacy as groundbreaking--as the first of many serious runs by strong women--and those who count backward to Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and conclude that this kind of opportunity comes along only once in a generation. For this latter group, Clinton's candidacy took on a pressing urgency: If not now, when? If not her, who?
What unites the pessimists--many of whom are older women or women who don't work outside the home--is the persistent belief that women continue to face sexism and barriers in the workplace. Some may have an outmoded sense of the obstacles women face on the job, while others may well have left a workplace that made it hard for them to maintain a work-life balance. In both cases, they're more likely to place value in the symbolic power of electing a woman President.
Optimist feminists, on the other hand, don't question that a woman can become President or that it will occur in their lifetime. When these women look around, they see themselves making up half of business- and medical-school classes. They are law partners, CEOs and university presidents. And they don't want to rally behind a female candidate simply because she is a woman.
Her gender was a factor, but why do you think that the running joke during these primaries is that if you voted for Hillary you were a lesbian? I heard that more than once.
And could it be that Hillary doesn't pull the younger woman vote because they don't want to vote for someone who reminds them of their mom?
Will a woman be elected to the White House anytime soon?
I don't know the answer to any of these questions, but I'd love to hear your comments. Add them to this post by clicking the comments link below...