The public response to the poll, as reported by media, was steeped more in 'gendrification,' than persuaded by Clinton's policies and positions. The media barrage was all about Hillary the woman. Hillary the polarizing woman. Hillary the woman respected by women. Respected by men. Hated by women. Hated by men. And on and on and on.....
Indeed, Hillary the woman was the principal factor in deconstructing Hillary the candidate. No surprise here since media is mostly entertainment, and gender based analysis is much more titillating than issue based analysis, understanding of course that media's purpose is not to inform... but to transform. To transform the world's most important moral, ethical, social and political debate of war vs. peace and killing vs. not killing to the age-old playground debate of girl vs. boy, skirt vs. pants and estrogen vs. testosterone. Is she woman enough or is she man enough? That is the question!
The truth is that undecided 2008 presidential candidate Hillary is the quintessential catalyst to inflame ideological hype. Of particular note is the continued interest in her marriage. A tease that attracts fans of media drama and the media personalities who drive the drama along. Clinton is a favorite topic for spewing television pundits on the right and on the left. She's the instigator of innumerable blogosphere posts, navigating across the red blue digital divide. A witting provocateur filling the airwaves on heated talk radio. A traverser of all modes of print, as millions upon millions of fonts address, and undress, the suitability of a woman President.
Regardless of the forum, the gender driven questions, some misogynist, others thoughtful, pour from the mouths of liberals and conservatives, males and females alike: "Is it time for a woman"? "Is it the RIGHT time for a woman?" "Can a woman serve?" "Should a woman serve?" "Will a woman serve?"
Not only are these questions aired and pounded ad nauseam amongst talking heads and fontificators, they are also frequently posed to Mrs. Clinton herself, who responds coyly with quips like "stay tuned" as if the ultimate determination of the capability of women rests squarely within her domain.
Clinton is a woman. But she isn't THE woman. And she isn't America's female solution to end the centuries old precedent that its leader must be male. Nonetheless, Mrs. Clinton should be appreciated for rousing a spirited debate on the plausibility and efficacy of electing a woman president of the United States. It's a subject and an action whose time has truly come. And in spite of the media downgrading its relevance to mindless entertainment, it is a topic to be taken quite seriously.
America is in deep trouble. It has lost its way. It has lost its understanding of freedom, compassion and peace. It no longer recognizes itself as a partner in the world and a promoter of peace. It sees itself as the owner of the world with a penchant for war. Militarism and war-speak overwhelm all media. Whether on the right or the left, progressive or conservative, war is the primary topic.
Every speech by the American president and his administration revolves around war. Fighting it. Winning it. Prepping for it. Threatening it. America's military might fuels supremacist beliefs which morph into the American exceptionalism that informs the government, ordains industry, distorts media, and deludes citizens. America, like much of the world under the rule of men, discounts the idea of peace as a natural state. Military action and corporate capitalism are the male equivalents of nurturing. One nurtures a nation by overtaking it. Nurturing is not gentle. Nurturing is not soft.
In a March 7, 2006 speech at Duke University, right wing conservative David Horowitz addressed his personal perceptions of peace and war. Sadly, these same perceptions of peace and war are heeded and acted upon by the male rulers of nations throughout the world. According to Horowitz, "There are people who understand that the normal state of mankind is war, and peace is an aberration. And what keeps the peace is when you have a concert of powers or a strong enough power to intimidate those who would break the peace."
For most women this notion that "the normal state of mankind is war" is unfathomable. Of course there are deviant American women like Ann Coulter and Tammy Bruce who are deluded by American exceptionalism. They unabashedly support war, annihilation and the moral certitude to kill. But for the most part women are more prone to nurturing than they are to murdering.
The world has plenty of murder. Nurture is what it needs.
Instinctually males are more inclined toward violence than females. From their earliest years boys are banging their toys, staging wars, killing their soldiers, punching each other and knocking each other down. Were a boy to bathe his GI Joe, feed him, dress him, coddle him, and rock him gently to sleep, he would exhibit behaviors uncharacteristic of most boys. He would likely be presumed to be odd.
From their earliest years girls are dressing their dolls, feeding them, bathing them, and rocking them gently to sleep. Were a girl to bang her dolls against the wall to violently break their heads off, shoot them, or attempt to cause them harm, she would exhibit behaviors uncharacteristic of a girl. She, too, would likely be presumed to be odd.
In the same vain, Hillary Clinton can be considered odd. There's a confounding lack of logic to a woman who authors "It Takes A Village," then votes to mow the village down.
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