Dowd pretty much nails it:
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.
So can we stop making this about her being a woman? It’s never been about her gender, but about HER. I’d say the ick factor is pretty strong and it’s not about being woman, but this woman, with this history in this time.
I got an interesting email from a friend the other day (female). She said she was for Hillary at first because in her words “she had a uterus”. She’s going to vote for Obama on March 4th because her kids persuaded her. I’m sure they used more than anatomy to do so. She changed her mind because in her kids she probably saw the future and Obama embodies hope for the future like no other.
I get perspective on this daily being married to a feminist and OSU graduate in women’s studies. She thinks using “first woman President” is absolutely silly and likens that being the reason women would vote for her to skinhead racists that might vote for McCain because Obama is bi-racial. She also came up with a great word: Feminine Supremacists. Those who would completely ignore any other evidence of suitability simply because the candidate is a woman. The moment she said that I smiled knowing how much I’d enjoy writing that down. You don’t have to be a woman to be a feminist. Obama is capable of advancing women’s issues just as much as Hillary is. It would indeed be nice to point to a woman President and say to my girls “You see? Anything is possible for you.” I can make the same point with Barack in a different way. It’s not about wanting to prevent a woman from being President of treating her any different than male candidates. It’s about wanting the best for us as a nation and providing us with a path forward and trusting in a leader with vision and the ability to inspire.
In the end, women’s issues and feminism are too narrow a measure to select our next President. It is true. Hillary is not what women want if they want to prove we are at a point where we can have a female Commander in Chief. We can’t separate out all the reasons for people not wanting Hillary to be President so we can’t get a real good measure on where we are with that right now. My guess though is that it has VERY little to do with her being female. VERY little.