I am no psephologist, but as the owner of one of those V-thingies, I have had a particular interest in the women in this election. Sadly, with one exception, they have shamed my gender and behaved in general as if they have one of those P-thingies instead.
Hillary – the Great White hope. Before this election got interesting I hoped and assumed that Hillary would trounce the republicans and we would see a woman in the White House. As an avowed feminist this was pleasing indeed and seemed to make this election a trailblazer for that reason alone. Anything to see the end of George the Imbecile, and what better way to turn the tables on neo-conservatism than to see a democrat woman as POTUS.
She is charismatic, confident, assured and knowledgeable. It turns out she is also rabidly ambitious and prepared to play dirty to that end. I was amazed at some of the stunts she pulled , the fake accents, the lies about her foreign affairs experience and worse, her preparedness to smear Obama when the Primary race got tight. Hillary believed that she had an entitlement to be back in The White House and she dragged it out to the bitter end, which was damaging for the party, and ultimately herself.
Then there’s the Stepford wives. Cindy McCain who has behaved like a handbag: an attractive accessory (if you like plastic), with not much content. She has conducted herself like all good wives from the 50’s should – well groomed, and silently supporting her man. Who knows what she really thinks? She represents a thankfully bygone era where a woman’s only public role was to be seen to support her man. Even when he has publicly humiliated her and called her a “Stupid C-nt”. If she had divorced him and spoken out against abuse of women she would be deserving of admiration. Instead she relies on his success for her identity. Not the kind of role model I want for my daughters.
And the First Lady – Laura . I actually feel sorry for her – after all she sleeps with George every night, so she is punished enough and in an act of sisterly solidarity I shall harm her no more.
My favourite anti-hero of this election is of course Sarah Palin. Not much I can say that hasn’t been said, and nothing anyone can say that betters Tina Fey. She will become a symbol of all that is loathed about the American Character – an arrogant, brash, ignorant, fundamentalist who does not have the intelligence to know that she isn’t. But she is also frightening – a juxtaposed “I can do anything” feminist persona overlaying a basic narrowness that is determined to undo some of the rights that women have fought and even died for – most particularly the right to choose whether to proceed with an unplanned pregnancy. This in my view makes her one of the most dangerous female politicians in the public arena today. Whatever your personal view on abortion is, it is not her right to impose hers on all American women. It’s bad enough that she’s doing it to Bristol.
Then onto the stage strides Michelle Obama. A woman of intelligence and style. A woman who clearly supports her husband but has her own views on matters of public policy. A mother and partner who has a successful career. A woman who can talk and think for herself. And an African American who must know first hand what it means to live in a country which has not reached it’s potential, but may in fact be about to. This is a role model for my daughters, and for all of us who aspire to see women in public life reflect the best of us.
Frankly – I wish she was VP.