A Woman Precedent

In her world filled with unicorns, ponies and flying Pegasus a 5 year old girl looked up to ask, “A woman running for President?”  Had my daughter lived in Pakistan, India, Israel, Germany of Great Britain, her incredulity would have been tempered by the women who served (and serve) those countries as heads of state. But she lives here, in America, where it has yet to be declared “all people are created equal.”

Male supremacy is a narrative across time and space—and the current presidential election has brought this to our attention because of the candidates: the first woman to run for President and a man who embodies male privilege and power—who wields that power against women and men but is learning that there are women, and in particular his tenacious opponent, that will not play by the “rules” of the dominant male culture. Perhaps he will also learn that many men are turned off by that narrative.

Why though, we could ask, is American culture so vulnerable to male supremacy? Hillary Clinton addressed this issue—an issue that needs to be addressed in locker rooms, board rooms, living rooms and bedrooms across our country. And it is, as Ms. Clinton suggests an issue that is promoted, incessantly, by media. It can be argued that Americans are obsessed with media and media is obsessed with looks.

Here is Ms. Clinton’s answer to 15 year-old Brenna Leach’s question on how, as President of the United States, she would help girls understand that they are so much more than just what they look like?

“I am passionate about this too because we know that young women begin to get influenced at earlier and earlier ages by messages from the media. Forget your mind, your heart; care only about what you look like because that’s all we care about. And we have to stand up against that—women and men, mothers and fathers, teachers, everybody.”

The male supremacy narrative is so embedded in our culture that someone like Mr. Trump can be undeniably dense as to the offensive nature of his remarks, remarks aimed at exonerating him from the language about and actions toward women. Perhaps he was groping for an articulate way to defend himself—but he perpetuated just what he was trying to recuse himself of: “Yeah, I’m going to go after you,” he joked to an audience about one of the women accusing him of sexual assault. “Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you.” Mr. Trump and the male supremacy narrative met their match. Ms. Clinton would not be his first choice either. She also pointed out to him that his words betrayed his defense.

In the eyes of a 5 year old girl watching the debate there was a man being mean and a woman being “thoughtful.” My daughter may not have fairly assessed the vitriol from both sides but amidst unicorns, ponies and Pegasus there emerged for her an image of a “thoughtful” (her word) woman candidate for President. Ms. Clinton is a new precedent for girls, women, boys and men to reconsider what it means to be see all human beings as equals.


claudia · October 20, 2016 at 9:48 pm

I felt the same way when the first woman rabbi spoke at our temple. And, again, when my little daughter met our first female student rabbi.

Anita Khaldy Kehmeier · November 8, 2018 at 9:22 pm

In a rare interview, Linda Tripp, a pivotal figure in the Monica Lewinsky scandal, revealed on Sunday it was common knowledge while she worked in the West Wing that Bill Clinton had affairs with “thousands of women.”
Speaking on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” Tripp for the first time divulged that she personally knew another White House staffer aside from Lewinsky who was also having an affair with Clinton. That unnamed staffer was mentioned by Tripp in various depositions but she has not spoken about it publicly.

She charged that Hillary Clinton not only knew about her husband’s exploits, “She made it her personal mission to disseminate information and destroy the women with whom he dallied.”
Tripp says she cringes at the sight of Clinton presenting herself as “a champion of women’s rights worldwide in a global fashion, and yet all of the women she has destroyed over the years to ensure her political viability continues is sickening to me.”

Tripp documented evidence of Lewinsky’s phone calls about her relationship with Bill Clinton and submitted the evidence to independent counsel Kenneth Starr, leading to the public disclosure of the affair. She explained to Klein that she did so because she believed her own life and Lewinsky’s were in danger, saying that Lewinsky was threatening Clinton with outing the relationship.

Tripp also used the interview to criticize what she says is the news media’s unwillingness to investigate the Clintons. She singled out and thanked Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report, declaring that without him “things would have been very, very different.”

Drudge’s website was the first media outlet to break the Lewinsky scandal after Newsweek sat on the story.

Tripp had unique access to the Clintons because her office was directly adjacent to Hillary’s second floor West Wing office for the entire time she served in the Clinton White House from 1993 to the summer of 1994 with the exception of the first three months of the Clinton administration, when she sat just outside the Oval Office.
I did not vote for Hillary Clinton,as I did believe Monica Lewinsky’s story. Linda Tripp broke the story to shed light on Bill Clinton’s private sexual addiction issues. When you are President,you have got to be held up to higher standards. Trump, is another one such sexual predator, who is president, and got elected, even after the Access Hollywood tape was released, with him making crude sexually aggressive demeaning comments about women. As women, we are told that we have come a long ways. That boys will be boys.
I want a woman president,but I do not want the Clinton’s nor the Trumps,as the new precedent for girls. I would never have stood by my man…had he been made in the image of Clinton nor Trump. We desperately want role models for our girls, but we have got to be very careful about the models we give our blessing too. More women have been elected into the house this election 2018,cycle…and thank god for that. I wanted Bernie Sanders to run against Trump,but the Clinton strong hold on the democratic party,made sure that the true contender Bernie,would be stripped of his true following in the Democratic party. He won against Clinton, in most, of not all the precincts during the last election cycle. Now he was real President material, in my book. He and his wife are an amazing couple and both are totally dedicated to the political process.
What dreams may come from our collective consciousness for a woman president. But we have got to be patient and choose wisely.

Anita Khaldy Kehmeier · December 5, 2018 at 3:28 pm

till struggling to come to terms with the results of the 2016 election, former first lady Michelle Obama said she’s concerned for women and “how we think.”

“In light of this last election, I’m concerned about us as women and how we think,” she said at the United State of Women Summit in Los Angeles over the weekend. “What is going on in our heads where we let that happen, you know?”

Obama referred to Clinton as “the most qualified” candidate running for president in 2016, and said voting against her “says something about where we are.” That’s despite the multiple investigations, and of course Clinton’s uncanny inability to connect with the American public.

“When the most qualified person running was a woman, and look what we did instead, I mean that says something about where we are,” Obama added. The comments reflected similar ones made in September 2017, where the former first lady infamously said “any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice.”

Patriarchy wrapped in feminism never gets old.

“Choice,” according to Obama and her fellow feminists, has evolved to mean supporting Hillary Clinton—or whoever the Democratic candidate is of the day—based on your body parts. (Pay no mind to Sarah Palin or Carly Fiorina, however.)

Although it sounds nice coming from celebrities and former first ladies (and comes with swag galore), doing what you’re told is hardly empowering—in fact, it’s oppressive.

However loud, the message hasn’t worked. In the 2016 election, 52 percent of white women, 4 percent of black women, and 25 percent of Latina women voted for Donald Trump. Today, despite multiple scandals and investigations, 41 percent of Americans approve of the president—and 52 percent approve of how he’s handling the economy.

Sure, Trump is an imperfect human who has given women a reason to oppose him. But whether or not his allegations are justifiable based on a greater policy goal isn’t up to Obama to decide. It’s up to the individual—something the feminist movement has forgotten.

As for her question—“What is going on in our heads?”—I can’t speak for everyone, but jobs, tax reform, a strong national defense, and an educational system that works for all were a few items on the docket in 2016. And from the sound of it, these issues required far more more thinking “in our heads” than the decision to vote based on your body parts. But as always, we appreciate the concern.

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