I overheard 3 women at work the other day strike up a conversation about Hillary Clinton, and as I was preparing to don my headphones and drown out the political fervor I was sure was about to erupt, I realized that they weren’t really talking about politics, they were just criticizing her jewelry.
One of them made the statement that it bothered her that every time she saw Mrs. Clinton that she seemed to be wearing the same earring and necklace set. The other 2 agreed and said something to the effect of how you’d think she’d have "people" who would be watching out for stuff like that. I mean after all she is a multi-millionaire and is running for the presidency. According to these women it’s quite different that you and I wear the same watch everyday or only own 3 necklaces, but a woman who’s going to be in the public eye and is seeking the presidency should have a vast array of stylish jewelry which she should rotate on a daily basis.
Now first off I was struck by the true absurdity of the conversation. Secondly I was struck with how catty women really are. Thirdly, I was in awe that three highly educated women would even stoop so low as to enter into such a conversation. Have we nothing better to do with our time ladies? Is our genetic need for competition with fellow members of our sex so strong that it manifests in conversations such as this?
Do women sit around and giggle about how silly Obama looked when he wore the exact same tie to the Iowa and North Carolina primaries or how Mitt Romney styles his hair? I don’t think so. I think it’s just natural for us to tear women down. Especially when they’re strong figures like Hillary that have such a polarizing effect on people. Imagine if she did win the presidency. After her inaugural speech there’ll be just as much conversation about what she wore as there is about what she said. It’s not fair, and the sad part is that we do it to ourselves. Men aren’t out there bashing McCain because he’s too short to pull off a double breasted suit, and yet we’re trash talking this strong intelligent woman because we think she should have more jewelry.
What if that earring and necklace set was a gift from Chelsea or an antique passed down from her grandmother? Even if it was a $12.50 set from Avon – who cares? I for one will be happy to place my vote for a woman who has withstood the fire and the shame of public humiliation from an adulteress husband. A woman who continues to hold her head high and stand by her principles; a wife, a mother, a daughter who is intelligent and passionate about this country. And I don’t mind when people say that she’s a power hungry bitch, because quite frankly, that’s what it takes to be president. Look at every other man who’s held the position and tell me that they weren’t power hungry attention seeking type A’s. She wants the power because she is confident that she can make this country a better place if she has it. The only difference is that she’s a woman so she’s labeled as a bitch instead of strong; stubborn instead of determined.
You know there are times when I think I’d make a pretty good fanatical liberal feminist. But most of the time all that angst just gives me a headache so I’ll step down from my soapbox now.