During Christmas with my dad’s side of the family, Hillary Clinton came up in conversation (actually, pretty sure I obnoxiously brought her up, probably by saying something like, “INTRODUCING THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATESSSSSSS”). Across the room, my uncle said the following:
“How dare she run for president, looking like she does.”
My jaw literally hit the floor. The complete and utter sexism in that statement floored me to the point that I didn’t even respond. I love my extended family dearly, but the majority of them are so severely conservative, trying to reason with them in political conversations is harder than attempting to convince a brick wall it can walk. I’m still angry about this, because I wish I would have stood up for Hillary; not only for her as a woman and a politician, but for me as a woman, as well.
Really, has anyone ever considered the way a male politician dresses or grooms himself before he runs for office? If Barack Obama or George Bush came out to meet supporters with his shirttails untucked and his face unshaven and pit stains under his arms, people would definitely remark at how unkempt he looks, but would anyone say, “How dare he run for president?” I don’t think so. Actually, I know so.
Hillary is arguably the most powerful woman in our country right now, and she is also one of the most inspirational women I can think of. I also think she looks great—and also, WHO CARES. So what if her hair sometimes looks unbrushed, or if her clothes look rumpled; she’s helping to run the goddamn country! She could wear her fucking pajamas for all I care. Actually, if she did that, I’d admire her even more.
So I would say this to my uncle, if I could go back in time and stand up for Hillary: How should a woman be? Clean and pressed and lipsticked, making you a sandwich? Do I look okay to run for office? How should a woman be, really?