History has been made. A landmark for feminist achievement around the world. Trump is actively sabotaging his own campaign, and at long last the world’s highest political office will in all probability be held by a woman. A woman who has dedicated her entire political life to propping up the sickest aspects of masculine dominance in our culture — but, still, technically a woman!
That would be a great new slogan for her campaign, come to think of it. “Hillary: Technically a Woman!”
Move over, Shepard Fairey.
Some people find the word “patriarchy” confusing and challenging, as it pertains to feminism, but it’s a useful and accurate term that describes the lingering effects of the very minimal impact that women were permitted to have upon the way human civilization was built. When humans around the world began engaging in farming and ceased their nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyles some eight thousand years ago, women were taken out of their tribal communal roles and broken up into isolated family units using the newly-invented institution of marriage, where they had much less say in how society moved and developed. Women were silenced and commodified while male leaders invented things like war, slavery, ecocide, and socioeconomic hierarchy.
Women are now slowly gaining more power and influence in the systems of human society, but since the entire thing was designed over the millennia overwhelmingly by men for the purpose of serving men, women still struggle to find a comfortable place within it.
Not Hillary Clinton, though. She’s thrived in it. Immersed herself in it. Mastered it. Arisen to the very top of it.
As a United States Senator, and then as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has consistently pushed for increased military aggression, seemingly at every possible opportunity. Her support (bought by George W. Bush in exchange for $20 billion to rebuild New York) of the evil and unforgivable Iraq invasion alone helped bring the lives of over a million Iraqis to a violent, grizzly end. The time-honored patriarchal tradition of warfare has enjoyed an abundance of support through Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Clinton’s consistent neoliberal track record has helped widen the gap between the rich and the poor and push America further into oligarchism. She supported the bank bailouts, she gave paid speeches to Goldman Sachs for massive amounts of money while continuing to refuse to release the transcripts, she picked a running mate who tried to push for even fewer restrictions for Wall Street after being openly instructed by Wall Street donors to pick a running mate who’s friendly to their interests, her State Department pressured Haiti to slash its minimum wage from 61 cents an hour to 31 cents an hour, and she was even a director at the notorious American wage slavery institution Wal-Mart for six years. Oligarchy, and its twin brother wage slavery, are both foundational building blocks of the patriarchy.
Rape culture is yet another aspect of toxic masculinity that Hillary Clinton has actively supported in her political life. As First Lady of Arkansas and then First Lady of the United States, Hillary played a frontal role in the vicious smear campaign against the dozens of women who accused her husband Bill of rape, sexual harassment, and other forms of sexual misconduct. When Connie Hamzy accused him of misconduct at the beginning of his presidential run, Hillary told administration aide George Stephanopoulos “We need to destroy her story.” She referred to known Clinton victim Monica Lewinsky as a “narcissistic loony toon” and was called “paramount” in covering up the rape accusations of Juanita Broaddrick.
A female leader means nothing to feminist interests if that leader is just as invested in strengthening the patriarchy as the establishment male leaders. We’ve all seen the Margaret Thatchers and Queen Victorias come and go without making a dent in the illnesses that have come to infect our species as a result of a lack of feminine influence. A woman who’s supported fracking and receives millions of dollars from the fossil fuel industry isn’t going to save our planet from the unhealthy relationship our male-dominated society has developed with our ecosystem, and a woman who’s consistently pushed for military violence and called it a business opportunity isn’t going to help reel in the violence inherent in the unhealthy aspects of masculine culture.
Women don’t benefit from seeing a woman elevated to the top as a reward for her faithful service to the patriarchy. Women benefit from a healthier society.
[Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]