Sunday, August 23, 2009

More great commentary on Hillary Clinton

by Molly Borowitz

We don’t often comment about articles published in the Washington Post, but if you look in today’s Outlook section, you’ll find a terrific commentary (warning: you have to be a registered WaPo member to access) by David Rothkopf about our favorite Secretary of State. I don’t want to give everything away because I’d really rather you read it for yourself, but suffice it to say that the article opens thusly: “When it comes to Hillary Rodham Clinton, we’re missing the forest for the pantsuits.”

…Yeah. You’re gonna love it.

Essentially, Rothkopf argues that the continued emphasis on Clinton’s wardrobe, her accessory choices, her relationship with hubby Bill, her touted role as Obama’s “other wife,” and her short fuse in: re her husband’s ideas are both overshadowing and facilitating her impressive accomplishments in her first seven months as Secretary of State. In other words, the media’s obsessions with how she looks, talks, and interacts with famous men - while sexist, belittling, and probably infuriating - are leaving her a relatively wide berth to pursue her diplomatic goals unmolested. And a good thing, too, because Clinton is quietly revamping the State Department’s role in order to better suit a president who chooses to take a more active role in foreign affairs. Her specified focus on emerging global powers like Russia, China, India, Brazil, Turkey, and South Africa and her outspoken dedication to women’s issues (did you know that Clinton created a State-Department post called “ambassador at large for women’s issues?”) can only mean good things for women’s rights and women’s roles the world over.

If you read the article, you’ll notice two other important things. Firstly, Rothkopf hits several major feminist talking points, including sexism in the media, women’s issues, Hillary’s accomplishments in her own right, and—our favorite—the fact that her harshest critics in the insubstantial trivialities department (do her scarf and handbag match?!) are often women. Secondly, there’s a big fat mention of former Woody-Woo dean Anne-Marie Slaughter on the second page. Thanks to David Rothkopf for his insightful commentary and for the good press!

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