Clinton: The Hillary Era
I couldn't help but notice the typical Clinton reference in today's news. Just as the article title describes, Hillary Clinton has made a push for women to help in her 2008 presidential campaign. On Tuesday, February 6, 2007, Megan Shannon of All Headline News reports that Clinton made a specific request for increased female activism in her 2008 campaign [http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7006665084] . The article struck me as slightly frustrating. Throughout the early campaigning, it seems as though Clinton is running more on a platform of female activism than the overwhelming political issues facing our nation today. Forget the war, taxes, health care, or education, Clinton seems to be running mostly on her femininity.
There are a few references that are especially interesting regarding this article. Clinton is reported saying, "Today, women are a majority of the voters, a majority of students in college, and we are a growing presence in the Congress. But there are still far too few women in leadership positions." Although the advancement and rights of women today is an important issue, Clinton seems to be entirely excluding half of the population from her campaign. By stating that "we are a growing presence in the Congress," she reaches the women of America on a personal level. She doesn't seem all that concerned about including any male concerns for female advancement though. She makes it seem as if there is a battle line between men and women and it is impossible to work together toward a common cause.
The more that Clinton's campaign develops, the more it seems she is running as a one-issue candidate. The female factor in the 2008 election is being stressed again and again, and I believe it is pushing democracy and female rights away from their purpose. The advancement of women is primarily concerned with providing women the ability to attain equal opportunity. When Clinton is pushing for support based on the fact that she is potentially the first female president, she contradicts the fact that she may be qualified for this position. Women’s rights should be concerned about attaining positions based on qualification, not affirmative action.
In no sense am I indicating that female rights isn’t an important plank in a candidate’s platform. Personally, I have no bias to vote either male or female in the upcoming campaign. I would just like to see Clinton run based on qualification instead of femininity.
I found this article to highly correlate with our discussion in lecture regarding race and gender in politics. I just thought I could add a new perspective to the discussion.