Sitting in that chair last week. That iconic chair, one step away from therapy--or maybe instead of. Brenda raised the scissors. First, "So you want it shorter this time?"
I sigh. Immediately taken back to 2008, and disappointing my daughter by opting for Obama.
Back to Hillary and the sigh. Sure, a woman president would be transformative--for me, for the world, for our grandchildren. Because they would finally have to hear our voice. (link to "Speaking While Female" in January New York Times; read comments too).
Exchanging back and forth with Brenda, turns out we agree. Email controversy is a waste of time. But why does this very smart, competent woman so often get herself into struggles that lead to her being the beleaguered woman--unfairly attacked by detractors.
Then it occurred to me why I personally have a problem with Hillary.
Never as impressed as others, women and men, by what she said in Bejing in 1995. Something missing in her strong words to China, to the world about violence against women thriving when there's a
"crisis of silence and acquiescence"
Et tu, Hillary? It was at that moment, a very womanly one centered around the special-chair-ritual of beautifying through hair cut, that I said to Brenda. "It has always bothered me that she did not leave Bill Clinton." That she experienced this serial abuser by turning the other cheek, keeping this deceit going as an acceptable response for herself and as a model for her child.
"So," Brenda asked, "what else do you think she could have done?"
My answer, "Imagine, what a powerful message to women if she had left him!" Yes, it's a politically incorrect response. Only people with very different politics from mine are on my side--particularly Christian right wing, anti-abortion women. I shudder at the connection.
Okay. Maybe you can ignore the intractability of domestic abuse--physical/emotional/sexual/social/financial abuse, and its connection to gun violence. Not me. Yes, I live in Oregon with women as governor (not the first), Secretary of State, Speaker of the House. And yet the statistics for my county, Multnomah, the largest:
Hillary could have sent the most important feminist message of her life by walking away. The woman I want for President will not be just another smart politician.