How did Hillary fall into the feminist fold?
By Carey Roberts
As her once insurmountable lead slips away, Hillary Clinton is desperately trying to turn things around by portraying herself as the most experienced, likeable, and yes, huggable candidate. Maybe voters in New Hampshire, and elsewhere should hear the story behind her youthful transformation from Goldwater Republican to iconic feminist.
The roots of Hillary's gynocentric leanings can be traced to her relationship with her mother Dorothy, who had been abandoned by her parents. As Hillary revealed in her autobiography, "I thought often of my own mother's neglect and mistreatment at the hands of her parents and grandparents."
Hillary's relationship with her father Hugh also figured in the story. Even though she later wrote, "I adored [my father] when I was a little girl," Hugh's household regime no doubt grated on the independent-minded girl.
Hillary Rodham's arrival at the all-girls Wellesley College in 1965, two years after Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique, marked a turning point in her ideological journey.
During those formative years Hillary devoured a leftist Methodist magazine called Motive. In 1971 the publication ran a self-described "women's liberation issue" with a lead article that cynically proclaimed, "Here she is, Miss America. Take her off the stage and f__ her."
Now on the verge of being stripped of its funding, Motive printed its last edition on – are you ready for this? -- feminism, lesbianism, and the gay sexual experience. Hillary often raved about Motive, effusing in a 1994 interview, "I still have every issue they sent me."
Young Hillary never seemed to pass on the chance to take a jab at the patriarchy.
In Living History, Clinton noted the "absence of male students cleared out a lot of psychic space" – hardly a compliment about the members of the opposite sex. Hillary once tried out for a role in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in the role of the foul-mouthed, emasculating Martha.
The Acknowledgements of her senior thesis opened with the sarcastic quip, "Although I have no ‘loving wife' to thank for keeping the children away while I wrote …"
And Hillary's graduation speech featured a classmate's acrid poem:
"Hollow Men of anger and bitterness"? Some wondered if it was Hillary who was angry and bitter. "Bountiful ladies of righteous degradation"? C'mon girls, it's time to get a grip.
Then on to Yale Law School, where Hillary Rodham's socialist leanings became irrevocably fused with women's liberation ideology. There she affected the appearance of a feminist guru, once described by a friend as sporting "Gloria Steinem glasses [and] Gloria Steinem hair."
She immersed herself in the writings of feminist firebrands Simone de Beauvoir and Germaine Greer. Author of The Second Sex, Beauvoir sneeringly claimed in a 1974 interview, "No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one."
Greer, the self-annointed "anarchist communist," had written The Female Eunuch, a book that can be described as the Mein Kampf of the radical feminist movement. After endless gripes about men, Greer concluded, "If women are to effect a significant amelioration in their condition, it seems obvious that they must refuse to marry."
Those anti-family rants resonated with Hillary. So when she later wrote an article for the Harvard Educational Review, Hillary asserted that marriage fosters "dependency relationships" and compared families to "slavery, and the Indian reservation system."
It was during the same time that Hillary met Bill, and during her third year at Yale they moved in together. Following a roller-coaster courtship, Bill and Hillary wed in 1975. A devoted acolyte of the Age of Aquarius, Hillary refused her young suitor's offer of a diamond engagement ring. She did not intend to wear a wedding dress, either, until a shocked friend insisted she do so.
At the reception Hillary stunned the Arkansas crowd with the breezy announcement she would not be taking her husband's name. After all, we can't have anything that hints at a "dependency relationship," can we?
Now fast-forward to March 28, 2007 – that's the day Hillary Clinton accepted the presidential endorsement from the National Organization for Women. Seeking to deflect criticism, Mrs. Clinton explained, "If you look in the dictionary, the word feminist means someone who believes in equal rights for women."
No mention of equal rights for men.
Carey Roberts is a Staff Writer for The New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.
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