I’ve been wondering why it bothers me so much when people say they just don’t like Hillary Clinton.
I mean, I’ve had political preferences for years, but I never took it personally or was stunned by the opposition. This year, however, I truly am.
So the other day it struck me that the reason I am so bothered is that I don’t feel these opposers are simply expressing dislike for a candidate. I feel it deep in my bones. They take issue with her, which means they take issue with me.
Let me explain.
I do not wear pant suits, am not a Washington insider, nor have I ever (or will I ever) run for office.
I am a strong, outspoken woman. I have opinions. I have been told I’m tough. I have the feeling many people find me hard to like.
I have often felt alone in my crusades, like nobody cares, nobody listens. I have been brave to try things. I have believed I could change the world (and I still do).
When I was a child, I said my goal was to become the first Jewish woman president of this nation. (You could not pay me enough to take it on, by the way.)
I do not play the way men want me to play – and so many of them like me or the idea of me, but when it comes down to brass tacks, I am not the kind of woman most men want to be with.
Perhaps for a night. Perhaps as a fantasy. But not in reality.
I call it like it is, I am straight with my words, and I don’t take crap from anyone.
I speak my mind, whether or not the audience wants to hear it.
For all these reasons and more, I realize I AM Hillary. More than favoring her as a candidate or aligning with her politics (which I do and I do), I relate to her as a woman and as an ambitious person.
And it hurts me deeply, to the core of who I am, when I realize that so much of her opponents dislike her because she is a woman.
A woman who doesn’t use her feminine wiles to win favor in a man’s world.
A woman who wants to correct the wrongs in this society, to elevate who we are as a people, so that all Americans have access and equity and a fighting chance.
She’s a woman who won’t shut up or sit down and sit pretty.
And that’s a threat.
Not only to men but to other women as well.
Years ago, when I created a sisterhood organization in an orthodox synagogue, I offered to sponsor a speaker. She was a young orthodox woman, fully engaged and committed to the religious life. She covered her hair, wore only skirts (no pants) and covered the requisite barriers on the body so as to never show too much skin.
However, this speaker also had a PhD in comparative literature from Harvard AND she studied and taught Talmud. She was brilliant and accomplished and learned. She proved that an orthodox Jewish woman could be faithful to the tradition AND in the modern world.
It was the young women in the synagogue who put the kibosh on this speaker. She was too much of a threat.
The midlife women were all for her, but sadly they were outnumbered.
It’s the same thing with Hillary.
Men don’t like her because she threatens their long-held domination in every single facet of life on this planet.
Women don’t like her because many women are catty and petty and worse than men at deriding other women.
Those who DO like her see clearly that we need to evolve in order to survive.
But the opposers not only fight her candidacy – they fight the very essence of who she is.
Of who I am.
A person who is smart and innovative and daring and who truly wants to build a better world.