Friday, September 9, 2016

What I See

What I see when I look at this face has nothing to do with politics. I look at Hillary Clinton, and I can't help but see my mother, my grandmother, and my professional mentors.

I realize that's the opposite of what this face evokes. For many people, this face is cold and aloof, and, in her own words, "walled off." Maybe it's dishonest, maybe it's lying, criminal, or sick. Whatever it is, it's the opposite of the warmth and nurturing we expect to see from women. It creates a cognitive dissonance.

But personally, I don't see it. In this face, I see two generations of women who had to work twice as hard as I do now, for less money, to earn half the respect that I take for granted.

I see my mother, one of just ten women in her medical school class, telling a panel of three male surgeons in an interview for admission there that, don't worry, she'll do just fine being a doctor and having a family; and I hear them tell her sorry, they've already met their quota of women.

I see a physician coming home from work and cooking dinner for me and my dad while cataloging the slights and fights she had that day (every day) with an army of male hospital administrators over funding for patients in her care, my dad shaking his head in sympathy and angry disbelief.

I see her spill her papers out on the coffee table in our living room and begin hours of studying on the couch with me. I with my homework, she with hers.

I see her years later, as the interim director of that same hospital, telling an indignant and entitled Nobel Prize winning scientist that yes, he really did have to pay his lab fees.

I see my grandmother--my dad's mom and the editor-in-chief of a big cooking magazine--saving the job of a young writer who was about to be fired by men for getting pregnant "out of wedlock."

I see my toughest, most intimidating clinical law school professor, formerly an attorney at a prestigious law firm, teaching me the basics of federal litigation while wearing the same armor of hostility and seriousness that can be such a jarring turn off; because above all, we want and expect women to turn us on.


I see the judge I clerked for, the first woman appointed to the trial court bench here in Alaska--in 1982.

I see someone who had to play the game by a different set of rules and standards, and who had to endure an enormous amount of shit to get where she is and to know what she knows. An amount of shit that is the stuff of legend to women of my generation, and 
incomprehensible to men of her generation or any other. 

Maybe that endurance will make her a good President and maybe it won't. But that's what I see when I look at this face.


8 comments:

  1. Thank you for this and your insight, day after day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I see someone who pimped the State Department out for favors paid to her and her husband under the guise of speaking fees and charity donations who hides behind the fact that she is a woman because then she can call critics who happen to be men (49% of society) sexists and who just personally attacked 50% of her opponent's supporters.

    I also see someone who went from having a moderate, popular and mainstream position on immigration to a radical and hostile one.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes! Well put, well understood, why are so many unable to grasp this?

    ReplyDelete
  4. There is more than one way to succeed and overcome. My daughters hopefully will not read about Hillary as the example for all women to model, Many, many, many better examples exist to hold up as good role models, You yourself named several. I am sorry that I can't name Hillary as Role model, or as a person of charactert. She is a corrupt politician, that happens to be a woman. It is my hope that a better person should be our first female president. A woman that my girls could admire and respect.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's impossible for someone to be involved in public service as long as Hillary Clinton without having many detractors. In spite of her critics I can't see her as a corrupt politician. There are few people in the public eye who are not asked to give highly paid speeches for one group or another. That doesn't make her crooked. Some of the speeches she received the most criticism for were to the banks, where her speeches were advocating for making more loans and micro-loans available to women entrepreneurs. The criticisms about heads of state donating to the Clinton Foundation for the work they do saving lives and helping women be able to participate more fully in their economies, have been reviewed many times and no improprieties have been found. Unlike Donald Trump's foundation that is not open to public scrutiny, the Clinton Foundation is very well documented, openly and above board. How do you expect a woman politician to raise enough money to run a campaign without paid speaking fees as part of the mix. She is a woman of vast experience compared to most and people are interested in not only her personal experiences but her professional goals as well. I personally find her most admirable and respected by many foreign leaders as well as business and political leaders in this country. She has been in a position as First Lady, a Governor's wife, 2 term Senator and Secretary of State to make many influential friends who are more than willing to support her in every way possible because they know what an intelligent and thoughtful person she is. She may make wrong decisions, as we all do, and sometimes it's because she thinks people are as honest with her as she has been with them. Her strength with foreign leaders is that she knows them well enough to know whether they are trustworthy or not and is not fooled by flattery of ignorance. I feel she is the most qualified person to be President that we have had for a very long time and someone we need making decisions right now.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's impossible for someone to be involved in public service as long as Hillary Clinton without having many detractors. In spite of her critics I can't see her as a corrupt politician. There are few people in the public eye who are not asked to give highly paid speeches for one group or another. That doesn't make her crooked. Some of the speeches she received the most criticism for were to the banks, where her speeches were advocating for making more loans and micro-loans available to women entrepreneurs. The criticisms about heads of state donating to the Clinton Foundation for the work they do saving lives and helping women be able to participate more fully in their economies, have been reviewed many times and no improprieties have been found. Unlike Donald Trump's foundation that is not open to public scrutiny, the Clinton Foundation is very well documented, openly and above board. How do you expect a woman politician to raise enough money to run a campaign without paid speaking fees as part of the mix. She is a woman of vast experience compared to most and people are interested in not only her personal experiences but her professional goals as well. I personally find her most admirable and respected by many foreign leaders as well as business and political leaders in this country. She has been in a position as First Lady, a Governor's wife, 2 term Senator and Secretary of State to make many influential friends who are more than willing to support her in every way possible because they know what an intelligent and thoughtful person she is. She may make wrong decisions, as we all do, and sometimes it's because she thinks people are as honest with her as she has been with them. Her strength with foreign leaders is that she knows them well enough to know whether they are trustworthy or not and is not fooled by flattery of ignorance. I feel she is the most qualified person to be President that we have had for a very long time and someone we need making decisions right now.

    ReplyDelete