I participated in a Facebook conversation today about Hillary Clinton and the possibility that she might run for president in 2016.
Some people loved the idea. Some hated it.
Some of Clinton’s detractors voiced legitimate concerns; a few offered bizarre conspiracy theories; and a couple revealed themselves to be practitioners of a particularly noxious species of misogyny that seems to be all the rage in some circles.
Criticizing Clinton’s performance in Benghazi or her voting record on the Iraq War is legitimate. Criticizing her for her husband’s behavior is questionable but possibly legitimate, depending on the behavior under discussion. (“I didn’t like the administration’s position on X or Y and am afraid she would bring that back” is legitimate; “She couldn’t control her husband” is sexist nonsense.)
Criticizing Clinton because you consider her physically unattractive is — pardon my blunt language — inexcusable, misogynistic bullshit. We are not talking about whether she is qualified to be a Hooters waitress. We are talking about whether she is qualified to be the leader of the free world.
When you take cheap shots at a powerful, accomplished woman based on your opinion of her appearance, what you are really saying is that you are an immature, small-minded buffoon who views all women as sex objects, and if you do not regard a woman as a potential sex partner, she has no value to you — regardless of her talent, intelligence, education, experience or professional skills.
That doesn’t tell me anything about Clinton, but it tells me everything I could ever need or want to know about you.