NYT's Maureen Dowd Alleges That Hillary Clinton "Killed Feminism"
Dowd Has Been Launching Sexist Attacks At Clinton For Decades
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New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd claimed in an opinion piece that Hillary Clinton "killed feminism," a charge undermined by Dowd's long record of sexist attacks against Clinton.
According to a Media Matters study, between November 1993 and January 2016, Dowd wrote 212 columns that made significant mention of Clinton, 75% of which were negative and 17% of which accused her of betraying feminism. Dowd's decades-long history of sexist comments about Hillary Clinton includes variously characterizing her as excessively masculine and excessively feminine and comparing her to several mentally unstable fictional female characters. Over the last year, Dowd has compared Clinton to an "annoyed queen" and advised her to "run as a man this time." Despite these attacks, Dowd recently complained that Clinton's "campaign cries sexism too often."
In a February 13 column, Dowd wrote that "Hillary Clinton killed feminism" and attacked her for assuming "there was an implicit understanding with the sisters of the world that now was the time to come back home and vote for a woman":
The Clinton campaign is shellshocked over the wholesale rejection of Hillary by young women, younger versions of herself who do not relate to her.
Hillary's coronation was predicated on a conviction that has just gone up in smoke. The Clintons felt that Barack Obama had presumptuously snatched what was rightfully hers in 2008, gliding past her with his pretty words to make history before she could.
So this time, the Clintons assumed, the women who had deserted Hillary for Barack, in Congress and in the country, owed her. Democrats would want to knock down that second barrier.
Hillary believed that there was an implicit understanding with the sisters of the world that now was the time to come back home and vote for a woman. (The Clintons seem to have conveniently forgotten how outraged they were by identity politics when black leaders deserted them in 2008 to support Obama.)
This attitude intensified the unappetizing solipsistic subtext of her campaign, which is "What is Hillary owed?" It turned out that female voters seem to be looking at Hillary as a candidate rather than as a historical imperative. And she's coming up drastically short on trustworthiness.
What the three older women seemed to miss was that the young women supporting Sanders are living the feminist dream, where gender no longer restricts and defines your choices, where girls grow up knowing they can be anything they want. The aspirations of '70s feminism are now baked into the culture.
The interesting thing about the spectacle of older women trying to shame younger ones on behalf of Hillary is that Hillary and Bill killed the integrity of institutional feminism back in the '90s -- with the help of Albright and Steinem.
Instead of just admitting that he had had an affair with Monica Lewinsky and taking his lumps, Bill lied and hid behind the skirts of his wife and female cabinet members, who had to go out before the cameras and vouch for his veracity, even when it was apparent he was lying.
Hillary knew that she could count on the complicity of feminist leaders and Democratic women in Congress who liked Bill's progressive policies on women. And that's always the ugly Faustian bargain with the Clintons, not only on the sex cover-ups but the money grabs: You can have our bright public service side as long as you accept our dark sketchy side.