If I have to read another article about how some men hate Hillary Clinton for vaguely misogynistic reasons I'm going to give myself a series of tiny paper cuts with the latest copy of Ms. and rub salt in them. But lo! Rebecca Traister goes on for over 4,000 words in Salon today, parsing some young, liberal, and mostly white men's "saucer-eyed, unquestioning devotion" towards Obama and their accompanying "sharp renunciation of Hillary Clinton." It's not that Traister is wrong — some men are subtly sexist in their hatred of Clinton. The problem with this over-long essay is that Traister interviews a bunch of hyper-educated liberal women who complain about this covert misogyny, and the result is a completely myopic view of the current democratic Presidential race.
Hillary Clinton is a woman. Barack Obama is black. We've been talking about this for at least six months. If Traister had found a new way to look at the identity politics in this race, I'd be all ears. But she hasn't. Her essay doesn't draw any conclusions about this sexism — Traister merely points out its existence. And the simple demographic facts at this point show that most of the people who are voting for and supporting Barack are not these Jon Stewart-loving, powerful-women fearing upper middle class man-children whom Traister derides. There is a whole diverse country out there, many of whom could give a shit about Hillary's vagina and Barack's lack thereof.
Traister also talks a lot about second wave feminists, whom the media has largely portrayed as strident Hillary lovers. For many of her points, Traister relies on anecdotal evidence (for instance, she quotes Feministing founder Jessica Valenti, who says, "I pinpoint sexism for a living. You'd think I'd be able to find an example [of sexism against Hillary]. And I hate to rely on this hokey notion that there's some woman's way of knowing, and that I just fucking know. But I do. I just know."), and I will do the same. The two biggest Obama supporters I know are my mother and my boyfriend's mother. Both went to elite universities in the late 60s/ early 70s. Both have held high-powered jobs. Both live in liberal enclaves. And both these second wavers are so fucking PISSED at the Clintons for ruining the democratic party. My mother especially thinks that Bill completely neglected his presidential legacy and the health of the party to support Hillary's senate run, and later her Presidential run. She feels that time and again, Hillary has chosen self-promotion over party preservation.
That's just one example of Hillary dislike that has nothing to do with her gender. There are so many other reasons out there for loving or hating either of these candidates, and not just if you're white and a college graduate. Can we please, please start discussing those?