Getting Hillary's Hackles Up Is Not A Good Idea

What Women Really Think
Aug. 12 2009 8:40 AM

Getting Hillary's Hackles Up Is Not A Good Idea

Noreen, you make a good point about Sec. Clinton’s reaction to a Congolese man who asked her about Bill Clinton's thoughts on a potential loan from China to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Yet I’m hard pressed to believe that many people in the Washington cocktail set would be so impolitic, or clueless, to exhibit anything remotely close to such condescension and sexism. After watching her campaign for the presidency last year, is there really any one left in the U.S. who doesn’t believe she can hold her own on weighty matters?

I was not the least bit bothered by Hillary Clinton’s tone or reaction (whew, was she angry), though I bet after watching herself on YouTube she might wish she had come off a bit more diplomatically. And I don’t care if the original question was supposedly flubbed by the Congolese translator, who was a woman by the way. Clearly either the questioner or the translator mistakenly thought that Bill was the real brain behind Hillary and that his opinion on policy matters was more important than hers. Unfortunately this kind of attitude is common among African, Latin American, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and South Asian men (and all the others I’ve left out), especially those in positions of power. What’s sadder is that many women in these regions have become so accustomed to such thinking that they believe it to be true as well.


Sometimes a well-timed and undiplomatic tongue-lashing is called for to make patriarchal politicans think twice before speaking, or at least remind them that sometimes it’s better to bite their stupid, sexist tongues. It’s also a good example for women who live in these patriarchal societies that they don’t have to stand for such outdated cultural notions. Hillary’s comments were a very effective verbal kick-in-the-butt response to a very offensive foot-in-the-mouth question. I say, "You go girl!"



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.