Why Can’t We Stop Skewering Hillary Clinton?

This woman just cannot get a break. 

Let’s start with biographer/author Ed Klein taking her apart on FOX news last night because she is “overweight.”  He says that will “slow her down” should she once again stand for the Presidency.  “Hillary 2016” is on the lips of many at the moment.  Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, former Governor Ed Rendell, and even Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi all are pushing her to throw her hat into the ring.


Moreover, the self-same media that bashed Clinton relentlessly her last time out are playing the speculation game.  Whether this is spit balling to sell copy, wishful thinking, manipulation to keep disgruntled Hillary supporters faithful to their party and hopeful for the future, or prescience remains to be seen.  But as night follows day, along with speculation must come derision.

There is no female politician that can escape a ridiculous amount of attention being paid to her appearance.  There are plenty of male politicians who have a higher Body Mass Index than Mrs. Clinton and enjoy no such insulting scrutiny about their weight in the press.  Her tenure as Secretary of State has shown Clinton to be indefatigable with a tireless work ethic.  Her grueling schedule exhausts aides half her age.  Yet she is the energizer bunny.  Must be those hot peppers she says she ingests daily.  Or maybe she just likes doing her job.  This is a normal, healthy woman – not a swimsuit model.

Next, of course, we have to criticize her age.  I wonder how the baby boomers feel being told that someone who will be 68 during her next campaign in 2016 (should it happen) will be too old to run the country.  Secretary Clinton is now 64.  Mitt Romney is 65.  Is anyone telling the Republican nominee to make himself some warm milk and put his teeth in a cup?  Sexism plus ageism is quite the double whammy for a woman.^

On May 6th, Clinton gave a speech in Bangladesh wearing glasses and no make-up, save some lipstick.  Here is what she had to say:

“Leveraging the values of tolerance, respect for human rights, inclusion and resilience of Bangladesh society, including a robust civil society, we intend our broader collaboration to be anchored in a strong bilateral development partnership focused on joint development priorities, including food security, maternal and child health, family planning, climate change, strengthening democracy, youth and women’s empowerment, among others.”

What did Drudge Report and about 100 other news outlets choose to discuss:  Hillary goes “au natural.”

Maybe there was an emergency before she got to the press conference.  Maybe she just didn’t feel like taking the time to primp.

Secretary Clinton has also received an huge amount of criticism for letting her hair grow long – and not just from the press.  A number of women on the ground seem to take umbrage at her new look.  Perhaps there is the sense that she represents all of us and as such must maintain a particular appearance.  Her aides explained that she gets on and off planes constantly and gets so windblown that it is easier to have that long hair pulled up in a twist, or heaven forefend – those headbands she is known for.

The amount of responsibility on this woman would be daunting for anyone.  There are multiple fires to put out, at home and abroad.  Aren’t we, as Americans, happier in the knowledge that someone is working hard for us instead of spending hours on her hairdo?  Clinton’s recent response to the make-up and hair question was lovely:  “Let someone else worry about it!”

I can staple myself together pretty fast, but when I think of how many man-hours, or should I say “woman-hours” I have spent taking that blow torch to my hair, doing my make-up along with the excruciating attention to clothing choice – it is mind numbing.  Whoever notices if a man is wearing the same suit?

Recently, while in Colombia, she also kicked back for one half hour with staff to enjoy a beer.  She was promptly dubbed “Swillary” in the press and even called an “embarrassment.”  How odd that many male politicians are judged a success if voters long to share a beer with them.

Male + beer = popular and genuine.

Woman + beer = slattern.

Got it.

The method and cost of condemning every woman’s “imperfections” was brought into sharp relief by talented comic, Dana Carvey, in one of his HBO Specials.  Riffing on a number of ex-Presidents, inevitably, he brought up Bill Clinton’s dalliance with Monica Lewinsky.  He next said… “Well, look at Hillary.  Can you blame Bill for what he did?”

The audience laughed.


There is nothing funny about sending the message that any woman not resembling Charlize Theron is somehow fit for ridicule, is ‘less than’ or less than capable.  We send a devastating message to other woman with this behavior.  In the back of every woman’s mind, is there a worry that she had better not get too big for her bloomers, or someone will turn their lasers on her, picking her apart for every blemish.  That is, if she has not already done that to herself.

We live in an airbrushed society.  As women, we are trained to pick ourselves apart based on the brainwashing we see in the media daily and so, we exhibit far too much tolerance when it is done to women in the public sphere.  This also telegraphs a dangerous preoccupation with style over substance.

Should Hillary Clinton decide to once again stand for the Presidency, let us hope that we spend more time focusing on the person and the policies, not the primping.


This post also featured at Ani’s BlogAnita Finlay is the author of Dirty Words on Clean Skin: Sexism and Sabotage, a Hillary Supporter’s Rude Awakening, available at Amazon in print and Kindle editions.

Follow Anita on Twitter.

Be sure to like her author page on Facebook.


73 Responses

  1. Great article but difficult to find as the link did not work yesterday. I finally got it by clicking on home this morning.

    The double standard reported here is not new; seemingly it has been with us forever; what one hopes is that one day women will stop contributing to it. Why continue to be an endless slave to fashion, for example? Would the world end if women went without makeup or dressed scantly in clothing that featured their almost escaping breasts?

    Women can never beat back the “dirty words” of men by conforming to men’s pornographic mind set. But they would be formidable if they stopped contributing to and dancing to the very tune that is constantly being used against them.

  2. I’ve been thinking about this since Ani’s latest post made a brief appearance yesterday (!) and of course, the subject has been on our minds for as long as we have known her.

    I’m afraid it has become part of the culture. I have a female cousin cultured in most every other way, but she loves the HRC-bashing emails.

    I’ve been told that within Virginia Clinton Kelley’s book “Raising A President” his mom recalled a conversation which Bill brought up to her. He told her he wanted to marry Hillary. She’d met Hillary, and suggested that Hillary was not the one for him. Bill responded that if he did not marry Hillary, he would not marry.

    What higher tribute could the man have given her than that? And why did he feel that way?

    Could it be as simple as the fact that it has always been her capabilities [from intellect to humor and beyond] that got her where she is? She certainly did not need the ‘skill set’ identified as feminine wiles to rise to the incredible heights in which she travels these days. Perhaps those who resent her do so for that reason. That might explain the females who bash her.

    For the male HRC haters, I can only shake my head. They think of and their forebears named plumbing parts and electrical sockets as nipple, male, female plugs. For those similar males who use their penis as a GPS device, it must be a bummer trying to deal with HRC.

    Thank you Ani, for inspiring me to consider this subject further than I had.

  3. Hillary is a honey badger. Honey badgers don’t give a shit.

  4. I tweeted that every woman should follow @mencanstoprape. And I get this tweet from a creepy crawly guy that says, “Or be responsible”. As in rape is your fault. His twitter is @ONPump17
    Yeah the dipshit is an iron pumper. Probably increased the value of steroid stock. And probably enjoys rape.He’s all yours, girls.

  5. Some people just cannot appreciate a powerful Woman like our Hillary

  6. So, UW, what he is saying that rape is the penalty for exercising poor judgement? So has he been raped? He exercised poor judgement. What a moron. So the only good thing about steroids is that they can render him infertile. Yeah, baby. No dipstick jr.

    And Ani, don’t you know silly girl, that our functions in society are to be ornamental and simper adoringly as some faux man expounds on some half baked ideas? There was a really good book written a couple of years ago when I was still a member of the democratic party and it was called “Woman for President” and it detailed all the sexism that women have had to put up with as they have been running for office. Her contemporaries noted that Victoria Woodhull wore lovely little booties and believed in “free love.” The more things change, the more they remain the same. Sometimes I am embarrased to be human.

  7. AnnE, I should have replied that “Steroids will do that to you” before blocking the freak. But I did forward his twitter address to the mencanstoprape site, let them handle him.

  8. According the Pew, only 3 countries in Europe say their leader is doing a good job. The one with the highest praise is Angela Merkel. The Wimmminz.

  9. Well, of course, Merkel. She is not exactly a glamour girl. Go figure. Which is not to say that one cannot be both, but substance over style is a thing devoutly to be wished…

  10. Ani, most of the cretins in Congress aren’t going to win any beauty prizes either. BUnch of toads, actually. But you never read about how incredibly FUGLY Harry Reid and John Boehner are.

  11. Tarrance Group does poll on what Americans really think.

    Note: They are a republican pollster, just as a disclaimer.

  12. Well a man being less than attractive would never stop him from success in politics. Or anywhere.

  13. How all these people talk about Hillary Clinton has become a litmus test for me.

  14. But you never read about how incredibly FUGLY Harry Reid and John Boehner are.

    Or how hawt Chris Cristie would look in a mankini, right?

  15. Nothing like a nekkid pair of hairy DD moobs jiggling down the beach.

  16. Very good reads. Not only the Anita essay but also the comments – Pamela, etc.

    It is getting worse day by day. Our society is regressing with daily reminders that we have not come a long way baby.

    BTW – the new computer and monitor are fine… but due to the age of my printer it is no longer supported with the windows 7 format drivers etc. I went to print out an important receipt and it wouldn’t work. So I reloaded the printer disk, then as a last option called Customer Service.

    My printer is obsolete. Bastards. It doesn’t pay to buy anything decent.
    I am going to buy cheap crap since it all has to be replaced in a few years anyway. Off to spend more hard earned bucks on something that is functional but not compatible with the new whistles and bells.

    Nothing is easy anymore. Life is too complicated!

  17. The Sandusky trial is heartbreaking. Those poor children were treated as disposable because of a freaking football. All American Sports crap.
    Big freak was given so much power and leeway. Now the big ugly freak is going to try to wiggle out of it with his personality disorder defense. He raped children. Cut his dick off.

  18. aemol, on June 12, 2012 at 1:44 PM said: Edit Comment

    How all these people talk about Hillary Clinton has become a litmus test for me
    For me too, aemol. Tells me a lot about their character or the lack thereof!

  19. There is an article from the WSJ sidebar about Foreigners snapping up US homes but it is only a snippet article unless you subscibe.

    Signs of our times – selling out of our country one bldg at a time.

    Stop the world, I want to get off.

  20. Karen! If you have a parallel printer, you don’t have the port. They made it obsolete on purpose. HOWEVER, you CAN buy a USB to Parallel port adaptor. I have a wonderful laser printer that I REFUSED to give up so I have been through three computers with the adaptor. Works fine. 18 bucks.

    They are even cheaper now. Ask for a USB PARALLEL PRINTER ADAPTOR. They look like this.

  21. I do the same thing as Uppity, Karen. My laser printer is as old as the hill but works beautifully and I refuse to replace it!

  22. Karen, tell me the make and model of your printer and I will find an adaptor model for you. If you buy on your own you might not get a compatible one. Must be compatable with your windwow AND your printer.

    Need brand and model.

  23. Home for lunch then back to the salt mines lol. Love having a pay check again though.
    Anyway would love to go after that Butt face on the rape thing and if I can dig it up after 6 PM I will let him have it with both barrels.
    Rather then whack off a rapists Pee Pee I think they ought to be tossed into a prison cell with several deprived lifers. I am sure the rapist will change his tune once he is repeatedly violated. Heck all men who think it is fine to attack women in that manner needs to serve time with one who will make sure they are victims. Guards need to turn away for several weeks.

  24. Excellent post, Ani and excellent comments all. Yes, for me too, how folks speak of Hillary is a litmus test.

    Actually, though, they’re not very bright. Hillary is the most popular politician. And when those pundits go after her like that, she just gets even more popular!

  25. Utah you prolly should not go after that guy. I don’t think he’s got two oars and it could create lots of problems. i have it to the stoprape guys to handle. I’m sure the hairs on their necks stood up. Better to let the boys deal with a freak like that.

  26. Came across this and thought it was so cute. Ellen when she was very young and doing schtick. Skit w/Melissa Eth.

  27. OSSIE: that was disgusting but funny———god you are a goof 🙂

    Great POST ANI

  28. UW: I think in the future we should have a lesson on tweeting-no matter what I do———-it doesn’t work, and I’m sure a bunch of us have the same problem-it’s way past my Pay grade————

    God I LOVE this woman (these women) ————–

  29. My favorite Ellen and Melissa, from the Ellen episode where she comes out:

  30. GRRR I really hate it when I want to go back and reread something- but forget where it was I saw it. It is driving me nuts! This morning I was reading somewhere or another on my usual rounds- and in the comments somewhere, someone speculated that all this business with the National Security leaks is probably going to come down on Biden.
    I got to thinking about it later and have had a case of the heebie jeebies ever since. I detest Biden- but if he gets thrown under the bus- that leaves really only one choice for VP.
    I hope she tells him to jump off the top of the Rocky Mountains if it comes to that.
    And if anybody read that same post and comments- please oh please tell me where I saw it. I thought it was here or at Crawdad’s- but I can’t find it.
    Of course it could just be my meds- getting paranoid lol

  31. I’d love to see the critics of Hillary’s physical appearance wear form fitting attire (ugh gag!) instead of the padded shoulder squared off uniforms they wear that are tailored to hide the hideousness of their bodies. Bet we wouldn’t hear a peep out of them then… ted kennedy (descendant of a lineage of sluts), barney frank, skinnymarink obama,
    Tingles… ugh squared.

  32. Upps, it wasn’t a cable issue. It was the manufacturer stopped making driver updates and it isn’t compatible with windows 7.

    I donated it and my monitor, although old they are functional. The computer itself is crap and I donated/recycled it at a tiny local computer shop that wipes it clean before putting it into the recycle bin if that is what it needs. If they can recondition it then they sell it for cheap to low income folks.

    The new printer was cheapo and it is way better than my old one too.

    So now all I need is a new coffee mug and my whole desktop area will be brand-spankin’ new!

    At least my job has lots of OT potential these days. Not due to improved economy but actually due to a hiring freeze because of budget cuts. It is cheaper to pay us overtime for the hours we are needed than replace people who retire. If they hire new people they have to give them benefits and that isn’t cost effective. Sadly.

    I wish and fervently hope our country will see better days ahead. It is getting very grim out there.

  33. OT, but interesting:

    On a recent visit to CNN headquarters in Atlanta, CNN founder Ted Turner was spotted by a number of CNN employees. The employees began shouting across the CNN atrium “Ted, come back and save CNN!” Turner shouted back, “It’s too fucking late!”

  34. Ani, you are soooo right – Hillary just cannot get a break. I was proud of her going au natural. I loved how she looked. I retired January 2012 and I can tell you after years and years and years of applying makeup, I just gave it up for most days now. I had a sense of freedom. Of course, since I am one of those gay folks, I don’t have any reason at all to dress up for men. So, sometimes I choose to wear makeup and other times I don’t.

  35. Uppity, I enjoyed the Melissa Etheridge u-tube and move on to watch some others.

    Sophie CT. That gay membership skit was a hoot when I saw it the first time and is still a hoot now.

  36. OT, this is unreal. $20 fine for cussing in Mass. town:


    What about freedom of speech and the first amendment?

  37. Sophie that’s hilarious. Too late for CNN

  38. K forC: Middleborough, MA would be too expensive for me!

  39. WLM: I loved that episode. The Lesbian social organization in my area organized an Ellen Party (pot luck, of course) and we all watched it together. That scene is where the infamous toaster oven line comes from.

  40. Long Hairs are Classical Composers, hard-driving, Busy Women absorbed in interesting, gratifying work and Cat Breeds…

  41. Hey Middleborough, Mass: F*ck you.
    Fine that.

  42. Karen, most old printers have a generic driver already installed in Windows 7. Seriously.

  43. I called customer service and was told they no longer support that printer and that there are no updates available. Windows XP was the last upgrade for that printer and unfortunately the printer is obsolete on a computer with W-7. The ink cartridge was even hard to find.

    I have a coupon to update to windows 8 for free when it comes out since I got the machine right before the new OS. I won’t cash it in until they solve the issues with 8 and iron out all the wrinkles.

    You have to keep moving or they run you over. Things progress so fast today. I don’t like it. I like to hold onto things for a long time – antiques and sentimental things are important to me.

  44. Yeah, if they took away my freedom of speech I’d be inclined to curse them out even more. The fines would be racked up as they were writing me a ticket for the first offense.

  45. A recent study reveals (well, not so much a study – but, my opinion) that these sexist men who judge women only on physical appearance have three traits in common: short penis, small brain, big mouth.

  46. Like this would be sooo much better than an older but wiser HRC.

  47. Give me the brand and model of the printer please. This does not mean your generic driver in 7 won’t support it. Or the CD driver that comes with the adaptor. I asked you for the brand and model and I still don’t know it.

  48. Do not load windows 8 when it comes out. You should never upgrade to a new windows until all the complaints and crashed computers come to an end. But this has NOTHING to do with the printer issue.

  49. There are plenty of male politicians who have a higher Body Mass Index than Mrs. Clinton and enjoy no such insulting scrutiny about their weight in the press.

    Gee, ain’t that the truth!

    Funny how people lower themselves to pick away at insignificant things, when there isn’t anything worthwhile left to pick over. The quality of that kind of attack says everything about how their points are actually so hollow.

  50. Personally, I hate hillary’s hair long but it’s her hair and she ought to be able to wear it any damned way she wants. Harry Reid’s hair always looks like he combs it with an eggbeater and cuts it with a bowl on his head. I never read a word about it.

  51. And speaking of Tingles and Hair. His hair is scheevy and looks dirty. In fact his entire self makes me think they ought to run CHris Mathews through a car wash. I looks like a man who rarely showers or brushes his teeth. But I never hear a word about it.

  52. Mom if Joe Biden goes under the bus, I don’t give a rat’s ass. He makes me sick, he’s stupid, he looks like an idiot every time he opens his mouth, and he should never be forgiven for his “bankruptcy reform,” which he put together for he Delaware charge card company sponsors, while threatening people from the Senate floor that if they didn’t vote for this ‘reform’ then women were going to die or something. Furthermore, he’s been on my shit list from all the way back to Anita Hill, as in “Women are like that”. Joe biden could land under obama’s bus and get run over twice and I wouldn’t care. He is and always was sexist. And a bigot (see his comment on video about people from the middle east back in 2008). Wish I could quote it exactly but it was reallly really ignorant. And then see his comment back then about how Barack Obama was so “clean”. Or was that Horseface? In any case, this is not a good man.

  53. Furthermore, I have no idea how Joe Biden got to the Senate. He must have had some politician’s help or made some serious deals because he should be selling shoes in Payless.

  54. There are plenty of male politicians who have a higher Body Mass Index than Mrs. Clinton and enjoy no such insulting scrutiny about their weight in the press.

    Tedward was popping out of his skin, the fat pig. He couldn’t even walk. He actually waddled. And you almost had to buy a bigger TV to look at Hastert. Never heard a word about it.

  55. Unfortunately, our society places WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY too much importance to looks. Seems like the working qualities and accomplishments of the person are insignificant compared to their appearance. HRC runs around looking fine. She is doing a great job. No one across the globe is complaining about her lack of SOS skills. SO then what gives about appearance? Petty subjectivity.

  56. The job was tossed in for free with the plugs.

  57. HAHAHAH Crier. No kidding.

    By the way, if Biden gets bussed it’s because Obama is in so mucy re-election shit, they want a different VP candidate to boost his sorry ass. You know who that would be.

  58. Crier in the USA the priority on looks only applies to women. This is why we have so many disgusting Fugly men in charge of things. With women, if she’s not good looking they will hound her. If she’s good looking they will hound her. The media in this country is truly disgusting. And VERY obvious. There are so many entrenched pigs in charge that they don’t even KNOW when they are doing it half the time.

  59. The wonders of Geneticaly engineered food. I just bit into a banana that was actually…..are you ready? Crunchy. And the skin couldn’t be peeled off as it was literally embedded into the banana.

  60. Shelby Fluffy and Rhoda have dinner with Barack.

  61. Crunchy banana? Definitely odd. Would it make a good banana split?

  62. ROFL

    Obama: my private sector is just fine
    Obama: do you want to come on AF1 and watch my unemployment rise?

    Shelby: if you don’t vote for Obama, the gays will stop being funny and puppies will die

    (yeah, Obama will eat them…..)

  63. Great post, Ani! It’s absolutely ridiculous how there are so many examples of hideous looking men in government, but it’s only women’s appearance that gets commented on, and they’re comparing them to beauty models. And their work, effort, and achievements aren’t even thought of.

    And if any of those men were subjected to even 1% of the crap Hillary has had to deal with, they’d crumble the first day.

  64. looks like a man who rarely showers or brushes his teeth.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  65. And a bit ofd the topic but related to Hillary…


    What is going on with all these surrogates taking pot shots? I know Rendell was a huge Hillary supporter, but this seems unusual to me….Booker, Ford, Rendell, Clinton, Patrick and more…. this seems very odd indeed, what say you all?

  66. Agreed, Lorac. They would all be in the fetal position, sucking their thumbs.

  67. Ani, I think they realized that more than an election is at stake – that Obama has changed and possibly destroyed the democratic party. That he is all about himself, not about the party or the country.

    Although I don’t know what they *want* to happen as a result of their speaking out – are they trying to influence how people vote, or are they trying to encourage other power makers to do something (like get O to step down…)?

  68. And you almost had to buy a bigger TV to look at Hastert.

    (Almost, UW–almost got my keyboard with the coffee!)

  69. Sophie, “Almost” doesn’t count. I must work harder.

  70. You say that like it’s a bad thing

    Our Oswald. So disgustingly delightful.

  71. Uppity,

    The obsolete printer was a HP “All in One” 1350.

    I know about waiting to get the new 8 version – that’s why I wrote “after the wrinkles are all ironed out” is when I would cash in my free coupon.

    Crunchy banana. Yikes.

    Hooray – Shelby Fluffy!

    lol at oswald, as always.

  72. Karen, there is a generic HP driver in windows 7.

    All you have to do to find it is hit update” when you run the add a printer wizard. I think its the 2100, I can check, but not if you are going to not bother with an adapter.

  73. Don’t have time to read all the comments, but GREAT post, Ani.

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