Hey, Ms. — this is what a feminist looks like

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009 · 24 Comments »

Originally posted at The New Agenda.

Sen. Clinton at her confirmation hearing, January 13, 2009

Sen. Clinton at her confirmation hearing, January 13, 2009

Senator Clinton’s confirmation hearing this morning reminded us all of what brilliance, competence, and feminism look like.

I loved this bit: “The ancient Roman poet Terence, who was born a slave and rose to become one of the great voices of his time, declared that ‘in every endeavor, the seemly course for wise men is to try persuasion first.’ The same truth binds wise women as well.

This was her statement on women’s rights:

Our foreign policy must reflect our deep commitment to the cause of making human rights a reality for millions of oppressed people around the world. Of particular concern to me is the plight of women and girls, who comprise the majority of the world’s unhealthy, unschooled, unfed, and unpaid. If half of the world’s population remains vulnerable to economic, political, legal, and social marginalization, our hope of advancing democracy and prosperity will remain in serious jeopardy. We still have a long way to go and the United States must remain an unambiguous and unequivocal voice in support of women’s rights in every country, every region, on every continent.

That’s what a feminist looks like.

UPDATE: From the New York Times live blog comes this account of an exchange during the hearing between Senator Boxer and Senator Clinton:

Senator Boxer displays photographs of women who were burned in acid attacks, punished for divorce or other matters and Senator Clinton responds emphatically.

It is her hope, she promises, to persuade more governments “that we cannot have a free, prosperous, peaceful progressive world if women are treated in such a discriminatory and violent way.” In addition to the attacks on Pakistani women outlined by Senator Boxer, Mrs. Clinton cites the attacks on young school girls by Taliban sympathizers.

“They want to maintain an attitude,” she charged, “that keeps women unhealthy, unfed, uneducated, and this is something that results all too often in violence against these young women.”

“This is not culture, this is not custom, this is criminal,” she said.

“Speaking broadly and promising that she would place an emphasis on areas like the Office on Human Trafficking and the Women’s Office, she said: I want to pledge to you that as Secretary of State, I view these issues as central to our foreign policy not as adjunct or in any way lesser. …”

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24 Responses to “Hey, Ms. — this is what a feminist looks like”

  1. Lisa says:

    That just takes my breath away. She is so fantastic. She will make such a huge impact. Imagine what it would have been like if she had been president.

  2. myiq2xu says:

    That’s what a President looks like.

  3. sister of ye says:

    I have trying to make sense of Clinton’s choice to endorse and support The Cheater who insulted the honor of both her and her husband. Perhaps this is why.

    I only hope that in fact she is allowed the latitude to push for and accomplish change for women and all those oppressed. Given that Obama shares none of those ideals himself, I’m afraid I remain skeptical.

  4. Emma says:

    I remain sceptical, too. But indeed all my hope for the new administration rests with Hillary Clinton.

  5. Sis says:

    She looks rested. That’s nice, and not a comment on looks.

  6. Little Isis says:

    Oh gosh, I love her so. She’s simply the best.

  7. yttik says:

    “I only hope that in fact she is allowed the latitude to push for and accomplish change for women and all those oppressed…..”

    Me too Sister of Ye! But than I thought about it and realized, since when has Hillary ever waited to be “allowed” latitude?

    Bahaha, since when does any feminist wait to be allowed the latitude to make change?

  8. quixote says:

    Dear God. Read and weep.

    She’s the real thing.

    Never have so many been so robbed by so few.

  9. yttik says:

    I don’t know, the possibility of a secretary of state with a global feminist agenda is kind of exciting. Who knows where this could lead?

    I wanted to see her named president, but perhaps the role of a president is more like a figurehead, a series of photo-ops and shaking hands with dignataries. Sometimes things happen for a reason, perhaps Hillary is in an even better position where she is at. We shall see.

    I do know she is going to transform the office of the Sec of State, LOL, in ways we have never seen before. She has never stayed in her designated role, not as first lady, not as senator, not even as the token woman on the board of walmart.

  10. betsyfromtexas says:

    I hated that she had to take a ‘back seat’ to the Cheater, but the more i see her, the more i know that she will make history as he never should, could or would! Hillary is our ‘face’ to the rest of the world, and i think that our ‘stock’ has risen as a result. Step aside Condi and let a real woman (and feminist) take over!

  11. djmm says:

    Very proud of and impressed by her. She will make a difference, in the best way.

    And yes, take that, Ms. Magazine.


  12. Heidi says:

    Who is better than Hillary Clinton? I swear I’ll spend the next four years calling her Madame President in defiance.

  13. sister of ye says:

    Bahaha, since when does any feminist wait to be allowed the latitude to make change?

    Good point. Unfortunately, the Egotist-in-Chief has a lot of power to undermine or out-and-out counter her efforts, and he’s vindictive enough to do it.

    Let’s hope Hillary has some good guerilla tactics up the sleeves of her stylish pantsuits.

  14. JeanLouise says:

    Heidi’s #12! Yes! Madame President, it is!

  15. odysseus says:

    A fine and principled stand. Where are the other women in the Senate? HRC continues to grow with each day in the public eye.

  16. slythwolf says:

    God, I love her. I love her so damn much.

    And this is the thing, I was one of those people who was like, meh, Hillary Clinton, who cares. And then I saw the video of her “crying” and I was like, holy shit, she’s me. She talks about it like I do. And she gets it.

  17. Alwaysthinking says:

    If only we could see her on the evening news (or any other time, rather than the all-Obama-all-the- time-nonsense coming out of the media. (I swear — er affirm — that I don’t watch the tube, but I do have to pass by it on the way to the kitchen. Ugh! Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get a regular bird’s-eye view of her daily travels around the world — to really see a leader in action! Our spirits would soar!

  18. Elizabeth K. says:

    Not just “take that, Ms. Magazine,” but also, “take that, Campbell Brown.”

    This is what kind of feminist Hillary is: she can laugh off personal affronts so that she can play with the big boys, but she will not tolerate an affront to other women. Compare that to many of our lefty sisters who become righteously indignant on their own behalf and stab other women in the back.

  19. DancingOpossum says:

    Dangnabbit, every time she seems to be counted out she comes back ten times stronger and better. Is there no limit to her poise and intelligence and strength? Oh stop me…I know she’s not perfect. My admiration is not blind, but damn damn damn damn damn…I will say, hearing her statements, I feel a thousand times better about her decision to take SOS.

  20. Sis says:

    I’ll be petty and say I’m tired of women doing the heavy lifting for some man, and the man getting the credit. I’m afraid that’s what will happen. She’ll make him look so good that no-one but you people will see it wasn’t him.

  21. Lori says:

    Sister Of Ye – a little background. Obama’s people were the ones doing ALL (literally) of the leaking about Hillary being nominated for SOS. The newspaper accounts all noted that the Clinton camp had nothing to say on the subject. Obama made the offer to Clinton who turned him down – that’s when Reid piped up about giving her a sub-committee to head on the health insurance industry. Obama came back and made another offer – this time he agreed to give her the level of autonomy that she required and so she consented.

    Clinton walking away from Obama would send a very dark message to the world. The world diplomatic ommunity, no doubt, thinks Obama is a complete doofus after his foreign policy gaffes during the campaign. But they know Clinton personally. She has credibility. He doesn’t. He may be the next president, but she has all the power in this situation. If she were to reject him or resign, it would diminish whatever credibility he has.

    Clinton will be brilliant in the role and she will not take second status to him. The press will ignore her accomplishments, but people will see it anyway. The press ignored her historic win in New Hampshire, but no one else did. Same here. She is Hillary Clinton – a star in her own right. after serving as SOS, she will be unstoppable in the next campaign.

  22. Shainzona says:

    Sis – it’s already started. The seeds to the Obama is God story are being sown…starting with MoDo:

    “The new president is confident enough to think he can do what has never been done. He thinks he can pull out — like a diamond from carbon — the sparkling side of the Clintons that can make them exceptional public servants, extracting it from the gray side of the Clintons that can make them tacky, greedy, opportunistic and ethically shady.”

    You see, BUT FOR Obama, HRC and Bill would be nothing – oh, but evil.


  23. c says:

    I was so heartened by listening to Hillary at the confirmation hearings. One of my sisters sent me one of those virus warnings – this one attached to an email about Obama Inauguration Speech.
    I told her there was no danger that I’d open it.

    Listening to Hillary speak at her confirmation hearing was the Inaugural speech I wanted to hear. She did not disappoint. Once again women have to know that the real leader isn’t the same as the titular leader. I’m just SO glad that she’s continuing with her commitment to real service to the causes important to her, and to women in the world.

  24. Msakel says:

    Great reminder! (belated response!) Obamyopia rules with disastrous results to all women–and all because the Precious never really had what Jack Caffery accused Hillary of being: a”Scolding Mother” ! The spoiled bratPrez has never been and never will be a Feminist! Ms Magazine lost my subscription!