When I think of our nation’s capital I can’t help but conclude that Washington is the smarter, less attractive version of Hollywood. Like movie stars in California, our politicians’ personal lives are watched closely.
Perhaps we don’t see the likes of Hillary Clinton featured in glossy gossip magazines but in the political arena she might as well be Kate Middleton.
Rather than be championed for her extensive professional accomplishments, through the years we have judged the former first lady and Secretary of State on her appearance and her marriage.
Now, as speculation mounts about a possible run for the White House in 2016 many of the latest attacks are on her alleged sexual preference and her appearance.
A couple of weeks ago, the American Family’s Association Bryan Fischer, declared that Clinton would not only be our first female president if elected in 2016 but also she would also be the first lesbian.
Speaking on a radio talk show, Fischer claimed that Bill Clinton’s former alleged mistress, Gennifer Flowers, was told by Clinton that his wife was bisexual. This is a “he said, she said” story at best with very little merit, if any, although Fischer did kick off a brand-new smear campaign against one of America’s most powerful women.
And then there’s this as reported by the San Franciso Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci who tweeted a picture of anti-Hillary buttons at a state conference hosted by the California GOP that read, “KFC Hillary Special: 2 Fat Thighs/2 Small Breasts...Left Wing.”
After the picture caused a stir on social media, the buttons were quickly removed from the VIP area. No matter what your political leanings, you’ve got to admit the buttons were a glaring example of blatant sexism.
Perhaps Fischer, and the person who dreamed up the offensive Hillary buttons are less concerned about the former first lady being a ‘lesbian’ or ‘bisexual’ or ‘left wing’ but are truly fearful of a female leading our nation. And they would not be the only ones.
From my 9-5 female peers to high profile women like Hillary Clinton and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who was most recently criticized for looking ‘too hot’ in a Vogue Magazine fashion shoot, no one woman is immune to gender imbalance.
Let’s be honest. As women we have been sold a bill of goods. We have been told since we were little girls that men and women are completely equal in today’s society. But the hard truth is that true gender equality is still a work in progress.
When I was 10-years-old my father, who was an executive at a large corporation, sat me down. He asked what the difference was between my brother and myself. I stated the obvious. “Well, Dad, he’s a boy and he’s bigger.”
My father shook his head. “That is true but the difference between you and your brother is that you will have to work harder to achieve the same level of success that he will.”
My father was very matter of fact in his approach. He did not sugarcoat the harsh reality of what I was up against once I left home.
I’m thankful every day to my father, and for men like him, who do not try to sell their daughters on the gender equality myth.
Right now, I try to remind myself that for every man like Fischer there are men like my dad who help pave the way for women to move forward in their careers. I consider myself fortunate that I have been able to work alongside them.
So what should you do, if you’d like to see the sexism stop?
How about this: the next time you are privy to a conversation focusing on Hillary's sexual proclivity, her penchant for pantsuits or her various body parts, try to refocus the talk to more important, substantive issues, like her foreign policy views, the way in which she intends to fight terrorist cells or how to end the war on drugs.
Ya know, the little things that distract us from discussing her new hairstyle...wink.