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March 9, 2008

“Newsweek Doesn’t Hate Clinton” – Part 1: Girls Cheating On Hillary

This is the first in a series of posts focusing

on images from the Mar 17, 2008 issue of

Newsweek featuring essays by 13 different

women about the Clinton campaign.

Cheating-On-HillaryI’m not sure why Jessica Bennett’s article in the latest Newsweek is titled “Am I Betraying the ‘Sisterhood’?”  In light of the rhetorical question, the last line of the piece speaks of her “womanly satisfaction” with each Hillary victory.

The title does, however, speaks to (or rather, for) the alleged guilt of Bennett’s “millennial sisters” who have “been sold on the Obama rock-star brand.”  “I voted for Obama and I felt like I was cheating on Hillary,” a friend confessed to the author just last week.

Writes Tina Brown in a sister article in the same issue:

What saddens boomer women who love Hillary is that their twenty-something daughters don’t share their view of her heroic role. Instead they’ve been swept up by that new Barack magic. It’s not their fault, and not Hillary’s, either. The very scar tissue that older women see as proof of her determination just embarrasses their daughters, killing off for them all the insouciant elation that ought to come with girl power in the White House.

Bennett’s article and its thesis (much like Tina Brown’s dovetailing observation) makes the accompanying image that much more interesting.  Sandwiched between two older women (reflective of Hillary’s most “loyal” constituency), we see two younger women in matching head bands engrossed in conversation.  The woman on the left stares at Hillary with her head down and out of the shadows, while the other seems to be giving the first woman an earful.

In the context of the article, the image — less like than a political photo than a shot conveying a more cinematic quality — reads as two women, turncoats to their gender, dishing on Hillary.  Applying the opprobrium of guilt and “cheating,” Newsweek equates marital fidelity with gender loyalty.  Except, in this image, at least, it’s even worse.  Her “twenty-something daughters” are not just going behind her back, but defying Hillary to her face.



Am I Betraying the ‘Sisterhood’? (Bennett/Newsweek)

The Hillary Issue (Newsweek)

(image: Win McNamee / Getty Images.  via newsweek.com)

  • http://rspicer.blogspot.com/ rspicer

    The girl in the shadows has a particularly sinister look on her face. It’s as if the lack of support from younger women makes them something worse than turncoats; as if they are supporting Obama more out of a desire to see Hillary fail. The look on that girl’s face is one that says “I’m going to get you.”

  • jtfromBC

    The article and photo appear at first glance, symbiotic ~ however with the *possible* exception of the lady in blue, *no one* is looking at Hillary !
    *An unrelated incident* is distracting their attention ~ and we are being framed as well as being distracted.

  • http://godlessliberalhomo.blogspot.com/ libhomo

    I don’t see why women are obligated to support a de facto Republican like Clinton anyway.

  • http://rspicer.blogspot.com/ rspicer

    “with the *possible* exception of the lady in blue, *no one* is looking at Hillary”
    I see it differently. Everyone in the photo seems to be looking at something else. Even the lady in blue seems to be looking “through” or “past” Hillary. The only person in the photo who seems to be fully focused on Hillary is the girl in the shadows. Her focus is underlined by the fact that the girl beside her is attempting to talk to her. She is so focused that she’s able to ignore distractions around her, including other women. Again, she is more than a turncoat, she is explicitly rejecting Hillary.

  • http://home.comcast.net/~sfs73/index.html MonsieurGonzo

    a remarkable post, Michael.
    (imho) the older women feel vulnerabilty and express resolve: they remember when; vow never again : their grandmothers were property, before sufferage; their mothers struggled to get higher educations; they, themselves struggled to cast off their menial rôles and gain meaningful employment. Being a woman. . . has always meant this struggle to be recognized as A Person: Wrought or Written by ‘ – Anonymous’, was A Woman.
    Their daughters either do not feel vulnerability, or reason that there is no freedom for any person without it. They express no vestigial memories of impotence: They are empowered:
    They don’t need a Queen, to be King-Makers ~ in pursuit of We, the People’s higher purpose.

  • DennisQ

    Hillary’s not especially a feminist. Younger women see sexism not as something blessed by tradition but as an individual choice of creeps who exploit it for their own small-picture advantage. Sexism works for some people, so they continue to promote it. But because it isn’t handed down from generation to generation anymore, it lacks the clout it once had.
    If feminism were still a big issue, Hillary wouldn’t be its best advocate. There’s her war vote again. If feminism motivated Hillary in any substantial way, she would not have voted to give Bush authority to bomb the hell out of some small country. She couldn’t have.

  • margaret

    And, the middle-aged white male at the bottom looked bored as hell.

  • http://spiritspeaks.blogspot.com sravana

    I thought the dude at the bottom was looking at her tits, wondering if he could do her. Just sayin’

  • sg

    According to her daughter, the lady in blue voted for Obama:
    http://www.dynamist.com/weblog/archives/002730.html

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