The Widdershins

Feminist Friday: A Tale of Two Hillarys

Posted on: April 13, 2012

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”  Charles Dickens.

Happy Friday the thirteenth, y’all. Hopefully, we have no triskaideskaphobics here at the Widdershins.  At any rate, I have returned.  After a six-day hiatus, my computer is up and running.  I am amazed at what I managed to accomplish in a computerless environment.  My taxes are finished and mailed off, my second bedroom/storage/junk area is considerably more tidy, and the bungalow is thoroughly vacuumed.  Fortunately, the teevee was working and I was able to keep abreast of the news.

Hillary Clinton is truly on a roll.  She is again the most admired woman in the world.  She has been an astronomically successful Secretary of State, and is clearly the most well-regarded member of the Obama administration.  Surprised?  Me, neither.   She has also been the topic of the “Texts from Hillary” meme making its way through the internet with some hilarious results.  Madame Secretary was apparently so amused that she invited  creators Adam Smith and Stacy Lambe  to the State Department and gave them an autographed picture of her submissions.  From Politico:

“Her willingness to engage with us on the website proves our whole point in making it — that that picture was really great,” Smith said, before adding, “I’m not that eloquent right now because I’m still in shock!”

Lambe, who explained that they had decided to keep their meeting with the secretary of state under wraps until they were able to get the final confirmation from Clinton’s office, agreed with Smith that there was an irresistible appeal to Walker’s black-and-white photograph.

“It just captured this wonderful image of Hillary,” he said. “You definitely could tell she was in charge. You could tell she was getting stuff done there was just no question that this woman was a total badass.”

The idea for “Texts From Hillary,” Lambe said, came from a simple question that he and Smith were curious about when they first set their eyes on the photograph circulating online: “Who’s she texting?”.

“But I don’t think anyone ever imagines that they’d create a meme like this and it becomes an overnight sensation,” he said. “It’s just been a wild ride.”

The concept behind the meme is simple: pair the Clinton photo with another picture of someone busy on their mobile device and write funny, creative captions on what the two parties might be texting to each other. (Here’s an example of a recent creation: Mitt Romney on his iPad: “Any advice?” Clinton: “Drink.”)

And as can be seen in the latest photo posted on “Texts From Hillary” featuring the two men posing next to a.
 smiling, sunglasses-wearing Clinton, Lambe said the secretary of state — along with her staffers — seemed to have as much fun as her visitors on Tuesday.

Yes, Stacy.  She has a sense of humor, she’s absolutely in charge, and she is a total badass.  I only wish that the “creative class” might have noticed these things about her just a little bit (oh, say maybe four years?) earlier.   Maureen Dowd has also noticed:

Hillary is not going to President Obama’s Democratic convention in Charlotte. Evidently, she’s going to wait for her own.

There were intriguing developments on the presidential trail Tuesday, and I don’t mean Rick Santorum dropping out.

Hillary Clinton cemented her newly cool image and set off fresh chatter about her future when she met at the State Department with two young men who created a popular Internet meme showing photos of the secretary of state on a military plane, wearing big sunglasses, checking her BlackBerry and looking as if she’s ready to ice somebody.


I asked the dazzling Diana Walker — the Time magazine photographer who took one of the totemic pictures of Hillary on a C-17 flight last fall from Malta to Tripoli for a cover story on “Hillary and the Rise of Smart Power” — what made her black-and-white shot such a sensation.

“I don’t think she was meaning to be cool,” Walker said. “She just reached in her bag to get some glasses to read her BlackBerry before the plane took off for Tripoli.”

Walker told me she got a letter from a young woman, a friend of her son’s, who said she stared at the image for a long time. “It truly sent chills down my spine,” the woman wrote, “and I immediately shared it with my daughter because of the power it portrayed.”

With women under attack, that sense of serene toughness has strong appeal.

The Hillary flurry is telling.


So now that she seems ready to leave the stage at 64 and take a deserved nap, she is at her least polarizing.

Her savvy public image gambit on Tuesday sent a signal she may not be leaving the stage forever. She has not only shored up her techie cred and popularity with young people. Hillary, who kept the press at a distance in 2008, is now well-liked by the press corps traveling with her around the world. Unlike Obama, she seems to enjoy going out with reporters and having a cocktail after a hard day of trilats.

SKREENED has a fabu new shirt that says “I Supported Hillary Clinton Before It Was Cool To Support Hillary Clinton”.  My order will be in shortly.

And then there’s Hillary Rosen.  This Hillary hasn’t had such a great time over the past few days.

Last night, Hillary said that Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life.  Reaction was swift and sure.  Ann Romney opened a twitter account and replied that she had chosen to stay home and raise her children, and that raising five sons is work.  Male commentators have raged about how “out-of-bounds” the statement was, and both the DNC and the Obama administration have utterly disowned her.  Seems that suddenly spouses of candidates are completely off-limits to any and all criticism.

Big whoop.  I know lots of people who have worked fulltime with children.  My daughter is a Project Manager for an oncology disease management firm.  She has three teenagers, two of whom are boys.  She does her own cooking and housework.  I worked fulltime with a child, and so have most of my friends.  Many of us  would have preferred to work part-time, or stay fulltime and have household help, but it certainly didn’t work out like that.  I’ll bet that there are many working mothers who would rather not be working at all if they had their druthers.

Here’s the deal:

Ann Romney has never had to choose between paying her mortgage and paying  school loans, because she had neither.  She has never had to concern herself with the financial impact of missing a day’s work because her child was sick.  She has never had to choose between paying the light bill or purchasing new shoes for her child.  Indeed, Mrs. Romney has faced health challenges, but she has never wondered how she would pay for her medical care, or whether that money might be needed for something else. She has five sons, but I just don’t think that she spent her days scrubbing up dirty little footprints and washing six load of clothes per day.  I would be willing to bet the bungalow that she had fulltime household help to go along the the house full of young ‘uns, and doesn’t have a clue of what stay-at-home moms actually do all day long.   While she is a lovely, gracious woman, I find it improbable that she can contribute much to her husband’s understanding (miserable as it is) of the life of an average American woman.  That said, I’m not certain that Hillary Rosen was off-base at all.  If Mrs. Romney allows herself to be on the campaign trail, she will be open to as much scrutiny as the candidate – Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Obama will back me up on this one, I’m certain.  I’ll bet that President Clinton would also be stunned to learn that spouses are suddenly “off-limits” to the Obama campaign.

In other words, I pretty much agree with Hillary Rosen.  You’re a really  nice woman, Ann, but you just  can’t explain that which you do not know – nor should you be expected to do so, 

This is an open thread.

38 Responses to "Feminist Friday: A Tale of Two Hillarys"

For me, the point is that Hilary Rosen’s artless remark single handedly disabled the “war on women” meme that was working for the Democrats.
Thanks a lot, Rosen.
I’m just not into judging women’s choices.

I’m not certain that I completely agree with you. I have to believe that the average woman understands that neither Hillary Rosen nor Ann Romney has a total grasp on the live of the average American woman, whomever that might be.
Nor am I into judging another woman’s choice. I’m not certain that either Romney has grasped the fact that many women don’t get to choose.

What Hillary Rosen said was in response to the stupidity of Mitt Romney saying his wife was instrumental in bringing the issue of what women want to his attention. Hillary Rosen responded that “she hasn’t worked a day in her life” as an illustration that she was probably the last person to be able to adequately address the issue of women in today’s society having to make ends meet on a strained budget.

The faux outrage that followed is the Romney campaign desperately trying to find one thing they hope will lead women into their camp by making Ann Romney a “victim”.

It is one thing for the GOP to make hay out of this comment, another when the Dems line up in unison to blast Rosen. What she said was truthful. Ann Romney has never had to make choices about whether she can afford to buy food or fuel in tough times.

I drive a fuel efficient car but this does not make me an expert on the environment.

I support Hillary Rosen against a candidate whose “first order of business” is to eliminate Planned Parenthood.

@3: Did you hear Bay Buchanan last night? She’s a Romney surrogate, and she tackled David Axelrod bigtime. She said that Hillary Rosen has been a loyal Democratic operative, and that while it was fine for Axelrod, the DNC and the Obamas to distance themselves from what she said, it was unconsicionable to repay someone who had served them so well by distancing themselves from her, She’s got a point there,

Ironic that it was coming from Bay Buchanan who is an operative for the GOP.

Yet our own esteemed President Indifference weighed in, scolding Rosen because he is fearful of losing a few votes from women who may have misinterpreted what Rosen was trying to say.

Good for Ann Romney that she has never had to go out into the workforce and never had to make the sacrifice required by women on a daily basis but don’t hold her up to me as someone who appreciates the struggle most women make do to survive.

It just does not compute. Women are being denied their rights all over this nation, Ann Romney is a member of the party seeking to end those rights, yet she is supposed to be taken seriously as one who “understands” what struggle looks like?

Don’t think so.

Bay Buchanan also said that Rosen’s words were “despicable.”
It’s like words have no real meaning anymore.
If Rosen had said “I’m glad that Ann Romney has ms” that would be despicable.
But I do think that she has handed the Republicans a weapon and that’s never good.

I know what you’re saying, Sweet Sue. I wish she had said it differently as well because she was making an excellent point. Ann Romney is his advisor on women’s issues? That is insulting to women on so many levels. As if all you need to know about women’s issues you automatically know if you have a vagina. There’s no expertise needed, no experience required. She should have said that women’s issues are complex and require expertise beyond simply being female. Unfortunately Rosen’s unforced error took the focus off the real point. Like Bay Buchanan said, time to move on.

Time will tell. Ann Romney said that she and Mitt feel such compassion for struggling Americans. What she does not appear to understand is that not only does no one really want their compassion, but rather most struggling people would like for Mitt (and all the Mitt equivalents out there) to get their thumbs off of the scale.

As far as I am concerned, expecting Ann Romney to have any insight into the economic issues that plague women is about as trustworthy is expecting Kim Kardashian to have a clue about what it takes to be married.

In other words: none.

@8, Perfectly said, chat.

@9 LOL! Leave it to you to find a reason to slip in a jab at Kim Kardashian, Pat! You know, it works in almost every context! You could become famous with a Kim Kardashian meme website. Having Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court is like having Kim Kardashian as Secretary of Education, or something along those lines!

If you listen to Bay Buchanan’s words carefully, you will see that she did not actually defend Hillary Rosen. She said Rosen made mistakes in her comments about Ann Romney and Rosen’s apology for those mistakes should be accepted. Then Buchanan went on to attack the Obama administration for not supporting Rosen, whom Buchanan considers a
loyal Obama supporter. With back-stabbing, two-faced “defenders” like Bay Buchanan, I don’t think Rosen needs any more enemies.

I believe Rosen made a mistake apologizing for her comments about Ann Romney. She was spot on, imo, and should have stood her ground. Ann Romney may be a very nice person but she doesn’t know anything about what the average American woman’s life is like. I would be willing to bet my two luxury cars on that – if I had them.

God, I hate WordPress.

I’m going back to bed.

Okay every one totally off topic Last night I say Pandora Boxx, Manila Luzon and Sharon Needles from the RuPaul Drag Race Show perform it was simply amazing I loved every minute of this show that kept me up till 1 AM…Dragging at work but so worth it….

Okay Gay moment over hope you can forgive me…

(now for the subject tie in)

The only thing better would have been to be on the other end of that Blackberry text that Hillary was sending….then I could have died and gone to heaven!

Hillary Clinton Don’t make this Big Ol’ Bear lean on you you better Run! You will have 16 years of missed opportunities to remedy! I an be very persuasive ask the folk at Widdershins when I want to get my way!

Hillary Clinton For America!

oh do those T-shirts come in size 3XLT?

I can “afford” to go back to bed, btw, because I am a disabled parasite. My address is Easy Street, USA, in case anyone from either party wants to get in touch with me.

Feeling a little bitter today. Mea culpa.

@15, glad you’re feeling a bit better, Beata. I’ve been wondering.

Speaking of parasites, I was at the checkout at Kroger the other day and the cashier was telling another employee why she got called into the manager’s office that morning. A customer who was using food stamps for the first time came through her check out line and the cashier went out of her way to be helpful and explain what could be purchased etc. The customer was really moved because she had been treated so badly at a different grocery store that she walked out, so she reported to the manager how nice the cashier was. The cashier told me that she always tries to be respectful to people with a WIC card because a couple of her customers have been in tears because they are embarrassed about having to use the WIC card. One woman told her that at another grocery store, employees were jeering at her daughter so her daughter refused to use the WIC card so the mother was shopping for her daughter. I’m sure Ann Romney’s compassion would mean a great deal to these people.

@16: Actually, Janice, I said I was feeling “bitter”. I have problems with my balance and this morning I fell in my living room. It took me about 20 minutes to get up. I hurt my shoulder, but nothing is broken, thank goodness. It was scary not to be able to get up. This has happened to me before. I need one of those “I’m falling and I can’t get up” lifeline things. I’m going to ask my doctor about how to get one next week.

@17: Braised compassion on toast points with cheese sauce?

Oh my, Beata, I’m sorry. I need to enlarge the font on this computer. It must have been horrible for you. {{{{{{Beata}}}}}}

@19, LOL!

Sue said: But I do think that she has handed the Republicans a weapon and that’s never good.

And it will last and be an issue until the next news cycle.

Aww Beata!!!
I have problems with my balance Do you have a cane that you can use for assistance? Just be careful please. {{{HUGS}}}

I hate this w.p. bullsh!t too! 👿 I want my cursor back!!!

janicen@17: Good for the cashier!

And speaking of stupid, it didn’t take long for the Queen of Irrelevance to chime in with a mouthful of nothing:

The 4th Kardasian Sister has just made it official.

Pat@25: Hunh.(I don’t know how to spell that correctly). You’d think the Snow Queen would have learned to keep her mouth shut after that HBO movie.

This conversation got me to thinking about my own mom when I was kid. She was a stay-at-home mom who worked at home. She took in laundry from the little single g.i.’s on the base and washed and starched their fatigues. That was a pain in the @ss! I remember her having to put these metal things down in the legs of the pants to keep them literally straight as a board. And it wasn’t spray starch then either.

@27: This conversation got me thinking about my mother, too. She was divorced in the early 1960’s, when it was still rare to be a single mother. I was just a baby and my brother was only a few years older when our father left us.

Even though my mother had an advanced degree, she couldn’t find a well-paying job after the divorce. She worked hard in factories and as a sales clerk for very little money. She tried to find a job teaching at the elementary school level ( she had her teacher’s license ) but was refused a job. She was told that young children shouldn’t be around a divorced woman because it would be a “bad influence” on them.

She was also refused a loan to help fix our house ( which was falling down ) because she didn’t have a husband to co-sign for it. When I was ten, we lost that house – the only thing of significant monetary value my mother ever owned. She never had a car or went on a vacation. She struggled to pay the bills every month. She did laundry in the sink or the tub. We wore hand-me-downs and ate a lot of peanut butter
sandwiches. But she made a happy home for my brother and me, in spite of all her financial worries.

In the meantime, my father lived out-of-state, in a three story house, filled with museum quality antiques, and a “new family” . He paid a small amount of child support to my mother on rare occasions ( he loved to brag that he was good friends with the judge in the town where he lived ) . He said my mother should “learn to live within her means” and then she wouldn’t need any child support. I guess he thought it would be fine if we lived in a cardboard box and ate out of garbage cans. That would have been “within our means” according to him.

Years later, when my mother went into the nursing home, I was going through some old papers of hers. I found lots of little notes she had written. Some were tucked into her bible. She had written things like, “Please God, help me get enough money to pay the electric bill” or “Help me buy Beata a pair of boots before it snows” . It broke my heart to read those notes. I never realized how scared she was about having enough money for everyday things when we were growing up. She didn’t let on to us how bad our situation was. She was always laughing and smiling.

I know many laws have changed to help women in the years since my mother was raising us, but I wonder if life is really much better for single mothers today? Too many are still living in poverty with their children. What do most politicians and their spouses really know ( or care ) about the lives of these women? Very little, I’m afraid.

It’s hard for me to write this.

She didn’t let on to us how bad our situation was. She was always laughing and smiling.

Moms are good at that aren’t they?

It’s terrible about your dad being suck a jerk. A pox on his house.

Heads up to anyone who is in the mid-west, tonight through Sunday.

Severe weather heading your way.

@28, Oh Beata, you made me cry. What a courageous woman your mother was. I know it was painful, but thank you for sharing that. Her story needs to be told.

For anyone still passing through, I’m going to do a lounge post tomorrow evening. Just some fun or funny or odd things in the news, like I’ve done before.

Beata and Fredster – Most Moms are terrific, but yours were extra special.
Beata, do be careful – you don’t want to end up like me. The physiotherapy is a killer. Please take care of yourself, you are so very important to us.
Fredster, lounge right. Pre-ordering single malt scotch with none of them thar rocks. Stock up, I think I’ll need a few.

HT: We’ll have it for you. 🙂

okay Fredster, you’re on – chug a lug

Beata, I wonder if anyone actually ever loved your father and if he ever knew what he missed.
There’s no doubt that you and your brother loved your mother and she loved you with all her heart.

A toast to mothers everywhere!

@36: Sweet Sue, my father was a very successful man in his profession. He had a “forceful” personality ( take what you want from that hint ) . I don’t know if he was loved. He was certainly admired, and probably feared, by his colleagues and former students. And he provided well financially for his second family. When he died more than a decade ago, his funeral was filled with eulogies. My brother and I were not invited to the funeral. The “tribute” we could have given to our father would have been very different indeed from the one that was presented.

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