Monday, November 19, 2007

A Bitch-Hunt

Maureen Dowd is ready for one:

The debate dominatrix knows how to rattle Obambi.

Mistress Hillary started disciplining her fellow senator last winter, after he began exploring a presidential bid. When he winked at her, took her elbow and tried to say hello on the Senate floor, she did not melt, as many women do. She brushed him off, a move meant to remind him that he was an upstart who should not get in the way of her turn in the Oval Office.

He was so shook up, he called a friend to say: You would not believe what just happened with Hillary.

She has continued to flick the whip in debates. She usually ignores Obama and John Edwards backstage, preferring to chat with the so-called second-tier candidates. And she often looks so unapproachable while they're setting up on stage that Obama seems hesitant to be the first to say hi.

And what have we learned from these beginning paragraphs of yet another entry in the "id" diaries of one Maureen Dowd? That a woman in power is a dominatrix? How very feminist. Or that Hillary Clinton, specifically, is a dominatrix? What is the evidence Dowd provides on this? That she is cold towards Barack Obama. This, my friends, is how a woman becomes a dominatrix.

What else might we learn from these few paragraphs? Might there possibly be an innuendo here about race, too? I'm not sure about that. But Maureen Dowd sure hates Hillary Clinton and thinks that it's important for her readers to know that, including the reasons for her hatred which appear something to do with sado-masochistic sex and Dowd's insistence of interpreting a powerful woman in politics in such terms. Dowd also wants to tell us that she knows the inner motivations of Hillary Clinton ("a move meant to remind him that he was an upstart").

It's pretty sickening. Politics is not really who gets to tie whom to the bedposts with those velvety ties, Maureen. It's about which people get bombed in the future, about the Constitution, about unemployment, health care, education and all those other incredibly non-sexy matters.

Sigh. I'm preaching to an empty room while all the fashionable pundits sharpen their pencils to scribble down intimate details about the Clinton's marriage and about Hillary being a dominatrix in a leather harness and about the Democratic men all being bottoms. If you are not convinced by Dowd's series of "I Hate Hillary" columns, Andrew Sullivan has joined in the bitch-hunt, too:

Here's a more paranoid explanation: at some point in this campaign, if you believe the Washington rumor mill, there may well be some Clinton bimbo eruption stories, i.e. Bill's post-presidential extracurricular activities will come under discussion again. This Novak flap therefore may be a dummy-run for the various responses if such alleged doodoo eventually hits the campaign fan. The story would be relevant again not so much because of Bill but because of Hillary. She is now the candidate and would be forced to respond to such allegations if they became in any way legit.

"She is now the candidate and would be forced to respond to such allegations if they became in any way legit." Oh my. Hillary Clinton is both a dominatrix whipping the Democratic girly-men into submission AND the person responsible for any possible future affairs Bill Clinton might have. Either way, she is defined by sexuality, not by the politics she proposes. And that is what makes these unsavory messes my business, a feminist business.

So stop it, already. Criticize her policies or her expertise or other relevant matters.