4 things I want my daughters to know about women like Hillary Clinton
by Nicole Russell
This last week, former Secretary of State and current Democrat nominee for president, Hillary Clinton, celebrated her 69th birthday. In honor of her birthday, Elle Magazine ran a montage, “5 of Hillary Clinton’s Most Powerful Quotes,” which Yahoo picked up. I suspect both outlets wanted to dazzle and honor, celebrate and smirk: Look at us! The Democrat nominee for president is a woman! Who has said some great things!
Really? I beg to differ. I’m a strong woman, but strongly eschew this notion that Clinton’s nomination is historic because she’s a woman. I also abhor this third wave of modern feminism which seeks to derogate men while elevating themselves. It only seeks to persuade society the patriarchy meant only harm, while women mean only progress and good. People ask me all the time, “What will you tell your daughters about the first woman who ran for president?” Here’s my response, based on some of these quotes.
1. “Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.”
Hillary’s not wrong here. When she first said this, it was somewhat of a radical statement. Women in the United States were achieving more equality, but many women in different parts of the world were still subject to demoralizing, degrading, dehumanizing things — just because of their gender.
All girls should grow up realizing what a privileged place this country is, and that their sisters around the world don’t have it so good. However, baby girls in the United States, particularly unborn babies, aren’t treated like they have rights at all. Hillary Clinton advocates third-trimester abortion — even when the baby can survive outside the womb . In fact, on “Meet the Press” in April, Clinton claimed babies were people (a step in the right direction!), but that they don’t have rights. This is illogical and inconsistent. If women’s rights are human rights, baby girls have rights too — from conception to natural death.
2. “Let’s keep going. Let’s keep going until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves to have.”
The United States provides an incredible amount of access for women and girls to achieve their familial or vocational desires — especially when compared to the rest of the world. To say otherwise is to deny statistical reality and perpetuate the feminist lie that women are still suffering from a wage gap or being held back by the patriarchy.
Women are more likely to have a college degree than men and, when their work is compared to a man’s work, apples to apples, they are nearly paid just as much. Women and girls in America have so much opportunity it’s coming out their ears — they often just don’t see it, don’t act on it, or make choices that affect their lives for years. This doesn’t mean they don’t have opportunity, it means they are wired different than men and make different choices from men. A true feminist would applaud these differences, rather than assuming men and women are wired similarly and thus, should make the same life choices.
3. “When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.”
A lot of adults say things like this, not just Hillary Clinton. Of course, Clinton is making a jab at the “glass ceiling” — the concept that women are held back from climbing the corporate ladder because of the awful patriarchy. As I established earlier, in the United States at least, women often hit the glass ceiling due to their own good, but different, choices. It’s laughable that women still perpetuate the myth there’s much of a ceiling at all in the United States.
I also take umbrage with the concept that for any girl (or boy) the sky’s the limit. Of course, the phrase is meant to encourage women to try hard, to not give up, to dream big. But there are limits to what humans can do. A girl who is terrible in English may not grow up to be Stephen King; a boy who struggles with Algebra may not prove to be an efficient engineer. Not every boy can be a rocket scientist, and not every girl should strive to be president of a world superpower.
I’m not saying parents should discourage children when they mention their dreams. My seven year-old wants to be a doctor. Instead of saying, “Great! You can be anything you want to be!” I tell her that’s fantastic, doctors help a lot of people, but they also must finish years upon years of hard work and schooling, particularly in math and science, before they can accomplish this. Telling a kid they can do whatever they want to do, is like telling a cow if it works hard enough, it can produce apple juice instead of milk. Every human has specific strengths and weaknesses — that’s not a bad thing; that’s design.
4. “Tonight we have reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect union. The first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president.”
I want to embrace this concept. Indeed Clinton’s nomination was historic in a sense — her presidency would be too. The problem with this is two-fold:
First, I thought feminists wanted to accomplish things based on merit? I thought it didn’t matter if you were a man or woman, boy or girl, what matters is your pedigree, your work ethic, and your intentions. Feminists like Hillary Clinton pull the “woman card” when it suits them, and it’s often quite contradictory.
Second, while she served in the Senate many years and also as secretary of state, she accomplished little during the former. In fact, only three bills she sponsored became law and none were of much significance: “[T]hese were bills that: renamed a highway after a journalist; re-designated a post office; and deemed a brick house in Troy, N.Y., as a national historic site to honor a 19th-century female union leader.” Monumental, no?
As secretary of state, Clinton also accomplished little, save for incurring an FBI investigation since she put a private e-mail server in her bathroom and communicated classified information on that, instead of establishing the channels someone of her status should have.
Several times during debates, when asked what she had accomplished as a politician, or hoped to as president, Clinton would mention her husband Bill’s accomplishments as President. Gender aside, Clinton’s bone fides aren’t that great, as a Senator, secretary of state, or presidential nominee.
What will I tell my daughters about Hillary Clinton’s historic nomination? That they should be grateful they live in a country where women can vie for the Presidency. That it doesn’t matter if they are a boy or girl — all humans have rights, even the tiny babies; that their intellect, work ethic, and character matters more than the fact that they are girls. Yet, the fact that they are girls provides them with a different skillset, biological differences, and unique perspective than their male counterparts. Most of all, I will tell them their mother loves them, regardless of whether they become president or bear babies, so long as they do their best — exercise their minds and love with their hearts.
Nicole Russell is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Federalist, The American Spectator, Reason, National Review Online, and Parents magazine. She was the 2010 recipient of the American Spectator’s Young Journalist award. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and four children.
Originally published at www.conservativereview.com.