Professor Higgins’ line from My Fair Lady asks why a woman can’t be more like a man. He sees women as frivolous, inferior creatures no real man could understand. But change the emphasis of his words and the question asks something different. Why can’t a woman be more like a man? What’s keeping a woman from being treated as if she had male gravitas? Though women continue to break glass ceilings, their day-to-day place in society seems little changed, except women have assumed the added labor of working outside the home, as well as managing the children and putting dinner on the table.
Recently, a woman broke another significant barrier, though I saw no headlines to celebrate her achievement. Kristen Griest became the first woman to pass the Marine endurance course and to be admitted into that service as an infantry officer. (Click) About the time of her induction, however, headlines went to the woman who failed to break the glass ceiling, Hillary Clinton.
Discussing Clinton’s new book, What Happened, one male reviewer said it was “chock-full of excuses for her shocking election loss…” (Click) I suppose it would be peevish to point out Hillary didn’t lose the election. She lost the Electoral College, as did Al Gore before her. Critics, however, never required of him the extraordinary mea culpa demanded of her. What’s more, they reject her suggestions that Russian meddling and FBI Director James Comey’s behavior days before the election had anything to do with her defeat. All they want Hillary Clinton to say is, “I am a failure and I lost the election because I am lazy and unlikable.”
While Hillary continues to be pilloried in the media, I see little comment about the six figure checks Barack Obama collects for his speeches to Wall Street and business leaders. (Obama Goes From the White House To Wall Street,” Bloomberg Businessweek, September 25, 2017, pg. 42-43.) His defenders will point out the 44th President is seeking no public office. But, Jeff Hauser, head of the Revolving Door Project, an organization that studies political corruption, sees it differently. Obama remains active in the Democratic Party and seeks to shape its political platform. As their leader, he is obliged to stay clear of large, financial entanglements. (Ibid pg. 43)
Given Obama’s behavior or Gore’s, I ask again, “Why can’t Hillary be treated more like a man?