Is Hillary Clinton a bitch? Did she rise up through the political ranks by being bitchy? Did she ascend to power by being more bitchy than anyone else? Did she accomplish great things because, among women, only bitches accomplish great things?
Someone named Andi Zeisler opines in the New York Times that Hillary is just the bitch that America needs. If that’s the best argument for electing this manifestly incompetent fraud, then Hillary has a problem.
To Zeisler’s mind, and not just hers, a woman has a choice between being feminine and being a bitch. Being feminine means being weak and inconsequential. Being a bitch means being tough and arrogant and obnoxious. A feminine woman leans back. A bitch leans in, gets in your face, threatens you.
Of course, extremes do not make the rule, and caricatures do not either. As opposed to Hillary, whose bitchiness comes across as pure posturing, the Iron Lady was tough and strong and accomplished. Surely, some people called her out for her bitchiness—politics ain’t beanball—but Margaret Thatcher was a Lady, and being a lady is not the same as being a caricatured version of femininity or a caricatured version of its bitchy opposite.
Hillary’s problem is that she does not seem to be comfortable in her skin. She does not seem to like being a woman. For that reasons, many women dislike her, viscerally. About that Zeisler has nothing to say.
Of course, Zeisler wants to reclaim the word “bitch” and make it into something like an honorific. It recalls the absurd feminist efforts to reclaim the word “slut” and make it an honorific. Unfortunately, feminists who want to be respected for their minds seem to believe that they can take over the language and make words mean whatever they want them to mean. It's a losing bet.
So, Zeisler thinks that it’s a good thing that no one likes Hillary. She admires the fact that Hillary is not even, in Barack Obama’s word, likeable enough. Because she thinks that women who are not likeable get things done.
As for what Hillary has ever gotten done, Zeisler has nothing to say. Zeisler likes Hillary because she threatens men... as though that's the key to getting things done
For more than 20 years in American politics, Mrs. Clinton has embodied what we might call Classic Bitch. She’s perceived as an interloper who challenges or threatens masculinity, entitlement and a status-quo worldview; she’s the scandal magnet who can seem as heartless and venal as any old-boy’s-club member. Worst of all, she’s the woman who accepts that she will be disliked and carries on anyway.
Why does this translate into getting things done? When Amb. Chris Stevens asked, more than 600 times, for increased security in Libya, Hillary and her staff ignored the request. We do not know whether Hillary ever saw the request, but if she did not her incompetent staff did not respect her enough to bring important issues to her attention. If she knew of the risks and did nothing, she was clearly derelict. Better yet, her bitchiness went before a Senate committee and declared that trying to find out what had really happened made no difference anyway.
Now, there’s a way to get people to work for you. There’s a way to inspire loyalty and confidence. There’s a way to get people to do what needs to be done.
A few months ago I brought up an old quotation from Dwight Eisenhower, wherein he pointed out that leadership is getting people to do what needs to be done because they want to do it. And I reported studies that showed that people will work harder for a leader, will be more conscientious and more dedicated if they believe that the leader likes them. A leader who seems to like no one and who no one seems to like will never inspire his or her staff to work harder, longer and more effectively.
A woman who threatens men and who threatens their masculinity is not going to inspire loyalty in her staff. A woman who gets in men’s faces and advances the cultural narrative that men are evil creatures who need to be overthrown is not going to be an effective leader. Women who follow her example are not going to do very well, in business, in politics or in life.
As it happens, Hillary has actually accomplished very little throughout a career that she owes, almost entirely, to the fact that she is named Clinton, that she made a deal with the devil and traded her life for political power. To imagine, as Zeisler does, that Hillary clawed her way up the ladder, worked her way to the top is absurd on its face. About other political leaders we can say that. We cannot say it about Hillary.
When Hillary thinks that she has to show of her machismo, she is more likely to get it wrong. Contrast the weakness she showed about Benghazi—blaming it on a filmmaker when she was responsible for the ambassador's security—with the machist bravado she showed in leading from behind in the overthrow of the Qaddhafi government in Libya. There, as numerous reports have shown, Hillary was thrilled to show off her power. She brought down a dictator, and watched gleefully as he was murdered.
Of course, she had no idea what she was doing. For her, the posturing was all. When, in the aftermath of her Libyan incursion, that nation disintegrated, Hillary sat idly by.
One thing that American does not need is a bitch in the White House. Not even Bill Clinton’s bitch.