One blogger’s personal bridge to nowhere

Hillary Clinton: Advice Columnist at a Daycare Center?

Clinton dispensing advice in Korea

Clinton dispensing advice in Korea

Yes, I find this stupid poll (to which Miriam at Feministing correctly responds E, “take your sexist poll and shove it“) offensive, but it is this Reuters dispatch that caused me concern this weekend. Headlined “Hillary Clinton: diplomat, politician or advice columnist?,” the article has an immediate tabloid feel, which veers quickly in the direction of sexism in reporting the supposed frivolous questions that “women students” asked her during her trip to Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia. I’m sure such questions — “how she knew her husband ‘would be your love'” is the example that Reuters’ Arshad Mohammed cites, in his very first line, revealingly — came up, and it’s all very witty for Clinton to quip that she felt “more like an advice columnist than a secretary of state today.” But to pick up that thread, to equate the substantive questions and work that came up on her trip with the gossip of her “rock star reception” and the solicitation of love advice, is to distort, or at least to disturbingly rearrange, the highlights of her first trip abroad as Secretary of State. Sure, it’s a cute angle for a wire service to take, but isn’t it a little condescending to intimate that one of Clinton’s three primary functions is that of an “advice columnist?”

What’s next, comparing Clinton to a sexy crimefighter?  Oops.

(image from flicker user US Army Korea – IMCOM under a Creative Commons license)


February 23, 2009 - Posted by | Feminism, media | , , ,

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