Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal is one of the few commentators to consistently analyze the “gender dynamics” of the Democrats’ presidential primary in this election cycle. In her June 27, 2007 column, Noonan put her finger squarely on Hillary’s problem: “Hillary Clinton doesn’t have to prove she’s a man. She has to prove she’s a woman.”
Such irony! Feminism has triumphed in Hillary Clinton. She epitomizes the fundamental feminist premise, namely that there is no essential difference between men and women, and what differences we see are “merely biological” or socially engineered by men to keep women in their place. To overturn these socially engineered hobbles on females, women must show that they can do the “man thing” just as well as any man.
So, Hillary Clinton, in Noonan’s words, creates and projects the persona aptly styled “a person with breasts.” Noonan used that image again in her recent column, commenting on Clinton’s penchant for pant suits that project the same image: “a small blond man with breasts.”
Clinton might have done otherwise. Indeed, she has done otherwise when it served her immediate (and narrow) purpose. Even Chelsea joined her in wearing a head-covering – that quintessential marker of femininity and compliance with social convention (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:1ff) – when she met Jordanian King Hussein’s widow Queen Noor in 1999.
Noonan, interestingly, thinks that the next time Hillary runs for President, she will do for her American audience what she formerly did for her very tiny Islamic audience. Noonan makes this prediction :
At some future point [in the 2008 Democratic primary cycle] Mrs. Clinton will leave, and at a more distant one she will try to come back. But more than one cycle will have to pass before she does. She’ll need more than four years to shake off the impression she made in 2008. And this is how you’ll know she’s making another bid for the presidency. She will wear skirts.