Love Her, Love Her Not

Love Her, Love Her Not

This post is a review of the above book, but it’s also the first of others that I will be writing about Hillary Clinton and the upcoming presidential election. The editor of Love Her, Love Her Not, Joanne Cronrath Bamberger, graciously sent me a copy of her book. My summary opinion: this book is an interesting collection of 28 short and extremely readable essays, all written by women who have taken an aspect of Hillary’s life or an individual personal view of Hillary’s accomplishments and/or foibles and run with it.

Love Her, Love Her Not will probably not change anyone’s vote. But it does zero in on an historical moment in American politics and history: we might be about to elect the first female president, now, in 2016. That’s awesome in itself. Bamberger writes in her introduction something that many people feel: Our country has a very complicated relationship with Hillary Clinton. 

MEDIA SKEWS and SCREWS THE TRUTH 

I think it’s more accurate to say that THE MEDIA has a complicated relationship with HRC and that we who are reading and viewing get sucked into it. For every candidate. Because politics is dismal these days–full of anger and in some cases hatred. On both sides, with both genders and affecting every citizen with every kind of background.

That’s why I enjoyed Bamberger’s collection–the writing is thoughtful, not hostile. It is honest and covers many aspects of Secretary Clinton’s persona. It feels fair to me and that’s what is missing in a lot of media coverage these days. FAIRNESS. HONESTY. If someone were to thrust me into the spotlight, I’m sure they’d find something wrong with me too. My hair, my clothes, my penchant for enjoying reading rather than sports. WHATEVER. So when reading about Hillary Clinton–ask yourself how you would measure up. That’s exactly what these thoughtful women writers did. BRAVO!!

THE FEMALE AGE QUESTION

Columnist Froma Harrop focuses on age discrimination and how it affects females in her essay Hillary’s Age as Shorthand Sexism. It’s an eye-opener to any woman who dwelling in a similar decade feels the power of the future and that life after child-bearing age is a time to grow, not shrink away. But obviously there are pundits out there who are going to USE it against Hillary. Harrop refutes the writing of Charlie Cook saying: Cook clearly had fallen into the cultural prejudice that perceives middle-aged women as over-the-hill while their male contemporaries remain vibrant, powerful and sexy. Like Harrop, the women and many of the men I know wouldn’t buy Cook’s garbage,

WHY DOES SHE STAY WITH HIM? 

Oh get over it!  The essay, Bill Clinton as Metaphor for America and Why Hillary Is Uniquely Qualified for President was a favorite. Written by Rebekah Kuschmider–she gets it. What person living today, man or woman, hasn’t been “betrayed” by someone or by some situation. And consider this, as Kuschmider writes, Bill Clinton was “the American Icarus sailing so very high and falling in a heap.” But afterwards, he got it–he set up an office in Harlem and paid back many times over. Kuschmider writes: Hillary wrote in LIVING HISTORY that Bill was a force of nature and that she resisted his marriage proposals for a long time because she didn’t know if she could weather his storms. 

Bill Clinton’s “affair” was ignorant and foolish. His selfish actions brought sorrow into their marriage. But how Hillary handled it–that was her business, no one else’s. As Kucschmider writes, Hillary has experienced sorrow in her life: turned down by NASA because she was a female; unable to get national healthcare up and running; the loser in the 2008 election. This is a woman who knows how to pick herself up and get on with it. And here is why. Kucschmider writes: Hillary loves Bill, yes. … But Hillary loves America more, the real America, good and bad, weak and strong, right and wrong. That love, that loyalty, that ability to see the real America–the raw, striving grasping with hope America–is Hillary’s strength, a nearly wifely attitude of loyalty–in richer and poorer, sickness and health, weakness and strength. A steadfast determination to stay…the way she’s always stayed and made it work with Bill.

Considering that if Hillary becomes president the media will still obsess over her clothing, two essays in the collection brilliantly address this. In Worshipping the Semiotic Brilliance of Hillary’s Pantsuits Deb Rox writes: …she forced the debate to the singularity of “what color pantsuit is she wearing today?” In doing so, Hillary degendered the playing field, making her appearance effectively recede to a question almost as innocuous as “what color is his tie today?”

And in No More Glass Slippers, Kim Cottrell explains the history of female shoes and how they hobble movement and become a metaphor for the female inability to keep up with the opposite sex. But Hillary has conquered that for Cottrell: So here’s my idea, Hillary friends. Let’s lace up our own shoes–you know the kind–tie back our hair, and celebrate the badass lines on our faces, the way our countrymen have been doing since forever, and get to work…we will do so (retain our superpower status) when we unhobble women and unshackle men and let them go to work together creating a shared vision of the future–wrinkles, flaws and all.   

Though this review is simply a glimpse into the fascinating opinions by women about Hillary Clinton, I hope it will interest you enough to purchase Love Her, Love Her Not and see for yourselves. Available here. Happy reading.

Love Her, Love Her Not

20 thoughts on “Love Her, Love Her Not

  1. Sounds like an interesting book. I’m going to put buying and reading it on hold for now as I’m flat out for Sanders. But if she is the nominee, I’ll be supporting her, and suspect I will need this book !

    fyi, I’m 74 and former US Diplomat where I met and did programs for/ with Hillary Clinton, but very rarely on a direct basis.

    • Fascinating, Joan. Thanks for writing. I’m not far off from you in age and I believe in the value of all women and what they can provide in a world of confusion and anger. Bernie is awesome too. We have to stop Trump.

      • June 28th update. I still don’t love her but as she is now the Democratic candidate, or more to the point – the candidate running against Trump, I’ll be voting and campaigning for her. Have already made a small donation.

        I’d like Hillary R. Clinton, Democratic Candidate for President, as she introduces herself tonight, to wear a dress/skirt, to declare her independence from her uniform of pantsuits, worn to quiet decades of remarks about her shape. Let her/let us be free of that. As we accept every race, gender, and so much more, let’s accept women of all shapes.

        • I wanted her to wear a long skirt when she came out. I agree with you. Maybe we can make that happen for the inauguration. Thanks for your support. Beth

  2. I find it sad that although we have come a long way technically we have come a very short way civilly. There are no boundaries when it comes to the advancement of science & technology but there sure is in our dealings with one another.

    I for one was most happy to see Barack Obama elected President because I thought it would show the world that we can move toward equality for all. I would like to see a woman elected President for the same reason and if Hillary is the candidate I would vote for her as well, not only because she is a woman but because she is uniquely qualified.

    If one of the other (male) candidates had her qualifications it would be a landslide and that is the sad part. Unfortunately there is still a double standard for women when in many instances they are the best “man” for the job.

    • Thanks my great friend, Mel. Well said. I guess in the process of living and watching change, we hope for the best–for the tolerance and acceptance that you allude to. Equality for all. Working together. Leaving behind the actions of demeaning and hating. Maybe someday, Beth

  3. This is a wonderful Boomer Highway. I must say, that Hillary Clinton is simply the most qualified candidate to be president. Her demeanor, experience, and deep love for this country out do anyone else’s who is running. Bernie, seems to be a good man, and well intentioned, but I fear he won’t be able to accomplish all the things he says he can. I believe Hillary can, and will.

    Bill

  4. Interesting way of taking a look at Hillary by pulling apart the various pieces of her and putting it into one book. Sounds interesting and thanks for reviewing it. We are a political family so this is fascinating to me.

    • We are too. I’ve enjoyed reading the book–but I must say I’m getting really tired of the political process this year. Oh for the days when it’s over. Take care, Beth

  5. I’ve wanted to read HRC’s autobiography. Just haven’t had a chance yet. Maybe now that she is officially nominated I’ll revisit her book. This one sounds interesting too from a different perspective.

    • Thanks for your comment, Judy. I do think you will enjoy this book, written by our own Joanne Cronrath Bamburger. And for the busy life you have, it’s a series of articles, so you can read one a night until the election–or something!! Beth

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