We all have that one family member who starts off an offensive statement with something like “I’m not racist… but my company has been hiring too many foreigners.” Right.
But while your totally not-racist uncle/step-mother/second cousin’s biggest platform is probably a Yahoo! chat room and your sorry ears, things work a little differently when you’re Ed Klein. A former editor of The New York Times Magazine and author of the highly controversial book The Truth About Hillary, Klein appeared on Fox Radio last week for a bit of Hillary bashing.
Referring to Hillary Clinton, he told host Brian Kilmeade, “I don't want to sound anti-feminist here -- but she's not looking good these days. She's looking overweight, and she's looking very tired.”
I’m sure he’d get along with bigoted family members everywhere! To be fair, when photos of Clinton sans makeup surfaced last month, reporters jumped on the opportunity to critique her appearance. It looks like Klein’s got company.
This is a shot of Clinton on a visit to Bangladesh this past May, where she spoke about tensions plaguing the country and human rights challenges. Human rights be damned, we just want our female politicians to hike up those hemlines and go for a facial. Not to be anti-feminist or anything…
Raw Story reports that in his 2005 book, Klein accused Clinton of being a lesbian, pointing to her supposed lack of “wifely instincts.” Worse, he asserted that Bill Clinton raped her, which was how she became pregnant with daughter Chelsea. Who else thinks that Klein would be a great fit over at the National Enquirer? Methinks the alien cover-up story needs a new twist.
But though Clinton was, quite awfully, publicly put down all over the news, this story is much larger in scope than vile words against one powerful female. It’s about those women leaders who are regularly picked apart and shamed for their physical appearance. As Tara Kelly of the Huffington Post succinctly wrote:
“Whether it is Sarah Palin's glasses or Nicholas Sarkozy reportedly poking fun at German Chancellor Angela Merkel for taking a second helping of cheese after claiming she was on a diet, our society is seemingly comfortable judging female politicians on issues beyond their policies.”
Sadly, it seems that if Hillary decides to run for the presidency in 2016, we’ll be seeing a spike in middle school-level tactics from men who see women as nothing more than titillation. Lesbian affairs! Cleavage! No makeup?!
The feminist in me is huffing and puffing right now, but I can imagine that the secretary of state’s response would be much the same as what she said last month to CNN’s Jill Doherty.
“If I want to wear my glasses I'm wearing my glasses,” she told Doherty. “If I want to wear my hair back I'm pulling my hair back ... At some point it's just not something that deserves a whole lot of time and attention. And if others want to worry about it, I let them do the worrying for a change.”
To that I say bravo. To those who care more about a woman’s makeup over her abilities, shame on you. My vote’s with Hillary!
(Images via Raw Story and CBS News)