Hillary Clinton Takes On Capitol Hill
Once again, Hillary Clinton has slashed a new path through the dense jungle of a macho political culture that frowns on the expression of feeling – any feeling – by women.
In a series of sometimes moving and sometimes hostile exchanges, Mrs. Clinton stood her ground before a panel of angry men today, one of whom was bold enough to tell her that if he’d been President, she’d have been fired.
But standing her ground is not all Mrs. Clinton did. While doing so, she displayed that formerly prohibited “feminine” emotion – sadness – and the other feeling previously reserved for men – anger expressed in sharp words.
As Salon noted in Hillary faces down the angry men, we didn’t learn much more about Benghazi today than we already knew, but we did learn “something about politics: the rules of the game are changing for women in public life and politics. We’re not supposed to get weepy, or lose our temper; Clinton did both during the hearing and got praise for her sincerity and her righteous anger.”
In previous posts on women’s use of profanity in professional and public life, we’ve noted that the use of dominant body language and speech demonstrates the presenter’s “power to decide [her] own path [by] breaking social rules, from invasion and interruption to casual swearing in polite company.”
The same holds true for the occasional expression of sadness.
If anyone doubts that strong women are finally allowed to express not only their knowledge and wisdom, but also their emotions, take a look at tough talking Hillary Clinton’s approval numbers.
As reported by the Associated Press today, a Pew Research Center poll conducted last month “found 65 percent of Americans held a favorable impression of Clinton.”