Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34the cutest selfie? Comparatively, how much time do you spend thinking about ways to be more pow- erful, like better investing your money, moving up in your career or becoming self-actualized? Where do you think the average man places more energy? Women themselves should be more okay with being ambitious and career-focused, but there are addi- tional internal and external deep-seated societal perceptions and fears that create a greater barrier. When people are presented with an icon who challenges those precon- ceptions of what a woman ‘should’ be, that irritating inner judgy voice goes on high alert. People will look for more reasons not to like said per- son because discounting her means their mental construction of the world and more specifically, their paradigm of gender and women is a-ok. Said person is deemed an anomaly who is discred- ited, wrapped up prettily in a box with a label of ‘bitch,’ and ignored. No need to re-examine per- ceptions of how women are expected or even ‘allowed’ to act. Only ‘bitches’ behave this way. Enter Hillary Clinton: ambitious, aggressive, cutthroat, and clever. Notice anything? None of these are traits which are typically fostered in young girls. No, little girls who demon- strate these characteristics are often scolded for being bossy know-it-alls. Female power is stamped out early and girls are taught to apologize and acqui- esce or risk people, and especially boys, not liking them. Intelligent and strong women are forced to navigate an impossible tight rope where they must lean forward, being assertive and promoting their ideas and opinions to succeed, while also maintain- ing a non-threatening, passive demeanor so as not to be labeled overambitious, condescending, or bitchy. Then there is Hillary, a picture of balls to the wall, tough as nails power without any feminine apology for her behavior. She presents herself as man’s equal in all ways and that is still a struggle for society. When Hillary-haters are questioned about their opinion, many do not have a solid argument. In fact, a lot of democrats have reported the same thing: “I know she is by far the most qualified, but I don’t like her.” Other people think she is a dishonest liar. Why? Because her opinion has changed on subjects and she denies this fact, despite previous footage stating oth- erwise. Undeniably, lying is unsavory, and no one likes to think their elected leader is a liar, but it is also naïve to think that lying is not rampant in Washington. To me, the word ‘politician’ is synonymous with the word ‘liar.’ Her ‘lying’—her appealing to the ebb and flow of public opinion in order to appease voters, senators or business leaders and gain support for her cause, which we can only hope is ultimately serv- ing the greater good—is a necessary and evil part of getting things done in our system of government. Pandering, kissing ass, making knowingly unreal- istic promises, (and lying) is currency is Washington. Men are doing it all the time, but do we notice or care as much? Do we blame them as much? Do we judge them as much? Women are often put on a moral pedes- tal and expected to be nurturing, considerate of others, and nice, but men being jerks is fre- quently taken in stride. Therefore, you can’t be 100% honest and hold a position of power, and you definitely cannot be nice to everyone. Nice people are not taken very se- riously. Usually men have an easier time embracing this sad truth—and conversely society has an eas- ier time accepting such ambitious behaviors from men. Thus, the cycle continues and the result is more men doing what is necessary to rise to power. Women are expected to be gentle, sweet, and pretty. To be otherwise—to assert intelligence, flex muscle or strive for the top—often earns you the title ‘bitch.’ Does Hillary really deserve this moni- ker or are people lashing out critically because she exhibits behavior that opposes her gender’s expected characteristics? Do people dislike her because they unfairly expect ‘better’ of her? Frankly, if Hillary were a dude, I think people would be talking about the size of her cojones, not calling her a bitch. --JRF JRF holds a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics with a minor in psychology from Swarthmore College. She resides in LA with her boyfriend and two cats where she writes, acts, and educates teenagers. July 2016 30