Monday, April 29, 2013

Ready for Hillary? Maybe. Ready for Hillary's Women? Maybe not so much.

Ready for Hillary organized a rally tonight at a venue where Bill Clinton was speaking. The information was posted here this morning in case readers in the D.C. area wanted to attend. The  link went to the actual invitation, which apparently went to about 570 people, because it contained the particulars,  rather than to the Ready for Hillary Facebook page which had a post up about the rally.

That post used a graphic with an adorable picture of Bill Clinton with the expression on his face that we see so often when he is watching Hillary speak.  Lovely picture.  But the text in the meme is disconcerting.

I spent today wondering if my skin is still too thin from the sexism of 2008.  Perhaps it is.  The sexism in this meme simply leaped out at me. Is it just me?  The text objectifies Hillary in the worst way.  " 'First Gentleman'  I'M IN."  Wow!  The subtext there!  The implication!

Noam Chomsky, back when he was a linguist rather than a political activist, propelled a language theory (Transformational-Generative Theory) that involved what he called "surface" and"deep" structures.  This particular surface structure has one deep structure that was probably the one intended in all innocence.  But there is a second deep structure that puts Hillary flat on her back rather than behind the desk in the Oval Office, and, while probably unintended,  should have been caught by someone at Ready for Hillary before this graphic was posted  no matter how cute and clever it appears on the surface.

Women, many, have been supporting the Ready for Hillary PAC and its efforts, and this blog has been reporting those efforts.  Women also remember, and can quote chapter and verse of,  the sexist remarks that were aimed at Hillary in 2008.

If Hillary does decide to enter the arena, there will be plenty of sexist as well as political mud slung.  Her supporters need to be vigilant and avoid generating messages that detract from her appreciable personal qualifications no matter how unintended that might be on the surface.