Re Sharon Lerner's "Over the Hillary" [June 18-24]:
I like to think that Hillary Clinton is lying low until she can run for president in 2008. And if she does, I think the most important thing feminists and liberals can do is throw all of their weight behind her, without any ambivalence. Our current president is a perfect example of the fact that, once you get into office, you can unveil the true scope of your political intentions.
The fact that conservatives are so frightened of the prospect of Hillary being elected indicates that there is a good possibility that when she gets into office, she will pick up the ball on the issues she has seemingly dropped. That is, if she isn't too busy dealing with the aftermath of the debacle our current president has made.
It's all about the votes, and Hillary has every single feminist's vote in her pocketbook. She's following the Bill Clinton playbook: "Run to the right, govern from the left." No surprises there. If you want to understand Hillary's behavior, look no further than the question "WWBD?" (What would Bill do?) The answer lies within.
DON'T PILLORY CLINTON
Why add to the still pervasive condemnation of successful women by writing such an article on Hillary Clinton? Sure, she's a skunk, but certainly not more of one than other politicians (say, Schumer or Pataki). Her opportunism is evident in her stance toward Israel and her changing attitudes toward present government policies, but why in particular single out women?
Martha Stewart is being pilloried for insider trading, a crime that does not affect the general public, while Kenneth Lay of Enron, whose crimes affected thousands of workers, is allowed to go free. I feel that some solidarity and forgiveness toward sinning sisters is in order.
THE DESSERTS OF THE REALPOLITIK
Whatever she once stood for, Clinton after becoming the first lady abandoned her liberal views to protect her chances of becoming president. There was no need for Lerner to back off in her critique on Clinton's behavior. Under the guise of a critique, Lerner wrote an apologia. Are we sure that Clinton's behavior is purely motivated by realpolitik? What if after she becomes president she continues to bow to the mainstream wishes of Congress and the American people to get elected for the second term, and thereafter to find a respectable place in popular history?
Realpolitik is a much abused term, and Lerner could have done better than to acquit Clinton by implying that the crime she committed, or is committing, is realpolitik.
What the hell do feminists want?
Those of us who identify ourselves as feminists feel that feminism has evolved and changed. I don't hear any feminists rallying for me. I'm a single parent and a full-time student, and I work. Where are all of you? Oh yes, in New York or California or somewhere it is easy to be vocal. I don't see any of you backing me up down here in Dubya's backyard. I am a feminist who identifies with Hillary Clinton. She's never tried to make me feel guilty about being a mother or being poor. Hillary Clinton has always been able to hone in on the things that affect me every day, and she's never been afraid to speak about them. I live in a part of the country where the majority of men and women are Republican, right-wing, Baptist super-conservatives who believe that single parents are the downfall of civilization. When Hillary Clinton began speaking about the importance of a Family Medical Leave Act, and health care for all of us, and funds for Head Start, and programs that would help millions of women and children, I felt overwhelming relief. Hillary was smart and outspoken, and stood up to those members of the right-wing machine and all those legislators who believe that the phrase "budget cuts" is synonymous with "Get rid of any programs that would benefit women and children."
So quit cutting down Hillary. She's done more for me than any of my fellow "feminists." At least she knows I'm out here.
UNSLANTED AND ENCHANTED
I have been a news junkie since the start of the war in Iraq. I watch all the TV news stations, read the papers, log on to the Web, and read all I can; I receive e-mails from soldiers in Iraq, and I have several family members who are fighting (or have fought) in Iraq. So I do know that the news is slanted and that we need a grain of salt (in some cases the entire shaker) to comprehend some of the articles.
Today I happened upon Kareem Fahim's articles. Thank you for the fresh air! I went back over the articles and found them informative and unslanted. I shall read his work weekly and tell others.
Re Ward Sutton's "Schlock 'N' Roll":
The only problem with Ward Sutton's cartoons is that he can't create them faster. This country needs more than one dose of "Schlock 'N' Roll" per week for the sake of mental health.
Reginald Bauer, M.D.
Palos Verdes, California
Re Nat Hentoff's "U.S. Black Leaders Confront Mugabe" [June 18-24]:
I have followed Nat Hentoff's columns on Robert Mugabe with an increasing sense of rage. How can this administration claim to support human rights and oppose tyranny when people in Zimbabwe are being oppressed like this? If we're talking about black leaders in the U.S. speaking out, where is the voice of the secretary of state in all this? Forget black leaders; where are the rest of the leaders in America? How can our nation be an example of freedom and justice when we won't stand up to this brutal dictator? Apparently, our commitment to freedom and justice is only vocal. It makes me ashamed of what we did in Iraq: Is freedom there more important than the freedom of the people of Zimbabwe? Thank you, Nat Hentoff, for writing about this issue. If anyone can claim to be a patriot, it's people like you who speak out above the roar of pop culture and mainstream media.
S/HE'S A S/HE
To settle a bet: Could you please tell me the gender of the naked person on the left side of the photo on the cover of "The Queer Issue" [June 25-July 1]?
Great Neck, NY
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