Hillary Clinton didn't shatter any glass ceiling. At least not on her own. Instead, she rode her husband's back to the top of the building and then stood on his shoulders as she punched through the glass.
If Hillary never marries Bill, right now she's an obscure lawyer working in New York City or Chicago. Probably highly paid and very successful, but no one's talking about electing her as president.
She is not someone who represents what strong women can accomplish when given equal opportunity, nor should she be held up as an example for young girls to follow -- unless we're also instilling in those girls the value of marrying up (and putting up with all order of misbehavior so long as a man can advance her career).
Hillary Clinton's crowning achievement is parlaying sharing a last name with the most talented politician in at least a generation into a spot in the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of State and now a major party presidential nomination. With the nomination in hand, Hillary hasn't wasted any time engendering economic nostalgia from her husband's presidency to resonate with weary voters wistful for the good ol' days. So much for moving the country forward.
Says Clinton, "[I'll put Bill] in charge of revitalizing the economy." Because it's that simple.
Worse still, she has at every turn sacrificed her dignity as a woman at the altar of political ambition.
If you're supporting Hillary because you think she's breaking down barriers for your daughters, ask yourself this question -- is this the trajectory you want your daughters to follow?
Do you want your daughters to reach lofty places in their careers but only by remaining beholden to men who drag them through the dirt and humiliate them publicly? Is having the first female president such an urgent matter that it's worth tacitly endorsing the practice of casting one's lot with an upwardly mobile but morally bankrupt man and sacrificing self-worth in the process?
For those who slept through the 1990s and need a reminder, here's a quick synopsis of why Hillary is the antithesis of a strong and independent woman. The important stuff is in all caps:
BILL CLINTON HAD HUNDREDS OF AFFAIRS BEFORE AND DURING HIS PRESIDENCY CULMINATING WITH AN OVAL OFFICE KNOB POLISHING BY A 24-YEAR-OLD INTERN.
THE PARAGON OF FEMALE EMPOWERMENT WHOM OUR DAUGHTERS ARE SUPPOSED TO GROW UP AND EMULATE STOOD BY HER HUSBAND AND LET HIM HUMILIATE HER IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.
NO RESISTANCE, NO BACKBONE, JUST STOOD THERE AND TOOK IT LIKE THE WIMP GETTING SAND KICKED IN HIS FACE INSTEAD OF ORDERING THE CHARLES ATLAS PROGRAM AND BUFFING UP.
Even after all of America bore witness to the load Hillary's husband blew on another woman's dress, she didn't opt to assert her feminine strength and show the world she could be a success on her own.
On the contrary, she stood beside him, stoic and silent, as he doled out non-apologies and lectured America on the nuances of the word "is".
Elin Nordegren is a stronger woman with more dignity and self-respect than Hillary Clinton.
Hillary chose to subjugate her dignity to a serial philanderer because she felt it was politically inexpedient to do otherwise. With her wagon unhitched from Bill's, she knew her forward march in national politics would be DOA. So tell me again how she represents feminine empowerment when she wasn't even empowered enough to blaze her own path in D.C.
Hell, Hillary lacks the confidence even to look and dress like an actual woman. You thinks she keeps her hair cut short and wears pantsuits because it's attractive? This ostensible archetype of feminine strength, in order to compete with men, goes out of her way to make herself as unfeminine as she can.
Right now Hillary supporters -- the ones who've made it this far -- are screaming at the screen that she's forced to do these things -- stay with a shitty husband, dress like a dude and have short hair, shout every line of her speeches at 120 decibels -- due to the longstanding patriarchal system embedded in American politics.
"Of course she tones down her feminine side," they'll shriek. "She has no choice. She's up against 240 years of entrenched patriarchy!"
Which might be a valid argument were there not a cabal of bona fide women -- none with famous husbands who used to be president -- working their way up the political ranks. One or more of these women stand a great chance of becoming president in my lifetime, and maybe in the next decade.
Enter Exhibit A, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Born to immigrants from India, her dad a college professor and her mom a ladies' clothing shop entrepreneur, Haley started keeping the books at her mother's shop at age 12. After graduating from Clemson with an accounting degree, she returned to her hometown and helped her mother grow the clothing store from a local mom-and-pop shop to a multi-million dollar company.
Haley's business success propelled her to the board of directors at the local Chamber of Commerce, and then to leadership roles at a host of foundations, including the Lexington Medical Foundation and the Lexington County Sheriff's Foundation. In 2004, buoyed by her can-do reputation and already impressive resume, Haley won the very first election she entered, for the South Carolina House of Representatives. She was the only first-year legislator named to a whip spot.
Haley easily won reelection to the South Carolina House in 2006 and 2008, the latter by a margin of 83%-17%. But in the 2010 governor race she was given slim odds of winning. Her Democratic opponent, Vincent Sheheen, was a popular state senator and attorney, not to mention the incumbent Republican governor, Mark Sanford, had sullied his reputation and that of the party when he mysteriously disappeared for several days and later was discovered to have been visiting his mistress in Argentina.
But Haley prevailed in tight race, 51%-47%. Her approval ratings soared almost from day one, and when she ran for reelection in 2014, again versus Sheheen, she smacked him down, 55%-41%.
Haley's signature accomplishments as governor include reducing taxes, cutting regulations on small businesses and expanding right-to-work laws. But she's no right-wing demagogue. This is the same governor who in April 2016 refused to succumb to the ridiculousness of transgender bathroom debates. She opted not to sign legislation requiring that people use the bathroom of their biological sex, essentially stating (correctly) that this is a nonissue and she has better uses of her time as governor.
Following the 2015 Charleston church shooting, in which a white supremacist targeted black parishioners, killing nine of them, Haley signed a bill ordering the Confederate flag removed from the State Capitol grounds.
Perhaps most impressive, Haley shrugged off the chance to potentially become vice president by refusing to endorse Donald Trump or support him in any way. Most high-ranking Republicans had Haley at or near the top of their lists of Trump's best choices for running mate, but the governor distanced herself from his campaign, even bombarding Trump with pointed criticism on many occasions for his divisive rhetoric and treatment of women.
See, if you have young daughters and want to give them a high-profile female role model, it's probably better to pick the one who stands up to powerful men who treat women like garbage, even when joining forces with them might get them ahead, as opposed to the one who acquiesces to such men, even defends them, to advance her own career.
Did I mention that Nikki Haley did all this without having any famous men in her life?
Modest upbringing, immigrant parents, state school education, no family members in politics. To paraphrase Drake, started from the bottom now she's here.
But Nikki Haley does have a husband, Michael. He's a full-time serviceman in the U.S. National Guard. In other words, Nikki's the primary breadwinner in their home while her husband serves our country.
And for those unfamiliar, this is what she looks like:
All woman. She's what Sarah Palin could have been if she had two IQ points to rub together.
Hillary's talk about breaking down barriers is tantamount to the backup quarterback entering the game with the ball a foot from the goal line, punching it in, then bragging about the touchdown drive he led. Bill did the legwork, Hillary did what anyone with a triple-digit IQ and a shred of ambition who's married to the most preternaturally gifted person to enter the political arena since JFK would be capable of doing, she built her own career -- and a successful one, I'll give her that -- as an appendage to the colossal foundation built by her husband.
A Hillary victory in November would give us our first female president, but it wouldn't represent much of a seminal moment for strong and independent American women.
In the meantime I'd just as well the glass ceiling remain intact for Nikki Haley or another woman who climbed the ladder on her own merit to come crashing through.