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Friday, January 25, 2013

Women This Week: Hillary's Benghazi Testimony and Michelle's Inauguration

It was a good week for women in media - it was a bad week for women in media.

Michelle was exalted in the public eye. John and I often wonder how anyone, regardless of political persuasion, could harbor bad feelings towards Michelle Obama. She is genuine, she is gracious, fun, smart, and she is trying to make our nation healthier (crucial). She was applauded for her feminine characteristics, yes, and that's a good thing. The media doesn't just discuss her fashion choices; they discuss the symbolic nature behind them. It was lovely to see our nation's love and respect for her this week.

Hillary, on the other hand, was torn apart - not for the content of her testimony at the Benghazi hearings, but for the emotion she showed as she discussed it. Her popularity is higher than ever, yet the anger and sadness she feels about those American deaths is presented by the media as a huge weakness. Just a month ago, Barack Obama's tears about Sandy Hook were portrayed as a vulnerable strength. His anger was simply justified, and his emotions were accepted without a blink. The double standard is crippling - when will women be permitted to show human emotion? Now, they are told to suppress every thread of vulnerability to be viewed as successful. Bravo to Hillary for showing emotion when appropriate, refusing to conform.

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