Here’s a link to video of Secretary of State Hilary Clinton responding testily to a questioner in the Congo who asked her what her husband thought about a policy issue. My response: you go, Hilary. Yes, the translator may have messed up and yes, she is the U.S.’s top diplomat. But, although I am not in her position, I can relate exactly to why such a question might have pissed her off so much that she lost her cool for the moment.
Lately, a number of Eric’s (male) friends have been calling him to “talk about” me and my positions on health care reform. One’s wife, one half of the couple whom I “de-friended” on facebook, even said that Eric had apologized to them “for my actions.”
Lemme tell you a little something about this gem of patriarchal bullshit: not only have I done nothing to apologize for, my husband does not speak for me. He does not even read what I write, nor does he have any say or control over it. Moreover, I am my own person. He does not lord over me, control me, or serve as the head of any household that I would be a part of. Period. He is my husband and my partner in this life, but let’s be clear: I do not need him to speak for me or on my behalf. He does not have the authority to do so. And you know what else? He knows every bit of this. Believe me, I have made this crystal clear to him. So, if his friends have a question about me and what I do, they need to grow a pair and talk to me about it because I can stand on my own two feet and I’m pretty sure they all know that. My mother didn’t raise no wilting lily.
So, putting aside the fact that there are much more pressing issues in Congo than Hilary lashing out (and again, good for her), I would be annoyed as hell that some one dare ask me what my husband thought about something when what he thinks has no bearing on making policy and it was me they should be addressing. It was a patriarchal, degrading gesture to be sure that belittled Hilary’s position because she was a woman and not ask her about the issue, but to instead think her husband would for some reason have something more important or substantive to say or offer. Bill should have had nothing to do with the situation.
Grr, Hilary, grr. I got you, sister. You better believe it.