There are so many ways to be a bitch when you’re Hillary Clinton. You can refuse to give up a thriving law career when your husband is elected governor of Arkansas. Later, when he becomes president of the United States, you can infuriate housewives across the nation with a dismissive reference to baking cookies.
You can be too loud, too ambitious, too emotional, not emotional enough. You can say things and do things that are still considered the exclusive realm of white men. You can rally millions of people to vote for you. You can do anything and everything, and it doesn’t matter: The word “bitch,” more than almost any other, will cling to the back of your smart pantsuits forever.
But what if that’s not a bad thing?
The fact that “bitch” has become both an epithet and an honorific for Mrs. Clinton has turned out to be one of the least weird things about this election year. In a race that is indelibly colored by gender and sexism, it’s also potentially transformative. Few of the women who choose to venture into the male-dominated sphere of American politics are hothouse flowers, of course, but Mrs. Clinton’s long journey to the center of presidential contention mirrors a larger impatience with a time-honored tradition of going along to get along. This is not just in politics either: From film stars to athletes to teenage activists, outspoken women from all arenas are increasingly visible, much to the concern of sexists everywhere.
Read more at The New York Times.