By Matt Philbin ~
Hillary Clinton is not a lesbian, but her wardrobe did stay at a Holiday Inn Express for a softball tournament. So says Vanessa Vitiello Urquhart writing on Slate’s “Outward” page.
“Hillary Clinton’s sense of style has been criticized for as long as she has been on the national political scene,” writes Urquhart, noting that there have been “‘rumors’ of [Clinton’s] secret lesbianism” from “anti-gay activists” and “homophobic pre-teens.” But be assured, straight women can dress deplorably too.
Still, if Clinton were a lesbian, I’d be proud to claim her fashion sense. Clinton embodies something many lesbians accomplish effortlessly: She dresses in a way that does not cater to, or even consider, the male gaze.
[Your Bill Clinton jokes here.]
“Clinton,” Urquhart asserts, “has never sought to make herself a sexual object to please straight men, even when such men have mocked and insulted her for having the temerity not to.”
I take a backseat to no straight man in mocking and insulting Hillary, and look forward to many more productive years of it. But I’ve never given a thought to whether she was a sexual object, subject, predicate or passive subjunctive clause. It wouldn’t matter if she spent every day dressed like Ginger from Gilligan’s Island (or, for that matter, the Skipper). She is politically, ideologically and ethically unattractive.
Urquhart pines for “being free from considerations of sexuality at times when sex isn’t relevant.” But according to Slate, she “is a regular contributor to Outward and draws the web comic Tiny Butch Adventures,” and has thus made a career of her sexuality.
So you can have it all! You can write a column all about sex that praises Hillary’s wardrobe for being indifferent to sex, because your whole professional life is sex. Great gig if you can get it, although it does make for some fairly incoherent writing.
We’re told that Hillary dresses like a lesbian but not really, “because there’s no one lesbian style,” besides looking “how women might choose to look if they weren’t worried about whether men found them attractive.”
Well, guys, remember the time your girlfriend convinced you to go to an Indigo Girls concert? Like that, but more. “Asymmetrical haircuts, combat boots, or menswear.” “Sometimes it means being more colorful, more playful, and weirder than most straight women allow themselves to be. Sometimes it means being plainer and less adorned.” “More skin.” “Less skin.” “Sometimes it means being practical and wearing comfortable shoes.”
Yes, and sometimes it means wearing a suit of armor and an Easter bonnet. What’s the point?
The point is that Hillary doesn’t feel constrained by “the demand that women always signal attractiveness.” That demand “can be a burden in the workplace—or when seeking political office. The expectation that women must worry about being pretty first, and everything else second, can feel constrictive to all kinds of women, not just to lesbians.” So it all comes down to railing against the beauty trap this patriarchal society sets for women …
Er, never mind. There really isn’t a point.
Matt Philbin is Managing Editor of MRC (Media Research Center) Culture