November, 11th 2016 the United States will hold its first presidential inauguration for a reality TV star. Sure, Reagan appeared in a few sappy Classic Hollywood flicks before winning in 1980, and was similarly antagonized by the GOP following his nomination but he lacked the unnatural orange hue, signature synthetic hair, and a Humpty Dumpty inspired infrastructure as a solution to illegal immigration. This wasn’t the decision of every American citizen, but it was certainly a popular opinion. Which begs the simple question, WHY?! The answer lies perfectly in a single Tweet,
This is the biggest mirror ever held up to American culture. Quite the view.”- @toddsampsonOz With it being trendy and cool to proclaim yourself as “feminist”, some were quick to voice support for Clinton when she announced her presidential campaign in April 2015. She’s a woman, I’m a woman, you’re a woman, you were birthed by a woman. Don’t you like having sex with a woman? THEN VOTE FOR HER, ARE YOU SEXIST?! Despite the cultural pressure, clearly, there are a great number of Americans who did not think Clinton was the right choice for president. Among her political and personal scandals, the fact that she was born without a Y chromosome cannot be ignored. There are many complicated and underlying reasons as to why a woman had yet to be elected as a presidential candidate, let alone winning the oval office. But there are simple, logical reasons why Hillary Rodham Clinton was not, and they are closely related to her being a woman.
By 2016, women have managed to achieve great strides politically and socially. Regardless of her loss, Clinton was the first female nominee for president in American history, something to be incredibly to be proud of. But culturally, women are still deeply flawed. These flaws are undoubtedly generated and promoted specifically in American culture, and Clinton easily fell victim, arguably costing her the presidency. Since her presidential campaign was announced prominent women in American pop culture quickly stood up on their Louboutin’s and waved their Hermés bags in the air, instagramming and snap chatting to their millions of followers, #IMWITHHER. Clinton cannott pick and choose who expresses support for her, but she can pick and choose who she associates with and who represents her values and intentions. Who could forget that EPIC selfie she took with Mr. and Mrs. Kardashian-West? You know, the same Mrs. Kardashian-West whose (in)famous for her sex tape with whatshisface. And whose fame has continued thankfully, on the current cultural obsession with prosthetic fat asses. Now, now. I’m not being fair, Clinton did choose the deeply profound Grammy-less pop singer, Katy Perry to sing at the DNC. The same Katy Perry whose aptly titled song “Cailfornia Gurls” features the singer in its music video with whipped cream “coming” out of her Super Size Me breasts. And then there’s the hipster/vegan/tongue-wagging/Robin Thicke dry humping Miley Cyrus. Enough said. What a great list of strong willed, sophisticated, education young women, Secretary Clinton.
The harrowing, shallow mirror that Americans are now forced to face is reflective in both candidates, but most evident in Hillary Clinton because she is a woman. If Clinton is going to condemn Trump for degrading women and restricting his opinion of them to physical appearances, she needs to condemn her loyal celebrity soldiers for not only condoning that kind of behavior, but for instigating it. Women like Kardashian, Perry, and Cyrus are why women like Clinton cannot be taken seriously, and why Trump, and others like him, will continue to treat women as they do. Intelligence, respectability, and sophistication are admired and expected qualities within a presidential candidate, and Clinton has worked hard to achieve that equal, if not higher, status among men, certainly better than Trump has. As a presidential candidate, she should have promoted and held those same expectations not only to women, but to the American people as whole, and more importantly to herself.
In her concession speech, Clinton preached to young women, “Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful.”. I cannot be the only to see the contradiction in her words compared to her actions (and that is NOT a statement in support of the future President (*shudder*) Trump). Anyone who uses their sexuality, both men and women, to gain popularity should not be respected, least of all by a potential candidate to politically reside over the most influential nation in the world. Specifically for American women, an admirable quality should be achieving success without compromising moral values, not how many Kylie Jenner lip kits you were able to purchase with your paycheque from Anthropology. Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful… but please consider that Hillary Clinton’s perspective towards her own gender are just as seriously flawed as Donald Trump’s. And are arguably worse, as the first female candidate for the POTUS seemingly agreed with the negative qualities of women that she has worked so hard to overcome.
Amy Nguyen is a 24 year old writer from Calgary, Canada who currently works in the film industry, primarily in exhibition, and runs a blog on Tumblr called “Wicked Pop Culture.”