Unfair Coverage

Unfair To A Woman

Running for president is both exhausting and stressful; in 2004, John Kerry also came down with pneumonia during his presidential campaign. 

Clinton's e-mails now rival the Watergate scandal as one of the most reported stories in political history.

The offensive against Hillary Clinton fits into the context of a much larger cultural and political assault: the Republican-led "War on Women," a term that's been maligned and in some ways overused, but nonetheless speaks to the lengthy and concerted effort on the part of the GOP to control women's bodies and wages in order to reduce women's power. It's mostly forgotten that Republicans, not Democrats, were the original champions of women's rights: leading the charge for women's suffrage and also backing the Equal Rights Amendment from its inception in 1923 to its proposed ratification in 1972. This changed toward the end of the Nixon administration, which seized the opportunity to exploit cultural fears of women's liberation – much in the way it embraced racism in the South – for political gain.

If the State Department e-mails reveal anything, it's evidence of the kind of garden-variety access and favoritism that, unappealing and corrosive as it may be, is not only what Washington runs on, but what most industries run on, including journalism. Perhaps a more damning example of favoritism would be what Vice President Dick Cheney showed for Halliburton, the company he once ran, which went on to become one of the main profiteers of the Iraq War that Cheney so aggressively pushed for. Halliburton, dogged by allegations of corrupt billing practices, made $39 billion off Iraq. Cheney, accused of many things, including pay for play, rarely saw his capacity to lead called into question.

Feminist psychologist Carol Gilligan is fascinated by the dislike that young women, in particular, seem to have for Hillary Clinton. "They project on her the same kind of contempt they used on each other in seventh grade," she says. "And when you ask why, you hear, well, it's e-mails. It's that she stayed with Bill Clinton. But the reasons they give never explain the intensity of the dislike – and what's more, there's permission for that; they don't have to explain it."

"This entire race is about gender," says Gilligan, who continues to marvel at how many obstacles exist for women in America. "Those are the issues that are playing out now, through Hillary Clinton."