Fascinating piece at Salon from a couple days ago: "Hey, Obama boys: Back off already!", by Rebecca Traister.
The article mixes a bunch of stuff together, but the core thread running through it is the idea that a bunch of young women, many of whom are uninterested in feminism (by that name) and feel alienated by second-wave feminist voices, are getting upset about their male friends' visceral hatred of Hillary Clinton.
The article notes that there are lots of perfectly valid political reasons to dislike Clinton. But it suggests that although the anti-Clinton rhetoric is couched in political terms, there may be something else going on under the surface:
"Hillary Clinton is not an attractive personality for a lot of people," said [lawyer Becca] O'Brien [, a friend of the article's author], who noted that it's "very convenient that the same people who have a sense of discomfort with female authority they prefer not to examine" also object to her personality and record in specific terms, an antipathy they feel comfortable voicing. "What you get," said O'Brien, "is the energy of the first expressed in words of the second."
It's an interesting idea. I'm not sure I believe it as presented; but I think there may be some truth in it. I do see people (including some of y'all) exhibiting extremely strong gut-level anti-Clinton sentiment, but I'm always wary of leaping to the conclusion that such things are based on prejudice, even unconscious prejudice. I think it's too simplistic to say that anyone who feels that way about Clinton must be reacting out of misogyny or discomfort with female authority; people sometimes have strong reactions to other people. And yet, I do think (and this is hardly a new observation) that there are certain styles and approaches of female authority that a lot of people in our culture tend to be uncomfortable with. But to the degree to which that's true, I would argue that it's not so much a case of individuals being sexist or misogynist as of our society/culture having certain unfortunate ideas about how men and women should/can/do behave.
(I'm not talking about my own reactions to Clinton and Obama here 'cause I'm still trying to sort them out; I have some interesting and contradictory gut reactions to both of them, and I'm not sure where any of that comes from.)
Btw, I'd like to ask that y'all go read the article before commenting on it. It's a nuanced article, with some careful examination of some complex issues; the above is not a summary of the article, just a small excerpt from it.
(Um, but I do have to object to the article's author's use of the phrase "something dark and funky" in reference to an undercurrent in Obama supporters' attitudes. Was that really necessary? After all, "funky" is a term more often associated with a certain Clinton.)