Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Cojones and Testosterone

"if [Senator Clinton] gave [Senator Obama] one of her cojones, they'd both have two..."--James Carville

This will be brief; notice I've been kind about keeping my election coverage to a minimum (mostly cuz I'm totally burnt out on the whole mess), but a recent conversation brought up some questions for me about Hillary Clinton's supposed "cojones" and "testosterone". In fact, the men in her camp are running around talking about her "balls" like she's Mr. Marcus. Yeah, so one could say Hillary grabs her nuts. One could say. True, she's hung on much longer than a lot of people would--male or female--undeterred by unfavorable poll numbers or large crowds of people booing her. She's silver-tongued and quick with the smooth-operator lies to save her hide and she's not one to shy away from incendiary language about crippling other nations who probably have some secret horrendous way to mutilate this country, either. Now, we're even treated to the revelation that homegirl likes to toss back the shots like one of the boys. So, Hillary Clinton has balls the size of Texas. Or does she? Maybe it's my politics speaking, but who doesn't see more estrogen (read: BIC) in her behavior than any male hormone?

Before I go on, I must acknowledge, as a woman, the difficulty of being taken seriously by men. It's not always easy. There's still an innate, while often stifled, disbelief within many men that women truly possess the competence to handle jobs as executives, and oh, say the presidency of the United States. I don't dispute that. But there is a limit to how far a woman should go to prove herself "tough". Because of course, in doing this, you lose some of the intrinsic femininity that makes our leadership and power so potent in the first place.

Who doesn't think Hillary Clinton is "tough"? Who really thinks she's a softie? Certainly not I, and if you need any further proof it's in the fact that her tears made front page news. Hillary's been run through the mud by the press for being a proponent of women's careerism, tackled by the Republicans over every little itty bitty thing she said or did for over fifteen years, her daughter's been called ugly (SNL 1993 anyone?) and uglier (John McCain knows he was wrong), and her husband just cannot resist that good oochie coochie with just about anybody willing to have a go (and, quietly, even possibly someone who wasn't). As I've pointed out before, through all of this she's kept her chin up and above the fray and been the very portrait of a "tough" woman. And let's face it, if the fact that you dared to shed a tear is a NY Times headline, then we should all be just a little afraid of you.

The thing is, at this point, Hillary is no longer acting "like a man". She's acting like a bitch, or a bitchmade man if you want to go there. I'm not saying there's a "typical" way women behave and a "typical" way men behave, necessarily. Both genders have the capacity for testosterone and estrogen-driven antics. Hillary, who often operates on her respective reserve of testosterone, has let her estrogen take way over--and is still trying to push it as pimp juice. Well, I don't buy it.

I hate to point out the obvious, but 'manly' men, the ones with the "cojones", don't go around announcing it and asking everyone to look down their pants at their gigantic member. You know that guy, the one of few words with the mean swagger? The one that when he does speak, it's poignant and meaningful? That's the kind of man that makes me think he's packing. They're the ones that are so comfortable in their manhood that they don't feel the need to constantly grab their nuts and assert themselves in a macho way. They just are. For years, Mrs. Clinton operated exactly like this. She just was Hillary Rodham Clinton. At this point, though, Senator Clinton (if she must be referred to as a man, which seems to be the going consensus all of a sudden) is acting like the man who constantly feels the need to tell you how much he can benchpress, or that he drives some ridiculously overpriced, limited edition car, or how much he makes, or some other inconsequential information that makes him feel like a big, strong guy. Hillary is the snooty, insecure little dude that thinks that his worth is tied up in how many petty little slaps he can dish out on any given day. She's the man at which we all roll our collective eyes because there was no point to what he just said other than to try to gain attention and admiration.

The thing is, I do admire Hillary, or I did. The old Hillary was tough. But the toughest thing would have been to admit being underdog way back in January and restructure her campaign to address her own shortcomings, not to begin race-baiting and Karl Rov-ing the other candidate. Real men, real good men, make tough decisions like that and deliver one hard, smooth, confident punch. Bitches start waving their arms around like Whitley Gilbert. I'll give you five seconds to guess which one Hillary has become.

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