March 9, 2008

"Newsweek Doesn't Hate Clinton" – Part 1: Girls Cheating On Hillary

This is the first in a series of posts focusing

on images from the Mar 17, 2008 issue of

Newsweek featuring essays by 13 different

women about the Clinton campaign.

Cheating-On-HillaryI’m not sure why Jessica Bennett’s article in the latest Newsweek is titled “Am I Betraying the ‘Sisterhood’?”  In light of the rhetorical question, the last line of the piece speaks of her “womanly satisfaction” with each Hillary victory.

The title does, however, speaks to (or rather, for) the alleged guilt of Bennett’s “millennial sisters” who have “been sold on the Obama rock-star brand.”  “I voted for Obama and I felt like I was cheating on Hillary,” a friend confessed to the author just last week.

Writes Tina Brown in a sister article in the same issue:

What saddens boomer women who love Hillary is that their twenty-something daughters don’t share their view of her heroic role. Instead they’ve been swept up by that new Barack magic. It’s not their fault, and not Hillary’s, either. The very scar tissue that older women see as proof of her determination just embarrasses their daughters, killing off for them all the insouciant elation that ought to come with girl power in the White House.

Bennett’s article and its thesis (much like Tina Brown’s dovetailing observation) makes the accompanying image that much more interesting.  Sandwiched between two older women (reflective of Hillary’s most “loyal” constituency), we see two younger women in matching head bands engrossed in conversation.  The woman on the left stares at Hillary with her head down and out of the shadows, while the other seems to be giving the first woman an earful.

In the context of the article, the image — less like than a political photo than a shot conveying a more cinematic quality — reads as two women, turncoats to their gender, dishing on Hillary.  Applying the opprobrium of guilt and “cheating,” Newsweek equates marital fidelity with gender loyalty.  Except, in this image, at least, it’s even worse.  Her “twenty-something daughters” are not just going behind her back, but defying Hillary to her face.

Am I Betraying the ‘Sisterhood’? (Bennett/Newsweek)

The Hillary Issue (Newsweek)

(image: Win McNamee / Getty Images.  via

Post By

Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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