But what does your husband think?

But what does your husband think?

When a Congolese university student recently asked Secretary of State of the United States, Hilary Rodham Clinton what her husband thought about an international financial matter, her response was, “My husband is not secretary of state, I am. I am not going to be channeling my husband.” (Debates exist over whether there was a translation glitch. The latest reports indicate that there wasn’t).

The subsequent US media attention was overwhelming.

The Associated Press described Clinton as “snapping” and “incredulous.” The New York Post and New York Daily News deemed the moment cover story worthy, with The Post blaring: “Blowing a Power Fuse” and the News proclaiming, “Clinton Loses Cool.”

The question remains if the portrayals of Clinton’s reaction came courtesy of her gender?

According to Keli Goff, writer at TheLoop21.com, that is the case:

“If someone had asked former Secretary of State Colin Powell what his lovely wife Alma thought of a particular policy issue, my guess is he would have been incredulous too. But the reality is no one would ask Secretary Powell that. I know some might argue that it is an unfair comparison, that Secretary Clinton is unique because she is married to a former president, but how many times was the most recent President Bush asked to articulate the policy positions of his father, the former president?”

Goff writes, “After watching the footage all I saw is a woman who has spent her entire life trying to be her own person and despite her best efforts, is being deprived of the opportunity to do so (…) Secretary Clinton did nothing but tell the truth and if that makes critics uncomfortable then that is a greater reflection on their gender attitudes, than on whether or not she has an attitude.”

Mette Mikkelsen

Female Navigators

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