THE BLOG
11/15/2007 01:01 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Gender Card -- Poke Her -- Old Maid -- War


Coming out for Hillary Clinton in one-on-one or small group situations still reminds me of coming out as a lesbian. I'm the lesbian, not Hillary, contrary to the sledge-hammer innuendos of Ann Coulter. Though we wish the best for everyone, Hillary may not be a lesbian. And that's okay.

And, is it just me, or does Ann look a lot like the young, recumbent and recently unwrapped King Tut?

Approaching the declaration for Hillary is like approaching that triple-solcow moment in a skating routine. Have I got the strength, the torque, the momentum, the sequins to come out to this person? Since I don't want my inner Dick Button murmuring disappointedly, "Aw, she only did a double," I declare my orientation for Hillary and prepare myself for the inevitable Hilla-phobia blowback.

The other night at my study group dinner, it happened again. About eight of us meet monthly to discuss some dense, progressive policy book we all claim to have read. I'm generally seated at the kid's table. Before we got into the book discussion, we were doing our usual recap of recent political events. Several members always end up moaning and thudding their foreheads on the table in the 'dovening for democracy' portion of the evening.

When we got to discussing the presidential campaign, my dear partner asked everyone to go around the table and announce who they were for, and cruelly looked at me to start. I took what I knew would be my last bite of mushroom risotto for the evening and declared I was for Hillary.

A fine expectorated Chianti mist was settling from my friend's mouth, as she bleated in horror, "Why?"

"Other than the fact that I think she would make Bill O'Really's head blow up and that she is the most qualified for the job. . ," I started. "WHAT has she done?" my apoplectic friend silent screamed. I continued, "I support her just so that I can get into fights with people about the appalling levels of sexism in the world," and daubed a small bit of mushroom off my neighbor's cuff.

Full disclosure: at the gym I've been listening to the audiotape of Susan Falludi's The Terror Dream on my iPod. Falludi reports so extensively and bloodlessly on the uses of 9/11 to restore "traditional" manhood, marriage and maternity that she has gotten hysterical, vicious reviews which prove her point exactly. The men at the gym seem genuinely unsettled by my mirrored glowering at them.

It was as if I were one of those Dixie Chicks of Bridge and had held up a hand-made sign at an awards ceremony. Talk about gender card. I started to lay them out on the table. In South Carolina, a woman, perhaps Ann Coulter's grandmother, called Hillary a bitch and John McCain didn't cut her off. He has, no doubt, heard or even said worse. Maureen Dowd never met a woman she liked, making her a worthy NY Times columnist. Katie Couric can't catch a break.

My friend rebutted from east, west, north and south. Perhaps I overtricked, when I endplayed her with, "Why do you hate yourself so much?" I'm not proud of it. Let the conversation continue.