Here We Go Again

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

Here's a cool headline at The Hill today, followed by what I'm sure you can imagine is an equally cool article:

screen cap of a headline with accompanying video on The Hill, reading 'Hillary Clinton's likability problem'

The "likability" factor, often framed as "the candidate with whom you'd most like to have a beer," resulted in some terrific stories the last time Clinton was running, my favorite (ahem) being when Washington Post reporters Dana Milbank and Chris Cillizza suggested that Clinton should drink "Mad Bitch" beer.

Anyone who follows these things even a smidgen as closely as I have will notice that any discussion of Clinton's "likability" is always tinged with misogyny. Because women's likability is a whole different ballgame, with a list of conflicting rules that mean no woman can ever really be likable.

Aside from the inherent misogyny of the discussions of Clinton's likability, there's also the broader issue of treating "likability" as a relevant qualification for the US presidency. I don't need to like my president. I need to trust my president. I need to respect my president. I need to believe my president has the best interests of the people in mind.

Likability is of no pertinence to me, except for maybe this: Hillary Clinton is perhaps the first person with a legitimate shot at the presidency who might like me.

For reasons that are inextricably intertwined with my identity and what I need and expect from my government.

And that seems rather more important than whether I want to drink a beer with her.

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