My parents were watching "Ellen" one afternoon this week, and I happened to walk in when Ellen started to talk about Hillary Clinton. As soon as she said her name, the whole audience cheered, and my dad, rolling his eyes and scoffing, booed at the TV, an inanimate object. Ellen talked about the ridiculous things that people were critiquing Clinton about during the election, such as her yelling or not smiling enough. "I don't think she shuts up enough," my dad said, half to me, half to the TV, like it would talk back to him and agree.
I'd like to get one thing out of the way before I move on; I'm not a fan of Hillary Clinton. I think there are a lot of grey areas about her that I'm not comfortable with. I think she plays dirty, and I know that she's not as progressive or honest as she says she is. I think it's safe to say that she doesn't have my vote this year.
However, there's something about Hillary that I do respect, and that's how far she's come, after all, the hard work she's done to get here. More importantly, I'm impressed by how much she's had to deal with to get so far; and honestly, I'm getting tired of the way she's judged compared to the other people in the race.
As a woman, especially in such a position of limelight and power as hers, Clinton has had to face a lot more heat that her male counterparts. It doesn't matter how you feel about her; that's undeniable. Yes, she obviously comes from a place of privilege, being a former president's wife, but she has worked very hard to have a career of her own.
What makes her success unique is the fact that she's a woman. It's very hard to think of another successful mainstream female politician because she's the one we most focus on. Sure, there's Elizabeth Warren, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and others, but Hillary Clinton is usually the first one to come to mind. She's certainly the most prolific female presidential candidate this generation has seen, and her work in and out of office has been well-received by most.
There's always the usual critiques. She was on the board of directors at Walmart for a time, she's taking lots of money from Goldman Sachs, the whole Benghazi thing. And they are all very credible criticisms, depending on where you get your information from. But it seems to me that most of the attacks are about her voice, or what she chose to wear to a debate or a rally.
If you're one of those people that're going to attack Hillary Clinton, there are a lot of less sexist ways to go about it. First off, look at her platform and her ideas for the country. If they're not what you think of when you think of progress in the right direction, then you're already off to a good start. That can be said for any candidate, really. Secondly, compare and contrast her policies to the other candidates, and see if they have better ones. That's really the only way you can form coherent and sound opinions on the candidates, in my view.
Finally — and this is probably the most important part — be careful where you get your information from. Sure, we'd all like to believe that the #CruzSexScandal will derail Ted Cruz's career, but the National Inquirer is not a credible source for your election coverage. Likewise, if you see something going around the Internet that says Hillary Clinton's hair is fake, don't believe it.
Like I said, Hillary Clinton is not getting my vote. But I'm never going to criticize her for going on Ellen and doing the Whip. If you're going to hate on Hillary, then you better have a good reason to. Otherwise, you look just as bad as you think she does.