A piece over in The Stranger by Erica Barnett entitled “Hillary Clinton Has a Vagina and So Do I: Am I Obligated to Support Hillary Clinton Based on Her Gender Alone?”. The dilemma in a nutshell: she likes John Edwards’ politics better, but wonders if its more important to have a woman as president.

Here’s a short answer: Margaret Thatcher.

She may have been the first female PM, but I always think its telling that people remember her primarily not for this, but for being the embodiment of pure evil. “Thatcherite” is not a word that is synonymous with “Girl Power”. Thatcher ironically achieved true equality for women kind by being un-gendered – by being characterised by her acts rather than her gender. The ‘good thing-ness’ of having a female PM was utterly out of proportion to the ‘bad thing-ness’ of her being who she was.

Not that I have anything against Hillary Clinton per say, or any deep investment in the whole charade of picking a president. I’m utterly cynical about electoral party politics and the false sense of choice it implies. But actually, the fact that the debate comes down to such identity politics, only reinforces this cynicism.

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