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Why is everybody calling her Hillary ?

Updated on August 8, 2016

A transposable pattern

There is nothing new here.Back in 2007,during the French presidential election, the same pattern was already at work .

Nicolas Sarkozy ,the future president, (at that time the Right -Wing candidate) was refered to as Mr Sarkozy while his female opponent,Ségolène Royal ,was very often called Ségolène,which is a very "casual" way of underlining her political status by using a high degree of familiarity.

I 've always wondered if that attitude towards female politicians was due to subconsciously embedded behaviour, where no matter their achievements in life or degree of authority,they would always be seen as motherly figures or more approachable persons than their male counterparts.

I have no answer to that question, to be honest, but what strikes me the most in all this is that huge gap between the adjectives used to describe both Ségolène Royal and Hillary Rodham Clinton ( "cold"," manipulative","career-driven") and the way the media and political analysts address them, in a much more casual, even friendly or warm way ,than when they talk about Nicolas Sarkozy or Donald Trump.

Do we really need to "humanize" them because they don't fit the usual female stereotype ? It looks like it.

The usual suspect

Both Ségolène Royal and Hillary Rodham Clinton have been criticised for being ambitious and career-driven women instead of "stay-at-home" mums.On that note,I think everybody recall Hillary Rodham Clinton's infamous line : " I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies" : That quote, a little bit condescending, didn't get her good PR. That's for sure.

They both faced hard time having to explain their personal decisions out in the open, either not to take their husband's names or, in the Ségolène Royal 's case, not to marry at all .

They also lived in the shadow of their husband and partner for many years (François Hollande and Bill Clinton) before deciding to take centre stage and fight for the presidency.

Once engaged in the presidential race they consciously avoided to use "the woman card" , fearing to be attacked on that front by malicious commentators eager to transform them into feminist beacons instead of what they really are : political authority figures.They both learnt their lessons and are now mastering the art of extracting themselves from tricky and polarizing situations .Because there is always a bumpy road ahead to stumble upon in politics, especially if you're a woman.

A political dynasty ?

Ségolène Royal did run for president in 2007, few years before François Hollande, her former partner ,at that time head of the French Socialist party.

Did anybody attack him during his presidential campaign on the ground of his former partner had already tried to get elected in the past Presidential election ?No. Perhaps they should have.

In the USA ,on the contrary, some are eager to accuse the Clinton family to be a political dynasty.

I think they are right.The same is true regarding the Bush family as well.

Both Republicans and Democrats are guilty as charged for that matter.I think this is something Donald Trump could easily use to destroy the political elite.

He's is certainly not a self-made man ,as he would like us to believe he is, but he is not the product of the political aristocracy either.

This is why his speeches are music to the ears of millions of people all over America.There is nothing Hillary Clinton can do about it except trying to appear as the candidate with the best credentials.

25 years ago, Bill Clinton used to joke about voting Democrats that year being pretty much a good deal if you took into consideration that you virtually got 2 presidents for the price of 1. That statement could be as damaging for Hillary as the one about the cookies.

But no worries, the cake isn't baked.... yet.


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    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 12 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I wondered about this too and was insulted for her, until I saw her embracing the familiarity. Since there is already a President known as Clinton, I guess it would separate her from him. Since we called Trump Donald and Sanders Bernie it seemed first names were a sign of the times. But we aren't calling their VPs by their first names. Maybe they just aren't as well known. Whatever. I seriously doubt we'll be calling her Hillary if we find her sitting behind the desk in the White House. More like Madam President I suspect.