I should make a general rule that old white men are not allowed to speak to me unless they are giving me money or a job. Because they always end up sharing political opinions with me like I’m going to agree with them, and I always meet them with blank stares, which is honestly the most respectful reaction I can muster. It always happens to me at work, for some reason. Old white guys stand at the counter and say some variation of “Obama is destroying this country” and I can’t understand why they can’t just let me make them their copies without having to share their antiquated political views with me.
Which brings me to what my professor said last night. Regrettably, I arrived to the classroom before everyone else, and the professor soon followed and made small talk with me (I WAS JUST TRYING TO WATCH THE END OF AN SNL SKETCH BUT APPARENTLY THAT WAS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN). Then he returns my graded speech outline to me, which was about potential democratic presidential candidates for 2016. Hillary Clinton was at the top of my list – not (just) out of personal preference, but because she is the most popular candidate out there by far. I wasn’t really trying to be political with my speech. While I wasn’t hiding my political affiliation, I chose dems because it helped narrow my topic and there are more possible dems than there are republicans at this point. So I wasn’t asking for a political discussion with my obviously conservative professor when he handed me my outline back.
Of course, that’s what I ended up with. And it made me sick to my stomach. I’m not kidding, I honestly felt sick after this rather one-sided discussion where my professor said “she’s a snake” in reference to Hillary Clinton.
Why did he call her a snake? Because Clinton hasn’t declared her candidacy yet, but she is by far the most liked and supported Democratic candidate. As a result, people are holding their donations. They aren’t giving any money to other candidates because they’re waiting for Hillary. Which means those campaigns are going to have a harder time staying afloat.
If Clinton is indeed waiting to declare her candidacy for this reason, then it’s brilliant. The sexism in my professor’s comment is so clear I have a hard time believing he couldn’t catch it. Even if he doesn’t care or doesn’t think it’s sexist (it is), I’m surprised that he couldn’t figure out that I would perceive it as sexist. What a double standard. If Hillary has a campaign strategy that outlasts all the other candidates and basically guarantees her the primary, she’s a snake. I’d love to hear what language he would use to describe that move if it was a conservative male candidate. Probably “smart,” or “ingenious,” or “clever.” BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT IT IS. It’s ambitious, it’s audacious, but most of all, it’s working. And she’s not doing anything wrong, she’s not stealing money from campaigns or anything! She’s not being deceitful! All she’s doing is waiting. But women aren’t supposed to be sharp or ambitious or clever or try to be president, I suppose.
So that makes her a snake.
Watch out, cause I’m aiming to put a snake in the White House in 2016.