Genia Stevens joins us from SistersTalk:

A Star Tribune analysis posted late last night discusses how women voters are now standing firmly behind Hillary Clinton after noticing what they considered was blatantly sexist treatment by the press, other politicians, and some male voters

Even Democratic women with no intention of voting for Clinton found themselves drawn into the debate and shaken by what briefly seemed like a humiliating end to the most promising female candidacy in U.S. history. The process seems to have changed a few minds.
I've already said gender will be a big issue in the 2008 election. But many female voters of a certain age range never really thought gender would be a factor in the 2008 presidential race. People like 37 year-old Allison Smith-Estelle stated, "I do want Hillary Clintom to take the White House, but until she lost Iowa, I didn't realize how much, or how much it had to do with her being a woman."

If Hillary's emotional breakdown on January 7 -- and the media's subsequent treatment of that breakdown -- was what Clinton needed to (gently) remind non-supportive female voters of her gender, then I'm thinking Clinton is patting herself on the back right now and saying "Mission Accomplished." Obama would accomplish the same thing with Black voters who don't plan to vote for him if could suddenly position himself as the victim of media-encouraged racism. Let's keep our eyes open for that one.

There's no denying Clinton is treated differently because she's a female. On the flip side, that's exactly what she's hoping for. It's rare that I read articles or blog postings written by female Clinton supporters that don't focus heavily on two things: Clinton's gender and their own desire to see a female in the White House. It's always been my belief that no publicity is bad publicity. For Hillary Clinton, negative publicity related to her gender is the best (and cheapest) publicity she could receive right now. Sexist jabs at Clinton will translate to sympathy votes from females who never planned to vote for her.

Usually when I write about Clinton, I address her by her first name -- as most bloggers do, both male and female bloggers. How often do you see bloggers calling Barack Obama by his first name only? Rarely. Some would argue that addressing Senator Clinton by her first name is a sexist move since we don't usually address male politicians by their first name. Even if it is a sexist move, it's a really good thing for Hillary. Very few of us address our friends by their last name only (unless it's an old habit you developed in the military -- my aunt still calls her husband of 30 years by his last name). In my opinion, when you're on a first name basis with someone, that person enjoys friendship status -- or a status closely resembling that of friendship.

Yes, you can argue that we often call our enemies by their first name. But how many Bush-bashers call George W. Bush by his first name?

Maybe the reason so many people call Senator Clinton by her first name is because it's the easiest way to inform our readers which Clinton we're hatin' on at the moment. That argument is flawed as well since there were two Presidents with the last name Bush and rarely did we call the latest one "George" to differentiate between the two.

It's my opinion that Hillary wants the world to see her as Hillary. As long as we continue to see her as Hillary-the-female-politi cian, she can hold on to her dream of becoming Hillary-the-first-female- President of the United States.

Creative Commons License