Volume 92, Issue 8

Wednesday, September 16, 1998

wheeling and dealing


Stand by the man or say goodbye

By Lisa Weaver
Gazette Staff

The day after Bill Clinton's Aug. 17 tell-all confession, news media were covered with articles and special reports analyzing the president's sex life and whether or not he should be impeached. Many people were left wondering what effects this confession would place upon the First family – not to mention the First Lady.

Hillary Clinton has proven herself a believer in dealing with whatever may come, but eventually everyone has a breaking point. One popular opinion claims Hillary is a strong woman for using Bill Clinton to launch her own career, while dealing with marital issues. The other side of the coin would say she's not doing any good for anyone – never mind herself.

With headlines such as "Hillary stands by her man" splashed across newspaper fronts, the line between female strength and old-fashioned "man and wife" thinking is doubly blurred. Certain strains of feminist theory already have contention with the power structure inherent in the traditional institution of marriage – let alone the problems which occur when one part of that union happens to be on of the free world's key leaders.

Many people are concerned with whether Bill Clinton's actions will influence the American voting public in the next election. Is it not plausible that Hillary's reaction to those actions will also influence the public in a similar way?

That's not to say that Hillary shouldn't forgive and forget if she so chooses. But what kind of message is she sending to all the women who see her as a role model? Is it better to compromise your own feelings in the name of family unity? Or to forgive the unforgivable because it is the best thing for your career? American women everywhere are receiving extremely mixed messages.

The United States is now being run by a president who does not believe in the sanctity of marriage and a First Lady who will stop at nothing to uphold it. Time and Gallup polls will only tell if American women continue in the fight for feminist ideals of equality – or stand by their men.

To Contact The Opinions Department: gazette.opinions@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998