Clinton, Trump and Sexism

It’s a measure of progress that Hillary Clinton is able to run for president as a feminist. But not everyone has evolved.

Comments: 258

  1. Based on my experience in Massachusetts, I think there still is a lot of unacknowledged sexism in the response to Hillary. There were definite problems with Martha Coakley's two unsuccessful bids for office here (in 2010 for senate against Scott Brown, in 2014 for governor against Charlie Baker), but I believe her gender played a role. Similarly, I get Bernie Sanders' appeal, but I have to think that some of the anti-Hillary sentiment has got to be based on her sex. I don't hear the same anger directed against Bill Clinton.

  2. Martha Coakly was a god awful candidate- only the crazy Democratic Party would pick her to run for gov after she lost Kennedy's seat to Brown. But like Hillary she was the insiders pick. The voters saw right through her - so too are the voters showing resistance to Hillary. It is more about her ethics and the sleazy Clinton vibe then the fact that she is female. America will have a female President at some point, but coronating Hillary is the most stupid move the Dems have made in years

  3. I voted for Martha Coakley for Senate as a vote against Scott Brown. If I were to vote for Hillary Clinton, I think it would be a similar sort of vote and would depend on my opposition to her opponent. I didn't like Coakley's law and order attitude or how she handled her piece of the Fells Acres case. I don't like Hillary Clinton's policy on no-fly zones and regime change without a follow-up plan, I was underwhelmed with her performance as Secretary of State. If people try to tell me that I ought to feel that I want to vote for Clinton (and I'm not saying that's what this comment is implying), I find that an odd argument.

  4. I am both a Jew and a woman. And I am working to get Bernie Sanders elected President of the United States in 2016.

    Bernie's appeal has nothing to do with Hillary's gender in my case. Being female is a plus in my eyes since I am fully aware of the double standard since I have faced it too in my (male-dominated) profession. But it's their policy stands and past actions that have brought me to this place.

    And I don't judge the Rodham-Clinton marriage. I wouldn't want to be in it, but I wouldn't want to be in most marriages. I only hope that Bill knows how darn lucky he is and how much more he owes her than she owes him. No matter what, I expect him to be on his best behavior since it could hurt her chances. I don't want her to lose the Democratic nomination because of her husband. I want her to lose because Bernie is a better person to hold the job.

  5. I applaud this article for at least calling attention to the higher standard that Clinton must face; however, I am afraid that it barely scratches the surfaces of the sexism she is up against. Yes, she has more readily embraced the role of gender in this campaign, and people are calling out Trump for his disgustingly sexist remarks, but let's remember that Trump is STILL winning. Clearly, not everyone is laughing at him rather than with him or he wouldn't even be a blip in the polls. Instead, his rise has not surprisingly coincided with Clinton's very real shot at becoming the first female president. Poll after poll shows that many, many men refuse to vote for Clinton. So, they are desperately searching an alternate on both sides of the aisle.

    Perhaps we need to look no further than Clinton's well documented "likability" problem to document the ongoing sexism. Hillary Clinton has been voted Gallup's Most Admired Woman for the past 13 years in a row. In every poll, a high majority of Democrats still retain a "favorable" view of her, yet the press is obsessed with her likability "problem".

    Perhaps the most notable evidence of the ongoing sexist culture is that women are made to feel guilty if they support Hillary "just because" she's a woman. (Or the assumption that this is the only reason we do - as if Sarah Palin is a close second on anyone's list.) Caring about gender equality in government is not a "non-issue."

  6. I suspect that if elected, Hillary will still have to endure a culture that is so sexist, just as Obama has, and continues to, endured a culture so racist.

  7. To claim that opposition to a female candidate -- who is considered highly unethical and morally corrupt -- is based on her gender is the height of identity-fixation.

    As for supporting a candidate based on gender alone, that was considered "sexist" before the term was redefined to mean whatever it means today.

  8. Here a few more good reasons to support Hillary:
    Her advice to her husband not to intervene to stop the Rwandan genocide. Her role has been reported by numerous people who have written on White House decision making during the genocide in Rwanda.
    Her advice to her husband not to intervene in Bosnia to stop the possible genocide taking place in that region. This too has been reported on by several reliable journalists. Hillary supposed fell into the "they have been doing it for centuries camp.'
    Her support for intervention in Libya, using trumped up propaganda about how a massacre was about to take place. Her sensitivity was shown by her comment about Libya: "We came, we saw, we killed." In relation to the health and education of women, Libya ranked ahead of all but one other African country. Today Libya is a far worse disaster than it was under Qaddafi.
    We should support Hillary because of her wise support for the American invasion of Iraq.
    And to show how well Hillary has learned her lessons, up to recently she advocated policies toward Syria that would have necessitated a greater commitment of air and ground resources.
    Where would these resources come from? Ask Hillary.
    Did Hillary object when her husband decided to have a mentally challenged African-American teenager executed? It's not on record.
    Hillary will most likely be our next president, this can only be seen as a dire outcome of what promises to be the most disappointing and depressing election in memory.

  9. I have had it with the identity politics of the upper and middle classes. They want equal rights to join with our oppressors. When women get elected as national leaders it is always the toughest ones, the ones who can beat the men at their own gorilla game. Meir Thatcher Merkel Clinton. The ones who put the lie to any feminist claim that women are more humane.

    Let's try to be reasonable please. Clinton is a superhawk. If she is elected she is as likely as not to lead us into thermonuclear war with Russia. I don't think that is what you want Nick, is it? Please think about what you are saying.

  10. Paul, I'm certain you must have support for the outrageous statement you left us with, but you cited nothing, just more garbage.

  11. Here is an article about Clinton's team. It's true they have also got Obama on their side, but sometimes I suspect that he wishes he didn't have to be. In any case Obama is only an enabler whereas Clinton is a leader of the team.

    Please ask yourself if this is the country that you want to live in.

    https://consortiumnews.com/2016/01/23/learning-to-love-and-use-the-bomb/

  12. Here is an article about Clinton's team. It's true they have also got Obama on their side, but sometimes I suspect that he wishes he didn't have to be. In any case Obama is only an enabler whereas Clinton is a leader of the team.

    Please ask yourself if this is the country that you want to live in.

    https://consortiumnews.com/2016/01/23/learning-to-love-and-use-the-bomb/

  13. Thank you for reminding us what Hillary Clinton's presidency means for all of us. Aside from her strong leadership credentials, she will change the conversation about womens' societal role forever. A feminist for our next president, what a difference for life on planet Earth...

  14. my problem is , Mrs.Clinton herself, not because she is a she or oatmeal chocolate chip cookies or ironing a shirt, you can do those things and still can be a president , and l rally do not care about her husband's personal life, but l do care about she is a liar and she is not bringing any thing new on the table so l think our country should look for other places like Mr.Michael Bloomberg, yes he is rich but not spoil and a new face and new ideas, that is what we need

  15. Only in this country can someone be called a liar with on evidence to back it up. I am sure you are slinging that same mud at Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Bernie Sanders - or do they just "miss-speak?"

  16. Please check out Michigan these days for a look at govenment by a businessman using business values. The rest of the people don't really seem to count for much.

    The corporate standard of the bottom line, alone, really doesn't cut it as a credential for governing.

    Lots about New York is not so great after three terms of Bloomberg and de Blasio is trying to bring the rest of the citizens back into the calculations about governance.

    All the praise about the city is for and from the one percenters who ook over the housing and other sectors to the detriment of the rest of the people. Sad but true.

    Think twice about that on a national level. After all, we are trying to undo the corporate power of Citizens United, aren't we? So the rest of us can participate?

  17. And Ted, The Donald, Mario, John, Jeb! and their ilk are not liars? Get real. Bloomberg? Great, split the right.

  18. Hillary Rodham Clinton's candidacy is a Rorschach Test. And the question of whether America is ready for a female President - or, for that matter, a Jewish President if Sanders wins - reminds me of questioning whether America was ready for a Black President. As President Obama summed it up, his skin color precluded some people from supporting him, and was a plus to others. Visceral, emotional, biased reactions are an unfortunate part of politics. So my answer about America's readiness is yes, but expect a lot of ugliness. President Obama's two solid victories have pulled the rug out from under the feet of racist certainties, while also bringing hateful ideology into the open. There will not be unanimity about the first of any new category as a leader, but precedents will challenge assumptions and prejudices down the line.

  19. Were the other 86 or so countries which had a female head of state "ready." My question would be why the US is still trying to decide if a woman can be president.

  20. Women on women's issues becomes "damned if you comment, damned if you don't!" But we're light years better than we were 25 years ago!

  21. ..."That irony would encapsulate the truism that whatever progress, women are often still held to a higher standard than men."

    Which may be one of the better reasons to vote for women. In order to be successful women must attain that standard. And they very often do.

  22. How convenient. Successful people often think they succeed by fair rules. Wall Streeters will love your comment.

  23. Women are not only part of the conversation, they are defining themselves rather than be defined by men. Women can be decision makers and nurturers. It's a brave new world! Real men respect women and their choices. Then there is Trump. What does it say about a "man" who is "disgusted" by a woman's natural bodily functions? Trump tried to shame Hillary Clinton; he ended up shaming himself...but he is so full of himself he doesn't even know it.

  24. Donald Trump, let us not forget, is a germophobe. It does not take much to creep him out totally. But for now he may be fighting his greater instincts for his public image, such as it is. He is a study in contrast or more rightly contradictions. No shortage of ambiguity and discord. Ever the salesman whom you should not trust.

  25. Donald Trump may be a germaphobe but I don't recall any of his remarks about men using the bathroom as being 'disgusting.'

    Did I miss those?

  26. Good column. Yes, it's possible now for Hillary Clinton, as the most highly qualified candidate, to become president. But sexism is still a factor working against her, and it's even difficult to point it out since many are unaware of their own subtle sexism and only notice the most obvious kind in others.

  27. Sexism was against her in 2008, and rabidly so, even among the Democrats. Look how little support she received from her own Senate colleagues during that run.

    And sexism is still around today but it isn't as apparent as Bernie is no Obama.

    The ugly side of sexism will truly rear its odious head once Hillary secures the nomination, regardless of whom the GOP nominates.

  28. Thank you for boosting the signal on important conversations we need to have about double standards, sexism in elections, and Obama's win on menstrual products. But don't forget: Hillary isn't the democratic nominee - she's in the run and Bernie Sanders has a strong chance of winning. I'm a woman and I'll vote for Bernie because he is addressing the root issues underlying intersectional inequities. No other candidate is doing this, including Hillary. We can't afford to use only a gender lens in picking a candidate: we have to consider how candidates are funded (and by what special interests), and use an intersectional lens to understand how a candidate will address issues of white supremacy, patriarchy, and oligarchy.

  29. I'm with you. Wish I could recommend more than once.

  30. Liz, I disagree. I do not understand why Bernie Sanders entered this race. He has a limited resume, has never pushed through any bill that furthered his political philosophy, so why exactly do you think this red faced, bellowing man would be an effective leader?

  31. Bernie! Bernie! It's kind of hard for some of us to get exited about at 74-year old white male. Enough of men ruling this country. Hillary Clinton is above all others, including Bernie.

  32. I disagree that Hillary is held to a higher standard than a man would be--her reaction to her husband's behavior, at the time, was anti-feminist. She should not have spoken ill of the women. Would a man slut-shame the man or men his wife had relations with? Who knows.

    And, younger women probably know that no glass ceiling has been shattered. I think they are more discerning--it's not enough to vote for a candidate just for her gender. I know I am more discerning than that. I'd love to have a female President, but not Hillary Rodham Clinton.

  33. So my daughter has to stand up to kids who think her playing travel soccer isn't feminine and I have to put up with garbage on construction sites and the glass ceiling had be enough shattered? Look around board rooms and silicon valley. Meantime, when someone is hurt by a spouse stepping out at a particular time and responds unwisely is that not simply human? No one is blaming Mamie or Jackie O. Why not? Oh, right, all they did was put up and shut up. Hillary actually thought she could expect better.

  34. "Slut-shaming" is probably gender neutral. Anyone whose relationship partner has strayed will likely find that the "outside person" is a lesser person than the offemded party. Woman and man, man and woman, man and man, woman and woman. Some will be jealous enough to demand a split, some won't.

  35. @PDX Biker,
    Thanks. You've put well, what I was thinking. I'm not sure if Mr. Kristof is oversimplifying or being disingenuous, but, something's off here. And, it's not to his credit.

    What raises my eyebrows is others' comfort with Hillary's handling of her husband's infidelity. If he were a private citizen, that might be one thing, but, he wasn't. My understanding is that he abused his authority; she helped him abuse it; and now it appears that Mr. Kristof wants to question or criticize those who don't accept her 100% as a feminist role model, human rights activist.

    Mr. Kristof, no rational person could disagree with you about Trumplestiltskin. But you lost with with your closing on Hillary.

    [email protected]:23 am est

  36. Hey Nick. In the HV (hudson valley) we're getting snowmegeddon! So I'm warming up by reading your column today. It's not hard to understand what Hillary did during Bill's career at all. She's a strong, intelligent woman married to a charismatic man in public office. Enough said. What does bother me however, is slinging back Bill's transgressions on HER. WhatEVER happened, they weren't HERS. To make it seem so now (20 years?) is ludicrous. What I actually want is the choice between Hillary and Bernie to be about issues, not emails or stuff that happened 20 years ago that aren't hers to own. Did she support Bill, her husband? Of COURSE she did! Now for the republican side. You want sexism, look NO further. Donald (he's an abuser, I say an abuser!) and then dear Ted (she should be spanked!). OMG what year are we in? I next expect Don Draper to appear and exude, well you know. (apologies, Jon Hamm!!) Offended? You betcha! Come ON guys. Let's all begin by trying to locate ourselves in the current century please? Enough I say, ENOUGH!

  37. Hillary acted as his "henchwoman." How strong and brave of her!

  38. Hillary sticking with Bill and bashing the women he caboodled with is just hypocrisy on her part. She uses him and he uses her and neither one cares. It makes her a terrible role model for young women who want to be judged on what they can do not who they hook up with. Hillary didn't stay with Bill to save her marriage, she saw it as her route to power - I doubt she would have gotten to be senator or sec of state without his backing

  39. I guess, I'm just a little annoyed at women who feel that they have the right to judge other women's marriage. Also, to feel they have the right to decide what does or what does not make an acceptable role model. You really don't know anything about the Clinton's marriage. You only know what outsiders opine. Your snarky opinion about her abilities as a senator and secretary of state is demeaning not only to her, but to all women. If you truly believe that women can only obtain postions of authority through a man, you either are not a student of history, or you simply are jealous of a woman who has withstood more vitriol and opprobrium than all the other candidates put together. And that says a lot about your view of feminism.

  40. @Nancy in Wellesley, MA: It fascinates me that people are so very willing to judge the Clinton's marriage. In general we favor couples working through the rough patches and saving the marriage. Yet, when a very public political couple does just that folks like you assume that they "use" each other and don't care, i.e., don't love each other. You say, "Hillary didn't stay with Bill to save her marriage, she saw it as her route to power."
    1) She shared that with you personally did she? No, I thought not
    2) Exactly what power does she gain by being married to a former president? She won her senate race; she was appointed by Obama to be Secretary of State, i.e., Bill did not have a place in that.

    Plainly you dislike the Clintons - why not simply be honest and say that fact instead of many other "facts" of your own imagination?

  41. I'm very interested how strangers like you make absolute statements about the innermost working of other's relationships. I don't know why the Clintons chose to stay together, and neither do you. Criticize her for her work, but stay out of their bedroom.

  42. Ms Clinton v Mr Trump v Mr Bloomberg...so a Liberal vs. two Conservatives? A replay of Bill Clinton v Dole and Perot! My money's on the woman...

  43. Mr. Bloomberg a Conservative? He makes Ms. Clinton look like Goldwater.

  44. It wasn't against Dole in 1992 when Perot ran; it was against George HW Bush, the sitting president.

  45. Mr. Kristof, you are absolutely correct, women are always held to a higher standard. Men seem to feel emasculated when working for women, they are hunter gatherers, who are these women in their place? Well, the women have earned their places, Hillary Clinton has earned her place. This is a woman who has had an impact on history both as senator and Secretary of State. There is not another candidate with her resume. The Trumps and Sanders of the race can bellow, but she can speak, and she can write, and she will give you her plans and explain how they will benefit the country. Yes, women are held to a higher standard, and that's precisely why we should elect this woman as our next president.

  46. I am sorry but women are NOT always held to a higher standard. I have seen women as smart, competent and virtuous as any man and I have seen women as stupid, incompetent, and petty as any man. Nonetheless, in decades of teaching at public universities, I have seen many privileged, mediocre women hired for tenure track jobs over far better qualified men in the same subfield. Those who make such sweeping, sexist generalizations as "women are always held to a higher standard" justify others in doing the same in reverse.

  47. You can't deny she has had a major impact on Iraq, Libya, Syria, and similarly unfortunate places.

  48. As I recall Hillary Clinton, having never lived in or been involved in the politics of NY, stepped in, displaced Nita Lowly (so much for solidarity huh?) and ran a cynical campaign based on name recognition from her husband's achievements. (so much for feminism). While there she voted for the Iraq war (i.e. to ship other women's children into harms way and demolish the lives of women and girls in Iraq)...top notch feminism there, eh?

    Bernie on the other hand served 25 years as Senator. 25 years! And has been consistent in promoting class consciousness and class politics. He voted against the Iraq war. What's important isn't the identity politics of "being a woman" or calling yourself a "feminist." What is important is the actions of the person being actions that are generally good for women and their families. When, as Secretary of State, Hillary decided to topple Libya without a plan to stabilize it, was that plan good for Libyan women and their families?

  49. I hear many people criticizing you if you say you are voting for Hillary Clinton because she is a woman. I say why the heck not? We have been voting for men for ever just because they are men.
    Hillary Clinton is the smartest, most knowledgeable and the most supportive of women's rights than any other candidate by far. Why wouldn't everybody support her.

  50. Choosing to ignore unethical behavior because of the person's gender is just a modern day version of sexism. "It's okay because she's a woman" has replaced, "It's not okay because she's a woman."

  51. I remember when Thatcher ran the first time for prime minister, a prominent British feminist who supported her being quoted in the Economist that "in 100 years, no one will remember her politics, but everyone will remember she was a woman."

    I can't verify it, but I suspect that woman may have had buyer's remorse.

  52. If only what you wrote about Hillary were true, I'd vote for her, too; but I don't believe a word of it. Also, there's a lot more wrong with this country that don't seem to concern her as much. Bernie gets my vote.

  53. I would ask what any spouse would do when confronted with attacks on his/her mate that conflict with support for some grander principle? I'm not sure if HRC has handled this conundrum as well as she could have, but for the life of me I can't think of anything better.

    Life happens. It throws curve balls. You deal with them as best you can. Defending Bill through politically-inspired, though justified, attacks against him is hardly a show-stopper for a Hillary Clinton presidency. Who would have done differently?

    www.endthemadnessnow.org

  54. I agree John L. What impresses me is that after enduring the humiliation around her husband and Monica, Hillary didn't retreat and hide. She went out and won a Senate seat from NY. She is a role model for rising above the "woman scorned"

  55. Fine, then don't pretend that you are pro-women and a feminist now. If you belittle and besmirch women who were molested by the most powerful man in the state-Governor or the most powerful man in the world.
    That's why most OPEN MINDED people think she is a liar who will say anything!

  56. RE: I'm not sure if HRC has handled this conundrum as well as she could have, but for the life of me I can't think of anything better.

    REALLY? How about not saying or doing anything rather than participating in attacking the victims?

  57. (Outrage at his “oafishness” — a standard put-down of a strongman — was such that the Donald tried to mollify critics by running for the only job that money can't buy —President of the United States ... NOT)

    Trump is a fraudulent showman and con-artist; Hillary is a cunning and unscrupulous opportunist and one half of a pair of charming cynics driven by their lust for power, money and notoriety. When thinking about the latter, think a cleverer version of Bonnie and Clyde.

    Neither the Donald nor the Clinton is a 'strong' man or woman, that is, an ethically strong person. There is much more to virtue than being a competent shyster capable of pulling the wool over the eyes of gullible and naive journalists and their fame-blinded followers.

  58. Since when does "strong" specifically mean "ethically strong"?

  59. Think a more media savvy version of Mr. and Mrs. MacBeth.

  60. The word "charm" is alien in most sentences about Trump.

  61. The right-wing impeached President Bill Clinton over his erections and they would love to impeach Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton using those very same erections, once again using every means necessary to distract the United States of America from the basics of good government and good public policy.

    60% of minimum wage workers are women; Hillary wants to raise the minimum wage; the GOP wants to keep or eliminate the minimum wage, one of their many-splendored thousand points of misogynistic public policy.

    Hillary believes in equal pay for equal work; the GOP prefers to pass on the issue.

    Child care, family leave, worker benefits ?

    Hillary supports those items; no Republican dare apply.

    We all know that Hillary supports a women's right to control her own uterus, a right the Grand Uterine Party fights daily to destroy.

    When we look at public policy and sexism in America, we see Hillary actively supporting women's rights and Republicans actively undermining them.

    For most Americans outside the right-wing propaganda-industrial mill, 2016 is an Election Year.

    But for the creepy Genitalia Over People party, 2016 is an Erection Year.

    Whatever it takes to distract Americans from good government and good public policy: GOP 2016

  62. @Socrates-----such a great post. There's not much to laugh at during this election cycle, but you manage to bring out the absurdity of it all in the wittiest of ways.
    With your permission, I will now refer to the GOP as the Genitalia over People party!

  63. Thank you, Socrates, for articulating so well what this election should be about, and Hillary's true positions on these important issues. There is so much demonizing of Hillary going on, that I can only assume the Republicans have correctly implemented the only winning strategy they have to get the White House back; derail Hillary, even with her own party. Those who read and comment on these pages have been correctly calling out the Republicans for all of their transparent sins. It just seems to me that they don't realize they have fallen for the Republican media machine, and could be complicit themselves in a Republican victory.

  64. Your comment reeks of sexist stereotyping. Raising the minimum wage is good policy, but it isn't a women's issue unless you assume that most women are unskilled laborers. Family benefits are also good policy. But they aren't a women's issue unless you write off single women without children. Abortion rights are good policy, but they aren't a women's issue unless you believe that religious women don't count. Women's issues are those that apply to all women. You believe in women's rights only if they conform to your agenda. Men who believe they have the right to define women's rights are sexist in the extreme. Oink, oink.

  65. What a conclusion, Mr. Kristof: "So today Hillary Clinton is scolded for turning on and helping to stigmatize the women who accused her husband of misconduct, which oddly means that she may pay more of a price for his misbehavior than he ever did."

    If so, it sure shows that Hillary seems to always land on the wrong side of whatever feminine issue she's trying to up-end. Talk about bad timing, even "Send in the Clowns" from a "A Little NIght Music" couldn't say it better.

    And this is the problem with transitional women, that is, women who lived through all the social changes launched by Betty Friedan in 1964. Just when she is ready to capitalize on her experience with female putdowns, here she is finding herself out of step with the young women she worked so hard to help, and only supported by some of her own peers, who finally feel their time has come.

    But a funny thing about timing is this: just when you think you've got it down, it ups and runs off in the opposite direction. Clinton must be shaking her head at how easy it is for Trump to shake off his boorishness and ugly innuendo about women while she is always just a little bit off, either too far ahead, or too far behind, the voters she's trying to attract.

  66. Don't blame Trump. Obama did an end run around her too. All he had to do was talk. He didn't even have experience.

    She's just not that great a politician. She's a much better lawyer and can fight like the best of them. She should be on the bench somewhere.

  67. I would like to know just how Hillary Clinton is out of step with today's younger women. These women are, after all, walking in her steps.

  68. Oh, now she's not such a great politician! I thought the current misogynist critique was that she's too much of a politician! No @AACNY she should be president. She is the most experienced and qualified person running for president. But hey being female only qualifies her for something less in your eyes.

  69. Young women (my daughter is one of them) would love to support Hillary if they believed in her policies. But they don't need to support Hillary, just because she is a woman. They are actually listening to what the candidates are saying and not merely reflexively endorsing the pre-ordained favorite.

    This is refreshing. We need a candidate who is not beholden to Wall Street, financiers and corporate interests.

    If you endorse the viewpoint that money is speech and corporations should control our President, please vote for Hillary. But if you believe business as usual is bad for democracy vote for Bernie.

    Most of us would love a woman President. We just want one who is not beholden to the moneyed interests who have controlled Politics for way too long.

  70. Don't waste your vote on an exercise of futility.

  71. With all due respect, it's quite presumptuous of you to assume that those who support Hillary Clinton are doing so only because she is a woman or are not listening to what the candidates are saying. It is also rather easy to say you'd "one day" love to see a woman President, just not this one, not today.

  72. Spare me. Your daughter is not listening to what the candidates say. She's listening to what all her friends say. And they all say jump on the Bernie bandwagon! If she actually listened to what Hillary says she'd be very impressed with her absolutely mainstream democratic message. It's truly sad that young women like your daughter are being brainwashed by the anti-Hillary chorus in this country.

  73. Hillary Clinton didn’t suffer for much: she’s been at the center of national politics for 23 years, and of Arkansas politics for years before that. She’s been an influential First Lady of Arkansas and of the United States, a U.S. senator and a U.S. Sec. of State. She has a raft of “firsts” as a woman associated with her name. I imagine MOST feminists would like to have suffered as much.

    She did suffer, not so much for her feminism as her gender, when as a new associate with the Rose Law Firm of Little Rock she had to suffer a lecture by the senior partner who took off his boots and put his bare feet up on the desk.

    Then, of course, Hillary owes enough to feminists to take up their banner in the upcoming as a quid pro quo. During Bill’s troubles with Monica Lewinsky in the late 1990s, feminists were astonishingly silent about credible accusations leveled at Bill by Juanita Broaddrick (charges of rape), Kathleen Willey (charges of sexual assault) and Paula Jones (charges of sexual harassment). The feminists largely ignored Bill’s alleged transgressions while Hillary was active in seeking to discredit the women alleging the wrongdoing.

    In the end, Hillary will not lose out by her sex, though I’m not sure given who she is that it will be a major factor in any success at securing the presidency: her life overshadows her gender. Trump, should he face her, will moderate his sexist manner so as not to alienate a very large part of America, and not just women.

  74. Get real, that dress didn't go to the cleaners because it was a trophy.

  75. Good one, Steve!

  76. But the charges were investigated at the time, and found to be not credible, rife with contradictions, skewed timelines, recantations, misrepresentation. There's plenty of detail out there for anyone who wants to review the cases. I'm a Sanders supporter myself, but Hillary Clinton is a smart, accomplished person who's very capable of being an excellent president. It's a huge disappointment to me that so many people still expect her to answer in one way or another for her husband. I read commenters in this thread -- self-described feminists, at that -- who appear to feel more ranchor toward her than they do Bill.

  77. Hillary Clinton's problem isn't feminism. Clinton's problem is that her pro-Wall Street, business as usual stances have alienated a substantia share of Democratic and independent voters.

    Feel the Bern 2016!

  78. Please read her plan for reining in Wall Street...tougher than Dodd Frank, tougher than anyone else.Do your homework!

  79. She is so pro Wall Street that even Bloomberg won't run against her.

  80. There is something wrong about lying in general, lying to your constituents, to the nation, your wife. When Hilary defended her husband in the face of what she most certainly knew to be lies about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, I lost all respect for her. If she lied to protect his office at the time, she'll lie to protect hers. Period.

  81. Everyone who reaches Hillary's age has baggage, has made mistakes, and has regrets. If you claim differently, you are a fool, IMO.

    Hillary's history in the public eye and privately is continually being raked over the coals with no possible opening for redemption. If she comments, she is a liar; if she keeps quiet, it's a cover-up. I truly believe this is because she is a woman.

    Many men and women, even today, prefer to blame women and forgive men for comparable "wrong actions." Despite great progress, cultural changes rarely progress at the same rate for every group of people.

    For most of us, no one ever brings up an unfortunate event from 20 years ago and publicizes it simply to embarass us without even considering how we may have changed over the years. Its almost never done to male politicians any more. Why is it still tolerated?

    I do believe that the standing of women is another great question for our time.

  82. It doesn't really matter if she is male or female. She is ambitious and intelligent. I giver her credit for facing the public following her husband's infidelities. She has a lot of backbone. However, she has sold herself to lobbyists. She has no clear direction. I see her as an opportunist. Her behavior toward staff members in the early Clinton White House has been the topic of interest and may reflect her true self. I find her understanding of international affairs to be at best superficial and cannot imagine her dealing with international crises as well as John Kerry has. As a candidate she recognizes that Bernie Sanders is catching up with her and has hijacked and rephrased the issues that he had been representing for nearly 40 years. In my opinion she has disqualified herself from being President. But then, she is not alone on that big stage.

  83. As Martin Luther King said one day we shall judge a person by the quality of their character instead of by the color of their skin, so shall this same principal apply to how we regard and treat gender differences; and specifically end the discrimination against women.

    My theory that explains the suppression and horrific mistreatment of women throughout history is that for most of human history we have had agrarian societies in which the physical strength of men was celebrated as a high virtue and licensing men to develop egos of superiority and to not respect women's innate intelligence and abilities.

    That agrarian history of civilization has now evolved into a technological culture, mostly in the western hemisphere of developed nations. Just note that it is the parts of the world that are still very agrarian where the abuse of women is still rampant whereas in the western technological societies women are asserting their rightful place in society. Physical strength is no longer is critical, but intelligence and character are critical. History is evolving and the tragedy of suppressing women, and men with over inflated egos is gradually changing. Women who are every bit a intelligent as men, if not more so, and emotionally more mature (and always have been), are finally revolting because society no longer requires the "physically strong men." The change can not happen soon enough or fast enough.

  84. In most agrarian societies, throughout most of human history, it's not the men who have done the work requiring the most physical strength. It's the women -- pregnant, lactating, carrying babies on their back -- who plow the fields, haul the water, gather the wood. Before that, when (male) hunters made a kill, women were responsible for the back-breaking work of hauling the carcass back to camp.

  85. "FOR most of her career, Hillary Clinton suffered for being a feminist." I believe that Hillary is still defensive about the possibility of becoming the first woman president. What if she pushed it to the max?

    I suggest, for example, that she could use the "V" for victory sign in a new way. She could show "V" signs with both hands, to form a "W" (V V), for woman. But my fear is that Clinton is too ashamed to try anything like this.

    My sense is that having a woman president is huge. I think it is not just about women, but also about men and the value of all of us who feel left out in the system. A woman president, by her very presence would be a constant reminder that everyone counts. Yes, our status counts. Our pay counts. Our opinions counts.

    I believe that having a woman president could boost the economy, and perhaps save us from a downturn. It would be a sign of HOPE for the future, as more and more women and men rose up.

    "One step for WOMAN. One giant leap for HUMAN kind!
    ==========================================

  86. What other candidate is challenged because of his wife's activities? Donald Trump's attacks on Bill Clinton are fundamentally different from political attacks on any other candidate. That difference is sexism. The media should call it out. Instead, they sell papers on the details.

  87. Why do you think I, as a woman, must support Hillary Clinton? I find nothing about her to be admirable. I suppose I will have to vote for her if she is the last Democrat on the ballot, but it will be very, very difficult.

  88. Hillary is being scolded for being a hypocrite. She said, "Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed and supported." How, exactly, does this square with her demonizing the women Bill assaulted?

    She's not being held to a higher standard. She's being held to the standard of someone who is claiming to be a champion of women.

    If you want to pick a feminist champion, try to find someone who is not so morally challenged. She's a poor symbol.

  89. The Republicans float lots of anti-Hillary memes to see which ones get traction. In a stunning burst of irony, some young women seem to buy the story that casts Hillary as a feminist betrayer because she spoke up 30 years ago against Bill's accusers. The Republicans say, "It's time for a woman president, just not this one." Right.

    The Republicans are silent about Bernie Sanders. Because their fingers are crossed.

    I really like Bernie Sanders, but if he gets the nomination the Republicans are ready to run over him like a concrete truck.

  90. Nick, I agree with your column yet I am still nervous about voting for Hillary. Not because she is a woman but because there is something that is disingenuous about her. In her public appearances, she comes across as slick. I just can't figure out where she stands on so many issues. For months it looked like she was moving away from Obama in response to his poor ratings. Then, as he strengthened his act and gave a highly effective State of the Union speech, she suddenly seemed to embrace him and his policies. She has taken lots of money from the banking community and wants us to believe that there is no quid pro quo. I suspect the same lack of clarity regarding her stance on our incredibly high healthcare costs. It was easy to protest Shrelki's behavior but will she really fight the pharma lobby to allow the government to negotiate drug prices? Who is the real Hillary Clinton?

  91. Hi Nick, it is a surprise that Editorial Board, who is bent on destroying Hillary Clinton as candidate, allowed this column to appear.

  92. A lot of the broad acceptance of a woman leader is because of strong women across the political spectrum. You may hate them (I do) but Palin, Bachmann, et al. have changed minds on the right, as Margaret Thatcher did in Britain.

    That said, I found the last paragraph puzzling. Bill Clinton has not run for any public office since the Lewinsky affair, so I don't see how Kristof can compare what Hillary is going through to him. And please don't cite "high approval polling numbers" — I long ago quit believing in such polls.

  93. But the eight percent who wouldn't vote for a woman today are probably perfectly willing to vote for a self- aggrandizing narcissist.

  94. I don't think Sarah Palin or Hillary Clinton are qualified to serve in the White House as role models for little girls or old ladies. Their greed for political power and perks is outrageous.

    Their disregard of the truth and integrity is dismaying.

    And their disdain for those who disagree with them and oppose them is the kind of arrogance that Obama has used to divide the country since he burst on the scene.

    I hope to see a woman in the presidency, but I want that president to be as wise as she is smart, as personable as she is tough and as honest as she is ambitious.

  95. ". . .as role models for little girls or old ladies. Their greed for political power and perks is outrageous."

    But it would be ok for little boys or old men? Do you find Trump, Cruz, Rubio to be free of greed for political power and perks? Or perhaps could it be that such greed is perfectly ok for males?

  96. Amazing. Equating Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton, really amazing. I guess a woman is a woman is a woman and no differences in ability, intelligence, experience, attitude, or goals means anything whatsoever because of that second X chromosome. And, ohmigosh, wanting political power! Get back in that kitchen, woman, know your place.

    Of course, for Mr. Johnson, blacks better learn their place, too. Just for the record, Mr. Johnson, it is not President Obama who has divided this country, but the desire for getting their way at any cost and willingness to trash government coming from the right. And, oh, yeah, the down deep belief that no Democrat, especially not a black one, belongs in the White House.

  97. "...which oddly means that she may pay more of a price for his [Bill Clinton's] misbehavior than he ever did. That irony would encapsulate the truism that whatever the progress, women are often still held to a higher standard than men."

    That's hardly the material point with respect to this Presidential campaign. Hillary is running now - not Bill - so her inconsistency in saying women should be believed, except when Bill is the culprit, belies the feminism which she is trying to make the heart of her campaign. Of course we must consider the evidence which Hillary says proves Bill's accusers are liars, but for all other women - Hillary in her statement made no such demand for evidence. Just belief. (What exactly was the evidence against Paula Jones - to whom Bill paid many hundreds of thousands of dollars to settle her complaint. And what was the evidence against Juanita Broaddrick, whose story is well known to all who really do care about women victimized by men?) Come on Kristof - you don't have to stretch it this far for Hillary. Nobody doubts your own feminist bona fides.

  98. Hillary is tanking, and the liberals are desperately trying to sell her to the public. No sale.

  99. Trump is not just a sexist or misogynist, he is an inhumanist. Misanthrope doesn't cut it, and humanist means someone who cares about people, so a new word is needed to describe someone who is an extreme ill-bred lout, a cad, a boor, one who does not begin with the fundamental assumption that the stranger you see on the street is a civil person. His default position is to hold the other person in contempt even without knowing anything about him/her. A total waste of space.

    I regard Trump as a member of my species only to the extent that his eating, drinking, and excreting biology is the same as mine. In every other regard, he might as well be a slime mold.

  100. He IS slime mold, in corporate clothing.

  101. We saw "The Apprentice" - the rewards were based on skill and ability, how much more do you want?

  102. Hillary's top donors are Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and many other financial and law firms. Then she says that they don't control her. Just some truth occasionally please, Hillary.

  103. Taiwan has just elected their first female President.
    The United States of America has had 44 male Presidents.
    Not one female President.
    What higher standards was George W held to? That everyone could imagine having a beer with him? Look where that got us.

    Having just moved to the south coming from NYC and So Ca, I find that I just might as well have moved to a Middle Easten country for all their religious zealotry and misogyny. Although I am doing what I can to help turn Florida purple.
    In a parking lot of a super market here I came across an SUV with a bumper sticker that had a picture of Hillary and the bumper sticker read
    Life's a Bitch. So don't vote for one."
    I stood there and slowly peeled off the bumper sticker.
    Even the "Stand Your Ground" Law didn't dissuade me.
    I was standing my ground.

  104. So much for the First Amendment, right Laura?
    Perhaps you should consider staying out of the hot sun.

  105. Be careful.

  106. I don't agree that slamming Hillary for shaming women her husband victimized is ironic. It is merely pointing out Hillary's constant hypocrisy.
    1) She shames women her husband attacked, then says we should believe and support victims.
    2) She helps pass drug laws that target blacks and calls young black males "super predators," then she says black lives matter.
    3) She says she will always remember meeting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and shaking his hand. Two years later she worked for Goldwater on a anti-Civil Rights platform.
    Hillary is the worst kind of "feminist." She's the solidarity is for rich white women kind of feminist. She's the glass ceiling kind of feminist, when the majority of nurses, home healthcare workers, and primary education teachers are women and these are professions are underpaid. The glass ceiling doesn't enter into for these women. She's an identity politics kind of feminist, when class consciousness and class politics is what would improve the lives of the most women, children and men.

  107. Hillary was hurt by Bill's transgressions but the women with whom he cavorted knew he was a married man. She is the best qualified, knows what can and cannot be done in governing and always is a lady no matter what is thrown at her. That is class and what we need is a gracious demeanor as we deal with other countries and as we try to reconcile differences between our two parties in Congress..

  108. Without a doubt there have been some great women leaders in the thousands of years of recorded history. However, if you scan the index of an encyclopedia of world history, the names of men leaders outnumber those of women at least 99 to one. Is this because men were usually physically stronger or was it really sexism or was it all just a cultural thing or did men prove to be the better leaders in the long run?

  109. No Mr. Kristof, it's not the problem of Hillary being ahead of or behind the times. It's about Hillary being unsuitable for the times.

    If Hillary Clinton talked about what she would do about the issues that face the average American citizen voter in plain terms, and repeat her message, she might come off as having a platform that cares about a majority of voters.

    Her message is muddled and unclear, whereas Donald Trump's is easily repeated. Let's also talk about Donald Trump's experience as a husband and a business mogul - there's very little to suggest that he disrespected women and in fact many are in key positions in his company. His ex-wives and kids don't seem to make the gossip pages. Hillary and Bill on the other hand can't seem to avoid controversy and much of it is about women.

    She might be held to a higher standard, but much of the problems of HRC as self-inflicted. And that isn't something that has anything to do with her age or her sex.

  110. " It's about Hillary being unsuitable for the times." According to. . .? Well, you, of course.

  111. When Bill's dalliances were exploited by a rigid, puritan America, the Russians didn't see much in it, on the contrary, called Bill a "muzjik", a real man; the French were un-flummoxed, citing Mitterrand's amante and daughter out of wedlock as perfectly natural, while the Guardian could not be troubled beyond "kissing of the presidential mace"... Hillary took a tough stand though on the female violator, and Maureen Dowd explained it better than I can. Sexual adventures notwithstanding, feminists should ask why Hillary is taking Goldman Sacks money, why Chelsea is marrying a Goldman Sack man; it was Goldman Sack that got fined five billion dollars not for crossing the street in the wrong place, but by crossing the law. We see a plethora of questionable liaisons that should be scandalous, unless, of course, we root for muzjiks, fancy ourselves French, and not mind honoring the presidential mace as "that woman" did.

  112. It is amazing when more things change, the more it stays the same. As I see the cohort of caricatures of men in the frey, she seems like the only Man among the Candidates. She is the only PERSON who has the grit, tenacity, understanding of issues and policy whose resumé is out of this world. She is brilliant, thinks on her feet and a steeliness that no other candidate can summon. Inane, irrelevant topics like her hair, her clothes, her laugh even her lunch are points of debate trying to crucify her because she has the XX chromosome. Let me tell you, when I vote for Hillary, it is because she is the only 'Person' cabable of doing the job of President. I would want her stable mind and stable hand on the Red Button.

  113. Would that be the same "stable" hand that supported illegal regime change in Libya and thereby brought ISIS to the Afican continent? Or the same hand that knew about and supported arming, training and funding unvetted Syrian rebels on behalf of that superpower of human rights, the Saudis?

  114. This is the same stable hand who kept a private server to keep her official communications free from prying eyes, and then wiped that server when asked for the official contents?

    Then we learn she had sidebar communications on highly sensitive topics with Richard Blumenthal which she failed to turn over when asked?

    And then there's that little ditty in the NY Times of Russian corporations giving her foundation millions, and she just happened to argue in favor of their desired policy.

    Money and power - that's what she cares about. Laws, and the country are secondary, or not even a consideration.

  115. She is the only person to laugh at an underage rape victim. FACT

  116. i think trump could use a little more help in this category of political appeal.

  117. Clinton is a feminist in the same vein as Cersei from Game of Thrones. It is all about power and nothing more.

  118. I get it. Hillary's feminism is a sort of "get out of jail free" card. Since Hillary is a woman, then it's OK for her to receive large contributions from drug companies and healthcare companies and then say that single-payer is an impossible dream. If a man did that, he'd just be a corrupt and hypocritical politician. But it's OK if Hillary does it.

  119. Having been brought up in a military family, I understand fully that to win a war you must understand and work with the realities of your opponents. It doesn't work to charge out ahead of the line, beating you breast and waving your banner in a display of bravery.

  120. "…Hillary Clinton is scolded for turning on & helping to stigmatize the women who accused her husband of misconduct, which oddly means that she may pay more of a price for his misbehavior than he ever did. That irony would encapsulate the truism that whatever the progress, women are often still held to a higher standard than men."

    You are mistaken, Mr. Kristof.. She will pay for her own behavior. She is an abuser of women in her own right. She may, in the end pay a higher price because she is a feminist fake whose only rationale for running is her gender. Savvy women are revolted by her.

    Regarding the Clinton assaults, WSJ, NYT, Fox, Trump–& virtually everyone else–are missing the elephant in the room–Hillary–who promotes herself as the feminist in the race. That she rode to notoriety on the backs of her predatory husband & the women they abused says otherwise.

    The charging of Bill Cosby reminds us that the Clintons, too, are not above the law.

    Unfortunately, the statutes of limitation have run on the Clinton crimes.

    But there are no statutes of limitation in the court of public opinion. It is critical all voters inform themselves & issue their verdict with their votes.

    There are 2 relevant videos online, the Dateline NBC investigation of the alleged rape of Juanita Broaddrick by Bill Clinton, & an interview of Broaddrick detailing the alleged threat by Mrs. Clinton two week later.

    I urge anyone planning to pull the lever for the feminist pretender to watch both.

  121. I am a very savvy woman. I whole-heartedly support Hilary Clinton.

    Any one who gets elected will be forced to work with the status quo and then use what power he/she has to incrementally change things. Obama is a graphic illustration of this truth and I am not being derogatory. Obamacare is the example. Of course we all wanted single payer and still do but establishing Obamacare, given the ugly realities of this plutocracy, was a necessarily incremental step towards social justice.

    Like Obama, Hilary is a realist. I'm afraid that Bernie's election would only lead to a version of the charge of the light brigade.

  122. Please do not attempt to speak for me or anyone else who has a very different view about the accomplishments and, yes, the personal history of Hillary Clinton. "Savvy women are revolted by her" is NOT a true statement, and you sound as shrill as Sarah Palin when you make it. It is discouraging to see that many who consider themselves to be progressives and morally superior to the Republicans are stooping to the same level of discourse and lack of civility in the political discussions this year. While I don't support Mr. Sanders for a variety of reasons, I do admire the decency he exhibits (for the most part) towards Mrs. Clinton, and his refusal to surrender a sense of civility. I wish many of his supporters would follow his example.

  123. I would be thrilled to help vote in the first woman president. But not JUST to have a woman president.
    Hillary's problem isn't changing her surname, or 'standing by Bill' through his transgressions, or eschewing cookie baking for career advancement.
    Her problem is her constant shape shifting to try to appease whomever criticizes her. She does this by compromising her ideals and her positions; to the point that I - and apparently a whole lot of other people - don't know for certain what they are. She would rather switch than fight (to upend an old TV ad).
    It's one thing to change your mind on an issue over time as you gather more insight. It's another to be constantly chasing polls and money to figure out what your position ought to be on any given issue.
    While I believe she does truly have concern for underprivileged children and disadvantaged women, it isn't really to any greater degree than most women democrats.
    A strong female voice on the left will always be needed and wanted, but there is nothing special about hers.

  124. Americans are too overly obsessed with having the first female president of this country; that's the basic problem.

  125. I think you mean "male Americans."

  126. Dear Nicholas Kristoff,
    I greatly admire your courage and humanity. Unfortunately, I don't think that Hillary Clinton's ethics are on the same level as yours. I don't see how she can take money from Wall Street and from military corporations and act in the best interest of all Americans. Recently, in Mother Jones magazine, there was an article about how nations that had donated to the Clinton foundation got preferential arms deals when she was Secretary of State. Check it out. I would love to see a woman as president, but I think Elizabeth Warren would be a much better candidate.

  127. Warren would be great. Her campaign would be one of the most exciting ever. She'd lose badly, but we'd all be inspired -- until the Greedy Obnoxious Psychopath who would win got in office and with an equally sociopathic Congress dismantled everything Warren stands for.

  128. What ever happened to voting for people on the issues, their past performance in office and the stamina they've exhibited in dealing with hard issues and a grueling work schedule. I don't care one way or the other if Hillary is or isn't a feminist. What I care about is that she seemed overwhelmed by the demands of being Secretary of State. If Secretary of State was too taxing, why in the world would you run for president. Have we ever had such a disappointing crew of candidates for president as the ones we're offered now?

  129. "she seemed overwhelmed by the demands of being Secretary of State. If Secretary of State was too taxing, why in the world would you run for president."

    The word "seemed" is an important word in your statement. "Seemed" to whom? Not to me, for example.

  130. she is not trusted or believed. that is not a gender issue.

  131. I disagree. So called "uppity women" are not trusted or believed in the United States. Think of Lily Ledbetter (think of me, while you're at it.)

  132. 86 or more countries have already had female heads of state (some more than once). Don't we have enough evidence yet to know how women differ from men in public office?

  133. I want to commend Nicholas Kristoff for his praise of Hillary Clinton as a feminist, something you rarely read in the NY Times. However there are other examples that Kristoff left out:
    On September 5th 1995 Hillary Clinton gave the greatest and most famous feminist speech of all time at the UN 4th World Conference in Beijing where Hillary Clinton said that "woman`s rights are human rights".The Clinton administration was opposed to her giving the speech but she gave it anyway.
    Hillary organized Irish women to support the Northern Ireland Peace Agreement and that is why she is in the Irish Hall of Fame.
    When Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State human rights groups in Saudi Arabia were outraged that a 50 year old Saudi man was about to marry an 8 year old girl.The Saudi courts rejected the mother`s plea to stop the marriage. Hillary called Saudi authorities and said "Fix this on your own and I won`t say a word". A new judge was appointed and the child was given a quickie divorce.

  134. Thank you.

  135. As Mr Clinton was able to serve his full term, did HRC benefit as a result? Did her defense of Mr Clinton help preserve his presidency? Had Mr Clinton actually been removed from office would HRC run for Senate? Be named SOS? Has HRC benefitted from her prior stance or is she a victim now? Perhaps both are true.

  136. Yes, Hillary has been subjected to sexism. Yes, Donald is guilty of sexism. That having been said, Hillary has unfinished issues that the Republicans are eagerly awaiting to tie her up with, such as Benghazi, emails, Clinton Fund in Haiti, the soap opera that is the Clintons, etc. She can't get out of her own way when trying to resolve these issues, (and in my mind they are largely non-issues). She prevaricates a la Bill and will tie up the nation in nonsense. She seems to be a bit of a loner, but what is needed now is a Democrat with significant coattails to load the Congress. She appears to be all about Hillary and not about the issues. The Democrats should have come up with female alternatives like Senator Amy Klobuchar or Governor Gina Raymondo, rather than a 'rightful heir to the throne'. She is too ready to send out the troops rather than rely on diplomacy, which is strange for a Secretary of State. Please spare us from a another season of 'The Clintons'!

  137. Seriously, get some new talking points. This is thin gruel. "She appears to be all about Hillary". Ugh. "Prevaricates a la Bill". Nonsense is right.

  138. Are you kidding? Benghazi is a dead horse beaten to a pulp.

  139. It's hard to consider Hillary Clinton as a feminist when she has denigrated and attempted to destroy the women who accused her husband of sexual harassment or even rape. In that respect she more represents a 1970's male, who rarely believed women's claims of rape.

    And this whole thing about taxing tampons is ridiculous. Clothes are also a necessity and they are subject to the same sales tax as tampons - at least here in Ohio. Depends and diapers are a necessity for those who need them - but they are taxed too.

    If we exempted every "necessity" from the sales tax, there wouldn't be much left to tax. But here's a suggestion for New York: Let's exempt feminine hygiene products from the NY sales tax and to to make up the shortfall, let's eliminate the sales tax exemption for the New York Times.

  140. Spoken like a "1970s male": The article explains that they are taxed inexplicably as "luxury items".

    Since we can't cure Stoopid it would be nice to be able to tax it.

  141. I am attracted to this column opposing sex traffiking of children specifically.

    Only way to fight this is by decriminalizing child sex traffic making it a civil offense. Otherwise the felony will fall within the purview of the county, state and federal prosecutors/DAs. Informants of other felonies down the road from our intergenerational family business had been given immunity from federal, state and local governments for human trafficking for a generation.

    US laws and executive orders have a long way to go to adhere to basic human rights. Change is needed if US is to be respected.

  142. so here is a higher standard for all women to aspire to:

    "as President Obama’s own former defense secretary, Robert Gates, admitted, “the odds are pretty high” that her home server was accessed by one or more hostile foreign governments."

    wipe it away with a......"cloth"?

  143. But Robert Gates is guessing. Where's the evidence?

  144. The implication I should be excited solely by idea of first woman president is annoying and condescending; Clinton should drop it.
    Yes it's beyond time, but not just any woman, and these times of money buying our politicians hence laws and tax policy have to be stopped.
    Sanders is the only one talking the talk and walking the walk.
    Trump and Sanders are both vilified by their national parties and the general political/media/entertainment vested interests, yet they each get more popular on their respective sides.
    (Only one has actual experience and policies.)
    The people know both parties are bought.
    Gender is not the big issue in this election, Big Money is.

  145. Many young women do not support feminism in the classical sense because they don't think there is sexism.

    This is partly true - a woman experiences more sexism as she makes progress in the society and in her career. When you are a student and fortunate enough to come from a comfortable background you feel invincible. You think sexism doesn't apply to you and therefore you don't need any woman championing for women's and children's rights.
    You even think that Bernie Sanders is more feminist than Hillary Clinton.

    They will find out in a decade or two how wrong and naive they are.

    I did.

  146. That's because they are young...give them time...

  147. Those same college women, who do not think sexism exists, grade their female professors lower than the males. If they get a poor grade from a man, they think they didn't work hard enough or understand the material well enough. If they get a poor grade from a woman, she is a - as Barbara Bush said, "rhymes with rich". Young women are sexists, themselves. They just don't know it.

  148. Me too. You describe exactly what happened to me. As a college student and young professional, I was treated the same as the super majority of men in my classes and work life. Then, I had my first child and realized my boss with two kids at home did not need to leave the meeting at 6:00 PM because HE needed to get home to the family. But I did. Then, I quit work because I couldn't do well the only two things I wanted to do well: mother and work. I could only do one and there was no choice about what I had to do well. That's when I realized how uneven the playing field in our society is toward women.

  149. Let's face it, if the tables were turned and it was Bill running for president, people would be supporting him all the way. Not attacking him on every single sin committed in the limelight. There would be no " You're a lier!" You cannot be president! People whom oppose Hillary Rodam Clinton need to admit it's because she's a woman. Simple as that!

    When are people going to stop pretending that they are for woman equality and advancement. That's the real lie in politics. The US has had so many success' , if the US really wanted a woman president there would have been one already. Just look at who her potential Republican nominee may be; trump. Disgusting, vial, woman hating man , who I may point out is not afraid to show it. And you liberals won't stand up for Rodham Clinton! Shame on you.

  150. Thank you.

  151. I am both a liberal and a woman. I "won't stand up for [Hillary]" because she is entirely capable of standing up for herself. If she isn't, she's not only in the wrong ballpark; she isn't even in the right game.

    Hillary is so ready to attack and to see herself as attacked that her campaign foolishly called out Sanders campaign for obliquely referring to her in a mild ad. It was "foolish" because an ad that would only have been seen by the residents of Iowa and New Hampshire had its profile raised to national level. By calling attention to it, she amplified the message. Not a winning strategy.

    I will not be voting for Hillary in the primary, however. She is too much Republican-lite for my tastes and too bellicose. If I want bellicose, the other side has it in spades. All that lack is the Republican-lite.

    No, I will vote for Bernie because he has my concerns front and center. He also has something rarer than being a woman in politics: integrity. Now, that truly is a quality I never thought I would see in a presidential candidate again in my lifetime.

  152. "Another Gallup survey found that what people liked most about a Clinton candidacy was her gender. Her chromosomes are, at least for Democrats, her biggest selling point."

    nice selling point for lizard-face Clinton: Vote for me, I'm a woman!

    Nice.. now, why would ANY man vote for her then?

    Trump will trounce Clinton. It will be glorious to watch. And a bit sad.. for her

  153. It would be sad for her, but much sadder for the US.

  154. Lots of men like women. Some men even call themselves feminists.

  155. Trump is no movie star, Mike.
    Vote for me, I'm a demagogue.

  156. You commented that it may be a sign of progress that young women "don't see their space defined by a glass ceiling." I don't think it is a sign of progress. I think it is a sign that women don't really experience gender discrimination until they age, gain experience and compete with men for higher level jobs. Being young affords women some advantages that evaporate with age. I predict that looking back on their careers 30 years from now, their perspectives will have changed.

  157. Yes, a woman sitting in the oval office is long overdue. Unfortunately, we asked Elizabeth Warren and she said "no.:

  158. I am a woman and I am not going to vote for Hillary Clinton because she is a woman, I am not going to vote for her because she is a Democrat, I am going to vote for her because she is the most qualified person running for the office of President of the United States. The fact that she will fight for women makes that a bonus. The fact that she will fight for the Middle Class is a huge bonus, ties to Wall Street aside.
    As for her paying for the transgressions of her husband, Donald Trump should not cast stones. His house is made of thin glass. The Republicans are using Bill Clinton's misdeeds as a distraction from the fact that their candidates are odious and dangerous, and offer nothing but the same tired ultra conservative platitudes that are indecent. Hillary Clinton is not and should not be held responsible for whatever her husband did.

  159. Can one really be for the Middle Class and Wall Street concurrently? That is not the prevailing wisdom of the NYT editorials or the majority of its readers. Hillary is a Republican when it comes to financial and macroeconomic policies, coziness with Wall Street and foreign affairs.

  160. You don't note that Hillary is trying to attack Bernie for being too naive about foreign affairs to be president. Curious that on the most important foreign policy decision of the 21st century, the invasion of Iraq, it was Hillary who allowed herself to be deceived by phony intelligence.

  161. "Hillary is a Republican when it comes to financial and macroeconomic policies, coziness with Wall Street and foreign affairs." Actually, those attributes make her a full-fledged Democrat. Most Repubs would fit that description, too.

  162. The "novelty" of a woman campaigning for the presidency, and doing so with one of the most impressive resumes in the race, raises another problem. It's hard for many Hillary supporters to come to grips with the fact that she may prove to be like many male candidates over the years who were eminently qualified on paper but were simply not effective candidates (though they tried more than once). Not because she's a woman, or held to a different standard, or judged harshly by an electorate won't elect a woman, but because she isn't running a particularly strong campaign or connecting effectively and persuasively with the concerns of today's electorate. Nor is she overcoming the public's sense that expediency is her higher value (and, to be gender neutral, her husband's highest value). And, that realization, more than starry-eyed idealism, is leading some of us to embrace the implausible candidacy of Senator Sanders, rather than go down with a ship we didn't want to be on in the first place.

  163. "It's hard for many Hillary supporters to come to grips with the fact that she may prove to be like many male candidates over the years who were eminently qualified on paper but were simply not effective candidates"

    Have you any data to back up this statement?

  164. "most impressive resumes in the race" someone has had a little too much too drink.

  165. Of course, HRC also has many factors that could disqualify her, that have nothing to do with her gender. Her priorities, in the fact that big money is the family business. Her allegiances, in that she brings with her millions given by billionaires; corporations (American and foreign, including Russian); and foreign governments, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and others. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-a...

    Her hawkishness, as in her stating, and re-confirming, that she would "annihilate" Iran; and now, is willing to down Russian planes in Syria. (Really? We want to escalate a confrontation with Russia, in Syria?)

    Her disdain for the women who choose to stay home, and who yes, might even bake cookies. Her deafness to the pain of racism, in declaring after all the videos that "All lives matter." Her lack of interest in the issues of middle America, until big crowds and polling figures told her that these were issues that would gain her votes.

    Some of us believe that true feminism is equality, not pandering because of sex. And that a true feminist would urge us all to vote according to our values and beliefs, not our gender.

  166. I find it interesting that this turns up in your litany: "Her disdain for the women who choose to stay home, and who yes, might even bake cookies." Hmmmm.

  167. I support Bernie Sanders because he is a lifelong progressive who knows the biggest problem in politics is money. Get rid of Super PACs, Citizens United, and the influence of rich donors, and we could elect moderate and progressive candidates who spend their time governing instead of fundraising.

    That said, if Clinton is the nominee I will gladly support her. (Any Sanders supporter who doesn't vote for Clinton is helping elect a Republican. Let's not repeat the disaster of 2000 when Nader siphoned enough Gore votes in Florida to get Bush elected.)

    Hillary Clinton, whatever her faults as a campaigner, is smart, tough, and experienced. We might not get the political "revolution" America needs, but we would get a very capable leader who would do more for women's rights globally ("half the sky") than anyone else on earth.

  168. Considering that the former chair of the DNC, Ed Rendell, has said that he'd support Bloomberg if he ran as an independent over Sanders if he gets the nomination sounds to me like he is saying that it's either Clinton or forget getting his vote.
    How come the Sanders people shouldn't feel the same way especially as how the DNC has tried to put it's thumb on the scale for Hillary in every one of its actions so far.

  169. That must be one really big magic wand Bernie has if he can "Get rid of Super PACs, Citizens United, and the influence of rich donors, and...elect moderate and progressive candidates who spend their time governing instead of fundraising." Seriously? this is America, not cloud cuckoo land.

  170. Why hasn't the FBI secured the remaining files? Why isn't Hillary in prison yet?

    The Democratic Party is an Obamanation to the USA.

  171. Bruce, I wish I were wrong but you are more likely to spend next summer on the moon than see Hillary under an indictment.

  172. As Maurice Chevalier said, "Old age is not so bad when you consider the alternative."

    The Democrats are not so bad when you consider the alternative.

    I do not like the pro-abortion Democrats any more than you do.

    But where is the choice?

  173. Hillary a feminist. This is better than the comedy channel.

  174. You have to have fought battles to understand war.

  175. I'm a feminist. I think Hillary is immensely qualified for the job. I don't like her connection to Wall St. I don't care what she said 15 years ago about the women involved with Bill. I care about her policies and who her Supreme Court nominees would be. I'm also scared of 8 more years of obstructionism by ta GOP that will be faced with a different version of "the other" in the White House. She's a pragmatist. What's her answer to that?

  176. So are you saying that one's character means little?
    Maybe you could channel MLK and let him know just how wrong he was.

  177. So I guess your point, Mr. Kristof, is that it was acceptable for Hillary Clinton to trash and try to silence the women her husband abused.

  178. Silenced? Good grief, Monica Lewinski gave a Ted Talk! Not one of the women who accused Bill Clinton was kept quiet, we have all known their names and their stories for nearly twenty years. This moral outrage for their sakes is a little rich, where were you when these stories were fresh? And did expect the Clintons to just roll over when their reputations were at stake?

  179. Maryellen said "try to silence" and try they did. And for a time were successful.

  180. Hillary Clinton is a feminist to the extent that she exploits gender to advance a positive perception of herself among peers who haven't met Bill alone yet.

  181. Men, of course, never use gender to prevail.

  182. Did Margaret Thatcher ever hold herself up as a feminist? Or complain about gender bias? No. She was just a respected leader. Despite her detractors, she persevered and never played the victim. A woman of substance. No. A person of substance.

    Hillary Rodham Clinton has not exhibited that confidence nor consistency of character to prevail.

  183. Margaret Thatcher did not have to wrestle with the high level of misogyny that exists in the United States. Hilary Clinton does have to wrestle with the high level of misogyny in the United States. Thus, your comparison of the two women is flawed.

    Clearly, racism and misogyny are neck and neck in the US's race for the bottom. Evidence: a black man has been elected president before any woman. That mirrors the fact that black men were given the vote 60 years before women of any color were allowed to vote in the United States.

    Bernie, of course, does not have to deal with that.

  184. Great example, all Hillary has is her gender. The point Kristof is missing is Hillarys not only acquiesce in the accusations against Bill , but her support of his attacks. She turned those women's complaints into a political discussion. As to Bill not being held accountable, that was the national media's decision to quickly dismiss those women, its was a political decision not to damage Bill in his campaign against GHW Bush. Bill continues to be enabled by the press only due to his political affiliations. Hillary may be elected, but she will come into office damaged , with endless past scandals and a lack of respect.

  185. Thankyou for telling it like it was. Mrs. Thatcher was a classy, dignified woman worthy of respect.
    When was the last time such was written about Mrs. Clinton?

  186. Whether Mrs. Clinton wins the primaries or not, whether she is the Democratic nominee for president or not, and whether she is elected to be the next US president or not, Mrs. Clinton will leave a mark, for the better, on the political process. She will no doubt go down in history as one of the most influential women in modern times, having altered, perhaps for ever, mistaken perceptions about the vital role women play in political affairs.

    For this, the nation should be eternally grateful to Mrs. Clinton.

    I also admired Mrs. Clinton greatly during her eight years as the nation's First Lady. I loathed the cooked-up charges leveled against her during that period, and was happy and relieved when she was exonerated.

    Yet I began to have reservations about her when she first began to campaign for a vacated seat in the US Senate from the State of New York, reversing prior principled positions she had publicly taken and announced as First Lady.

    Her reversed positions on humanitarian and political issues pertaining to the Middle East were especially and blatantly opportunistic. Her vote for the war against Iraq was particularly offensive and destructive.

    Yet with all her flaws, I will vote for Mrs. Clinton, were she to be the Democratic nominee, against any of the current Republican candidates.

    Yet Senator Sanders remains my favorite Democratic candidate, not because Mrs. Clinton is a woman, or not because she is not a capable political figure, but in spite of both.

  187. In spite of the fact that she is a woman? Explain, please.

  188. Hilter was "influential" too. Lying, corrupt, venal, Hillary's influence is not positive.

  189. I can already imagine Trump's attack: "What a loser! She couldn't even stand up to her own philandering husband; how can we expect her to stand up to Putin?"

    Go, Bernie!

  190. So I take it you tacitly accept Trump's sexism, and actually take it as a further reason to go for Bernie (which I think was pre-ordained anyway).

    Imagine if Trump went after Bernie as the oldest person ever running for his first term as president -- a serious consideration when we would rely on his continued health and mental capacities while in office. It's a rather potent negative for the Republicans to push.

    Would you shout "Go Hillary?"

  191. That's a cheap shot, not surprising from Mr Trump, but I thought Bernie supporters were above such tactics.

  192. Do you disagree with Trump's imaginary attack?

  193. For 13 years in a row, Hillary has been the world's most admired woman.

    THAT is a bully pulpit, and one a US President could use to her advantage.

    #FusionTicket

  194. Hiliary Clinton is NOT leading in the polls for Democrats in the early primary states. Bernie Sanders is. And that is who I will vote for, because there has been complete dedication to the public good in his record. Hiliary Clinton is a corporatist with huge ties to Wall Street, prison corporations, Monsanto, the war profiteers and a host of other things I do not want our country to be represented by.

  195. Complete dedication? He served in DC for 27 years and went home to Vermont every weekend. That's dedication? No wonder they hadn't heard of him in most of America before the campaign.

  196. How is going home to Vermont every weekend NOT dedication? Did congress have sessions over the weekend that he refused to attend? No. Nice try though.

  197. I liked your observations about "how far we have come", but I think when Clinton or another woman becomes President there absolutely will be a national conversation about sexism that is just as painful and ugly as the racism conversation has been with the catalyst of a mixed race President in office.

    But Bring it On. Because we are not going to get past these issues that hold back national creativity until we rip off the scabs. People who blame Obama for "more racism" are naive. These things don't just "unexist" because we managed to pretend they really weren't there. We are better off for acknowledging it and getting on with it. It will be the same with Clinton and sexism- the nasty stuff will start Day One. We know what to expect this time.

  198. The sexism and attacks on Clinton haven't even begun. Bernie is too much of a gentleman. The GOP won't be.

    And it will probably be effective among that section of the electorate that thinks that destroying the lives of women for speaking the truth about your cheating husband is less than admirable and perhaps deserves more than just a Scolding.

    Sexual mores and public perceptions have changed a lot since the 1990's. A President who had 'a bit on the side' was often portrayed as a charming rogue. Many people today would see him as a sexual predator.

    The scorched earth response seeking to destroy women who told the truth about your husbands sexual adventures may have been considered very 'Stand by Your Man"in the 90's. Many people today see it as shielding and enabling a sexual predator. Ask any Catholic Bishop. Times have changed.

    Expect a lot of Republican ads on point.

  199. NK writes: " I hope that women will push for a more robust discussion of domestic violence, human trafficking, reproductive health care, equal pay and women’s rights worldwide, issues that never received the attention they deserved when we men monopolized the stage." I too hope for more discussion and also action on these issues, to which you might add adequate parental leave for both women and men, and affordable daycare. But men have not monopolized the "stage" for a long time now. For decades, while feminists and their allies in Europe insisted on advancing such issues, those in the US focused on getting everyone to call actresses actors and getting corporations and ad agencies to stop making ads that were sexist toward women (a good idea), which were then replaced by ads that are sexist toward men. So the Trumps of this world are not the only ones responsible for slow progress on substantive matters in the US.

  200. Now that we're soon ending the two terms of our first black president, the idea of having a first woman president seems a logical, time-has-come impulse. Unfortunately I don't feel Hillary Clinton should be that woman. For all her vaunted experience, there has been a perpetual cloud of ethical malfeasance that follows her around, much as the dust is always hanging around Pigpen from the Peanuts cartoons.

    From her early days of being fired from the Watergate investigation for ethical violations, to the recent discovery of information above top secret classification on her illegal server, these are the marks of serious character flaws, if not an offence worthy of criminal prosecution, not election to the highest office. Add that she is in the thrall of Wall Street and that the Clinton Foundation has taken donations from countries who's laws are far less as admirable as to the "human rights" she purports to believe in and advocate for, the hypocrisy is blatant.

    If she were not so self-serving, she would recuse herself from the election. But since I son't see that happening absent being prosecuted, your assertion of her being held to a higher standard then men because she's a woman is misplaced. She's being held to the same standard of honesty as any other politician (or would-be politician in the form of Trump). The balance is weighed, and she comes up wanting.

  201. Snopes on your hypothesis: "A pair of articles published during Hillary Clinton's run for the presidency in 2008, one by Northstar Writers Group founder Dan Calabrese and one by Jerry Zeifman himself, asserted that Zeifman was Hillary's supervisor during the Watergate investigation and that he eventually fired her from the investigation for "unethical, dishonest" conduct. However, whatever Zeifman may have thought of Hillary and her work during the investigation, he was not her supervisor, neither he nor anyone else fired her from her position on the Impeachment Inquiry staff (Zeifman in fact didn't have the power to fire her, even had he wanted to do so), his description of her conduct as "unethical" and "dishonest" is his personal, highly subjective characterization, and the "facts" on which he bases that characterization are ones that he has contradicted himself about on multiple occasions."

    Nice try.

  202. I heard from a millennial commentator that it is only "women of a certain age" who see a need for a female president. Well, if they continue to vote for men who have no respect for women's issues, their wives or their daughters, then we will all go back to the 1910s when Margaret Sanger saw the deaths of 150,000 women, the lack of health care for women and thus their children, families at risk because of the woman of the family has to stay home to take care of an elderly parent. Men still think that they know best for women. Tell that to a woman denied care at a hospital when she has to choose between her death or the death of a child.

  203. I guess I have a problem with this because I am a Quebecer and feminism is so 20th century. Our last Prime Minister was mean, nasty and controlling the fact she was a woman really was inconsequential. While the rest of Canada was debating hijabs Quebec was debating hijabs, crucifixes, skull caps and turbans.
    I admit to having a particular distaste for Hillary but I ask myself every day whether that is because she is a woman and every day I answer I have the exact same distaste for Bill.
    Still at the end of the day I would sooner see a (Rodham) Clinton in the White House than a 2016 Republican.
    Incidentally if she should she visit Quebec she is and will always be Hillary Rodham.

  204. Hilary willfully and actively did her best to destroy the reputation and the lives of victims of a sexual predator (her husband). For political purposes. No, it is not about what her husband did (who is not running), it is about what she did (who is). Today, she wants to wear the mantle of defender of women. It induces nausea.

    Palin is maybe the equivalent on the right, if we are measuring by hypocrisy. Maybe. Nearly everyone else running on both sides is a moral saint compared to Hilary.

    I'd says it is surprising how many people here defend this kind of person, but sadly, it isn't. It is all about the end goal - getting dems into office. Any vile person is forgiven, the preyed-upon women's who's characters were assassinated forgotten, to that end. Despicable.

    If we are going to hold up Hilary as the defender of women, let us at least be consistent and also elevate Dennis Hastert to defender of the well-bring of children. No? Well then stop embarrassing yourselves and just be up-front about it; any villain is fine, as long as it gets team blue elected.

  205. Donald Trump is a moral saint compared to Hillary?

  206. Much of the criticism of Hilary stems not from gender but from actions. Like her husband, she believes that she can assert external positions while her personal action reek of self dealing and hypocrisy. She hates Wall Street while taking millions in for "speeches" and made 100x her money trading commodities. She promotes woman's rights while systematically trying to destroy women abused by her husband. She wants to be seen as a foreign policy hawk while she signed off on deals giving the Russians control of much of North America's uranium reserves while her foundation received $2.35M in "donations" from the Uranium One's Chairman. Time after time, she demonstrates disregard for personal ethics while promoting an evolving agenda. I can't stand/wont vote for trump or cruz and I won't vote for Bernie because I believe that his policies are simply wrong. However, I cannot fault either Bernie or President Obama on ethical issues. In both cases, they consistently lead by example. Hilary should not be President and achieved nothing during her career that was not the result of a Machiavellian political machine

  207. Hillary handles the double standards well. The bro-gressives always pretend if they get the support of the Woman Vote they'll help with our feminist causes. Since we got the right to vote and entered the full time workforce we are still waiting for real paid leave, equal pay, affordable childcare and fully funded reproductive health care. Bernie isn't going to make those things a priority if he hasn't helped make them a reality after decades in DC. Hillary speaks to them daily and has plans to make them happen...without a revolution. Breaking up the big banks is not going to make life better for a working parent or change the fundamental racial and gender biases that are entrenched in our culture. Women possess skills and talents to address these challenges.

  208. "So today Hillary Clinton is scolded for... helping to stigmatize the women who accused her husband of misconduct, which oddly means that she may pay more of a price for his misbehavior than he ever did." This might be the first time ever that I've disagreed with you, Mr. Kristof. Hillary Clinton will pay the price not because of a sexist double standard but because of concerns about her character. When viewed as a whole, her efforts to disparage her husband's accusers, her use of a private email server while Secretary of State, her use of secretive super PACs, and her acceptance of enormous public speaking fees and campaign contributions from Wall Street's biggest players, reveal an untrustworthy person, driven by self-interest, running a traditional style campaign reliant on wealthy backers who undoubtedly expect something in return. My vote will go to the candidate whose character flaws have yet to emerge AND who will be beholden to no one but the voters come next January.

  209. You forget charging college and universities hundreds of thousands of dollars for speaking to students. And stealing furnishings from the White House when they left. They were caught and return the items. And of course blamed others.

  210. Good article. I'm not a fan of the last paragraph though. It's not odd that Hillary has had to pay a higher price for her husband's behavior - she just happened to be at the start of her career as an elected official, and man, do I hate how she treated those women in the 90s. Not cool.

    I actually like Hillary (not as much as Bernie), but the scolding is justified, and it did leave a public dent in her reputation as a feminist. I wish that she would express regret for that when she addresses younger women.

  211. To hold Hillary accountable for her vilification of Monica in the Bill/Monica affair is not, as Kristof suggests, having Hillary pay for Bill's misdeeds nor is it holding women to a higher standard than men.

    Hillary, as a feminist, should have been defending Monica. That's right. Hillary should have defended her husband's young, naive mistress from abuse, not heaped more on. In the Bill/Monica affair, who was the perpetrator and who the victim? Monica, 20 some years old, behaved as one might expect a very young, naive woman to react when an older, powerful, (some say) attractive man responded to her attention. It was Bill's responsibility to say no, and he didn't.

    Hillary's response to the whole affair should have been publicly something like this: "Bill very much wronged me as well as the young woman he took advantage of in satisfying his desires. Bill should have known that this would end badly for the young woman and consequently avoided it. Since he didn't, he has to take responsibility for the relationship and should ask the public, as I do, not to judge the young woman for what was youthful thoughtlessness. I'll add that I want to preserve our marriage, and Bill and I will work on that."

    That would have been the response of a feminist, actually of any thoughtful human being. The response should not have been, as Hillary did, to lay more shame on a smitten, misguided young woman who hadn't thought through the consequences of what she was doing.

  212. Yes, because in the real world, people leap to defend the folks their spouse cheats with. Maybe people get marriage counseling like that way out in Boise, ID. har

  213. Other similarly charged men have stepped up to the
    confession box on their own, Steve. Think about it.

  214. "So today Hillary Clinton is scolded for turning on and helping to stigmatize the women who accused her husband of misconduct...." Misconduct? Now that is a squishy word choice.

    Juanita Broaddrick (look her up in Wikipedia) claims that Clinton RAPED her in 1978, and her story is credible.

    I can understand why Hillary was OK with this. Her political career depended on it. I suppose she thinks the ends justify the means. But we have quite enough lying, two-faced politicians. Add to that her penchant for hobnobbing with Wall Street titans and her vote for invading Iraq in 2003, one must ask: is this the best lady we could have as our first woman President? I would prefer Elizabeth Warren for President over every other woman, and man.

    I see this column as just another shilling for Hillary by the elites, especially when she is opposed by a much stronger, more honest, more trustworthy candidate: Bernie Sanders. It also diminishes the reputation of Mr. Kristof, in light of the fact that Bill Clinton is very likely a former rapist, enabled by his wife, Hillary Clinton. (Had Bill Clinton not been a powerful politician, but an ordinary American, he might have ended up in prison instead of the Oval Office.)

  215. Juanita Broaddrick did not accuse Clinton of rape until 1999, 21 years after the alleged rape, which she did mention to her then husband. Ken Starr did not chose to prosecute because the was not sufficient evidence. There may well have been a rape but there is no evidence Hillary knew about it or did anything to cover it up. Get your facts straight.

  216. By your logic Bill Cosby should be off the hook.

  217. At 71, I thought we'd be so much further along toward human/earthling. The astronaut said, "When I looked back at the Planet Earth from space, what struck me is that there aren't ANY lines on it." In that radical moment, I became an earthling. I *got* our fragility, the utter simplicity of our earthhood. There is no Planet B. We must tenderly tend this one.

    The spastic narrow-hearted misogyny that still is a plague upon the Planet dismays me. The misogyny of women towards women makes me most bone-marrow sad. I thought we could admire, be inspired by all smart, strong, dedicated people. The idiot stereotypical tarring of Hillary from kneejerk Id baffles me.

    Jung says we cannot heal unconscious contents until they become conscious. So I'm hoping that if Hillary is President, we'll begin, finally, the national and global process of letting women and girls thrive and bloom as their earth-right.

  218. "He that is without sin among you, let him cast a stone at her." Look, we all have made mistakes in our lives. The true character of a person is shown by what they do after such mistakes.

    Mrs. Clinton is a strong person who has achieved remarkable success and furthered and championed the cause of women and those without voices for a lifetime.

    Despite personal failings by her husband, Mrs. Clinton believed in her marriage, overcame adversity, raised a wonderful daughter, reached the pinnacle of success in all of her endeavors and continues to speak out on issues that matter to most Americans.

    It's time we stop judging Mrs. Clinton for past mistakes and instead focus on what she or other Presidential aspirants can do to help Americans.

  219. Oh I am sure many if not most of us have not attack the victims of sexual harassment, molestation, and rape for speaking up.

  220. How far back is the past? In 2014 and 2015 alone HRC collected $21,667,000 (not including Bill!) in speaking fees from the likes of Goldman Sachs, Bof A, Morgan Stanley, UBS, CIBC (bank regulation issues), KKR and Apollo (tax loophole for hedge fund manager issues) GE (export and ExIm Bank issues). Does this not offend? Does this not reach a different order-of-magnitude level of self-enrichment? Is this not Exhibit A for the argument that big money has corrupted politics???

  221. Saying that the difference between what the Clintons have gone through indicates that women are being held to a higher standard ignores individual differences between Bill and Hillary.
    Bill was a gifted campaigner who could tell a convincing lie without batting an eye. For all her efforts, Hillary has never acquired that skill. It has nothing to do with gender.

  222. Steve, that sounds nice, even egalitarian, until you look at statistics...numbers...that prove that women systemically get a bad deal in this country whether they decide to stay home with the kids or venture into the world of employment.

    Women are not only held to a very different, higher standard, they are also paid less for being more competent than their male counterparts. Ask a working woman how many times she's floated an idea in a meeting, had it shot down, and then floated by a man five minutes later to general applause. It's always sickening...

  223. People scold Clinton not because she's a woman but because of her lack of honesty, integrity and her playing the system for personal gain. Manipulating emails to spare scrutiny; selling speeches with her husband (reportedly $25 million worth in the past 24 months) to the very groups she now wants to take on as president make her a flawed candidate regardless of her professed policies (which change with the wind).

  224. Plenty of men give paid speeches...I hardly hear a peep from anyone about it. Are we resentful, boys, that a woman had the audacity to make money off the demand of to organizations to hear her voice? Sounds like sour, old, white man grapes to me.

    Hillary was always to the left of Bill and got many a tongue lashing from the media for it...feminism became a bad word just like regulation. Feminism means paying women equitable wages for their work without drinking their breast milk at work on a dare or playing crass, sexist grab-#@s games to humiliate us and keep us down. Regulation merely means having rules to prevent greedy businessmen disguised as public servants from gleefully poisoning our air and water aka Flint.

    Grow up, America. Hillary is a spectacularly qualified candidate. No one is as qualified and experience is being tossed in her face like an epithet. I'm talking to you, Bernie.

  225. Yes Krista, well known people make paid speeches. Recently a pundit wrote about Condoleezza Rice making paid speeches to excuse Hillary Clinton. The obvious difference: Rice had retired and was not running for high public office and had nothing to sell to the detriment of the public; and she didn't ask for $250K for a half hour's speech. Let's analyze the morality of the Clintons receiving $250-600K for speeches sometimes as short as 20 minutes. Does anyone think a speech per se is worth that kind of money? So what is the economic bargain between rational parties? When the Clintons (either of them) take the money what do they think they owe the party paying? Do they owe them something beyond the speech in terms of access? entitlement? If so, the Clintons have abused the public trust: they have nothing to give back but potential influence stemming from Hillary's position as POTUS. If not, have the Clintons snookered the likes of Goldman Sachs? I doubt that is the case; GS isn't known for often taking the bad side of the bargain. Hillary is immoral. It's not about feminism or politics. It's about empowering evil.

  226. JF, in the fee market, things are worth what people are willing to pay. Would you be happier if she only made 77% of what a man makes for a speech?

    Her speeches are worth what people are willing to pay...unless you're a closet communist or mysoginist? Haven't heard you mention the fees charged by republicans like Reagan, whose first paid speech had an astronomical fee and was for a foreign audience...Japan if my memory serves.

    The trouble with republicans isn't as much jingoism alas it is blatant hypocrisy about it.

  227. This part of one reader's comment is so compelling and succinct that I'd like to see it reposted for the benefit of those who may have missed it by not reading to the end:

  228. "Her chromosomes are, at least for Democrats, her biggest selling point." Hillary is playing this card to the hilt. But why are Democrats buying it? Are there convincing examples of of women in prominent government positions which show that women rule better than men? Or even that they lead differently? Where's the proof? HRC's "biggest selling point" sounds a lot like more of feminist inspired "revenge against the males" than a substansive factor for evaluating a candidate's worthiness.

    Sad for the country and especially sad for women.

  229. While I'm for Bernie Sanders now, I'll vote for Hillary Clinton if she's the nominee. How can I not? The rule still holds true that any Democrat is better than any Republican.

    But the strongest case for Hillary is not her sex; it is her experience, inside knowledge and political skills.

  230. This is a good column, but Nicholas Kristof may be a little too comfortable with the progress made by women in politics. Across the country there still are vast pockets of resentment against women seeking office – especially for high office.

    When we encounter these misogynist views among Republican men, we roll our eyes but are surprised only at the creepiness of Donald Trump’s sexism. Republicans are not going to change, which is perhaps the most important reason among dozens why they are unfit for the presidency.

    When we see and hear such views trotted out by Democrats, however, like those of some in the Bernie Sanders camp attacking on Hillary Clinton, we ought to be downright furious.

  231. Nothing new, we saw the same attacks from Obama supporters in 08 as we do among Sanders supporters today. I mean literally the same attacks. Copy & paste is alive and well among left-wing misogynists - men and women alike. Despicable.

  232. Whatever she does; wherever she goes it can be proudly stated from a feminist point of view that Hillary Clinton literally, figuratively, behaviorally, professionally, and politically already "wears the pants."

  233. Ms Clintons name did not cost Bill re-election. I was there and was in College and active in Politics. Bill Clinton got thrown out because he lied to the people of Arkansas and was called out because of it.

    Frank White was a Democrat who switched parties to run against Bill Clinton in the general election because he knew he could not beat him in the Democratic Primary. Clinton imposed some unpopular taxes among other things and broke campaign promises he made to voters in the previous election.

    He also lost because the Republican Party was energized by the Reagan candidacy and some of the Reagan support carried down ticket.

    Ms Clinton was despised then as now because the more people see her in unedited the less they like her. She comes across as a condescending know it all with a healthy amount of entitlement and a strong dose of professional victimhood. The dislike for her in Arkansas is widespread and visceral.

    Ms Clinton these days never misses a chance to play the "I'm a girl vote for me" line like a trump card in rallies and at Debates. That makes many cringe as nobody should vote for or against someone because of their sex.

    Despite being a Southern state Arkansas elected the first woman to serve a full term in the US Senate- Hattie Caraway - in 1932.
    http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=C000138

    Many dislike Ms Clinton not because she is a woman- they dislike her because she is not likable & they do not trust her.

  234. Yes, sexism is 'alive and well', and may continue its shameful course until there is a price to be paid, when immunity is gone. Demeaning women may, in fact, suggest that some men are afraid of women that speak up and able to counter with reasoned arguments a primeval paternalistic ritual. In fact, when we hear a bully (not necessarily Chris Christie, mind you), cowardice is part of the package.

  235. Liberal women really need to get a grip. Well, at least liberal white women. The whole sexist issue in Presidential politics is over. It's yesterday's news. The country elected a black man, with a white mother, whose last name was Obama to the WH. Twice. Game over! Sure, there will be some voters who won't vote for a woman, a black, a brown, a Catholic, a Mormon, a disabled, a non veteran, NYer, etc. Some prejudices will exist. But, the issue has been marginalized. Probably to the dismay of Hillary and the other perpetual victims.

  236. Hillary Clinton is not a feminist. The way that she personally attacked the victims of her husband's sexual predation disqualifies her from any qualification as a feminist.

    There are at least 14 cases of women who were his victims, Where was Hillary the feminist to defend them, when their names were dragged through the mud?

  237. i come from a background much different from those who comment here. as an italian-american i was raised in a culture where men had the say in certain grandiose affairs, i.e., soccer, world politics, concrete mixtures, building massive structures. the women , like my grandmother, truly ruled the family: how the
    children would be raised, the household budget, the health of the family, the arbiter of all disputes, the
    organization of all family matters. i don't think clinton has covered 'new' ground in raising the
    stature of 'women'...we always knew who ran our lives...our mothers, our grandmothers.. even tho i'm 76 and she's long gone my grandmother has been the greatest influence in my life. clinton? she' ok, no big deal. i think my grandmother was smarter.

  238. That was a common joke in the 50's and 60's, and I din't think it was limited to Italian-Americans: "I make the important decisions: I decide about Red China, and my wife decides what school the kids go to."

  239. There is so much erudite psychological analysis of HRC in the comments that one must wonder why there is so much mental disturbance and suicide in America.

  240. Poor Hillary, in her quest to be President, first woman President, has to endure shots about her track record, her being a woman, from those men who seek the Holy Grail. Seems a shame that she might be undone by that old womanizer from Arkansas.

  241. Hillary has been the focus of the GOP attack machine for some time now. Some of the comments here reflect the effectiveness of those repeated, daily attacks. Underlying much of the anger directed at her are two things to me: 1)her threat to the GOP as she just might be able to be an effective President, and in the process, deflating the effectiveness of their "war on women" SOP; and 2) "How can she make so much money? She is a woman for God's sake."

    She is my candidate because of her intellect and experience. There could be no better resume for the POTUS position than hers. Bernie is a good man where he is and may pull Hillary a bit more to the left as he campaigns, but, he ain't no CEO.

    Is she perfect? NOPE. But, neither am I - though I am pretty close.

  242. Hillary is as much a feminist as Corporate America allows her to be, and while she has a better human rights record than any of her Republican (potential) rivals, she is tied to Big Money. As a result of her political/economic ties/restraints, she --willingly or not-- cannot represent women's interests beyond Corporate Interests. As for Trump, he is not only a bonafide Corporate American, but a Frat Boy-- a male who was raised to be an Elitist/Misogynist.

  243. I've see so many opinions that diss Hillary because of her so-called ties to Wall Street. I'd like to point out that if you have an IRA, 401k, trust. Pension, etc. you too are tied to Wall Street.

  244. I'm all for a woman president, I'd just prefer another woman. Senator Elizabeth Warren? I'm with her 100%. Hillary Clinton? Okaaaay. Hillary Clinton or Senator Sanders? I'll take Sanders on every issue (except maybe guns - but it is a tough call as he is quite pragmatic there), and hope he picks a young woman as a running mate to take over when he leaves office in 2024.

    My concerns about Clinton involve electability and choices. Clinton has experience, but no executive or local experience and more baggage than a transatlantic cruise ship. She doesn't run a good campaign. She waited too long to frame and go after Sanders, and now in a panic she is all over the place and in totally negative attack mode. All bad strategy and tactics for a general election and for a president. Can you say, "Nixon"?

    If Clinton goes against Trump, she can say nothing about money in politics. Trump would just say, "You're bought and sold. I'm not. Actually, I gave you money, too, and you came to my wedding just like I asked." A greater fear is he got something else from her when she was a NY senator. If that comes out in the GE, she's toast.

    Her votes/positions on foreign wars are disturbing at best.

    Her record on LGBT is "follow the polls".

    Her proposals for Wall Street regulation are "triangulation" (at best). Well, except how she saved Wall Street after 9/11.

    She is not a leader. She is a follower.

    You'll note all of my points (I could go on) have nothing to do with her gender.

  245. I am a woman. I make cookies. And I am a woman. There is nothing wrong with staying home and making cookies. Hillary should have tried that. And then maybe she would be a true feminist.
    Oh, and I also worked to fulfill my profession, an honest profession, nursing.
    Oh, and I had to work because my husband was an alcoholic, an abuser, and ran around. I divorced the loser. I managed to do both including raising my children alone, but I guess baking cookies was beneath Hillary. (And I never received help from the government).
    Hillary is NOT a feminist. Hillary is a selfish, egotistical conniving liar that will do ANYTHING including using other women to get what she wants which is to be the first female president. She is not really interesting in helping the little women of the USA.
    Feel the Bern

  246. those who can't bake, go to law school.

  247. Taxing Tampons is sexist because it's a necessity?

    Well we tax antibiotics cream, bandages, condoms, toilet paper, shampoo, soap, clothing, jock straps, shoes etc. Which one of these necessities should be exempt as well? Of course none of those, well because they are used by men, or by men and women.

    It seems Feminism in this context means special treatment for women, and only for women, so we focus on tampons.

  248. New York State does not tax clothing or shoes that sell for less than $110.

  249. I still have the old Consumer Reports magazine with Mrs. Clinton's recipe. I have made her cookies hundreds of times since that October 1993 issue. When diehard Republicans tell me how wonderful the cookies are, I say, "That's Hillary Clinton's recipe."

  250. Yes, Hill gets my vote because of her great cookies. Not.

  251. Mr Kristof. Thank you for another solid and grounded article. Bernie is great and I am glad he is pushing his topics in the campaign, it will only make Hilary more effective in the fall. I am so glad you mentioned her time as Sec of State where in every country she went to she met with the leading women organizers often over the objection of the male heads of state. This world will only change when women become more empowered.
    To Sanders supporters. You have not been subject to the Republican sausage grinder yet. In fact they are going easy on him because they are afraid of Hilary.
    And a tax on tampons? Who knew?

  252. "And a tax on tampons? Who knew?"

    Umm . . . 50% of the adult population?

  253. Great reply and proves the point.

  254. Is it only about feminism and her gender? What about her, her husband's and daughter's political family business? What about all the enrichment of that family based only on speeches and "access"? Does anyone really believe that Bill Clinton will give White House tours and speak only on family based issues as First Gentleman? Won't he really be pulling the levers of power behind the curtain? Won't he really be rewarding old friends and punishing old enemies? Can the Clinton Foundation/Global initiative ever be at "arms length" during another Clinton administration? Will large contributions be made to the foundation without the hint of "access"? Even if they will say Chelsea is running the show is that "arms length" enough?
    No one seems to be addressing the "what about Bill" question. Are we to be happy to revisit the "two for the price of one" pitch from the past. I voted for Bill Clinton twice but something about this dynasty has an odor to it.

  255. Billary - A made for TV movie we all loved, but it's all they should be. We don't need a mini-series, just like we didn't need Bush 2. I fear another dynasty. Power is a heady thing. Bill and Hillary are intoxicated by it. The Bushes were, as well. Trump, please...he's like Tony Montana. Bernie's my bet for sound logic and determined vision. He's been a consistently sane and sober voice for human progress and fairness for over 50 years.

  256. It would have been helpful and the column included comparative data on attitudes toward electing a black along with the info on women supporting "a woman" and Hillary.. How many women would vote for any woman, "as a woman," and how many blacks would vote for any black "as a black?"

  257. I believe Hilary will bring us to war to prove how strong a woman can be.
    She will change a few lines in the TPP trade agreement that she helped build but then said she didn't like it anymore. Many people told us we give away our sovereignty as a nation to Multi National Corporations with TPP but Hilary will sign it fast as fast can. All the progressive talk will be just that,talk. She will be a Republican light on the economy / Neocon heavy on foreign policy.

  258. "Hillary Clinton suffered"?
    All suffering should be so good.
    This should be a paid Clinton political advertisement.