Tom Edsall writes about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama:
Clinton’s position at the head of the pack — a 20-point lead over her competitors — forces her campaign to shoot down a barrage of hostile challenges: Will voters trust a woman at a time of terrorist threat? Will the military accept a woman as commander in chief?
Look, I’ve been very critical of Senator Clinton in the past and almost certainly will be again in the future if she, as expected, mounts a presidential bid, but I’d like to think we could keep the discourse a little bit more elevated than that. There are much better questions to ask about Clinton’s views on national security policy than whether she’s too girly to handle it. Indeed, there’s at least some indication that fear of this sort of misogynistic attack is part of what’s motivated her to take such a hawkish line which winds up being doubly or triply unfortunate. The fact that this sort of thing even gets discussed, though, points not only to the deep anti-feminist strains that remain in our culture, but also to the weirdly metaphorical nature of national security debates. The underlying presumption seems to be something like you want a president capable of physically wrestling a terrorist to the ground and so a woman, or a man who’s too effete, might not be able to get the job done.