Hillary, commander in chief of all stereotypes

by Roberta Valtorta


Hillary Clinton and her double. The democrat candidate President of the United States of America, here attending “Saturday Night Live” on NBC, together with actress Kate McKinnon, her imitator                                       (from http://www.chicagotribune.com/)

Is it possible to write a few reflections about a political candidate apart from your personal opinion? I’ll try to.

My intention on this post is to put any kind of ideology apart: I neither want to guess who will be the winner between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, nor shoot zero about who’s better or worse. The final aim is to share some observations which this long, unusual and sometimes grotesque campaign inspired me, nothing more, nothing less, but let’s start from the beginning.

A few weeks ago, during the second presidential debate, Hillary Clinton was in the middle of answering one of Anderson Cooper‘s questions when a fly landed on her face. She didn’t instinctively react, didn’t flinch and continued speaking, and shortly after landing the bug flew away.

Anything strange, but you know that even a stupid thing like that might makes big waves. And that’s what happened. Apart from the sharpness of the Italian daily  Libero  that published the videoclip in its online section “Libero tv” with the title “Does Hillary stink? A fly lands on her face during the debate with Donald Trump”[1], what happened on the social networks is amazing. A profile of the bug appeared on Twitter.

«A fly landed just on Hillary Clinton’s face? No reaction, no flinch, no gasp? Confirmed, Hillary’s a robot», here’s one of the comments that reflects the substance of all the chatter that grew up and made me consider the importance of non-verbal communication.

After that fact, the reaction of the Internet was to name her a robot, a cold and cruel woman, with no emotions and empathy.


Circumstances require a person who’s self-confident, firm and resolute, and that’s true, but is also true that if all these qualities refer to a woman, they’re often judged as negative, both from man and women, because break all stereotypes. Moreover, age plays a part too, and in terms of public opinion is perceived as more affecting for women than for men. Julie Holland, psychiatrist and Clinton’s supporter, affirmed one year ago that Hillary is the perfect candidate because «she has all the experience and self-assurance that postmenopausal women have»[2]. Well, nothing to say about biology, but the reasons why a 69 years old woman could be a perfect candidate to the White House seem to be others as her course of studies, university degree, experience. Why women’s aging still sounds upsetting? About one year ago was published a video that shows an aging Hillary Clinton [3]. Those images only outline deformations and the final result is like the progressive transformation of a witch.

Why, unlike masculine,  feminine aging is seldom represented with an influential look and, on the other hand, is constantly depending on attractiveness related opinions?

Given that in those branches requesting heavy mind efforts age is an important cause, in activities which need more skills and experience, great results can be achieved mostly at an old age.

Rita Levi Montalcini said: «Contrary to what is commonly said, our brain doesn’t fatally follows, through the years, an irreversible degeneration process, both Tiziano and Michelangelo and many other artists with great creative skills – Picasso as well – continued to produce excellent works while getting older and older».

[1]«Hillary Clinton puzza? La mosca le si posa sul volto durante il dibattito con Donald Trump», Libero tv, 10 ottobre 2016

[2] «Hillary Clinton is the perfect age to be President», Time, 3 aprile 2015

[3]«From fresh-faced student to political wife… and even President? Time-lapse shows the changing faces of Hillary Clinton as poll shows most Americans think she’s younger than her 67 years», Daily Mail, 11 marzo 2015

(Translated into English by Luca Bartolommei)


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