Friday, 21 November 2008

Hillary Needs A Mobile Home

Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State is not an attractive proposition. A woman following another woman in this office begins to downgrade it. It shouldn't, but it does; just as all kinds of professional roles have been downgraded by their filling with women candidates. The medical profession in the Soviet Union sank in esteem, rewards, and quality of recruitment as women spread through it reducing its attractiveness to ambitious men. The teaching profession has sunk in attractiveness as it has come to be dominated by women in England, and in many other European countries. It is as incorrect to notice this as it is to mention it.

The American Secretary of State is, more or less, the Foreign Secretary of the world's greatest, and imperial, power. Power embodies military power and, while women serve with courage and distinction in the armed forces, most women have no military experience or culture - certainly Clinton and Rice do not. Furthermore, what might be acceptable, even commonplace in the United States is not so in many of the countries and non-country power-bases in which an American Secretary of State acts. There have been giggles already about Clinton's claims to frontline experiences in the former Yugoslavia.

From the posturing viewpoint adopted by New Labour of course, appointing a female Foreign Secretary with the support and advice of her elderly husband could be portrayed as following their lead. Perhaps if Clinton is being taken on with a view to getting two for the price of one, a form of bargain in which she once offered herself on her husband's election to high office, then all she needs to do is get herself a caravan to close the deal.

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