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Has Hillary Clinton won over white male voters by transforming from referee to contender?

By Tracy Clark-Flory
May 9, 2008 10:50PM (UTC)
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In a New York Times Op-Ed, Susan Faludi argues that "white men are warming to Hillary Clinton" because she has rejected the archetype of the powerful female -- "the rules keeper, the purse-lipped killjoy who passes strait-laced judgment on feral boy fun." This privileged persona inspires men's animosity, argues Faludi, because it suggests exemption from combat. But Clinton -- indeed, like Rocky Balboa -- isn't watching from the sidelines; she has jumped into the ring:

In the final stretch of the primary season, she seems to have stepped across an unstated gender divide, transforming herself from referee to contender … We are witnessing a female competitor delighting in the undomesticated fray. Her new no-holds-barred pugnacity and gleeful perseverance have revamped her image in the eyes of begrudging white male voters, who previously saw her as the sanctioning "sivilizer," a political Aunt Polly whose goody-goody directives made them want to head for the hills.

Tracy Clark-Flory

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