I’ve been watching a lot of the post-election coverage, and much of it is focused on why Clinton lost. It must be sexism, I’ve heard many say. Malcolm Gladwell, an author I absolutely love, claimed that it was because people didn’t like ambitious women.
I wish someone had just asked me.
I could have told them.
I love writing posts on how to help your marriage, and on how to build a great sex life, but every now and then, as my long-time readers know, I just like to rant a bit. And so today I hope you will all excuse me.
I don’t want this to be a political piece so much, because to me this isn’t about Democrats and Republicans as much as it is about marriage and our dating culture. And I have a LOT to say about this. (And I’ve already written about how I understand why women couldn’t vote for Donald Trump, too, and that the man is a pig when it comes to women! I do get it. I just think this has more to do with marriage, and warrants its own post).
“Is it too much to ask that a guy doesn’t use porn?”
Let me start with a story. It was 1994, and I was sitting in my graduate student office at Queen’s University. An undergrad came in to get help on an essay she was writing. We ended up talking and she started tearing up and telling me about her boyfriend. They had been living together for a year, but he had all kinds of porn magazines all over the place. She didn’t like it, but what could she say?
All the guys she knew used porn.
And so she figured she must be a prude. Why couldn’t she just get over this? It was going to be impossible to find a guy who didn’t use porn, so she had better get used to it.
That conversation broke my heart.
Women have a unique experience that men just don’t have.
We worry that we will not be the sole object of our husband’s sexual attention, because naked women are on display everywhere–and many men look. And so we feel insecure. (I am not saying that women don’t look or that women don’t have affairs; only that the situation is heavily tilted in one direction).
Then there’s the feminist revolution, which somehow succeeded into making women sexual objects even more than they were before and calling it female empowerment.
Now that couples can have sex with zero risk of a baby (because she can always get an abortion), then sex becomes responsibility-free.
In economics what’s happened is that the “price” of sex has come down. In order to have sex several decades ago, people had to get married. Today you don’t even have to buy anyone dinner. The hooking up culture has become so commonplace that people don’t even know how to date anymore. By trying to free women from the strains of patriarchy, feminism inadvertently gave men what some of them always wanted–sex with no strings attached–without really giving women anything in return.
So you have these girls who grow up yearning to find real love–a man who will adore them, who won’t look elsewhere and who won’t check out all these other naked women, but will honestly commit for the rest of his life–but they’re lost.
How does true love happen in today’s culture?
That may be what we want, but that’s not what most women are getting (and I’m quite aware that women are often the driving force behind having sex casually. But deep inside, most still yearn to get married and have that lifetime commitment).
And we sense that things have gone off kilter. When you interview college-age females, there’s so much depression and anxiety because relationships aren’t working out well. How do you find real love when sex has been so degraded?
That’s what life was like when I was in grad school, too.
And then Bill Clinton became president.
We all knew about the affairs. They had been covered during the 1992 election. But because he was a Democrat, many feminists vouched for him. I remember an interview I heard during the 1992 campaign when Naomi Wolf, a woman I very much admired then, said that the tapes of conversations between Bill Clinton and Gennifer Flowers (the woman with whom he’d had a 12-year affair) made her respect Clinton more, because he talked to Flowers like she was an equal.
But what about Hillary? I thought. Who cares how he treated his mistress if he’s having an affair on his wife? Shouldn’t Hillary count? Why are we so quick to say that affairs don’t atter? What does that tell young girls who are just wanting to know that marriage for life is possible?
But Hillary stayed with him, despite the rumours.
Over the next few years that trickle of rumours escalated until it turned into a deluge.
Rape allegations. More affairs. More sexual assault allegations. And then Monica Lewinsky.
I was 27 when the Monica story broke. She was 21. Clinton was 52. I remember sitting in church one Sunday and looking around to try to identify men who were around 52. Then I tried to imagine anything sexual with them. GROSS!!!! Did people not see how disgusting this was? Did no one actually bother to think about what 21 and 52 means? What that says about Clinton as a person? Does he still “respect” women, Ms. Wolf, if he’s getting it on with his intern?
Hillary, of course, denied that the stories were true. We later found out that she had deliberately hired people to destroy the women’s reputations who were accusing Bill of rape or assault, or even just an affair. She eviscerated them in the press, because she needed to keep Bill’s reputation intact.
And so, after learning that her husband was a rapist, that he had used a 21-year-old intern, that he had had numerous affairs, what did Hillary do?
Absolutely diddly squat.
She stayed with him.
And that’s when she lost my generation of women.
We’ve learned since that Bill Clinton has had more affairs. That he has flown to convicted pedophile’s Jeffrey Epstein’s island 26 times, where underage children were being used as sex slaves. And Hillary? She keeps staying with him.
When the most powerful woman in the world can’t get her husband to love her unconditionally and be faithful to her, then what does that say for the rest of us who simply dream of it?
When the most powerful woman in the world doesn’t stand up for herself but lets her husband have dalliances with no consequences, what message does that send to women who actually think their husbands SHOULD stay faithful–that affairs actually matter?
Look, I completely believe in second chances and in forgiveness.
I have known so many marriages that have come back after affairs, and that have turned around, and that have been stronger than ever. But those marriages have come back not because the women said, “it’s okay, I forgive you.” It’s because they said, “this is serious. We need help. You will not continue to treat me this way. I don’t want to lose our marriage, but if we’re going to stay together, then it has to be a marriage–a real one.” And they’ve fought for it.
They’ve gone to the counsellors. They’ve arranged for accountability. They’ve worked on their own issues. And they’ve set clear boundaries that say, “no more of this.”
But when you paper over affairs again and again; when you stand by as your husband sexually assaults women; when you do nothing when your husband sexually harasses women at work–then you are the problem.
In fact, I have an easier time forgiving Bill than I do Hillary, which I know is actually quite sexist in my own brain. She turned her back on women like that young student in my office, who wondered if she was crazy for just wanting a guy who didn’t look at porn. Was that too much to ask? By ignoring Bill’s sins, Hillary told her, very emphatically, yes. It was too much to ask.
The sexual empowerment movement made the price of sex so low that now it’s hard to find love.
But then Hillary made the price of marriage low.
You no longer have to promise fidelity. You just have to promise, “I’ll keep you by my side, most of the time.”
If Hillary had dumped Bill after the Lewinsky scandal, I think there’s a much greater chance that she’d be president today, because she would have shown that she understood how women felt. She would have shown some solidarity with those of us who just want a guy to love us forever. But she didn’t, because she showed that her own marriage was simply a sham, arranged so that she could get what she really wanted: Political power. And for those of us who really want a super strong family and to be loved, that makes no sense whatsoever.
I don’t know where that girl is today who sat in my office crying over her boyfriend’s Hustler magazines.
But I know many of you are in the same place as she is. Is it so wrong to just want a guy to love you? Is it too much to ask that he remain faithful, that he not text other women, that he not check other women out in public? Is it too much to ask that you’ll be his sole object of sexual attention?
No, it isn’t. We ARE to love each other unconditionally. We are called to faithfulness to our spouses, and the Bible gives NO excuses for messing up. 1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us that there are no temptations that can’t be overcome with God’s help. There is no “boys will be boys“. There’s only “boys choosing to be boys”.
And I have a great guy who has never, ever given me even a moment to doubt him. True love is possible. I see it everyday; I pray and believe it for my daughters; I know so many, many faithful men.
Yet increasingly, I think these faithful men are in the minority. We see far too many pastors fall in sexual sin. We hear pastors spreading that boys will be boys message. We hear about how hard it is to fight against porn.
And there’s a part of each woman that dies inside every time she hears that, who wonders, “really? Can’t I ever, just once, be enough?”
We know, too, that the problem does not just lie with men.
The problem lies with women as well, because what would happen if every woman just said “No”? If every woman in a dating relationship just had zero tolerance for porn or affairs, then men would step up the plate (the same goes the other way, too). Instinctively we know, just like that undergrad student did, that the more women give guys passes because “boys will be boys”, the more boys will act that way. And when high profile women do it? It makes it even worse. It defeats the girls who would have demanded better. It tells everybody, “all guys do this.” So what’s the sense in trying to wait for more?
That’s why women my age don’t like Hillary Clinton. It’s not about politics. It’s about love.
We may disagree with her on policy issues (which I certainly do). But we dislike her because she torpedoed girls’ dreams of real love. And you don’t take that away from a whole generation without paying the price.
Looove this! This is an excellent Post about political matters… Involving heart and brain!!
It feels kind of unfair to me too say Hillary did nothing about Bill’s affairs. Nobody knows everything that goes on in a marriage other than the people involved. Maybe she did choose not to acknowledge his indiscretions, but maybe she didn’t.
I think that the problem is that when you’re in a power position like they are, what you do about it becomes a precedent for the cultural context of the time. Suddenly it’s OK for men in power to be sexually abusing underage girls, and for their wives to stay with them. I hope you’re right and that they had some of those difficult conversations, but the fact of the matter remains that they didn’t tell the public if they did or not. So all the public sees is “he did something horrible, she stayed.” And that has a profound impact, regardless of what happened between them personally.
As a relationship, I agree we can’t know what went on (though we can see the effects, which is that he is still carrying on illicit affairs to this day).
However, as a public response, we absolutely know what Hillary Clinton did — she was the chief strategist attacking and belittling those women. The term “bimbo eruption squad” was created by Hillary to name their organized attacks on any women who emerged with information about sexual misconduct by Bill during the 1992 election. She is the one who lead the crucifixion of Monica Lewinsky in the press (who, for all of her many mistakes, I still very much pity; she really thought he loved her).
I pity Monica so much, too! She was just so YOUNG. And her life was ruined. She was never able to get a good job because she was toxic. She never married. It’s very sad.
Pity a 21 year old who chose to invade a marriage? Who made it public on her own? 21 is the age of reason where is the pity for the wife whom the 21year old affected? She wanted to play starring thinking she would have won but she destroyed herself trying to destroy a married woman.
Hi Lauren, I guess the point to me is that she stayed with him. And we know from the news that she hired detectives to attack the women who came forward with stories. So she obviously wasn’t putting up boundaries. I remember in the 90s all kinds of magazine articles starting coming out about how common affairs were, and how the healthiest marriages were those which tolerated affairs and even encouraged them so that people could get their energies out elsewhere and then calm down more in marriage. It seemed as if the media was trying to justify what Bill did politically, and in the end they trashed marriage.
And that’s really culturally what happened. Staying by your man, no matter what he did, is now normal, because it’s absolutely normal for guys to cheat, and why should we expect otherwise? That’s what I just found so said.
Great post! I couldn’t vote for her because she’s just plain evil but everything you said is so true!
The clintons have really done a number on sexuality. Bill is still affecting young people today because he started the whole thing about oral sex being ok-not really sex. Many teenagers today still see it that way (even if they don’t know who started the idea) and participate in an act so intimate and personal without any regard for it. Kids now don’t even need to think they’re in love (let alone get married) to give away every part of themselves.
Thank you Clintons for dropping the moral compass just a little lower.
Oh, yeah, that whole oral sex debate that parents had to have with kids in the 90s. Ugh. That’s a whole OTHER story. Sigh.
Excellent article! I expect you’ll get some backlash on this one, so prepare yourself, but let me thank you in advance for having the courage to speak for so many of us who remember all too well that time in history.
I am not quite sure that all the conspiracy around Bill Clinton is true or not. We do know for sure that he did have affairs. I have always been of the mindset that Bill and Hillary have always had a business marriage. The Clinton’s are a brand.
I am pretty moderate politically. While I voted for Trump, I also voted for a Democrat governor in my home state. I did not vote for Hillary because while she had the 3rd highest position in the land, she very poorly acted as our Sec. of State. Then throughout most of the debates, she gave non-answers on ISIS, Syria, and Obamacare. She ran as Obama’s 3rd term without realizing just how disenfranchised so much of the country is with a great many believing that his policies have failed America. What struck me the most was her incredibly callous answer on abortion during the debate.
The Hillary camp relied on all of us voting with identity politics. Women voting for Hillary because of the fact she is a woman. I find that to be insulting. I think the media actually did the most to help elect Trump because of the 24 hour a day, year long newscycle devoted to telling Americans what to think, how to think, and even what politically correct words to use to express the PC thinking of the left. The left wanted homogeny of thought, and it backfired on them. That is why no matter what Trump said, he never lost his base. He is a real guy, that says off the cuff things like everyone else. The media taking his quotes out of context and screaming about them all day everyday only made his supporters dig their heels in further.
Yep. The media helped him without realizing it!
Careful please, judgement of others is a very dangerous thing. Also, I do hope you realize that by not voting for Hillary Clinton you voted for Donald Trump. Shouldn’t he be under the same scrutiny you subjected her to? I admittedly had trouble being able to support either candidate but knowing we needed a president, I made my decision on who could do the job the best, isn’t that what the framers of our constitution intended? Love your blog and the advice you offer but I really don’t think this is a topic you can treat fairly in an outlet devoted to something else. Just my two cents worth!
I agree–Trump isn’t good, either. And Sheila’s written about that before, as well. This isn’t meant to be a political post–it’s really a cultural commentary. But I think it’s important to be able to talk about the general trends in society so we can try to fix the problems that have been created. And the Clintons have put themselves into a position where they have greatly impacted North American culture.
(Also, side note, Sheila’s not an American so she didn’t actually vote for Trump, either.)
But the point isn’t whether Trump is an angel or Bill is a devil. It is answering a very specific charge — that the only reason to oppose Hillary is because you hate or fear strong women. That has nothing to do with Trump.
Sheilia is Canadian. She didn’t vote for anyone in the US election.
This isn’t a political piece. This is about how attitudes like Hilary’s say something about our culture.
I actually wrote a post about how I thought Donald Trump was a pig too (and I linked to it in this article). I couldn’t vote. I live in Canada.
And I understand all of your replies, however I agree with John Dunn. Even if you did not intend this post to be political and even if you did not vote, your voice still affects others in this way. You, like the candidates, are in a position of leadership that people look to for guidance. Please be careful in this context.
And to equate the morality of both candidates is not appropriate. The situations and consistent attitudes of the candidates are completely different. People did not vote based on political issues and who would be the most qualified for this position, this job. I do not think people acknowledge the extent of Trump’s unqualified abilities. And no one person’s negative should not be the other person’s positive, but that is how it seemed to be. Let us see how this plays out, but so far, many many people (not just average Americans but our leaders as well as foreign leaders) are very VERY scared.
i think these thoughts should have stayed between your ears since when it comes to public figures you can’t really know their motivations. You can only speculate based on what you see.
This may justify your decision to like or not like her, but it surely doesn’t elevate the cause of Christ.
As I read this, I kept thinking is this something Jesus would do.
This rubs me the wrong way and it has absolutely nothing to do with my politics.
I think people have a right to their opinions. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook are all full of people on both sides of the aisle talking about why they voted for one or why they opposed the other. There is nothing wrong with her posting this at all. I have always thought that it was high incongruent of Hillary to be the bastion of glass-ceiling cracker all the while staying with her cheating dog of a husband. If women are strong and independent and don’t need the patriarchy, why would she stay married to a man like that? Because she does need the patriarchy. She gets a pass on this, while all over the country stay-at-home moms are looked down on as if they aren’t contributers to society or are somehow lesser than working women for choosing to put their families over their careers.
Shelia is clearly addressing a cultural perception, and I am not sure why it is an issue when millions have done this very thing throughout the election cycle, and even now when we have a president elect.
Thank you, Lolo! That’s exactly it.
I think personally, with the idea that it’s wrong to discuss political matters, that there is a lot of Biblical precedent for speaking out against evil in leadership and in power positions. Look at any of the prophets, for instance! And Jesus called the Pharisees all kinds of terrible things! John the Baptist called them broods of vipers!
I truly think that we need to be able to discuss when there is evil happening–and I agree, we need to have compassion for these people because, although it’s easy to forget sometimes about politicians/celebrities, they ARE people. Which is where so many cultural commentary posts go SO incredibly wrong. But we also need to talk about what is right and what is wrong. It was wrong for Bill Clinton to sexually abuse minors. It was wrong for Hillary Clinton to stand by him after that without him having to publicly repent of what he had done. It was wrong for Bill Clinton to have sex with his secretary who was over 30 years younger than he when he was married to Hillary, and it was wrong for her to try to cover it up. None of what was said in this article was trying to attack the person–it was attacking the evil that the people caused.
I think it’s really admirable that you’re able to stay compassionate towards political figures in a political time like today. That’s very hard to do with all the mud-slinging that’s been happening.
Yes it was wrong for Bill Clinton to have an affair 20 years ago. Bill Clinton wasn’t running for office.
We had 2 main candidates. Hillary Clinton (who to our knowledge has not had an affair. Was cheated on and chose to work things out and stay with her husband. A biblically okay decision) and Donald Trump (said the 100+ affairs he had while married were his “personal vietnam” said he can grab women by the p—y because he’s a star, and while we’re on the topic of Epstein, Trump and Epstein are good buddies and were accused of child rape. Epstein settled. Trump’s accuser had a witness.)
We have just elected a man on his 3rd wife who has said he’s been faithful to none of them. Let’s not all act like that is somehow BETTER than Hillary.
Oh, I never have defended Donald Trump (and in fact wrote an article on why I think he’s a pig). All I was trying to do in this article, which I stated at the top, was to say that many women of my generation had their opinions of Hillary cemented in the 90s–and nothing was going to change that. To say that people didn’t vote for her out of sexism was just plain wrong. It wasn’t that–it was what happened then.
I am VERY scared of Donald’s marriages. Absolutely.
But here’s the thing: Hillary deliberately chose to stay married to a man who continues to cheat on her (to this day) for political expediency. And she attacked the women who claimed they had had an affair with Bill Clinton. That’s just plain wrong. And it said something to women back then, and still does. And I think to ignore that simply because of politics misses a big cultural shift that happened in the 90s that is important to see. Because it did matter.
I’m not sure I’d agree, Nylse. I think we HAVE to talk about what message our culture is giving marriage. And the Clintons were a big part of that. We HAVE to get back to the idea that, yes, you SHOULD expect a guy to not use porn and to not have affairs. Yes, it is possible to have a marriage like that. And until we talk about the undercurrents in our culture which are teaching young people that fidelity and monogamy are impossible, we can’t really fight against it, I think. And to me personally, this was a big part of my marriage journey, just because it all happened at a critical time in my life. A lot of my views crystallized then, and I thought some of my long-time readers may appreciate that.
Well written, well said, heartfelt and true!!
Another great article Sheila! This plus Benghazi, her stance on abortion, and other things is why I didn’t vote for her, NOT because she’s a woman or a powerful one as people keep trying to say. Your article made me think of Mark Gungor’s “Butt Kicking Woman” seminar as well. Yeah buddy!
I’ve never seen “Butt Kicking Woman”! But I love Mark. I’ll have to look that up. 🙂
A lot of great points, but I think you’re more right in the middle than the conclusion: “we dislike her because she torpedoed girls’ dreams of real love. And you don’t take that away from a whole generation without paying the price.”
Here’s where you hit the nail on the head:
“Hillary, of course, denied that the stories were true. We later found out that she had deliberately hired people to destroy the women’s reputations who were accusing Bill of rape or assault, or even just an affair. She eviscerated them in the press, because she needed to keep Bill’s reputation intact.”
“she showed that her own marriage was simply a sham, arranged so that she could get what she really wanted: Political power.”
She definitely lowered the bar on fidelity in marriage, but more than that, she applied for and became a card-carrying member of rape culture (as you show in the 2nd quote above). Of course, Trump is lewd too, but at least he is *perceived* as an outsider to The Beltway, and Clinton is seen as an insider. Remember, she also lost to newcomer Obama in 08. A vote for Trump was perceived as a vote more broadly to “Throw the B******s out!” which has been a bit of a mantra for the past 8 or so years.
Of course, how Clinton beat Sanders on the D ticket, or how Trump beat say – Paul – on the R ticket, is beyond me. Apparently we US-ers like the grotesque and perverse, despite all our churches (or, “churches,” anyway. Church-shaped buildings of people who get together once a week). As long as it’s the “lesser of two” grotesques and perverse.
Anyhow, I want to reiterate that all your points are good, and worth teaching, just that I think it wasn’t the fairytale shattered that cost her the election.
Hi there! Oh, I’d agree that that wasn’t what cost her the election ultimately.
But here’s what I’d say, too: I have disagreed with a LOT of politicians over the course of my life. I have thought they were misguided, often wrong, and sometimes even evil. But I have never had such a visceral dislike of a politician as I have Hillary Clinton. She was in her own category, and it came from the 1990s. Even Obama, who arguably is to the left of Hillary and with whom politically I disagree more, I liked more than Clinton.
That dislike was baked in. There was nothing she could do about it.
And then, when all the scandals started happening–Benghazi, the emails, etc.,–it just reinforced what we already thought. So I’d agree that that didn’t cost her the election, but I do think it made it much easier to believe a certain narrative about her.
Honestly, Sheila, our candidates this past year were so disheartening when it comes to marriage. There are a number of issues you name here with Hillary and her acceptance, and even support, of her husband’s terrible infidelity. And I remain appalled that people don’t understand how a 52-year-old married man having sex on work premises with a 20-something intern with such a power differential is a huge ethics issue.
But the alternative, now our president-elect, is a man who’s been married three times, boasted about affairs with married women, had his name on a business that opened the first strip club at an Atlantic City casino, and has said terrible things about making sexual advances to women. Not exactly someone to look up to in this area either.
I’m not defending voting for one or the other, because I know good people who chose each. But I think it’s quite telling that in 1980 the fact that Ronald Reagan had been through a divorce he didn’t file or want was an issue, but now that would seem like no big deal. Of course, there has been plenty of sexual misbehavior from political leaders throughout history, but too many barely bat an eye now at these public revelations because our society has become so crass and “tolerant.”
It’s past time for a revival of good men, strong women, and healthy marriages! Thanks for all you do toward that end!
Ironically enough, though, the reason it is no longer an issue is … because of Bill and Hillary Clinton and “it’s just sex.”
I know! Isn’t that sad? Or even “it’s just oral sex.”
Very well said! Thanks J. Parker! Love your Blog!
Thanks, John! 🙂
Great comment, J. I love how you showed ‘how times have changed’ since 1980! Wow!
Totally agree, J., as I wrote in another post. I think what bothers me too is that Melania Trump had so much of her career as a model taking rather erotic photos. It’s just so degrading to me. I’m not saying she’s not intelligent or that their marriage isn’t real–who really knows?–but it’s just so ODD. And he’s been so horrible when it comes to seeing women as sex objects. It is really, really sad.
Yes, it really bothers me too that our First Lady has posed so salaciously.
I can name a number of female celebrities who have used the “female sexual empowerment” line to voluntarily become two-dimensional sex objects for men. And I just don’t get it. There’s nothing personally empowering about pictures that say, “Look at me purely for my sex appeal.”
I like your vision. I would also say the same goes vice versa. Is it too much to ask a girlfriend not to wear mini, yoga pants or a revealing bikini in public?
I live in the north, but when I was by the sea this summer I noticed that almost every girl is almost naked at the beach. I asked husband if this could disturb their boyfrends. He said yes, but he can see no other way to date her.
That’s a great point!
Here’s the thing about the Clintons’ relationship – it was never about love. It was about politics. It was a calculated political union. And I think that knowledge limited how far she could go with women voters. Maybe we’re old fashioned and maybe we’re not, but I think most of us can agree that we’re over the whole marriage for the sake of money, power, and/or position thing. There are many reasons why she lost the election. It’s a complex issue. But I think this definitely contributes to it.
I’m still kind of in a daze down here in the US. Did this election really happen? Is Donald Trump really going to be our next president? It’s a head-scratcher.
Yes, for sure. Women just didn’t get it, because the vast majority of women wanted a real marriage.
Is anybody aware that Hillary Clinton had adulterous affairs as well as Bill — or is that just not relevant to this discussion?
It is been common knowledge for years amongst political operatives and insiders in both parties that Hillary’s adulterous affair with disgraced ex-Arkansas judge Web Hubbell produced Chelsea Clinton — but not a word about it in the so-called mainstream media.
She also had and affair with deceased President Bill Clinton aide Vince Foster and with several other men. There have even been several rumors over the years about her bi-sexual relationships with women.
The ex-affair partner of Bill Clinton, Gennifer Flowers, claimed that Bill told her that they had an open marriage and that Hillary had sexual relationships with several women over the course of their marriage.
Perhaps, in making the decision between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton, voters didn’t see much difference in their sexual ethics? (since neither have been exclusively monogamous).
What do you think?
In my opinion both HRC and Trump lack ethics entirely and both belong in prison.
I’d agree that Hillary likely had affairs (though that hasn’t been proven the way Bill’s were). But I think that makes the point, too, doesn’t it? That Hillary’s idea of marriage was just so far from what most women’s ideas of marriage were. We wanted a committed, monogamous relationship. She just wanted something calculating. And it diminished marriage for all of us I think!
(And I’d agree–we really didn’t see much difference between Clinton and Trump when it came to sex. If the Democrats had run a different candidate, they could have made much more hay out of Trump’s antics. As it stood, they couldn’t.)
Hillary’s affairs and dalliances not substantiated? It’s only because the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN have avoided prodding into Hillary’s extramarital past (and present) to the same extent that they have with Bill.
Look at the pictures of Chelsea Clinton, Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton and Webb Hubbell and tell me whether or not Bill is the birth father of Chelsea?
It’s simply amazing to me that the so-called mainstream news media have been incapable of documenting such a significant news story such as this. It must be some form of gender bias I guess because all we ever hear about is Bill, Bill, Bill.
Judge for yourself: Chelsea doesn’t even look Bill — but Chelsea does indeed look like Web Hubbell and Hillary Clinton.
These stories about Hillary are only the tip of the iceberg.
I know. I’ve seen those pics before and it is very believable! I just don’t want to wander there myself on this blog. I think the reporting on Bill has been absolutely indisputable, so I’d rather focus on that. The other is likely true, too, I think–but it’s not really necessary for the argument I’m making, if that makes sense!
As a fellow GenXer, thank you for articulating not only why we dislike Hillary Clinton, but why we also empathize with Monica Lewinsky.
Yes! I’m glad to hear of someone else who empathizes with her. Even at the time I did. It was just so lurid seeing people take her apart.
This is so good, Sheila! And I couldn’t agree with you more about pastors having the attitude that boys will be boys. Recently my husband and I were in a meeting with our pastor about problems in our marriage. I mentioned that my husband has been unfaithful to me. (That’s not even what that meeting was about; it just came up.) Our pastor said something along the lines of sometimes men turn elsewhere when they aren’t getting their needs met at home. I don’t remember his exact words. I was too shocked to remember. It was actually my husband who stuck up for me and said it wasn’t like that, and that we have a pretty good sex life that we both enjoy. It just boggles my mind that people-loving pastors would heap guilt and even more feelings of personal inadequacy on the victim of that kind of betrayal.
What the what?????
Just …. what????
I think this comment was meant for another post of Sheila’s! A previous rant post.
My comment would have been perfect there. But the “boys will be boys” thinking was mentioned in this post, so it fit here too.
ACK ACK ACK ACK ACK. I HATE hearing stories like that about pastors, and yet I’ve heard far too many lately. We really need better conversations about marriage in the church and what we should be expecting. And we should EXPECT for people not to sin (Ever read the book of 1 John, pastors?)
This is one of the reasons I had to toss Debi Pearl’s book, “Created to be his helpmeet.” The whole book is fear-based, reinforcing the idea that we have to constantly be striving to be enough for our husband or he will go elsewhere. Such an unhealthy view of marriage!
Really great post, by the way, Sheila! Your writing as always is well balanced and much-appreciated 🙂
Don’t even get me started about that book! Sigh. Thanks for the encouragement!
Somehow I think that book would make me want to punch something. Good thing I never tried reading it!
I couldn’t believe it when I read all the opinion pieces after the election about how women had ‘let the side down’ by not all flocking to vote for Hillary. So many commentators had been expecting Hillary to get their votes ‘because she was a woman’. To me, that’s not ‘feminism’ or ‘gender equality’. I think gender equality is much better displayed by people looking at both candidates, and voting according to their policies, rather than their sex. That to me is feminism, not the ‘girl power’ ‘women need to stick together’ mentality that quite a lot of so called feminists seem to have.
However, I am not 100% comfortable with this rant piece. There are a lot of unsubstantiated allegations in it, and I think Sheila went a LOT easier on Trump than Hillary, which some people will no doubt read ‘blame the wife’ into.
Personally, I am less interested in politicians personal lives (they all seem a pretty slimy bunch, and you never really know what’s going on behind the scenes anyway) and more interested in their policies and who is the better candidate for the job. And I really think that the US voted according to that theory, because the candidates general personal slime-iness seemed hot be much of a muchness. I don’t think this was an election that was won, or voted on, according to a moral compass, because morally, both candidates were pointing in the same direction.
E, I’d agree with you–morally, both candidates were roughly the same. Absolutely. Which is why ultimately people didn’t vote on morality, they voted on issues or something else. But I think that the 90s cemented certain ideas in people’s heads about Hillary, which made it so much easier to believe all the scandals about her. It paved the way for people to just plain not like her. I honestly had never really known much about Trump until this election cycle. We don’t have a TV so I’ve never seen an episode of The Apprentice or really anything about him at all. But Hillary was so much a part of my coming of age, in a very bad way. I guess that’s why I’m so fixated on her. 🙁
Well written. I had a similar thoughts in a conversations back in the nineties with some of my friends. I very much enjoyed reading this. Thank you.
Another fantastic article! You’ve put to paper what I’ve said so many times about Hillary. I’d actually thought you were pulling for Hillary after a piece you wrote on Trump before the election… which I also agreed with! But I did vote for Trump, because aside from both of their awful personal issues, Trump will be more likely to stand for what I think is important. And Hillary’s emails that prove that she and Bill have both flown numurous times to the island where underage children are being used as sex slaves… that she’s managing to simply make go away???? She makes me sick. Aside from anything else, what Hillary wanted to legalize and promote in abortions was unthinkable. But I have rabbit trailed. Your article rocks.
I appreciate this post. Very interesting.
I think it does not really matter what your political views are or even if Trump is worse.
Shelia is making some interesting and thoughtful points about some of the factors effecting our society and an example of how poor leadership can contribute to that.
Thank you! It really does pain me that they denigrated marriage so much.
I love your article, you are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! I don’t know why no one else addressed this. I have to say that although I love what you’ve written, it’s really difficult to read! There is a full length banner ad across the bottom of the page, and social media widgets that float along the right side, so there is about a 2 inch area that I can read your article in. Just wanted to give you a heads up as a fellow blogger.
I don’t know… I’m an Aussie so I’ve never followed the Clintons closely, but I always thought that Hilary stayed for one of two reasons:
1) The marriage was always a ‘power contract’ and neither party ever expected or wanted love out of the union. In this case, then what you say is valid as they have totally degraded marriage by their very public example. OR
2) She actually is personally nowhere near as strong and uncompromising as her public persona. In her private life she is unable to stand up for her own worth while publicly championing the feminist cause.
If number 2 is the case, she is very much to be pitied.
Hi Mary, I’d agree–if #2 is true, she is to be pitied. And I honestly did pity her for much of the 90s. Until it came out that she had known about this stuff at the time and had started the “bimbo eruption squad” to ruin the reputations of the women that Bill had slept with. That kind of makes #2 a non-starter for me, I think.
I’d have thought the “bimbo eruption squad”, all by itself, would have destroyed her political standing among women.
Mmmm hmmmm. Never understood that, either.
I’m a big fan of this blog, but my avid daily readership of it has dropped to an approximately once a month catch-up since posts focused on political figures started to appear. I’m based in Europe and rarely post comments on any public forum, but strongly urge you to keep these kinds of posts off the blog, Sheila.
I really appreciate hearing your take on this, Sheila, and for what it’s worth, I think it’s a PERFECTLY appropriate subject for your blog. You and I are the same age – both of us Gen X-ers – and I remember the Clinton years very, very well. I freely admit that I’m not a Hillary fan, but I never understood why so many women, particularly Baby Boomer feminists who fought for equal rights and women’s empowerment, gave Bill a pass on his “indiscretions”. I’m a man, and I was thoroughly disgusted by his behavior toward women. Plenty of other men were, too. If anyone had a right to hold his feet to the fire, Hillary did, but for reasons known only to her, she chose not to. In my somewhat jaded (although probably correct) opinion, it was pure political expediency. All things being equal, I think you’re right: she would be the president-elect today had she dropped Bill following the Lewinsky scandal.
Glad you agree! I never understood why so many feminists stood by her, either. I actually was a Clinton supporter in the early 90s. The whole episode caused me to rethink feminism (I was in grad school in Sociology, after all!). Likely that’s why I’m still so emotional about it. It was really formative in my life.
Hey Sheila! I’m a fan and I love your practical, Christian advice for marriage matters. I really did not like this piece at all. I did not vote for Trump or Hillary, I chose to “throw my vote away” on a 3rd party candidate rather endorsing either of them or their immoral lifestyles and actions. However, I felt that rather than give Hillary the compassion, understanding, and frank advice I’ve come to expect from you regarding women and their marriage choices, you were completely on the attack and judging someone’s marriage matters based in large part on assumptions and media driven info rather than any info from either spouse. I also felt your judgements of Hillary were a complete 180 from the solid advice so many expect from you. I noticed last night there were several valid arguments and questions against your article on Facebook. When I came home from work today I was excited to see your response and engage in some dialogue regarding all of this. I felt that the posts were very constructive criticisms of your ideas not in any way rude or hateful so I had hoped for more enlightenment from you regarding your opinion. Unfortunately, I can’t find the posts. Were they deleted? I genuinely hope they did not turn ugly because what I saw was actual questions that I was looking forward to your response and frankly I can only pray that dialogue about what went wrong in the 2016 election will prevent all of us Americans from ever being put in the position of having to choose between what I truly believe are the lesser of two very evil choices.
I haven’t deleted anything–but I’m not sure what you’re referring to exactly. I’m still catching up today and doing a bunch of work because yesterday I spent all day driving a friend to a different city for a hospital appointment she had, so I wasn’t on Facebook or in the comments here.
If you have a specific question, go ahead and ask it and I’ll try to answer!
But honestly, for me, I just wanted to explain a big part of my own marriage journey, which the Clintons were a part of. I initially supported the Clintons in the 90s until all this stuff came out. And it solidified a lot of my marriage views. And I just thought that some readers would be interested in that, because it was so much of my journey. I don’t see it as a political thing as much as a cultural thing. As I said in other posts, I think Trump’s comments about women are absolutely atrocious, too. But the Clintons really changed the conversation about marriage in the 90s, and they did a real number on my generation and the expectations about marriage. And my daughters know nothing about that, since they weren’t around then. So I thought many people may be in the same boat. I think the cultural things that happen when you’re in your early 20s really do impact you, and the Clinton scandals were that for me.
I never will forget that girl in my graduate school office…and that’s just heartbreaking.
Or to put it another way–I can TOTALLY understand why women wouldn’t vote for Donald Trump. Absolutely. But what I really don’t understand is why women would defend Hillary after what happened in the 90s? I guess I just want to know that women together have more self-esteem than that. That we realize that we ARE worth something, and that marriage IS worth believing in. I can understand believing in Hillary’s policies, really and truly. I can even understand thinking the email thing is overblown. But I CAN’T understand giving her a pass on what happened back then, because it had so many really bad repercussions. That’s really where I’m at, and I hope that makes sense! It really was a bad decade when it comes to marriage in the news.
I finally found the comments but haven’t checked today to see any response. I understand what you are saying about their marriage solidifying your views but I guess my question is what would you say to Hillary if she asked for your help or guidance on how to save her marriage. I feel like we don’t know what she said to Bill privately but I would hope that you wouldn’t advise any woman to humiliate her husband by airing their personal business and going to the media with their private, intimate struggles. A pastor sure, and for all we know she did that but I would not expect a wife who wanted to save her marriage to publicly denounce her husband to the world and yet from this piece it appears that’s what you wanted her to do. I guess it feels that you are putting all the failures of their marriage (both proven and just speculated) on Hillary’s shoulders, both the affairs and the state of their marriage now. Again, I am by no means a Hillary fan it just feels that your personal opinions about her are in direct opposition to your advice to many women.
I’m sorry for any misunderstanding! No, I think I’ve been really consistent, and that’s why I published this article–to show that the marriage culture really changed in the 90s.
My take has always been this: when your marriage is in crisis, you talk to a marriage mentor couple. If that doesn’t work, you go to a pastor or a counsellor and ask them to help you set some clear boundaries. You do NOT enable sin. You show your husband, “this won’t be tolerated.” You pray a ton. You follow James Dobson’s advice in Love Must Be Tough, and you get yourself strong in Christ, and then set up those boundaries so that if your spouse is still having affairs, your spouse understands that the marriage is over.
I was never saying that she should air their personal struggles; but I was saying that she should have left him. Absolutely. By not leaving him, she enabled the sin to continue. She showed that marriage doesn’t need fidelity. That monogamy is simply a choice, not a necessity. And that’s really the issue to me.
To forgive one affair, of course you can work through that! But there’s a point where it’s been too much. And you need to see some real change before the marriage is reconciled. No such change has ever happened (and he’s still having affairs). So that’s the big problem to me. She didn’t draw any boundaries and she showed that monogamy was optional.
I just went on Facebook. Looks like the comments are there. At least there are tons of comments raising concerns on Facebook.
Remember with Facebook there are several ways to sort comments. Most Recent, Top, Unfiltered, and then you have to expand the replies separately.
Perhaps that may be why you just did not immediately see the comments you were looking for.
Also, when you are not logged in it is harder to sort through the comments as well.
Hope that helps.
But I think they are still there, you may just need to play with it a bit.
Here’s my two cents.
I do not understand the American obsession with the private lives of public figures.
I think that Bill Clinton’s affair was morally wrong, and also an abuse of his power. The moral part is between him, his wife, and God. The abuse of power part is the part we should have been concerned about, but I feel like a lot of that got lost in the chatter about the moral bits. It became an issue of Bill being a cheater instead of a predator.
I don’t think Hillary had any responsibility to publicly denounce her husband. Sure, it would have been great if she’d addressed the abuse of power bit! But in this country, there’s the principle of spousal privilege. She had zero responsibility to publicly condemn her spouse’s action.
I have a really hard time understanding this post, because I don’t look at politicians’ private lives for guidance or advice. I don’t really care what the Clintons’ marriage looks like. For that matter, I don’t really care about what Trump’s marriage looks like. Neither has any real bearing on their policies.
It has to do with integrity, and the Clintons are a case in point for this. The lack of integrity shown in their personal choices was also shown in their public actions.
It is not an absolute that one is a trustworthy person or one is not, we all make mistakes and hopefully we’re all trying to live better lives than we’re capable of at this moment. But as many have said in the comments, after a certain amount of evidence one must stop trusting a consistent lier, whether in a friendship, business relationship, politics, or marriage.
As a side note, I think it’s also true that a renewal of trust does not come with forgiveness, but rather the opportunity to build trust is again available.
Yes, completely agree: “As a side note, I think it’s also true that a renewal of trust does not come with forgiveness, but rather the opportunity to build trust is again available.”
Thanks Sheila. You were able to articulate my thoughts about Mrs. Clinton. I could never understand how “strong, feminist women” could stand behind a woman who refused to stand up to her man. In my opinion,she should have shown him to the door long ago. Of course,that would have ended her political career. Keep standing up for great marriages!
Really interesting article, Sheila. Thanks! I personally (even back in the day of Bill’s early presidency) felt that marriage for the Clintons was a thing of convenience- a power play. I think Hillary has always had plans for the presidency and the “marriage” is just a facade for political gain. Just my two cents.
I TOTALLY agree with the sadness of loosing the value, holiness, and worth of sex. I think our Enemy has done a mighty good job of taking what God has said is “good” and twisting it. In so doing, he is trying to hide the goodness of the Creator and trying to hide the picture of Christ and the Church that a healthy, Biblical marriage can reflect.
On the whole topic of the women’s liberation movement and how it has changed women’s thinking and practices (secularly and in the church), I highly recommend Carolyn McCully’s book “Radical Womanhood”. What a great book! Well researched and challenging. We forget sometimes how the messages all around us actually came to be and how some things we take for granted need to be rethought. This is a great book to do that with. I was fascinated! Young women today don’t understand what the women’s movement did sadly, they are suffering the consequences of the propaganda that said sex means nothing. They said, “do whatever you want with whoever you want”. Sex became divorced from love, sacrifice, and commitment. How different it is if the love of Christ is your example for how you love a spouse! I am so incredibly thankful for this truth having a central role in my own marriage. We are human, to be sure. But what the Lord has shown us is a whole different paradigm that we’ve seen bear incredible fruit. My husband and I each hope to continue to cultivate Christ-like love and service toward one another with Him at the center.
One other quick point I will make about the two candidates. All of my Christian friends had a hard time with this election. Neither candidate had great character, etc. There were so many other republican candidates early on who I would have preferred. That said….I am very, very thankful not to have Hillary as our president for a couple reasons, totally aside from her poor character, etc. This woman does not value life! She is a huge advocate for the slaughter house that is called, “Planned Parenthood”. For me, this strong advocacy for death is a reason I’m thankful she did not win. I’m also thankful because Hillary has spoken out that the if you hold to certain views of marriage, certain views of abortion, basically, your conscience needs to change. You need to change. Your views, your convictions are not allowed. I have no doubt had it been Hillary who was appointing future supreme court justices, we would see an even more rapid decline in TRUE religious liberty. May God continue to slow the tide so that His truths may be known and give life! Eternal life!
Hi Sheila, I’m male, 36, Nigerian now living in Sydney and Christian turned atheist so I understand I’m probably not your target demographic.
I found your blog a while ago as I looked for solutions to my sexless marriage. I wanted to understand things from my wife’s perspective.
I don’t (probably never have) subscribe to this idea of unconditional love. Perhaps taken in context, it means something more nuanced than unconditional love, but it’s not unconditional if it’s contingent on our significant other treating us with love and respect.
I find it inconsistent that Hillary would have shown Bill unconditional love by leaving him for what we now understand are significant shortcomings. I disagree with you that fighting for her marriage and family union is somehow a sign of weakness on her part.
As a man that nearly crashed his marriage with an affair, I don’t see Hillary as a doormat but a fighter and a strategic thinker.
I disagree with you here, but I appreciate hearing how/why some women dislike her so much. How they’d rather put their fates and that of the world in the hands of Mr Trump.
This is a very interesting piece. I enjoyed reading your perspective on it. I didn’t find it judgemental as some readers did. I found it fact based and thought-provoking. The bottomline is that we all need to be honest in all of our endeavors and try to be altruistic by doing what is right and good for all. Both Clinton and Trump had/have their vices, but Trump kept it 100% whether we liked it or not (maybe not 100% more like 90.9% real. Lol!) But more people trusted him than her, and many of the facts in this post explain why. I am still nervous about the next four years in this beloved country, but I will pray for the best for all.
This article completely falls apart when you realize that the alternative – Donald Trump – is on wife #3.
The Obamas marriage is rock solid, so from the above article, it seems you should be very supportive of him.
Oh, I am supportive of Obama’s marriage! Just not his policies.
We don’t vote on marriages, after all.
But we do vote on trust and likeability as well. And all I’m saying is that in the 90s many women’s opinions (especially women of my generation) of Hillary were cemented, never to change. I just don’t think the pundits picked up on that enough, that’s all.
And I’ve never defended Trump’s divorces. In fact, I called the man a pig in a previous article. This wasn’t saying that Trump is better than Hillary; it was only meant to say that to blame Hillary’s defeat on sexism is wrong. People are missing the cultural currents about marriage that happened in the 90s, and I just think they’re important to acknowledge, because they did change our culture forever.
GREAT article!! This could not be better said!! Will be sending this out to friends. Amazing! & echos my thoughts exactly! I’m so sad Malcolm Gladwell said that! He’s also one of my favorites. Glad you shed some light on these atrocities.
I love this article! It is so important to have equal accountability for men and women. I absolutely loathe how there are differing standards of morality for men and women in the society. That if a woman cheats or is promiscuous, she is a w****, a s*** among a host of other colorful names. But if a man is promiscuous, he is a playboy and a ladykiller. The porn culture and sexual permissiveness isn’t making things better. This needs to be said! Thank you for writing about this.
Enjoyed reading this article Sheila, but I have to say that this isn’t why I didn’t vote for Hillary, and since it’s not a political discussion, I won’t go there.
But the situation and circumstances you discuss definitely did make me loose respect for the Clintons, especially Hillary.
And I think their actions contribute to a much larger problem than just looking for love (not to minimize it’s importance), but the problem of no accountability for actions in general.
The idea that I can just do whatever I want to do – no matter the cost or harm to another person – and not be expected to hold any responsibility or accountability for the damage or fall out. This is a most dangerous lesson to be teaching! And it was coming directly from the White House, the leader of the free world at the time.
This isn’t specifically a marriage issue, or a Democrat vs Republican issue, or a Christian issue or even an America issue… it is a foundation issue that disrupts all society.
I think a great lesson to learn here is that our actions ultimately do have consequences. Her actions, and not just the ones you’ve mentioned, cost her the one thing she wanted most. The irony is, at the time, I’m sure she would have said – if she would have owned up to it – that she performed the whole “stand by my man” routine because she thought it would be the route which would ultimately get her exactly the thing she wanted the most – the presidency.
The seeds we plant today will grow. Best we only plant what we really want to reap.
Exactly, Jana! Very well put. It’s not really a political issue (there are political issues where you may disagree with her now, for instance), but to me, this was a more accountability/responsibility issue that cemented a certain view twenty years ago.
And I totally agree with this: “This isn’t specifically a marriage issue, or a Democrat vs Republican issue, or a Christian issue or even an America issue… it is a foundation issue that disrupts all society.”
Do you have higher expectations for Hilary than you do President Elect Trump? Yes Hilary stayed married to a man who had affairs…Trump has