HRC AND THE SINGLE GIRL. David Brooks' latest sociological diagnosis ought probably to be laid to rest on the pages of this blog, but I couldn't resist pointing out the providential correlation between Brooks' new lone rangers and Hillary Clinton's staunchest demographic of supporters among the female electorate. As Judith Warner wrote last month in a hotly debated column in The New York Times , young women are Clinton's most loyal supporters -- not upper-middle-class, professional, middle-aged Caucasian women who more closely resemble Clinton.
I have to admit to being initially put off by Warner's observation that it is the predominantly young and non-college-degree-holding women who back Clinton most fervently. As a 22-year-old on the brink of earning my bachelor's degree -- and a Hillary fan -- I resented having my political leanings belittled by Warner's elitist-ageist analysis. But if there's any truth to Brooks' theory -- and, like Ezra, I think there is -- then perhaps there's something in this emerging (but not entirely new) image of womanhood that is responsible for these voter preferences. Warner herself notes that the Clinton's strength and personal success are seemingly what young women voters are so attracted to, whereas Clinton's strength and personal success are perhaps what older, more established women resent.
Look one more time at Brooks' tart observations of the "new" single girl:
"She's like one of those battle-hardened combat vets, who's had the sentimentality beaten out of her and who no longer has time for romance or etiquette."
This phrase struck me as an apt description of the way people seem to regard Clinton -- and of the way media tend to portray her. But, if you can get past the damning rhetoric and look at the raw qualities of "independence" and "self-sufficiency" Brooks is actually talking about, you can see why these young women admire Clinton the way they do. They see themselves in her.
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