Not to dredge up old posts (I've been on vacation and spending time with my family for the past several days), but my post on Hilary Clinton's first lady experience brought about exactly the reaction I might have expected: the assumption that I desire Clinton to win the candidacy and the presidency because my vote as a feminist means I will throw my support behind whatever woman approaches spitting distance.

Let's just be clear about one thing: I do no such thing. Clinton's politics are not ideal for many progressives, and this is one of many reasons I don't throw my support behind Clinton. When I wrote the post, I simply wanted to point out the fact that men and women are judged differently when it comes to experience as politicians. But Patrick Healy's article did have address a question that's been bubbling below the surface throughout the primary season: When you are a woman married to a politician, do you count? How much? Does it matter? I don't expect female candidates for president to be held to "lower standards," but rather I asked a question. What does count? The answer was overwhelmingly in favor of the existing paradigm.

The fact that my post engendered such a vehement no suggests that women face endless challenges when it comes to the merging of public and private lives. Clinton seems to serve as a cautionary tale to young women; if you decide to support your partner in his endeavor for office, you may forever forgo your own desire to do the same. Male politicians, on the other hand, rarely face challenges framed in the same way.

--Kay Steiger

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