Hulu documentary shows Clinton’s sexism battle


Illustration by Kathleen Hetherington.

When most Americans hear the name Hillary Rodham Clinton, chances are they will think of the words “email” or “Benghazi.” However, the Hulu documentary “Hillary” might change the way we perceive this Iron Lady and absolve her of the sinister acts we subconsciously ascribe to her. The four-part docuseries gives insight into Clinton’s life, primarily told by herself, close relatives and friends. It goes into everything from her humble beginnings in a middle class Chicago suburb to her devastating loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

One of the main focal points of the series, and of Clinton’s life in general, is battling against sexism. Clinton hailed from an era where women could not and were not supposed to win.. She was an innate leader, but had to face barriers from all sides to express her views. She was constantly forced to subside when she could perform better than male candidates, from sidelining at school elections to being turned down from Harvard Law School.

Societal pressures remained a constant presence throughout her life, especially involving her husband, Bill. She was adamant about keeping her last name after marriage, but that was deemed a hindrance to her husband’s gubernatorial campaign, so she had to change it. Though she tried to introduce new policies as First Lady, including a universal healthcare system which would have introduced the efficient and cheap measures now necessary to contain COVID-19,  she was repeatedly talked down by opponents who wanted her to keep quiet, letting her husband talk instead. She was even reproached for not acting like a stereotypical woman when she found out about her husband’s infidelity.

These misogynistic comments unfortunately made their way to her public service too. As Senator of New York and Secretary of State, the general public kept trying to drag her down with nonsensical allegations. During her presidential campaign, Donald Trump accused her of playing the woman card to win the presidency. Media coverage was equally unflattering. Instead of analyzing her resume, political commentators questioned if she was likeable enough to be president.

This documentary shows Clinton struggling with a lot of issues, especially sexism in the media and workforce. It is time to flush our preconceived notions about her because she is not that bad after all. She is but a prey to the vicious society that undermines women and their achievements. Had she not been the kind of woman she is, I believe women would not be regarded as equal human beings as men in this country. With all of the trials she’s gone through in her life, Clinton serves as a great role model to the women of the next generation, reminding them that they have an equal opportunity to create change in the world.