The Difference Between Hilary Clinton and Ginni Thomas
I have to admit I’d never heard Ginni Thomas’s name in the news until a few weeks ago. If I asked you to picture a woman who gets involved in politics and often expresses her opinions publicly, you probably would not think of her immediately.
Yet, she sent 29 texts to Mark Meadows urging him to overthrow the election, and has been a powerful conservative activist for years. So why do I hear about it every time Hilary says “go”, but never knew about Ginni Thomas?
“Can’t take a joke!” “Karen!” “Sit down, bitch!” “Hilary needs to sit down and shut up!” “Oprah owes this country an apology!”
Women’s speech is considered dangerous, so dangerous society makes sure any woman who speaks out knows it would be better if she kept her mouth shut. (Twitter is currently filled with thousands of people who want an apology from Oprah Winfrey because Dr. Oz is running for Congress. Take all the time you need with that) But only some women find themselves on the firing line for exercising their freedom of speech. Others- though they wield tremendous power- are never called out for their interference.
It’s never the woman in the background, never the woman married to the powerful man who finds herself the center of an easy target. Only the woman who speaks out in public on her own gets attacked. The one who enables her husband’s bad behavior, public speech, or written works — or even writes those works for him — is immune.
Public vs. Private Women’s Speech
For my thesis, I researched women writers of the French Revolution. The French thought eloquence was a male attribute and any woman speaking in public or writing her own works was, to them, acting like a man. A woman speaking in public was an affront to public decency.
One of these women, Olympe de Gouge, was a playwright and brilliant diplomatic mind. Ahead of her time, she often wrote plays that were anti-slavery and feminist. She wrote works publicly disagreeing with the Jacobin revolutionary government, including opposition to the execution of Marie Antoinette (she understood French bankruptcy had more to with Louis XIV building Versailles…