Skip to comments.Katherine Prudhomme-O’Brien: Hillary Is a Traitor to the Ideals of Feminism
Posted on 01/07/2008 11:32:32 PM PST by doug from upland
DFU NOTE: Katherine became a FReeper after her historic challenge of Al Gore in Dec. 1999 in Derry, NH. She asked him about Juanita Broaddrick. He feigned ignorance. In July, 2007, she asked Hillary face to face about Juanita Broaddrick. Hillary claimed she didn't even know who that was. -- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1865782/posts
This speech was delivered to student groups at Harvard University, Dartmouth College, St. Anselm College in Goffstown, NH and UNH/Durham during the weekend of October 26, 27 and 28, 2007.
It contains my personal opinion on the issue of Hillary Clinton and feminism. My unusual life experiences have given me a perspective not often assumed to belong to a woman.
Hillary Is a Traitor to the Ideals of Feminism
By Katherine Prudhomme-OBrien, October 2007
The fundamental task of a democracy is to pass its essential beliefs on to the next generation. Central among these is the conviction that womens full humanity is an unshakable God given truthand that democracy itself can never be fulfilled unless countries come to know and uphold that truth as intimately as they know their own histories .For so long as women are held back from full participation in the lives of their countries by any meansincluding by the kinds of violence women disproportionately sufferdemocracy will remain incomplete .No woman, no girl, should have to live helplessly under the shadow of that fear
-Hillary Rodham Clinton in a speech given to the
Inter-American Development Bank 10-20-97
I am here today because I refuse to live helplessly under the shadow of fear. I will let nothing get in the way of my conviction that I must uphold the truth and express my full humanity. I must or democracy may become incomplete. I must pass these beliefs on to you-the next generation...
What Im saying in simple terms is that I am a truth fanatic, and it has led me here. I am an accidental political activist, guided by my unusual life experiences and by my difficult early years. Ive overcome difficulty by being tough, tenacious, stubborn, independent and making a concerted effort towards optimism.
My experiences have giving me a greater than usual appreciation for Old School Feminists like Susan B. Anthony and her contemporaries.
If being a feminist is being in favor of fairness, justice, equal opportunities, and for fighting and speaking out for those denied any of these, then count me in as a feminist.
All women and men who want this for their mothers and sisters and friends should count themselves in under this definition of feminism too.
The first time I was asked if I was a feminist was in high school. I was waiting for the lunch bell to ring when one of my classmates asked me if I was one. The other kids stopped talking and waited for my answer. Although I was the only girl in my class, I hadnt thought about it much.
I said Yeah, I guess I am when I need to be. Then I remembered the struggles of some of my male classmates and did not want them to be forgotten so I added that I was sometimes a masculist too, I guess that makes me an equalist, which are words I just made up. Dan smiled at me, the bell rang and that was the end of it for a long time.
Feminism, equalism, human rights, I dont care what you call them, but I do care deeply about any attempt to mutilate and devalue their sacred meaning. I dont say sacred lightly. Without fairness, justice and equal opportunities, many people will begin to cynically ask themselves, why continue to striving towards excellence if we dont live in a meritocracy?
Equal opportunity and fair treatment is how I overcame those challenges of a difficult childhood and achieved the happiness I now have. I learned at a young age, both by observing people about me and through the books-biographies-I loved so much that having the means to support myself as soon as possible was going to be my ticket to a dignified life. Self sufficiency means a woman never has to compromise her values just to eat or have a roof over her or her childrens heads.
When I attended Boyet Junior High School in Slidell, Louisiana in 1983, I was not allowed to take metal shop classes because of my gender. When I came back in Massachusetts, I attend a trade high school for its golden opportunity for me to learn trade, a marketable skill to support myself and ensure my future dignity with.
In 1988, I became Northeast Regional Vocational and Technical High Schools first female to graduate from the Machine Shop program. For a few years, I worked in a machine shop in the summers to pay for college, where I studied music. I went on to work for nearly a decade as a piccolo, then a flute maker. Im currently a stay at home mom, teaching my daughters, a first and an eighth grader.
I never got my degree in Womens Studies or anything like that but my life story ought to count for something. I know Ive earned my feminist stripes.
I used to think that being a kind and caring person meant giving people special status based not upon merit but upon the perception that their group had once been held down.
Yes, I was a Democrat.
In the mid 1990s I voted for Jeanne Shaheen for New Hampshire Governor. I was so proud when she was elected as New Hampshires first female governor, I held my oldest daughter up to the TV when she was sworn in. Look, honey I said you can be governor too! My daughter was still in diapers at the time and seemed to have no idea what I was talking about.
In the late 90s my politics changed for many reasons, some were issues specific to my efforts to keep dangerous sexual predators off the streets of New Hampshire, some were about taxes and education funding. I was working full time then and had a young child. I recall that I even gave the benefit of the doubt to Bill Clinton over the issue of him having an affair. I did not care much about his personal life because my own was so busy.
When America learned the truth, I thought he was rather foolish and selfish to open himself up to blackmail. I also felt bad for his wife. But after he showed himself to be a liar, I began to realize that the central issue of the scandal was really about sexual harassment and the rewards women could get for granting him favors.
It was not simply about an affair and I began to see that people who said so, were being manipulative.
I was shocked when I saw Juanita Broaddrick interviewed by Lisa Myers on Dateline NBC on Feb 24, 1999. It was just within days of former president Clintons impeachment trial. Broaddrick told Myers that Bill Clinton raped her in an Arkansas hotel room in 1978, while he was Attorney General and running for governor. It was obviously a very well researched piece with witnesses who backed up Juanitas story.
Juanita said she feared for her life after Clinton raped her. She lay on the bed, bleeding from where her lip was bitten and waited for someone to come take the body away.
Clinton has never offered any proof about why she may be lying and I had just learned that he will lie to your face if he thinks hell get away with it.
The only wrinkle in Juanitas story was that in 1997 she said in a sworn deposition to Paula Joness lawyers that she had not been assaulted.
Broaddrick later told me that she just wasnt brave enough to tell the story sooner and that the false deposition was an attempt to make the whole thing just go away.
I found her story to be quite credible so I asked Vice President Al Gore at a town hall meeting at WNDS TV in December of 1999 in Derry, NH if he believed Broaddricks claim that Bill Clinton raped her.
Lets go back and look at what Gore said in 1991 while he was a US Senator and his explanation for why he voted against confirming Clarence Thomas;
Every woman who has ever struggled to be heard over a society that too often ignores even their most painful calls for justicewe simply cannot take for granted that the victim or the woman is always wrong.
In answer to my question about Broaddrick, Gore said he didnt know how to evaluate those charges, he hadnt seen the interview, but forgave the president and thought the American people wanted to move on. Odd, I thought, coming from a person who fought so hard to tell the story of Anita Hills experiences with Clarence Thomas.
People have said I was brave to ask Gore about the interview but I was honestly just being my curious self. I even thought other people must have asked about it too because it seemed so obvious to me.
Broaddrick called me a few days later and thanked me for asking the question. I took the opportunity to ask Juanita about specific things people had brought up to me that kept them from fully believing her claim. She answered all my questions logically and absent of any of the malice that people often associate with nutcases. She impressed me as a very kind person and highly competent businesswomen who spent her career caring for the elderly, operating nursing homes.
Juanita brought up Hillary Clinton and told me I should know about what she did as well. She told me that Hillary had asked people about her soon after the attack. Those people knew Juanita and told her about it. It struck them as strange.
Juanita, who was the Crawford County Chair for Bill Clintons campaign for governor went to an event at a local dentists home that she couldnt get out of without having to explain why she wouldnt go. She thought there would be fewer questions asked if she just made a quick appearance rather than make no appearance.
Hillary Clinton made a bee line for her soon after Juanita arrived and started gushing: Ive heard so much about you, thank you so much for all you are doing and we appreciate it so much.
Juanita told me this struck her as and odd reaction from Mrs. Clinton-if all she was talking about was the campaign-because Juanita tells me she wasnt doing all that much on the campaign, others were working much harder.
She realized that this was not really about the campaign and she backed away and tried to leave but Hillary grabbed her arm and said thank you for all you will continue to do.
Do you understand? And for all that youll continue to do.
Juanita broke away and left. She thinks Hillary said the things she did as a kind of threat.
She placed the campaign signs she had in a burn pile at a local chair factory. That must have looked rather weird because the campaign was still going on. Then she quietly faded away from the campaign.
If Juanita is lying, give her an Academy Award and fine her for slander.
Oh, but its far, far worse than that. She isnt. Her story is an Inconvenient Truth.
(I called it that in 2000, long before Gore used the phrase himself.)
After Hillary said she was offended by the sight of women being assaulted at the 2000 Puerto Rican Day Festivities in NYC, I decided I was too was offended. I was offended that she had not yet made any comment upon Juanita Broaddricks claim and said why she did or did not believe her. If these charges were false youd think she would be pretty angry. If these charges were true, youd think she would also be pretty angry-but at someone else. Any intelligent, good, decent and brave women, a woman who truly cares about the core values of feminism, would be furious and eager to tell the world that deserved that fury.
I figured that Mrs. Clinton must know a lot about the issue of sexual assault in general as she was instrumental in the creation of Arkansass first rape crisis hotline and rape crisis center.
I sent her a copy of the Dateline NBC interview by certified mail and delivered another copy to her senate campaign headquarters at a demonstration I led on August 19, 2000.
Hillary has said that she talks to her husband about everything, so she should ask him about the serious charge of rape made against him. She keeps playing this nutty game of not knowing who she is and its getting old. Playing stupid just because things are hard is not the hallmark of a leader.
Here are eight reasons why Hillary should know who Juanita Broaddrick is;
1. She knew Juanita Broaddrick in real life (this is usually good enough for most people) when Juanita Broaddrick was Crawford County Chair of Bill Clintons Gubernatorial Campaign.
2. She asked people in Arkansas about her in the days after Bill Clintons April 25, 1978 meeting with Broaddrick.
3. Broaddrick was interviewed by Dorothy Rabinowitz in an article published on February 19, 1999 in a newspaper based in New York. I would assume Hillary is familiar with it. It is called The Wall Street Journal. Oh, yeah, she does know it-she gets her stock tips from that newspaper.
4. Dateline NBC, a nationally broadcast show, aired the Lisa Myers interview just a few days later on February 24, 1999. For some reason, NBC and the Vermont based transcript company that works for NBC does not provide transcripts of this specific program, it you would like the week prior to the Myers interview or the week after, no problem. The lady at the transcript company even commented to me that was very unusual. I got a video anyway but from a different source. Surely, someone Hillary knows could have told her what the main points of the interview were.
5. Just in case Hillary-and every single person she knows-did miss it, I sent a copy of the Myers interview to her U.S. Senate headquarters on Aug. 15, 2000. All she needs to do is get it from Mr. or Ms. St. Jean Batiste because that is who signed for it.
6. I led a demonstration on Aug. 19, 2000 at 450 Seventh Ave., outside her Senate Campaign headquarters. Someone in her office should have noticed that-unless all her staffers are really, really incompetent. I can almost hear them now Hey-whats that demonstration about outside, why are all those people holding signs and giving speeches-the police are there too, whats going on? I dont know. Is it about Hillary? I dont know Should we find out? What? Who? No, I dont recall anything, nothings happening. Hey dude-are you going to Starbucks? Whatever.
7. While at her headquarters, I went on up to Suite 804 where I provided a painfully shy staffer of hers with yet another copy of the Dateline NBC/Myers interview. I say he was painfully shy because he refused to tell me his name or show me his face, but I got a pretty good look at his hand.
8. In July of this year, I went to Daniel Webster College in Nashua, NH where Hillary was speaking. When I RSVPed to go, the campaign worker told me there would be a question and answer period after the speech. So I came prepared to ask the same question.
After the speech, there were no questions taken. Loud music began. I joined people at the front who were getting stuff signed by both her and former President Clinton. I thought she might tell me that she did not know who Broaddrick was so I brought the green card that Mr. or Ms. St. Jean Batiste had signed showing her that her office received the video of the interview.
I passed it forward for her to sign and as she gave it back to me, I asked her if she believed Juanita Broaddrick. She said she did not know who she was. I said she is the woman who was interviewed on Dateline NBC who said she was raped by Bill Clinton in 1978.
I explained the light green card and the video I sent by certified mail and how that works and how that made me certain that her office received it.
After passing it back to be and saying that she did not know what I was talking about,
(Did she mean Broaddrick or how certified mail works?) She went back in the direction she had just come from and I asked why she was doing this because she had always been so good to rape survivors in the past. You know-the rape crisis center and hotline in Arkansas. I had to raise my voice to be heard over the blaring music.
A man who looked like he may be with the Secret Service grabbed both my arms and pushed me back. I was leaving anyway. Talking to somebody who is lying to you is like talking to a crazy person.
As I tried to talk to someone in the media area, more Secret Service looking guys and the Nashua Police became very eager to escort me out towards my car. How chivalrous of them. They told me Id be arrested if I did not leave but they would not tell me why.
Call me a spoiled New Hampshireite but I expect campaign stops to have question and answer periods. If they dont have them, they are called rallies. Frankly, her campaign is a sham.
So there you have it, a desperate, pathetic need to keep honest questioners away plagues her campaign. Its a perfect model of how to run a campaign-if youre a dictator.
She is like a frightened, silly little girl who wont play by the rules and then complains that the other girls and boys are being too mean.
She pretends to be ignorant of the Broaddrick issue because she hopes it will all go away is she just wishes hard enough. She wants those who talk about it to appear to be nuts. I wont be nuts for you Hillary. Im not playing that game.
Susan B. Anthony was derided for daring to say women should have the vote. Anthony was no less right and her arguments validity was no less sound because of what small minded, frightened people said. Remember that when anybody tells you that Juanita is a non issue, that Hillary has no connection to her husbands sins and that the American people want to move on and stop obsessing on his sex life. When did the crime of rape revert back to being about a mans sex life and not a crime?
Al Gores December, 1999 answer to my question revealed a desperate lack of desire to find out the truth. In Hillarys silence, multiplied by the length of time she has stayed silent-I hear her answer so loud and clear. Each an every day she does not address it, she tells us over and over that she is an enabler.
She thinks we dont notice the evil deal she made in never confronting an abusive and powerful man so she could hitch her star to him. She must think she is unable to stand or run on her own accomplishments. Her actions have made a joke out of one of the most important ideas ever to be employed in the fight against sexual assault.
That is the idea that women rarely lie about the painful crime of rape. Do we have DNA evidence or video of the assault? No. What we do have is the knowledge that the accused is a boldfaced, manipulative, habitual liar who will not even defend himself because he seems to have no facts to employ in that fight, and that Broaddrick was extremely reluctant to ever tell her story. This creates for us an over abundance of reasonable doubt.
It hurts me deeply as an American to have to think that our former President is a rapist. If we take our direction from Hillary Clinton and ignore this issue, we discard an opportunity to get our country back on the path to a better future. It is our duty to strive for this.
How can Hillary Clinton ever-with a straight face-stand on any stage anywhere and say that she will fight for sexual assault victims? Finding money as a US Senator for our hospitals to buy rape test kits with is not the same as taking real action to attack the wimpy attitudes that allow specific men to be rapists in the first place. The companies that make rape test kits will be in business for a long, long time if all women were to practice Hillarys personal kind of non action in the ongoing fight against sexual assault.
In doing and saying nothing about Brodericks claim, Hillary and nearly every single member of the current American feminist leadership have brought us back to a time when only the right kind of women, those who do not dare to make claims of rape against powerful men, will be convenient enough to be believed.
We must judge Hillary on merit alone. A person who votes for her because they place her gender above her merit is sexist, just as a person who would choose a man, putting his gender above his merit, would also be sexist. A person should be judged by the content of their character, not the contents of their underwear.
Some people know I am right but want to vote for Hillary anyway because they agree with her on other issues. They should know that to do so, they drive a stake into the heart of the feminist ideals of equality and fair treatment.
Hillary Clinton does not live the life she sings about in her song. She has as much of a right to comment on of what is in the best interest of women as does a slave trader who claims to be an abolitionist.
This week, for the first time in the history of space exploration, two women are in charge of different spacecraft. Peggy Whitson is in command of the international space station and Pamela Melroy is commanding the space shuttle Discovery.
How many of you knew that?
NASA insists that it is a coincidence, not a PR stunt. I say-thats great. If there were any hint that these women were advanced due to any other reason than talent and effort, it would undermine the efforts of those who worked harder or were better. It would cast doubt on the efforts of all women. Furthermore, if they were not the best persons for the job it would compromise the integrity and safety of the mission.
This event of two highly qualified women coincidentally commanding spacecraft at the same time is a giant leap forward for womankind because it was based on their merit.
If it were not, it would have been a giant leap backwards for womankind.
Would I like to see a woman president someday? Of course I would, but I love my country more than my gender. I only want people of the highest merit and character in the office of the Presidency. Hillary is not that person.
In closing, I will tell you about a time when my oldest daughter was about ten and she was reading a book about Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She came running to me and told me how angry she was to learn that wife beating was once allowed in this country. My daughter seemed to want some kind of explanation from me about how we could have allowed that. I wanted so much to answer my daughter correctly. It was as if her love for America hinged upon my getting this explanation right.
I told her Cady Stanton was heroic to point out that we were wrong in our thinking it was normal to beat women. I asked her to notice the fact that America listened to these cries of injustice.
America got better, we have had great wrongs in our past but we have always gotten better. Women vote now, slavery is not legal anywhere. I told her that her great-great grandfather even fought for the North, in The Union Army, in the war over that issue.
We know that violence in the home is unacceptable and we consistently fight against it.
Weve gone to great lengths to fix great wrongs in our country. Always striving to be better and dedicating ourselves to high character has historically been the cornerstone of our greatness. We cant coast now. The only time you go anywhere when youre coasting is when youre going downhill. That momentum isnt based on any of our personal efforts. Only by personally dedicating ourselves to high character will we really move forward as a country and fulfill our duty to the future generations as they have done for us in the past. We can only pay this debt by the constant pursuit of good character.
There may be times in your life when you see great wrongs that large groups of powerful people pretend are normal. Thats when we need to be like Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
One far off day, when we are all long gone, our great-great grandchildren and their daughters could well have the same kind of conversation I had with mine that day.
I will work hard to cause them to then say that at least I was on the right side of history.
Yeah, Hillary did have a kid (a white kid at that) — so by the criteria most radical feminists set I suppose Hillary is a traitor to feminism.
What an amazing article. It’s astounding that we’ve had a rapist in the Oval Office and all people can talk about is his “charm”.
A very good essay that, because a radical climate-change, just might get the MSM’s attention this time around.
night time bump
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