You've come a long way, baby

Usually when pundits complain about the misogyny of mass media, I pay it no heed. Here in the warm environs of Chenango County, surely my higher mind is immune to such prevailing prejudice, right?

Not necessarily.

Earlier this week, when placing the story about the New Hampshire primary on the front page of The Evening Sun, I caught myself writing the headline “Primary wins for McCain, Hillary.”


Of course the published version you actually saw read “Primary wins for McCain, Clinton” -- as it should be. After I caught my faux pas, I wondered when it became acceptable to refer to the former First Lady, New York Senator and presidential hopeful by her first name only -- when all her male counterparts are more respectfully, and correctly, called in shorthand by their last names.

If you think about it, you’ve heard the name “Hillary” bandied about solely far more often than you’ve heard candidates called “John,” “Barack,” or “Mitt.”

(But while we’re on the subject, who names their kid Mitt??)

While the men in the race are commonly referred to by surname, it’s become perfectly acceptable to call Clinton simply “Hillary.” And don’t tell me it’s to distinguish her from her husband. Particularly on cable news talk shows (seriously, why can’t I look away when Bill O’Reilly’s on screen? Because I love to torture myself, that’s why), the first-name nomenclature seems to be a subversive way of diminishing the senator’s importance in the race, or politics in general.

I’m not a huge Clinton fan admittedly, but I do believe she deserves the same respect as her male counterparts. I’m ashamed of the mistake I almost made. Unless you know her personally, stop calling her “Hillary.”


On a totally different subject (I’ll spare you trying to connect this week’s random thoughts with some ‘iconic women’ subtext), I had the opportunity earlier this week to attend Colorscape Chenango’s annual meeting at Fred’s Inn. Chief among the changes noted in the coming year are the ‘retirement’ of longtime Board of Directors president Bob Benton, who’s being replaced in that spot by former festival director Peggy Finnegan. A new addition to Colorscape’s corporate structure is the creation of the “Chairman of the Board” position – bestowed this year upon former Council of the Arts exec Lucy Funke. As I understand it, the chairman role will act as the community ambassador for spreading word of Colorscape’s mission and activities. In that context, I can think of no better representative than Lucy (and I can call her by her first name because I do in fact know her -- see how this all relates?). Her storied tenure as Arts Council director and subsequent work with Golden Artist Colors I dare say make her, and only a precious few of you will get this reference, the Kitty Carlisle Hart of Chenango County. Excellent choice, Colorscape.

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