My husband and I have similar careers. We’re both writers and while our careers have taken different trajectories at times, we both write for TV and even more specifically, comedy/variety.
As a woman, I have often been in his shadow and have worked hard to earn my own reputation as being a good writer. A few years ago I thought I had achieved this: I had sold a book, had a screenplay optioned and be
en steadily employed on the same show for over seven years. And then I got my first job after that. The Executive Producer called me up and said he had read my jokes and thought they were good. And then he said, “Did your husband write them?”
Was he joking? I don’t care. I pretended he was because I wanted the job and I was trying to make nice. But the fact that he made it at all speaks to a bigger problem: the belief that women can’t be funny on their own and that a woman in the same career as her husband hasn’t earned it by herself.
It’s why I hate hearing how Hillary Clinton feels “entitled” to the nomination; that she’s gotten where she is “just because of who her husband is” and that you don’t want to live a life with just Clintons and Bushes in office. (Neither of whom have been there for the last 8, by the way.)
Hillary is a woman who has been accused of driving her husband to cheat, faking a brain aneurism and having cankles. Trust me, she doesn’t feel entitled to shit. She knows because of who her husband is she’s had to work twice as hard just to be considered half as good and the sad thing is she’s actually twice as good. The New York Times called her “one of the most broadly and deeply qualified presidential candidates in modern history,” and that’s still not enough. No, the day Bill won that election Hillary’s internal monologue was like, “FUCK! Now nothing I do or achieve on my own will be seen that way.” His failures are her failures but his successes are her opportunism. And the fact that she’s still taking this shit means that she has the strength to actually do this job. I’d be on a goddamn island somewhere.
I’m done trying to “make nice.” You don’t have to like Hillary, but if you’re saying she’s just where she is because of her husband, you’re part of the sexist problem. Because if it wasn’t for her husband, she’d probably be President already. And I’m tired of making nice about it. If you’re saying she thinks she’s entitled, you’re no different from the asshole EP who looked at me suspiciously because I had the audacity to be in the same career as my husband and be good at it. If you think she thinks she’s entitled, you can unfriend me. Because if you look at her like that, that’s how you look at me.
And PS I’m not voting for a Clinton. I’m voting for a Rodham.