Book review: Penis Politics

I now know more about Karen Hinton than I ever expected to know. However, the trajectory of her life is a textbook study of everything that is wrong about how We, the People once inculcate girls in these here United States. Notice the present tense. It has not stopped.

Yes, the book is filled with graphic details, some of which are almost too much, yet they remain, in some sense, not enough. Ms. Hinton’s story is not a one-off, or even a rarity. From the moment a trusted high school coach abuses a fellow athlete, we already know the outrage of some teenage girls isn’t gonna amount to anything that resembles action. As Ms. Hinton progresses through the halls of power, we already know what she will be up against…because we’ve seen it played out before. The lives of Anita Hill, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and even Ruth Bader Ginsburg all provide theme and variation of this story: women are brutalized by men for doing their jobs well.

What separates Ms. Hinton from most of us is her willingness to put pen to paper. Once it’s in print, the story is out there, unretractable, and accessible forever. Like Isikoff’s UNCOVERING CLINTON, there is no going back. No one can truthfully refute any of it. Anyone who reads a newspaper is already aware of what machinations go on behind theoretically closed doors of government. Ergo, this is really a cautionary tale.

If you take nothing else away from this book, take with you the understanding that Ms. Hinton is, so unfortunately, NOT unique. There isn’t a woman in today’s workplace who has not been played by a man believing his gender is more equal than hers. Women can and must continue to fight the fight, but until the “equipment owners” decide to get on board, it will continue to be an uphill battle.

Brava, Karen Hinton! You speak bluntly, compellingly, and bravely for the rest of us.

You can find PENIS POLITICS on Amazon.

Published by SJSchwaidelson@The Author Is In

New York born and bred, living in Minnesota, I am a widow, mother, grandmother, and writer. These are the things I do well.

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