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Once again in the latest presidential debate, Bill Clinton’s infidelity has been thrown in his wife, Hillary Clinton’s face. After all the public humiliation that they suffered when the scandal first broke, she still gave her marriage another chance. Would it be a non-issue if she had gone ahead with a divorce? Or would even that be somehow twisted into a character flaw at this time? Finding out about a husband’s affair is devastating for any woman. It destroys her confidence in him, herself and their marriage. Some women may choose to separate while some may decide to stay and work it out. Either option is very difficult and takes years before the wounds can start healing. They can never be completely mended and the scars remain. Here is a woman who had to go through all this in the public spotlight. It is a measure of her strength. Yet after all these years, the questions are back and they have to be answered all over again.
Is this not the case in our country too? Most of the time, it is the woman’s responsibility to keep her family together, no matter what the personal cost. If the husband wanders, it is her fault, she is not keeping him happy. If the family separates, it is her fault because she didn’t subjugate herself to the unfair practices of other family members. Even our Honourable Supreme Court has recently put its stamp on this regressive thought.
Hillary Clinton seems to be one of those people who have worked single-mindedly towards their goal their entire lives. Now when she is closer to it, she has her life’s personal setbacks thrown in her face. A woman running for the most powerful office in the world cannot escape what many other women in this world go through. I am sure this is not the first time she must have experienced the jeering and ridicule. To reach where she has today, she must have had to break a few glass ceilings and it shows. It shows in the way she has handled herself during this barrage. She has tried to ignore it as much as possible and kept on focussing on the real issues at hand. She has maintained her poise and not resorted to melodrama, nor tried to gain sympathy from voters (at least not directly). I am not a supporter of Hillary Clinton as I do not have enough information to lean either way, but she does have my respect as a woman trying to stand up and achieve something. In doing so, she has set an example for other women to follow. Ignore the naysayers and rabble rousers, keep working tirelessly towards your dream. She is not giving up easily and neither should we.