If you’re like me, a good portion of your quarantine has been spent scrolling through streaming services, looking for something mildly entertaining to watch. After I binge-watched Tiger King, I was again left bored and in need of something new to occupy my time. Enter: Hillary. One of my friends, and a fellow poli-sci major, recommended the four-part Hulu docuseries, and soon enough my curiosity got the better of me, and I hit play on the first episode.
- Hillary was a political activist long before she married Bill and entered the national conversation.
As someone who is still just 20, I grew up knowing Hillary as Bill’s wife and then Obama’s Secretary of State. I had no idea how much activism she was involved in previously. From delivering speeches in her high school days, to being one of the first women at Yale, to her time as a lawyer, this woman is a Feminist Icon. I had no idea just how deep her roots of advocacy on behalf of women and children went. Now, people see her as a career politician, but her foundation was truly that of an activist, something we should all remember now
- She has spent her life walking a fine line
One of the most common critiques of Hillary is that she is too cold and calculated. Well, in the docuseries, Hillary goes in depth into that criticism, where it stems from, and where it leaves her. In her early career, she explains that she was often told to mask her emotions and come off as more traditionally masculine, in order to avoid being written off in rooms filled by men. Then, when she became the first lady of Arkansas, she started being criticized for not being traditionally feminine enough. This was the beginning of a long road Hillary has had to walk, which culminated in the 2016 election. After spending years and years suppressing emotion lest she be labelled an overly emotional woman, angry woman, etc, all of the sudden voters were claiming she couldn’t be trusted because she was cold and unemotional. I honestly can’t imagine how frustrating that was, but watching the docuseries gave me some much needed context for why she is the way she is.
- Bill owes her A LOT
I think when seeing Bill as a charismatic politician, and considering he had his political career first, it can be easy to write him as the power player in their relationship. But, his career would not have been possible without Hillary at his side. From their days in law school together, to adjusting to his role as governor, to her defense of him throughout his (multiple) affairs, it is safe to say Bill Clinton’s career would not have been possible without Hillary as copilot. This series gives so much insight into the dynamic of their relationship, and ultimately how her role in Bill’s endeavors contributed to her loss in 2016.
- Hillary is so much more than I thought
The one thing I kept thinking while watching this series, was how little I actually knew about Hillary Clinton before watching. As someone who is interested and active in politics, I consider myself pretty knowledgeable on the major players, including Hillary. Yet, there was so much of her history and personality that I saw for the first time watching the series. I really can’t recommend watching it enough. Even people who are insistent they hate her and always will would benefit from learning a bit more about who she truly is
While some people may not be super into the idea of spending four hours learning about Hillary Clinton, I encourage everyone to check this series out. It is more than just Hillary’s story, it is a story of women in politics. It is the story of one woman as she works to break down barriers in everything she does. And, it is the story of the 2016 election told from the front lines. So, I challenge you to put what you ~think~ you know about her aside and give this docuseries the chance it (and she!) deserves.