Ugly Truth: The Hillary Email Issue Is About Making a Powerful Woman Bow Down and Apologize

By Peter Daou and Tom Watson

In the aftermath of a Hillary Clinton interview with Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC is running an online poll asking if Hillary should apologize for using a private email at the State Department.

Here are some headlines emerging from the interview:

Daily News: Hillary Clinton 'takes responsibility' for email controversy, but won't apologize for using private server 

The Hill: Hillary Clinton refuses to apologize for email choices 

Daily Caller: Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Apologize For Private Emails

This comes on the heels of weeks of (mostly male) pundits condescendingly suggesting Hillary should apologize for her actions.

No, Hillary should not apologize for doing what she was legally entitled to do.

This isn't about the emails anymore. It never was. It's about making a woman bow down before the powers that be, something Hillary has never done. After all, Donald Trump has spent the summer demeaning women, embracing xenophobia, and smearing a POW, but we don't see the media and elite commentariat clamoring for an apology. 

Hillary is one of the most popular women in U.S. political history and the first with a legitimate shot at the White House. She is bold, dignified, and highly intelligent. She is Hillary Clinton in a world where there isn’t supposed to be a Hillary Clinton. Because of that, the institutional purveyors of gender bias want to tear her down.

Words like “contrite,” “apologize,” and “sorry” imply submission. Hillary’s detractors want to see her grovel. They will hammer away at the email faux-scandal until they get what they want.

And they will blame her for it if they don't. How many times will we hear the media and commentariat accuse Hillary of "allowing" the email story to drag on? How often will we hear them criticize her for "not putting it to rest?"

What a farce. Hillary can no more stop these people from obsessing over the emails than she can stop the sun from rising tomorrow.

With each new day, the anti-Hillary forces march into battle, fighting to destroy and demean her, to make her sorry for being who she is.

As #HillaryMen, we will fight back even harder to defend her.


Peter Daou and Tom Watson founded #HillaryMen to provide actionable analysis of the 2016 campaign focusing on the gender barrier in U.S. politics. Peter is a former senior digital adviser to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative. He is a veteran of two presidential campaigns (Kerry '04 and Clinton '08). Tom is an author and Columbia University lecturer who advises companies and non-profits on social activism.