So no one was surprised when Rush Limbaugh publicly ruminated on Huma Abedin’s Islam and its role as the proximate cause of her “powerless” support of her husband and his bid to succeed Michael Bloomberg as Mayor of America’s first city. More troubling was liberal feminist Maureen Dowd, urging her New York Times readership to remember Ms. Abedin’s upbringing in Saudi Arabia, where “women are treated worse by men than anywhere else on the planet,” as the only way to make sense of this otherwise inexplicable case of marital fidelity. But this, too, is only shocking to those uneducated about the feminist movement’s long history of having white women speak on behalf of black and brown women, without bothering to actually pay attention to the latter group’s unique experiences.
In the same article, conceptually in the same breath, Dowd compares Abedin to her mentor, Hillary Clinton. No stranger to the sexual infidelities of a less-than-scrupulous husband, Clinton made the exact same choice as Abedin: to publicly support her man in the face of loud voices calling for the death of his career and their marriage. Unsurprisingly, Dowd has no qualm with Clinton’s decision–the paragon of feminism is beyond reproach. The painfully relevant point that both Hillary and Huma came of age in the crucible of American politics, where women are routinely mistreated by their politician husbands, isn’t broached.