Take-No-Prisoners Cover On New Book About Hillary Raises Eyebrows

Hillary Clinton, despite her massive polling lead in the Democratic primaries, is a divisive figure on both sides of the aisle. And the sparking point for the latest Clinton-based controversy is a painting of Hillary, looking cold as ice, pointing a gun directly at the viewer. The image, by painter Sarah Sole, is the cover for a new book by Doug Henwood, noted liberal Clinton critic, about Clinton’s political career. My Turn and its cover art have stirred up quite a bit of controversy amongst Internet commentators. Jon Lovett, who once wrote an episode of The Newsroom, tweeted, “you must be so happy with the cover! It's not disgusting at all!” Amanda Marcotte, of Salon, tweeted “I keep hearing it’s unfair to think that some of the male Clinton haters on the left might have issues with women.” Author Doug Henwood offered his analysis: “It's saying she's cold and ruthless (in contrast with her husband, I might add, who's warmer but no less ruthless).” Irin Carmon, co-author of Notorious RBG, tweeted, “Wow the @HillaryClinton campaign is really going next level in portraying her as a badass.” Painter Sarah Sole, in an interview with Slate, said that she feels “drawn” to Clinton. “She’s got this larger-than-life physicality about her,” Sole told Slate, “and this butch demeanor embodied in an incredibly female form.” Sole disagrees that the depiction of Clinton in an aggressive light is anti-feminist. “I’m hyper-feminist,” Sole told Slate. “I see an embrace of Hillary aesthetically as an incredible feminist statement.” Some of Sole’s art expliciltly sexualizes Clinton, including superimposing her head on a much younger woman’s body while Clinton wields a pair of hand cannons. “I don’t hyper-eroticize her or cosmetically correct her. I love the signature folds of her face; I love the animation of her eyes,” Sole told Slate. “The fertility, that big human mass of Hillary, is so scary to us.” The painting, if we may say, is kind of amazing. Obviously, this raises an issue: Is a powerful Hillary threatening? To a certain type of person, she quite obviously is. But a depiction of a confrontational, powerful woman shouldn't be automatically perceived as a negative depiction. Anyway, Hillary looks more take-no-prisoners than murderous. And don’t we want a President that doesn’t back down from anyone?

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