Hillary Becomes Us

Every Harvard woman should be for Hillary. Yes, she went to Wellesley, it's true, but though not one of our own, Hillary is undeniably one of us. She isn't just a typical Harvard girl, she's the entire institution of Radcliffe--and now Harvard--women.

Ivy-League educated (Yale Law, don't forget), smart as a whip and not-so-well-liked, Hillary is known for her artful equivocations in front of grand juries (Whitewater). We're known for them on our exams.

In an award-winning article, a Radcliffe student, Faye Levine '65, once broke us Harvard women down into three categories; peach, chocolate and lime. Chocolate is the high-achieving sort, not as pretty as peach or chic as lime, but ambitious and bright. We participate in extracurriculars with a vengeance, we won't shut up in section and like Hillary, people never need to wonder what we think.


We can imagine ourselves, and Hillary, being the kind of "girls who address envelopes for the Young Democrats, meet the boys who aspire to the Senate, and on rainy days...look more rained on than in other classes," as Levine wrote. Yes, it's sad but true--us chocolates aren't all that glamorous. But, like Hillary, we were our graduation speakers, the one who always raised knew the answer, the inveterate teacher's pet and annoying classmate. Shamefully, we too wore those ugly headbands.

That doesn't mean we aren't winning, nonetheless. In the olden days of aristocracy (Levine wrote her Dana Reed Prize-winning essay in 1963) there may have been more New York peach types, or beatnik limes, but in the new millennium meritocracy, us chocolates are in the majority.

And though in our college days we have little time for our appearance because we are studying fiercely, just like Hillary did, we know that our best years are yet to come. We feel happy knowing that, like Hillary, as soon as we make our millions on Wall Street or Pennsylvania Avenue, we will be able to afford expensive make-overs that will reveal our true beauty. Thanks to Hillary, we can smirk at all the lovely peaches and cool limes knowing that we, the chocolates, have the best end-game.

It hasn't been all good times though. Like Hillary, we had our early '90s health care crisis; the failed banning of final clubs by the now-defunct Radcliffe Union of Students. That didn't help our popularity much. And, sadly enough, in the new millennium we still haven't dealt with the issue to either of our satisfactions.

Though we don't like to admit it because we're perfectionists too, we made mistakes just like Hillary did: She had shady, secretive dealings in an Arkansas land deal; we had shady, secretive dealings in a Harvard merger involving buildings on land. Neither of us likes to talk about it much.


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