America’s Sweetheart

Reflections on Shuffle-Play

America’s Sweetheart

By Elle King

I just listened to an interview with Hillary Clinton on Fresh Air. It’s wonderful to finally hear her perspective of the events surrounding the election. I have always liked Hillary Clinton a great deal. She is smart, eloquent, accomplished, and tough as nails. I can’t understand why some seem to hate her so much and look for every reason to trash her and belittle her. During the election, I heard one elderly gentleman say that the reason she did so much better in the debates than her opponent was because she got the debate questions ahead of time. That was the only way he could make sense in his head that she was doing so well. It couldn’t possibly be that she was smarter, better qualified, more knowledgeable, an infinitely superior speaker, and more prepared than her opponent.  Nope, must have gotten the questions beforehand.

There is not a single woman who will be surprised at his statement, though. Our whole lives we have heard echoes of this. “Our new pastor is a woman, but she does a pretty great job!”(Impossible, but true!) “Oh, you are a pastor? Is your husband a pastor, too?” (Nope, I came up with the idea all by myself!) “So are you the youth and family minister? May I speak with the Senior pastor.” (You are speaking to her.) “Where do you get your sermons? Does the synod send those to you?” (Nope, just me and the Holy Spirit write those babies every week).

Now, I must admit that for every case of sexism I have encountered, there have been plenty more cases where people have been supportive, encouraged me, congratulated me on my accomplishments, and been all-around awesome.  This may be because in my denomination, women have been ordained since 1970. They are used to women being pastors and pretty much rocking at it. It’s mostly when I venture into circles outside my own church and denomination that I hear the most abrasive sexism. When I do experience it, I feel a mixture of anger and pity. Mostly pity. I know that for someone to say something that denies the strength and capabilities of women means that they are either trying to compensate for something that is missing in their own lives, are jealous, or have deep-seated anger issues toward women that they may not even realize. Perhaps they have been surrounded by patriarchal systems their whole lives and just don’t know any better.

While I still sit stunned and sad in the shards that remain from the election, I’m so thankful that Hillary Clinton ran for President, and now is telling her story.  Her strength is admirable. To weather all that she has in the spotlight, to do so with grace and class, to keep hammering away at that glass ceiling – she is a fierce champion to so many of us, no matter what the results of the election were. No, she may not be all of America’s sweetheart – but she still has my vote.

You keep on being you, Hillary. I dedicate this song to you today.

 “America’s Sweetheart”

No, there ain’t nothing that I gotta prove
You think your words will make me black and blue, but I
I think I’m pretty with these old boots on
I think it’s funny when I drink too much, hey
You tryna change me, you can go to hell
Cause I don’t wanna be nobody else
I like the chip I got in my front teeth
And I got bad tattoos you won’t believe

So kick out the jams, kick up the soul
Pour another glass of that rock and roll
Turn up the band, fire in the hole
Gonna lose control tonight

What do you want from me
I’m not America’s sweetheart
So beat the drum with me
I’m not America’s sweetheart
Well, they say I’m too loud
For this town
So I lit a match
And burned it down
What do you want from me
I’m not America’s sweetheart
But you love me anyway

My hands are dirty and my heart is cold
Them boys I’ve been with say I got no soul, when I
I need another honey at the bar
I’ll think it’s funny when I break his heart
My kind of medicine is whiskey straight
I got a mouth to put you in your place, and they
They said I’ll never be the poster type
But they don’t make posters of my kind of life

So kick out the jams, kick up the soul
Pour another glass of that rock and roll
Turn up the band, fire in the hole
Gonna lose control tonight

What do you want from me
I’m not America’s sweetheart
So beat the drum with me
I’m not America’s sweetheart
Well, they say I’m too loud
For this town
So I lit a match
And burned it down
What do you want from me
I’m not America’s sweetheart
But you love me anyway

You love me anyway
You love me anyway

Kick out the jams, kick up the soul
Pour another glass of that rock and roll
Turn up the band, fire in the hole
Holler if you ready, gonna lose control
Kick out the jams, kick up the soul
Pour another glass of that rock and roll
Turn up the band, fire in the hole
Gonna lose control tonight

What do you want from me
I’m not America’s sweetheart
So beat the drum with me
I’m not America’s sweetheart
Well, they say I’m too loud
For this town
So I lit a match
And burned it down
What do you want from me
I’m not America’s sweetheart
But you love me anyway

You love me anyway
You love me anyway

I’m not America’s sweetheart


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