Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Two Women of the Moment: Hillary and Aung San Suu Kyi

CNN International's early morning show today had the spotlight on two dynamic and very different women in their 60s. One piece of news left me sad while the other left me quite amused.

News that Saddened: The Case of Aung San Suu Kyi
The 64 year old Burmese pro-democracy leader, Ms. Suu Kyi has been found guilty of violating the terms of her house arrest by allowing an American who swam to her lakeside house to stay for 2 days. She received 3 years hard labour but was given a suspended sentence of 18 months house arrest. House arrest again? I'm beginning to believe conspiracy theories that the Burmese authorities may have allowed the American to undertake his mission because it provided the opportunity to keep Ms. Suu Kyi under house arrest since her previous sentence was just about to expire. The situation has finally become completely absurd. When is enough, enough? When will world leaders start putting real pressure on the Burmese junta for change?

News that Amused: Secretary of State (Mrs.) Hilary Clinton loses her cool

Source: Reuters. Mrs. Clinton in Kinshasa

There is someone I feel sorry for in the Democratic Republic of Congo today. That person is a student who posed a question for the US secretary of State (Mrs.) Hilary Clinton that was clearly 'Lost in Translation' from French to English . The student was (apparently) asking what President Obama's opinion was on Chinese trade interests in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The question came out as: "what does your husband think of Chinese trade interests in the Democratic Republic of Congo".
Mrs. Clinton was clearly riled up by the question and retorted: “My husband is not the Secretary of State, I am.” Although it was amusing to watch, one cannot blame Mrs. Clinton for getting a little hot under the collar. She is trying to do her job in her own right but is somehow still a little overshadowed by her famous husband. Of course, sensational reports of former President Clinton's recent mission to North Korea to negotiate the release of two American journalists hardly helped his wife situation. Apparently she was bombarded with questions about the mission when she arrived in Kenya. Additionally, Mrs. Clinton probably thought she detected some of the famed subjugation of women associated with the African continent when she heard the question. I still can't understand how "husband" and "President" could be mixed up in French?? Oh well!

So here's a thought: how about President Obama sending Mrs. Clinton to Burma to see what can be done about Ms. Suu Kyi? Now that would really be killing two birds with one stone; Ms. Suu Kyi potentially free and Mrs. Clinton really stepping out into the light in her own right. Plus it would make for a great Sister-2-Sister moment.


Anonymous said...

Yeah she looked really pissed! lol.

Maya Mame said...

Thanks for clearing that up, I didn't realise there was a translation error. Could it be a case of the translator assuming "President" to mean ex-Pres Clinton and therefore sloppily translating to "husband"?

Either way, very amusing!

Abena said...

@Anonymous: LOL, clearly some nerve was hit!

@Maya Mame: I think that sounds like a feasible possibility! The strange thing is that CNN said it was translation error yet other sources reported it differently. Poor Hillary!

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

The West or North or whatever they call themselves are interested in countries in which they would benefit. They have permanent interest and not permanent friends. Hahaha...I believed your point on Suu Kyi's 'home invasion' the very first time i heard it. I am one person who believes in a lot of things especially if it has to do with governments. I believe that Ghanaians don't know the true state of government, I believe that Kennedy was assassinated for something he knew, I believe that Aung San Suu Kyi's home invasion was planned.

As for Hillary, well life is like that. It is no sexist thing. Mohammed Ali's daughter, Laila Ali, is a boxer but people always refer to her father, so do we refer to Abedi Pele, when we mention his sons name. It is so for people who work along the path where 'family' members have already tread. It is difficult for Madela's son to become more than Mandela. Even if he becomes, his father would overshadow him...see?

Pen Powder said...

I think you hit the nail on the point that drives it home and beyond! How about asking Hilary to go to Burma indeed. This would achieve more than one result. She will get a fair chance to show that she is her own woman and she may also be able to free Aung Suu.

Abena said...

@Nana F-A: I agree that the West does operate based on interest but sometimes, in some cases, pressure from public opinion in these countries sometimes gives way to condemnation of certain actions...Interestingly, I cannot think of an example of this right now so I may be completely wrong! I like your conspiracy theories by the way:) I agree with your point about stepping out of the shadows of a famous father but I think a famous husband is a little different. BTW: Also trying to think of an example of a man trying to step out of the shadows of his wife....Again I can't think of one. Aha! There's Benazir Bhutto's husband...but then again...you never really hear him being compared to her...mmmm

Abena said...

@Pen Powder: Glad to hear you agree with me on that one. Hillary would fly in like Superman....(opps I mean Superwoman..mmm wasn't it Supergirl?...or is Wonder Woman a better equivalent?) and save the day!

novisi said...

naturally for me anyone who stands for democracy gets my backing and Suu Kyi has got me hooked.
wish she was younger so i could ask for her hand... in a sweet shake for greeting warmly. yes! o yes!

as for Clinton, i think she still has some maturing to do even after she 'misspoke' about her 1996 Bosnia trip; telling us all a clear lie about how she was swerving bullets all in the name of 'America'- how super patriotic.

i have no pity for her at all. she must just mature with how she handles her own image and it makes no good trying to 'force' her way through! i wonder who advices her! what's all the pretense? what's all the 'macho' threats to Iran and the like?

well, i just hope when she ends up in Burma she won't come pretending that she faced a more difficult situation than her husband because she probably had to dodge one bullet that came from her behind!

i pray for her!

novisi said...

and i have not forgotten how childishly Mrs Clinton during the Democratic primaries called Obama shame:

"shame on you Obama, shame on you..."

like a child who had just had her most cherished candy taken from her!

funny but annoying too!
she better grow up this very minute as i type! she better!

Abena said...

*LOL* Novisi, I love the tongue-in-cheek take on the maturing Hillary situation. I think you hit the hammer right on the nail!