The history is: The Washington Post published an article about an outfit Hillary wore on the Senate floor that had a slightly low-cut blouse. The article claimed that Hillary was showing cleavage and then analysed all the times she has worn sexy clothing. (I couldn't detect any cleavage in the accompanying photo.) The Clinton campaign sent out a fund-raising letter that started, "Would you believe that the Washington Post wrote a 746-word article on Hillary's cleavage? ...focusing on women's bodies instead of their ideas is insulting."
Comments on the blog about the issue include:
* The Clinton campaign is over-reacting and is being stupid and petty.
* The Clinton campaign is manipulating people by raising this issue.
* The article was flattering, so why complain?
* Hillary is a hypocrite because she has started to wear more feminine clothes.
* Since Hillary is old and has small breasts, it is gross to think about her body (the term "shrivelled tits" was used, along with several other epithets). This may be the most common theme of all the comments.
I can answer all those who profess not to understand why Hillary made an issue of the article. For the 8 years she was First Lady, Hillary's appearance was scrutinized until it nearly paralysed her. I recall feature articles in top news magazines that showed all of her hairstyles over the years, implying that there was something wrong with her moral fiber because she was inconsistent in her use of a hairband. (I believe she talks about it in her memoir Living History but I wasn't able to find the reference in my copy.)
In the west at least, most women change their clothing and hair styles on a regular basis, but in Hillary's case any change is raised as an indication that she (a) has to fake it to appear feminine; and (b) is a hypocrite and a liar.
Hillary has to take control of this issue or it could ruin her attempt to become president. It shouldn't be such a damaging issue for her, but it is because of a combination of sexism, smear tactics, and our fixation on titillation. She controls the issue by getting people to talk about it and to realize just how sexist and inappropriate it is, and how hurtful it is - not just to her, but to all of us.
Update May 2008: Since I wrote this, the Washington Post has removed the offensive comments from the page I reference.