It was Billie Jean King who popularized the term "she-ro" in recent years. Most recently, she's on tour in the state of Iowa alongside Hillary Clinton, campaigning for the first viable woman president in U.S. history.


New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd brought this to light in a fashion only she could in the past week, drumming up Billie Jean, Daisy Ridley from Star Wars, Gillian Anderson's Scully character from The X-Files, and polarizing politician Sarah Palin in a piece titled "Sarah Palin Saves Feminism."

Hold with the premise. Here is Dowd's thinking: "Before Palin, if a woman flamed out in spectacular fashion, it was considered an X through the X chromosome. If Billie Jean King lost to Bobby Riggs, women would be seen as second-class athletes. If Geraldine Ferraro seemed unfit for the White House, all women might be judged incapable."

Dowd revisits Billie Jean late in her column as well, saying, "Hillary Clinton is the embodiment of women, an American Marianne, pushing her gender in an all-for-one-one-for-all, now-or-never way. She's even campaigning this week in Iowa with Billie Jean King. Women should support her because if she founders, it will be bad for women."

This is hardly Billie Jean's first foray into the political arena, and it's not even her most recent. At the White House on Friday, she appeared alongside Lilly Ledbetter, the namesake of President Barack Obama's first official item of legislation, and Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to the POTUS.

Back to the Clinton camp. Campaigning with Billie Jean in tow is hardly a bad play for Hillary, who was also joined on the trail this week by millennial-baiting singer Demi Lovato. If Hillary, who finds women turning to Bernie Sanders' proposed solutions in some of the most recent polls, wants to win a return to the White House, she's going to need the support of women ages 23 to 72—and more. Sanders snuck up on Hillary's seemingly steam-rolling road to the presidency, and now she'd be well advised to take a line from BJK's own book: "The pressure is a privilege."


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