CHARLOTTE, NC – In a major campaign speech, the Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton, laid claim to the mantle of toughness established by her extensive record of public service. She sought to reassure voters that she would be just as eager to kill people overseas and further immiserate the poor at home as her male predecessors.

“Anyone who’s looked at my record can tell you where I stand on the great issues of the day,” Clinton intoned at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. “I have a long history of supporting the invasion, occupation and destruction of countries on the other side of the world on flimsy evidence. I’ve also shown great enthusiasm for slashing programs for the poor and other social services for the most vulnerable in our society. From Day One in the Oval Office, I promise to put my ovaries on the shelf and treat the world with all the heartlessness and cruelty that we have traditionally attributed to men.”

Despite consistently supporting military action overseas and austerity at home, Clinton continues to be dogged by suspicions that she’s not really as bloodthirsty or as miserly as her record suggests.

“She really needs to convince voters that, despite being a woman, she can be just as ruthless and unfeeling as the guys,” noted political observer Edmund Burrows said on Tuesday. “Middle-aged men are known to be wary of female politicians’ grit and willingness to bomb brown people at the drop of a hat.”

Clinton has learned from the mistakes of her forebears, like Geraldine Ferraro, who doomed the 1984 Democratic ticket when she showed empathy for laid-off steelworkers. The Clinton campaign knows that such stereotypical displays of feminine tenderness will lead to political disaster. Accordingly, they’ve prescribed their candidate a regimen of male hormones to suppress her compassion and boost her anger, aggressiveness and desire for revenge and destruction.

“It’d be hard for me to vote for a woman for president,” said retired autoworker Joe “the Plumber” Swanson of Omaha, Neb., “unless I knew for sure she had the balls to cut social spending and bomb some Third-World country back to the Stone Age.”

Swanson’s views on Clinton are common among blue-collar white men.

“I mean, sure, she’s repeatedly supported military intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Ukraine,” said hotdog vendor Peter Laurich of Chicago, Ill., “and she regularly voted to cut social spending. But how do I know that, once she gets into the White House, she isn’t just gonna decide to take it easy on Putin because she thinks he’s hot? Or give illegal immigrants free healthcare because sick babies make her sad? These are the kind of things you never know until it’s too late.”

Of course, there’s a long history of female leaders displaying all the brutality of their male counterparts, a pattern that extends well into the modern period.

“Margaret Thatcher must be spinning in her grave,” conservative political commentator George F. Will remarked, “to know that just a generation after she left office her groundbreaking leadership would already be largely forgotten. The Iron Lady proved that female leaders have what it takes to start heedless wars and show no compassion for the needy or poor.”