“Clearly, in an age when the dangers and indignities of Driving While Black are well-acknowledged, and properly condemned, Striving While Female — if it goes too far and looks too real — is still held to be a crime.”
An excellent post on Clinton’s treatment by the media by Judith Warner. Mind you, the Obama campaign was far more respectful of their opponent but the media got caught unawares when their anointed Democratic nominee” started to lose when primaries began (just like Guiliani was leading until people started to vote; no wonder people don’t trust pre-election polls).
As Ash mentions, gender issues are often men’s issues that reflect their biases toward women in general and if you’ve noticed, most media anchors like Tucker, Matthews, Beck, and the whole bunch at Fox News were clearly brought up to believe that politics is no place for women. A Hillary Clinton nutcracker with shark-like teeth between her legs that Warner talks about was a distasteful marketing gimmick borne out directly from Tucker’s comments that he involuntarily crosses his legs when Hillary comes on television. Such remarks are surprising in a county that often prides itself on liberating countries (selectively, of course) to grant women rights.Such remarks and gadgets only reflect the increasing insecurity of such men. Not seeing women in positions of power either at home or their workplace goes a long way in explaining their behavior and the only solution may be glimpses of the contrary.
Not that it excuses any such sexism, but Hillary Clinton has been guilty too of using feminist-oriented opinions when it has suited her. She put on the act of toughness (vote for Iraq war and hawkish on Iran) seemingly to overcome the ‘woman image’ only to go soft before the New Hampshire primary. If she wanted to act like any other belligerent man then how is her ascendancy a good thing for women? Does it mean that women can succeed in politics only by acting like men? I find it surprisingly that feminists would consider her as a role model for woman politicians considering she cites eight years as a First Lady as experience. Admittedly, she is a smart woman and politically savvy but she didn’t exactly send out a pro-women message when she decided to stick to her philandering husband seemingly for political reasons. The enthusiastic response she gets on the campaign trail and her anointment as the presumptive nominee before the primaries got started was in part due to her name. Of course, this primary season has strengthened her political career and may have finally helped her emerge from her husband’s shadow. Have other equally capable women got half as much attention as she did during previous elections? As in India, for a woman to have any kind of a realistic political future, it is important to have a traditionally political family connection. And that in itself is a sad thing.
Hillary may have shattered the glass ceiling for women in politics but it will take another woman with little or no previous connections to signify any diminishing of sexism at least within the American media. Would a white (let’s not make it too improbable) woman with Barack Obama’s background of unprivileged upbringing and little or no political connections but similar charisma before the campaign would have fared equally? At the end of the day, Hillary Clinton may have even overplayed the gender card by shouting sexism during every downturn but it had a modicum of truth. Only the emergence of a black candidate, another suppressed minority could temper any wild accusations. Although the country has a bit to go regarding treating women fairly, at least half the country is at least on the right path. We’ve to only look at the Republicans to see where the other half is headed.
Was Hillary Clinton a victim of sexism?
- Yes (50%, 8 Votes)
- No (50%, 8 Votes)
Total Voters: 16