Hillary Clinton Sexism Watch

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Hillary Clinton Sexism Watch



I was just doing some research for work about the sexism Clinton's been facing and thought it would be interesting to have a thread devoted to simply recording articles about and incidents of sexism during Clinton's campaign.

This thread is not about who you support in the primaries. In fact, I support Obama, and I know lots of other babblers too. But that's not what this thread is about. This thread is also not about whether it's harder to be a black man or a white woman.

This thread is simply about recording and discussing the sexism Clinton's been facing during her campaign.

Some interesting stuff I've found:

[url=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robin-gerber/rhymes-with-rich_b_89490.html... with "rich"[/url]


In the most recent Pew Research Poll, eleven out of 629 people, when asked for one word that describes Hillary Clinton said "rhymes with rich." Sixteen found her untrustworthy and six each said, "dislike her," "power hungry," "selfish/self-centered." When it comes to denigrating Clinton, one word is rarely enough.

Of the two men and one woman the Pew respondents were describing, only one was called "ambitious," although they're all running for the same office, and it's not McCain's first time. Guess who got the "ambitious," tag? What are McCain and Obama? Apathetic? Lazy? Unmotivated? No, they're men. They're ambition is expected, taken for granted, applauded and unremarkable.

Of the two men and one woman, only one was called "power hungry." Yep, Clinton again. She's called power hungry, but both Obama and McCain are called "leaders." No "leader" word given for Clinton, because, well women aren't thought of as leaders. When we try for the leader brass ring we're called "power hungry."

What will Clinton do with all that power she's starving for? She'll be "manipulative" and "overbearing."

[url=http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/0... Double Standard[/url]


The media coverage of the Clinton campaign will be, for years to come, a textbook case of how the coverage of female candidates differs from that of males. Women have to walk a very thin line when they run for high office. On the one hand, they have to appear tough, nothing at all like a sniveling female, and when they do talk tough, they are called "shrill."

[url=http://feministing.com/archives/008712.html]Hillary sexism watch: Bill Maher edition[/url]


Bill Maher: I’m not trying to be sexist here, but I’m just saying that women try a lot of different tacks when they’re in arguments.

Harry Shearer: Do you remember the website in the 90s , where it was all her different hairstyles?

Maher: Well, hairstyles.

Harry Shearer: Yes, but now there’s going to be a website with all her different personalities.

Maher: Well, we made a montage, actually. Just to show you that, just — I’m not being sexist — I’m just saying that men, when we argue, we’re kind of a one-trick pony, we try our one thing, and then we —

Shearer: We yell.

Maher: And then we sulk when we don’t get our way.

[Plays a clip of Hillary, misty-eyed at a campaign event]

Maher: But look at Hillary Clinton. Because the first thing a woman does, of course, is cry. [Affecting a dramatic, teary voice] “I just want to be happy. Why can’t you just love me?”

Maher: And then they go to sweet talking.

[Plays a clip of Hillary complimenting Obama at a recent debate]

Maher: “You’re the best thing that ever happened to me! And you look so handsome in that tie!”

[Plays a clip of Hillary saying “shame on you” about Obama’s “Harry and Louise” brochure]

Maher: And then they throw an anger fit totally unrelated to anything. “Stay home and watch the game. See if I care.”

[Plays a clip of Hillary mocking Obama’s soaring rhetoric]

Maher: And when it doesn’t work, they bring out the sarcasm. “Oh, I’m just a woman, I couldn’t possibly understand the issues like you could.” Don’t write me, please ladies, don’t write me.

Christopher Hitchens: And then if you say “whine, whine, whine,” they say that’s sexist.

martin dufresne

This is an excerpt from an [url=http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-iraqpol2feb02,0,1272905.story]LA Times[/url]article:


(...)The advisor, retired Gen. Merrill A. "Tony" McPeak, said in a telephone interview that Obama has "real gravitas, not artificially created, focus-grouped, poll-directed, rehearsed gravitas."
He also said Obama "doesn't go on television and have crying fits; he isn't discovering his voice at the age of 60" -- references to Clinton's much-publicized show of emotion during the New Hampshire primary campaign and her speech after winning the contest in which she declared that she had "found my voice."

The Obama camp did distance themselves from this comment at the time, but the Obama camp is now running the [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag8gOXZulXg]following ad[/url].

It has the same idiot Gen. McPeak in it advocating for Sen. Obama.


Michelle, take a listen to the latest edition of [url=http://origin.www.cbc.ca/thesundayedition/listen.html]The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright[/url].

He starts off his show with a brief, but example-heavy, audio essay on the sexism that Hillary is facing.

Wilf Day


Originally posted by jrose:
[b]Michelle, take a listen to the latest edition of[url=http://origin.www.cbc.ca/thesundayedition/listen.html] The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright[/url].[/b]


One commentator called her an "uppity woman," an accusation that, had he levelled it at Senator Obama, would have meant the end of his television career.


As is usual with these commentaries, Michael Enright's did not only note the sexism out there.

I don't have the wording at hand, but we referred to an LATimes study of some sort where Clinton beats MCCain on issues, and Obama does not beat McCain, yet Dems are choosing Obama anyway.

Which is supposed to be more evidence of sexism.

Ony one problem. Presumably some [i]individual [/i] pundit did say Clinton outdoes Obama against McCain, but all the polling indicates the opposite.

No one should bow down before that, but it is disengenuous at best to try to argue that Democrats vote against Clinton even though she is 'obviuiously' the superior candidate.

There are some defenders of Clinton who do not stoop to this nonsense- Bob Herbert of the NYTimes comes to mind- but most people who head down this road [and I think everyone around Babble] will drag in anything as 'evidence'.


I mean really, how is this suppossed to be a surprise.

Races for president bring out tons of trash talk.

Sexism is rife in the culture.

Sexist digs at 'uppity women' are fair game in the popular culture.

This is surprising?

It is certainly a good opportunity to point it out.

But to argue that the fact Clinton is losing 'despite everything she has' is just whining crap.

A lot of those suppossed assets of hers- which are not linked at all to the 'bitch' and 'ice lady' images- people reacting negatively to the [i]content[/i], such as it is, of those presumed 'assets'.

There is a dotted line between the pre-campaign Clinton stature as THE candidate; to the present, where those suppossedly unimpeachable 'assets' she has, are rejectec by the unwashed, which is in turn argued to be evidence of their sexism.

[ 04 March 2008: Message edited by: KenS ]


Hi, if you're just dropping by the feminism forum to tell us in multiple posts that discussions of the sexism Clinton is facing is "whining crap" and that babblers are unreasonable and "drag in anything" as evidence of sexism, then maybe just don't bother posting here, okay?


OK, maybe I should.

But I was making specific reference to what Michal Enright's essay.

Granted, no one specifically referred to that part of Michael Enright's essay- so if I was to bring it up at all I should have kept it to to a simple statement that Enright's essay was an example of stretching things to the point of arguing that but for sexism Clinton would be winning.

martin dufresne

Headlines have been taking an end-of corrida quality, with obituary metaphors being printed fast and furious about Clinton, for example:
[url=http://www.alternet.org/election08/78409/]Hillary will never say die, but Tuesday could be her last gasp[/url] (The Observer, UK)
Compare this with the discreet, respectful treatment Romney got when McCain edged ahead...


This is part of the problem with using the Clinton campaign as an example of displays and manifestatios of sexism in the culture.

The kind of examples Michelle posted are clear cut, and they are legion in their own right.

The kind Martin tends to post, he makes the case are less direct manifestations. And so they might be.

But they also tend to point to circumstances where what happens to this particular candidate is not all unique or necessarily related to her being a woman.

Clinton made the choice to wrap and package herself as the inevitable candidate- the candidate with it all, to whom no one else really compared.

Male or female, such figures get especially melodramatic attention if they fall. Whatever people think of Mitt Romney, he was never that kind of candidate.

Most Canadians now watching this did not get exposed to how Clinton chose to portray herself last year. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

I know that giving attention to the pervasiveness of sexism is an uphill battle at the best of times. Trying to do it in the middle of a partisan battle is really hazardous boulder rolling.

There is a reason that the argument is now getting slagged even by people who normally support it strongly. It's not like there is no reason to see a certain taint to the argument.

[ 04 March 2008: Message edited by: KenS ]


I don't see how Clinton "made the choice" to package herself as the inevitable candidate. She was portrayed that way and of course she went with it.

Wouldn't anyone? Doesn't everyone try to package themselves as "the inevitable candidate"?


I can understand you would see it the way Michelle- and there is certainly some general truth to what you say.

But you wouldn't say it if you were an activist in the US.

I'm not arguing that its some kind of chracter flaw of Clinton's. And it made strategic sense for her.

I'm just saying that it is a choice she made, and one of the inevitable consequences is that if it doesn't work, the fall from grace is going to be harder than it is for someone like Mitt Romney.

And all of this is examplary of the problem of disentangling what is going on.

There is no question that the bulk of the left in the Democratic party is glad to see Hillary Clinton fall.

There is an assumption made that this is rooted in essentially the same relishing the right wing media takes in watching her fall.

The assumption is not only potentially ungrounded, there is an inherent problem that the people pointing it out have a partisan interest in doing so.

Mind you, I'll readily admitt that this gets really post-modernist when we look at whay this debate happens in Canada.

Even when you make allowances a lot of us can get partisan about things we aren't involved in, there has to be something different going on her.

And I wouldn't be surprised that if you scratch the surface a bit you'll find the discussion here in Canda is an indirect manifestation of the many ways people relate to feminism.

IE, strip away Hillary Clinton, and reframe the questions in a general way... and you'll be able to predict where people are going to line up.


This clip was added today at Feministing:

martin dufresne

[url=http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-stein29feb29,1,2388105.column?... little something for the ladies[/url]
by Joel Stein, LA Times, Feb. 29


You know how ladies, when they don't get what they want, can go a little crazy? Am I right, fellas? Right now, they're pretty upset about losing their first chance at a female president. This would have empowered little girls, shattered sexist beliefs about female incompetence and forced men around the world to view a woman as an agent of power instead of a sex object -- all of which, it turns out, are important to women even though they buy Star magazine. Ladies are complicated.

Because women do most of the voting, and the shopping and the TV watching and the book reading -- porn really must take up a lot of men's time -- they need to be placated. Which shouldn't be hard. You know how when your dog dies, your wife wants to get a puppy right away? That's what America has to do. We need a replacement Hillary.

Because while women are sad that Hillary Clinton seems poised to lose the Democratic nomination, they're even more dejected that there appear to be no women with enough political stature to run for president next time. That's why Barack Obama and John McCain need to pick female running mates. Either that or we're going to have to find some money in the federal budget for 150 million flower bouquets.(...)(and on and on, ad nauseam)

martin dufresne

Hear, hear, after "scratching the surface a bit' KenS legitimizes Hillary-bashing as really being antifeminism (but hey, what's wrong with that?) [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img]


(...)I wouldn't be surprised that if you scratch the surface a bit you'll find the discussion here in Canda is an indirect manifestation of the many ways people relate to feminism.


For those who can't access it and don't want to create an account with the LA Times, you can sign in using this:

[email protected]


BTW, I get the feeling that was supposed to be satire, Martin.

martin dufresne

It's vague enough to get sexist yuks IMO, hitting all the 'right' notes. Satire at the expense of an opprerssed group generally adds to its burden. (I know that U.S. feminists are hopping mad about this article, if that is any indication.)


Martin, I'll invite you to either withdraw how you have used my words in the post above, or explain the steps with you came to the conclusions you did.

Then again- the latter is guaranteed to lead to thread drift, so maybe it's best we don't go there.

martin dufresne

I don't think this has to take us very far from the thread topic. Whenever I have posted articles about sexist bias against Clinton outside of Babble, you have raised the straw man that babblers weren't attacking Clinton on a gender basis but because of her stands on issues, etc. (you never went into much detail, just denied that it was sexism). Now you acknowledge that not only does the Democratic Left have it in for her in the U.S. but that, in Canada, Hillary-bashing is an "indirect manifestation of the many ways people relate to feminism". Yessss! That was the point of most of the articles I reposted here, and I am glad to see you come around, sort of.
But since I imagine your opposition to Clinton remains unabated, I am deducting that you are including yourself in your assessment of Canadian Leftist opponents, i.e. that opposition to Clinton describes the way you yourself "relate" to feminism.
ETA: This may be a mischaracterization, and I apologize if you are, in fact, profeminist yourself.

[ 04 March 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]

martin dufresne

One last remark: observers of the Quebec scene may be reminded of similar dynamics in the Marois v. Boisclair PQ leadership race a few years back: Charismatic Male Youth as Hope for Change v. Older Female, Derided for her Looks and Associated with the Establishment & the Past... Obama & Boisclair even share an acknowledged link to cocaine use.
In Marois' case as in Clinton's, the female candidate experienced extreme pressure from former allies and the media to gracefully bow out and 'let through' the young inexperienced candidate from a political minority (Boisclair was gay). If Obama gets the nod, let's hope he doesn't crumple as Boisclair did.


Oh for heaven sakes, guys, can you maybe save the Rambo routine for some other forum?

Martin, I also think you've mischaracterized KenS's posts above. I wasn't thrilled by them either, as you can see, but there's no reason to raise the stakes to the point where you're claiming that he's okay with anti-feminism and posting a bunch of armchair psychoanalyses about him. I was going to mention it and got distracted by something else and forgot.

And KenS, hopefully you can just drop it at this point now that it's been acknowledged instead of carrying this on in the feminism forum. Perhaps next time instead of just talking about how you shouldn't "go there" and then going there anyhow if it's going to cause thread drift in the feminism forum, you should just refrain from "going there" at all, and notify a moderator if you feel someone has attacked you. Thanks.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture


Originally posted by martin dufresne:
[b]It's vague enough to get sexist yuks IMO, hitting all the 'right' notes. Satire at the expense of an oppressed group generally adds to its burden.[/b]

Not only do I agree with Michelle that this is obvious satire, but I actually think that it is "at the expense of" those who are throwing sexist bullshit at Hillary Clinton. That is, unless you think that Swift actually wanted to eat children.

martin dufresne

Joel Stein gets digs in at the worst sexists, yes that's true, but I think he is also seriously proposing that a female running mate be considered to assuage Clinton fans' sensitivities, whereas Swift's modest proposal wasn't at all plausible. So it isn't all satire... unless you believe that no male USian can relate to describing women as "the ladies".

[ 04 March 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]


I'd support Obama over Clinton but the sexism she's facing is pretty unbelievable. Especially when contrasted with the racism Obama's encountering - or not encountering.

For example, bumperstcikers that say this:

Or this:

Or t-shirts that say this:

Or web-graphics that say this:

Or "gag" gifts like this:

We kind of just ignore all of this stuff as noise.

Contrast that with the genuine outrage - from all corners - when Obama's ethnic or racial background is brought up.


Just to bump this thread...

Thoughts on Tina Fey's attempt to reclaim the b-word?
[url=http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/6c3a6204d3]Watch it here[/url].

Some pundits claim this helped Hillary win in Texas and Ohio.


Martin posted it in another thread. I thought it was hilarious. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Adam T

A post on DailyKos
I don't think anybody would mind me reposting it here. It's not exactly copyrighted.

Ms. Clinton, you are not a victim--nor are you a champion of beleaguered women's rights.

When you jumped ahead of far more deserving women like Barbara Boxer to run for president, simply on the basis of having been First Lady, you were not a victim, but rather a setback for the millions of deserving women who make their way on their own names rather than those of their husbands.

When you and your husband claimed that the entire Lewinsky scandal was the product of a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, you were not victims.

When you and your husband created a crack team to tamp down any bimbo eruptions and silence Bill's former girlfriends, you were not victims--and certainly not champions of oppressed women.

When you crushed the hopes and dreams of millions of Americans--including a large number of minority women--with welfare "reform" and neoliberal trade policies just to secure a few more white conservative and corporatist votes, you were not victims.

When you and your husband helped create and chair the most effective group in destroying the Democratic Party from within, all to ensure the election and influence of more southern, white, conservative men in the Democratic Party, you were neither victims nor champions of the oppressed in America.

When you elbowed out other deserving Democrats to run for New York Senate despite not being from New York, and used your influence with your husband to trade four corrupt pardons for votes in a community where women are to be unseen and unheard, you were not a victim, nor a proponent of women's rights in chauvinist, fundamentalist communities.

When you chose to use your position of influence within the Democratic Party to vote to allow Bush to send thousands of young women and men to die in the sands of Iraq and create widows and orphans of countless Iraqi mothers and children, simply so that you could look "tougher" on national security, you were not a victim.

When you inexplicably voted for Kyl-Lieberman to allow Dick Cheney to create even more widows and orphans by bombing Iran, you were not a victim.

When you spent much of the rest of your time as Senator censoring videogames and sponsoring flag-burning amendments, you were not a victim.

When you used your name recognition as First Lady and wide variety of favors owed you and your husband to take the Democratic Establishment and jump to 30-point national poll leads early in this nominating contest, you were not a victim.

When you took advantage of anti-African-American sentiment in the Hispanic community to "earn" vast percentages of their votes in spite of you and your husband's having done almost nothing substantive for their communities and allowing Bush to rack up between 39% to 44% of the Hispanic vote in 2004, you were not a victim.

When you and your husband did everything in your power to make Obama the Jesse Jackson candidate, you were neither victims nor advocates of the oppressed in the United States of America.

When Fortune magazine said that business loves you, you were not a victim, but a corporate insider.

When you hired the biggest union-busting asshole this side of the Democratic Party to run your campaign and its message, you were not a victim.

When you used the corrupt Nevada machine to cheat and suppress votes in over 1600 instances in the Nevada caucuses, you were not a victim.

When you doctored Obama's face to make his skin darker and his nose wider in an attack ad, you were not a victim.

When you used a kitchen sink strategy to trash Obama in any way possible even as he ran a high-ground campaign, no matter the cost to the Democratic Party, you were not a victim.

When you endorsed the misogynist-backed, warmongering Republican nominee over Obama based on the distorted notion that you both have more "experience", you were neither a victim nor a friend to women.

When you used fearmongering tactics in the worst tradition of political advertisements, you were not a victim.

When you not only supported the death of the American Rust Belt with NAFTA, but then attempted to say were against it even as you took credit for all the other events of your husband's presidency, then assured the Canadians that you really did love NAFTA after all, and then lied and accused the Obama campaign of having done what you did, you were not a victim, but a lying, disgusting cheat.

When you used fearmongering and potentially racist coding by accusing your opponent of not having been "vetted", in spite of your campaign having raked him over the coals for anything and everything you could, you were not a victim.

When you reserve the right to overturn the will of the majority of voters and pledged delegates to steal the nomination with insider superdelegates, you are not a victim.

And now that you are lying by saying that you're just too busy to release your tax records before April 15, all while claiming that your opponent isn't sufficiently vetted, you are NOT a victim.

You and your husband are masters of making vicious attacks and engaging in scurrilous behavior, all while painting yourselves as victims of an anti-Clinton bias or even conspiracy. You are not victims; you are perpetrators. You are not advocates for the battered and under-represented; you are the batterers. You are not the ones standing up for the oppressed; you are the oppressors.

And if you do manage to steal this nomination from a campaign of Hope that will almost assuredly have more pledged delegates and votes by the time it's all over, no one will fall for your claims of victimization when all the mistakes you made during the primary campaign get repeated in a disastrous campaign against John McCain. Many of us Democrats fell for your victim line during the 90s; we will not do so again.

It is high time that you suffered the slings and arrows of the same abusive tactics that you yourselves have been the masters of. And this time, no one will be crying for you but yourselves.

The hyperlinked version is available here:


Hey Adam T, thanks for posting this example of people denying all the sexism Clinton is experiencing, complete with comments about what a bitch Clinton is by some of the resident misogynists at Daily Kos. That's the spirit!

Actually, there are quite a few points in that screed that I agree with, which is why I would rather see Obama win the nomination (not that I'm under any illusions that Obama is any more "oppressed" than "oppressor"). But just the fact that this person is denying any and all sexism that Clinton is facing is sexist if you ask me. You can not like Clinton and still be able to see where she is being attacked by the media, by Republicans, and by some fellow Democrats in sexist ways.

Ah, Daily Kos. Home of the sexist attack against any woman who has the nerve to speak the truth, whether about sexism they've experienced or against war.

The place where you can read about how it's no big deal when female bloggers get death threats and are hounded off the internet. The place where activists like Cindy Sheehan get torn to pieces with sexist attacks.

Yes, that's an excellent nomination for this thread, Adam T. Thanks!

[ 08 March 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]


What's sexist about it? The only problematic point I see is the allegation that she moved ahead of more "deserving" women. If that's sexist, so be it. The point is, that Hillary Clinton started this campaign on third base. And thinks she hit a triple.

rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture

But I thought this was about the "treatment" of Hilliary and the onslaught of sexism directed at her - not about Hilliary the person.

You don't have to like or respect someone, to treat them with basic human dignity and attack them on the single point of her exhistance she has no control over - her gender.

Attack her for her polices, her history, her choices, don't attack her because she wears pants.


[url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7283965.stm]Obama aide quits after calling Clinton "monster"[/url]


An adviser to Barack Obama has resigned after a Scottish newspaper quoted her calling rival US Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton "a monster".

Samantha Power has expressed "deep regret" over the comments and said she had tried to retract them.

The Scotsman newspaper quoted Ms Power as saying: "She is a monster, too - that is off the record - she is stooping to anything."

My theory is that the real reason she was fired is this:


Ms Power said the Illinois senator's position that he would withdraw all troops within 16 months was a "best-case scenario" that he would revisit if he became president.



Originally posted by josh:
[b]What's sexist about it? The only problematic point I see is the allegation that she moved ahead of more "deserving" women. If that's sexist, so be it. The point is, that Hillary Clinton started this campaign on third base. And thinks she hit a triple.[/b]

Read my edits.


Whoa. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] That's a good way for a journalist to burn all their bridges, by publishing "off-the-record" remarks from an interview. They won't get the time of day from Obama or his staff again, I'm sure.


Problem was she said "off the record" after the remark. Which gave this "journalist" the thin reed to publish it. He should be considered a pariah now in political circles.


Yup. I hope it was worth it!

Anyhow, back to examples of sexism against Hillary... [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]


An older article from NOW:

[url=http://www.now.org/issues/media/070315hillary_media.html]Hillary Clinton and the Media: From Intelligent and Fair to Appallingly Sexist and Pointless[/url]


Clinton is no stranger to this kind of treatment from the press. An opinion article in The Oklahoman referenced her "frequent wearing of dark pants suits to conceal her bottom-heavy figure." Political cartoonist Nick Anderson created an animated cartoon which ran on the Houston Chronicle website featuring a curvaceous Clinton being asked, in the words of a popular song, "What you gonna do with all that junk? All that junk inside your trunk?" Without the accompanying drawing, one could have assumed that Anderson was referring personal baggage, but the cartoon made clear that he was also making a sly dig at her shape. When was the last time an opinion piece or cartoon commented on a male candidate's figure?

Adding insult to injury, The New York Times published a Maureen Dowd piece (titled "Mama Hugs Iowa") on Jan. 31 charging that as First Lady, Clinton showed off "a long parade of unflattering outfits and unnervingly changing hairdos." So we not only have to hear about what she's wearing today, but what she wore (and how she styled her hair) in 1992. On Feb. 9, Reuters news agency reported fashion designer Donatella Versace's advice that "Hillary Clinton should tap into her feminine side and wear dresses and skirts instead of trousers."

A Florida paper, the Sun-Sentinel, chimed in on Feb. 16 with an article by Jura Koncius about Rosemarie Howe, Clinton's interior designer, and how she helped the Senator decorate her Embassy Row house in a "comfortable yet elegant" scheme of "camel and coral."

Fuentes' USA Today op-ed provided a much-needed reality check, pointing out that "Women in government stand out because of their strength, intellect, and ideas — not because of their hemlines. Yet here we are in 2007 still treating powerful women like a novelty." She expressed justifiable concern that "focusing on the clothing choices of serious female political players risks rendering them less than serious," something these reporters and editors know all too well.

Also, a good pointer on how to address Clinton when talking about her:


In a Feb. 14 Seattle Post-Intelligencer column, Susan Paynter notes that the language used to discuss and refer to a candidate can affect public perception. Of recent modes of addressing Clinton, she suggests "for title, try Senator, not Mrs. or Mama."

[ 08 March 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]

martin dufresne

[url=http://www.cagle.com]Political cartoons[/url] are one good indicator of stereotypes that sell in the definition of Clinton, Obama & McCain.

Daryl Cagle is a cartoonist who maintains an impressive portal of political cartoons from around the U.S. and the world. It is interesting to see what various U.S. cartoonists hold against Clinton, basically her husband, BOTH described as an unfair campaign advantage on the hustings and a liability as a womanizer with a negative legacy, depending on editors' fancy. Either way, Hillary Clinton is reduced to an appendage of Bill.

Physical characterizations of Obama and Clinton are also telling, with Obama almost always given the allure of a thin, threatened smiling underdog (with big ears) while Clinton gets the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink unfavourable characterizations.

Adam T

I think that is what her campaign is trying to spin, that every criticism of her or any scrutiny she is facing is sexist.

It doesn't work on me. There are sexist jerks everywhere, and no doubt she's faced some of that, but if anybody tries to say that all legitimate scrutiny of her is sexism, I just yawn.


And it's SO GREAT that you've decided to come and yawn here in the feminism forum.

I don't know about anyone else, but I feel really blessed by your expression of boredom. I feel like I really learned something from your yawn in a thread where we're trying to document real examples of sexism against Clinton.

So thank-you for contributing so thoughtfully and helpfully to this thread, in this forum. Thank-you for teaching us what is sexism and what isn't. It's much appreciated.

Adam T

That's fine.

In a country with 300 million people like the United States it's natural there are going to be a whole bunch of sexist jerks.

However, that does not mean that all the criticism against her is sexist or that she can hide behind that to avoid criticism.

Given that you seem to have fallen into the camp, that every criticism she's received is based on sexism, I'd hardly say that you're a credible judge of what is and what isn't sexism either.


I have not fallen into that camp. If you would read the title of the thread and the opening post (did you bother to do that before coming in here and exercising your jaw muscles with your yawns?) you'd see that I support Obama, for many of the reasons listed in that first post you made.

But THIS thread is to document the ACTUAL sexism she's facing. Like all the examples we've been posting here. Like the fact that the person who wrote that post of yours is claiming she's not facing ANY sexism and that any she is facing is deserved. Like the comments below the post at your link calling her a bitch.

And like you coming into this thread in the feminism forum, posting your disdain and yawning all over the place, and trying to change the subject to all the reasons you hate Hillary Clinton, and accusing us of making up sexism where there's none.

rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture

oh so every and any woman who points a finger and says 'sexism' should be equally dismissed?

Are we so use to such attacks against women, that we just consider it noise and 'get over it already'?


You know, this just pisses me off so much. The opening post clearly says that this thread is NOT supposed to be a debate about which candidate people support, and it's not supposed to be a discussion about whether you like Clinton or not. It's simply supposed to be a thread where people document the actual sexism Clinton is facing.

And along comes Adam to dump all over the thread with his completely off-topic post about all the reasons Clinton sucks. And he's managed to now completely turn this thread into a discussion about whether feminists are being too sensitive and whether we're calling each and every criticism of Clinton "sexism" when we're clearly not doing that in this thread.

You can't even respect this one thread in this one forum, right, Adam? There's not enough other threads to discuss all the reasons you hate Hillary Clinton, right? There's not an entire international news and politics forum with a hundred and fifty threads on Clinton and Obama where you could have posted that, right? No, you just had to come here and post a completely off-topic post in order to make this thread all about what you want it to be about.

remind remind's picture


Originally posted by Adam T:
[b]Given that you seem to have fallen into the camp, that every criticism she's received is based on sexism, I'd hardly say that you're a credible judge of what is and what isn't sexism either.[/b]

But you, as a man, are a credible judge of what is and what isn't sexism?

And you, as a man, feel you have a right to tell a woman, that she does not know what is, or is not sexism?

Well, I will now tell you, as a women, your comments are an excellent example of sexism.

Adam T

I don't think it was off topic at all.

I agree there is genuine sexism against Hillary Clinton. I've read about some of it myself.

I do have to admit, I'm not 100% sure what the point of this thread is. Is it just to be outraged by the sexism againt Hillary Clinton?

As I said, in a country with 300 million people, there are bound to be a lot of sexist jerks. I don't say that to dismiss it, just to point out that most of it is made by idiots who have absolutely no influence whatsoever. If you, for some reason, want to give those people a forum by reposting what they say, that's fine, I'll stay out of that.

If you are trying to make a thread, however, that says Hillary Clinton has been the 'victim' of some large sexist campaign, which is where I thought this thread was going, then my first reply is completely valid, and I'm going to strongly dispute that.

I see absolutely no evidence that any of the serious criticism she has faced has come from anybody with a sexist agenda or that her campaign has been damaged by sexism.

Adam T


And you, as a man, feel you have a right to tell a woman, that she does not know what is, or is not sexism?

Uh huh, I have a "friend" who is Jewish, and I'm Jewish myself.

He is older than me and for about 20 years he was absolutely convinced that every German he met was a former Nazi.

Now he is absolutely convinced that every Muslim he meets is a terrorist, including the local former N.D.P candidate in the riding Itrath Sayeed.

There is a well known saying "if you look for something hard enough you are bound to find it."

Adam T

It's hard for me to defend myself against these sorts of charges of sexism because it descends into 'some of my best friends are women sort of thing'.

The only thing I will say is that I have a friend who said to me that he didn't think Hillary Clinton should be President because she is a woman and I told him "that's really stupid."

rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture

yeah, but here we don't have to look for it too hard, it's right there, in the MSM, constantly.

If we don't acknowledge it, nothing will change for women.

Adam T

You may be right, I think it's always a balance between shining a spotlight on it to fight it, and just giving it more of a forum.

I don't really know the answer.

The National had a similarly themed story on that yesterday with the use of the 'N' word.

I will say taking another look over the forum, that all of the examples of the real sexism posted here are from very fringe writers, excluding the Bill Maher and Harry Shearer thing.

Harry Shearer is a satirist and was probably mocking, but Bill Maher is a well known jerk.

There was an example in Canada too with Ezra Levant saying on the Charles Addled show that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both got to where they did because they were in the right identity groups. I didn't hear that show, but CKNW here repeated that as a teaser for the Addled show.

I was outraged by that and maybe there is a need for a forum to express outrage at these sorts of things.

I still think it's important though to draw a distinction between highlighting idiotic comments and using that as an exuse to bash all legitimate criticism.


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