Sexism or Politics Ain’t Beanball?
While stating her belief that the 2008 Democrat presidential primary has not been racist, Senator Hillary Clinton on Sunday made the claim that she received “sexist” treatment during her presidential campaign.
“The manifestation of some of the sexism that has gone on in this campaign is somehow more respectable, or at least more accepted, and . . . there should be equal rejection of the sexism and the racism when it raises its ugly head,” she said. “It does seem as though the press at least is not as bothered by the incredible vitriol that has been engendered by the comments by people who are nothing but misogynists.”
Googling the words “Hillary Clinton sexism” quickly brought up incidents on the campaign trail characterized as sexist. From a CNN online story:
At a rally, hecklers yelled to her to iron their shirts. Radio host Rush Limbaugh told listeners, “Will this country want to actually watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?”
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews suggested “the reason she’s a U.S. senator, the reason she’s a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around.”
Hillary Clinton’s hairdos, ankles and even her cleavage have sparked discussion.
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Online, Clinton is targeted, too. Clinton toilet brushes are being marketed as your “First Cleaning Lady” and a Clinton nutcracker is also for sale.
Do I need to compile and formally cite the childish or appearance-based or nasty attacks that have been made on male candidates to prove that they occurred? John Edwards being called the Breck girl. Implications (less so now) that Barack Obama is Muslim. The ugliness directed against John McCain during the 2000 South Carolina primary. The perfection of Mitt’s hair. This list could be extended to a very long and negative post because (excuse the cliche) the stakes are high in politics and sharp elbows are thrown, especially to achieve a very powerful and prestigious elected position.
And that is the point. Senator Clinton is very much in that mix. Has she, in fact, endured more nastiness than other candidates? Or is it that the nastiness of political campaigns manifests itself uniquely to every candidate?
Arlene Violet, writing in today’s Valley Breeze, asserts that female candidates do, in fact, encounter sexism.
A woman’s negatives get highlighted more than a man’s. In the Clinton-Obama stand-off, she appeared as a political insider more than he, or for that matter, Republican John McCain. Yet, they are all insiders. How else would they be respectively running with the imprimatur of major PACs and donors to the tune of tens of millions in campaign cash?
This truth, i.e., that a woman’s negatives are highlighted more than a man’s, not only explains Hillary’s political demise but also the demise of women in Rhode Island who try to crack the glass ceiling for the governor’s post. Democrat Myrth York found that three times was not the charm for being elected governor. Recently, the Providence Journal ran the pictures of the Republican and Democrat party’s hopefuls for governor. Among all the white men was the picture of Lt. Gov. Liz Roberts. Ironically, none of the Democrat party’s males are card-carrying John Birchers. They are just as liberal as she is, except she has the tag.