Monday, March 14, 2016

How does she do it?

The headline in Slate read "Is Hillary Clinton likable enough to beat Trump?" I read it and felt my blood begin to boil!

Does any media type ever ask the question "Is Trump likable enough to beat Hillary Clinton?" Indeed, does any media type ever ask such an insulting, demeaning question of any male politician? Admittedly, I haven't seen everything written or heard every broadcast political interview or pundit's analysis but I am not aware of any such question being asked of them.

If you ever begin to think that our society has made progress in effecting equality of treatment between the sexes, all you have to do is watch and listen to the coverage of this presidential election season to see how very wrong you are. Sexism and outright misogyny still dominate. There is one rule for covering Hillary Clinton and another rule (or no rules) for covering any of the male candidates. She is always held to the stricter standard.

As just one example, she is called "shrill" if she speaks assertively and with authority, whereas Trump and Sanders are merely displaying their passion and "authenticity" and daring to be "politically incorrect" when they wave their arms and shout. It seems that women in public life are always considered shrill if they raise their voices above a whisper.

Moreover, women in the public eye also have to endure the constant critiques of their appearance; the clothes they wear, their hairstyles, their weight or body type. These kinds of things, with the conspicuous exception of Trump's hair, are just never mentioned in relation to male politicians. 

This stuff irritates me almost beyond endurance. And yet every day of her life - and every day of her life for the last thirty years or so - this is exactly the kind of shit that Hillary Clinton has had to endure in order to be a public figure. How does she do it and retain her sanity and equilibrium? Where does she get the strength? Wherever it is, I hope she has an inexhaustible supply of it. She's going to need it.

7 comments:

  1. Thank you for this though provoking post

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    1. You are entirely welcome! Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

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  2. Hmmm...When the media ask if Hillary is likable enough to beat Trump, I don't think they mean it as derogatory to female politicians and Hillary in particular, what is meant is that Trump seems to be having lots of momentum and will Hillary, if she won the candidacy of her party would be enough of a force to stop Trump? I frankly can't wait for Trump to make a disastrous mistake that takes him off of the race, but he has proven impervious to disaster-making mistakes.

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    1. Your last sentence says it all. He is not held accountable for any of his outrageous remarks or actions. Is there any female politician whose actions or statements would be similarly proof against criticism? Trump may be in a category by himself, but, if so, I would argue that it is the media that have put him there.

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    2. I totally agree, but I don't think that's what the media wanted in first place.

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  3. I have been watching the primaries from afar with increasing incredulity. I don't understand US politics so won't take sides but I can see that Hillary's road is a tough one! Cheers

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    1. I don't think most Americans understand U.S. politics this year, Carole!

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