Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Does ANY Woman Deserve to be Talked About Like This???

I keep telling myself that I'm not going to post anything political here. But then something comes along and I just need to talk about it.

I continue to be troubled and hugely dismayed at how sexist and mean people's comments about Hillary Clinton tend to be. Have you noticed how many people -- women included -- make derogatory comments about her that involve her hair, her clothes, her femininity or her marriage?

Regardless of how you feel about Hillary Clinton as a person, a politician, or a candidate, watch this video and pay attention to the derogatory language used to talk about her by the mainstream media. Notice the words used, and think about what the comparable words would be if they were talking about a man. (And imagine how people would react if mainstream female broadcast celebrities were talking about any male candidate in similarly inflammatory language.) I'm not asking you to support Hillary, agree with her, or like her at all. I'd just like you to look at how a smart woman who has achieved success is being treated by our mainstream press, and ask yourself whether this is acceptable to you for any woman to be talked about this way.

Personally, I find it offensive and shocking ... and most of all depressing that this doesn't bother more people. As consumers of the press, and as women, we deserve better.


  1. This is from a white, naggy (sometimes b**chy), first (and only) wife who is so tired of the boy's club attacking any strong woman. We have seen it across party lines with Condy Rice, Pelossi, Heinz-Kerry, etc. It is hard not to notice that Michelle Obama has become quieter, as did Elizabeth Edwards. It is sad to think that we have not moved forward as a nation beyond the role model for women as portrayed by June Cleaver. AAK! I need to get some fresh air.

  2. I agree with your sentiments, Diane. However, feel compelled to point out that Obama and McCain have also been the brunt of impolite conversation...a nice way of putting it, no? The attack attitude is part of our political process as long as "we the people" allow it. Unfortunately, I don't think it will ever stop...and just in case, anyone thinks this is new...check out some of the things our founding fathers said about each other.

  3. Doesn't bother me. I'm used to it. Women have come a long way and continue to come a long way. These guys are not Walter Cronkite - most of them are entertainers. I think the best way to make progress is to just keep plugging along doing a good job. Being outraged and shocked has never really accomplished much and is interpreted as being strident and whiney. I'm also a female attorney with two daughters (and a son) who are attorneys. My girls didn't think twice about whether they could be attorneys - we ARE making progress. When I think about how my parents didn't even think a woman needed a college education, I see how far we have come. IMHO, this stuff is just a distraction and bnot worth losing sleep over. I want to impress upon men how COMPETENT I AM, not how insulted I am.

    I note that Bill Clinton also has gotten quieter. That may be more a product of being a spouse than a wife.

  4. I guess it's true that personal attacks have been part of politics for ages and ages. It's not THAT that bugs me, although I hate it. It's that when the personal stuff is so misogynistic, it makes me really angry. The idea that -- god forbid -- a candidate reminds men of a wife or mother? Ooh, SCARY.

  5. I think men are so caught up with their relationship to their mama and their wife that they have a really difficult time not having that filter. It is unfortunate, for sure. We women are also handicapped with our voice. Works great for babies but not so good at being commanding. I am convinced that is a lot to why it is so hard for women to be taken seriously. We just don't have the pipes. The second we raise our voice, we sound incredibly annoying. Not fair, if you ask me. The second my voice gets, er, aggressive, my husband's and son's eyes glaze over.

  6. Did you notice all the commentators were male? What Hillary is experiencing is the same demeaning, invalidating juvenile behavior enacted upon strong, independent, intelligent women for centuries by insecure, arrogant men. It happens to many women every single day in their workplaces, homes and communities. Real men do not treat another human being with so little respect.

  7. We are a racist and sexist and still puritanical country, as countries go, we're still adolescent, and it's the 'boys" who are acting out. Both women and people of color are making progress but "entertainers" which means, in my book lowest common denominator, are given a loud voice in our society. It's sad, it's woeful. I'm tuning out of the presidential race until after the Olympics, on a world scope there are bigger matters percolating.

  8. Thanks for sharing the video. I have long since abandoned the "talking head" boys of network and cable television. I found their facile arrogance offensive even the few times when they were talking about something I agreed with.

    I agree that we deserve better--but we're not going to get it until we STOP watching them. Remember, they are not journalism, they are commerce. A product. A commodity. As soon as we stop buying, they will disappear.

  9. Thank you for taking the time to create a blog post on the video "Mad as Hell/Bitch".

    The video was created by two grassroots supporters who met online, IndyRobin and GeekLove08. It took 4 weeks to create the video as we were collaborating via e-mail and we had a lot of material to work with. Both of us are fairly new to YouTube-- I started to create videos in February and this was IndyRobin's first video.

    We believe that the message of misogyny, as well as the character assassination of Hillary Clinton, by the media is an important one. We are "mad as hell" that television has become what Edward R. Murrow had warned about in 1958 when he said "This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box."

    Thanks to people like you, the video has gone "viral" spreading through the internet, and perhaps inspiring people to speak out against the media.

    If you and/or your readers have the opportunity, we would appreciate it very much if you could go to the original video post on YouTube and RATE the video, post a COMMENT on the video, and FAVORITE the video. These actions will help the video earn YouTube "honors" which may help further promote the video online. (You can get to the YouTube site for the video by double clicking the video on your blog.)

    Thanks again for your post.


    P.S. The video is NOT an anti-Obama video, but rather a video against the media bias. No matter who one supports, this type of character assassination and sexism by the media should not be tolerated. However, for those who do support Hillary Clinton, a donation to her campaign, for those who can afford it, would be great. There is a donation link on YouTube. The donation link appears when you click "More info" that appears next to the video information "Added: April 06, 2008". I will also try to post a link here too -- Click to Donate. Thanks.

  10. Do you think its ALSO possible that people are still disgusted by her husbands actions and taking it out on Hillary? Plenty of male politicians (usually conservative ones...anyone remember Dan Quayle?) get run through the wringer. They just take whatever seems a good target about the person. They make fun of how they talk, where they are from, their family. Etc. I have heard plenty of people theorizing that Obama is ahead because men are less threatened by a black man than a white woman. Very intricate theories. But really I think it is something much simpler. A lot of people had their fill of Bill for eight years. Given how much they were a political team during his years in the white house, there is no reason to believe they won't be if Hillary gets elected. It is basically a legal way to double the allowable years in office. And a lot of people simply can't stomach another possible eight years of the slick Willie show.

  11. Anonymous1:56 PM

    I for one would be delighted to have 8 more years of Bill. While I could ring his neck for his appalling personal indiscretions, I have NO argument with his Presidency, and long for the days of prosperity and peace. And that was BEFORE Dubya ran this country into the ground. But I digress. And it's not why I back her.

    I'm mad as hell too, but I don't know what we can do about it, except keep pointing it out--and do a better job of raising sons. I find the most distressing hatred is that which comes from women. I've never trusted a woman who doesn't like other women (and you know who they are), because I think she reveals self-hatred. A woman certainly doesn't have to love Hillary to love herself, but the demeaning criticisms of her as a female say a lot about one's self-esteem and respect for women.

    I'm fed up with the crap about her crying (snuffling it back is more accurate). Everyone thinks George Bush is Superman every time he blubbers up (which he does often)--he's a real man. But let Hillary be caught unawares by emotion and she's weak.

    Those of us who see the extent of hatred this woman engenders are many of the ones who didn't want her to run because we didn't think she was electable for that reason. I'm delighted she's done as well as she has, but at 60 I don't think I'll live to see a woman President. It's a personal loss, but it's my country's loss too.