Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Double-standard for women in politics  

I think you should all check out the bluntly honest and realistic article from InTheseTimes.com, entitled "Damned If Feminine, Damned If Feminist."

I'm sure most of you can figure out what it's about from the title. That double-standard that women are held to, or as this article focuses on, women in the political spotlight are held to. To appear "too feminine" is weak, to appear "too feminist" is aggressive. Hillary Clinton has undoubtedly struggled to maintain a balance between these two images, and yet has not escaped media sexism.

Sen. Clinton has been treated like most male candidates, questioned about her policies, attacked for gaffes and inflammatory remarks. Yet the press has also persisted — despite the countless times feminists have denounced this routine — in emphasizing her physical appearance to an extent rarely done with male candidates.

True. I wanted to throw up every time a "journalist" talked about her pantsuit, or some ignorant and misguided reporter said she needed to "figure out what her gender is." Even Cindy McCain has experienced it:

In February, both commanded the national spotlight. On Feb. 21, as reported in the New York Daily News, a “slender” Cindy McCain, “the striking blond” and “perky stay-at-home mom” “stood by her man” to defend her husband against charges printed in the New York Times that he had had an improper relationship with “an attractive female lobbyist.” Or, as the Washington Post stated, she stood by “her husband’s side, all jewel-toned clothing and icy blue eyes.”

Bottom line: if you're female and you put yourself in the political spotlight, you cannot escape sexism. I have respect for any woman who can endure that.

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1 comments: to “ Double-standard for women in politics

  • June 10, 2008 at 10:45 PM  

    Exactly!!! There would be huge scandals about journalists if they made comments about male political figures' hair, face, and clothing. It's socially acceptable for women because, well, that's what this society sees women as for - for sitting there to look pretty for male eyes. Damnit.