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sexism in Clinton v Obama?
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rlynn



Joined: 27 Sep 2007
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 1:32 pm    Post subject: sexism in Clinton v Obama? Reply with quote

Well, I'll kick things off with the Democratic race.

I've read a few pieces from women who expressed their annoyance that a younger, flashier man beat out the seemingly more experienced woman. I confess I'm in the "youth vote" bracket so while I can see that position, it doesn't completely resonate with me.

Admitting my bias, yes I voted for Obama, I do feel he won things fair and square. Yes, the media was overly fawning in the beginning (my sister made jokes about the coming of Obama-Jesus) but while it did go over the top, it wasn't unfounded. He was exciting the youth. He was attracting huge crowds. He was generating tremendous fundraising. The media went overboard covering that phenomena but since they tend to do that for everything, I don't necessarily associate that with sexism in particular.

So I'm curious about those who see things differently. Was it the media's fault? Or is it more of a cultural problem that worships the young and charismatic, or values the "masculine" over the "feminine"? (Which we've certainly argued in regards to the romance novel industry itself). I guess I'm just curious about anyone who feels Hillary was robbed. Why do you think so?
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LLB



Joined: 21 Mar 2007
Posts: 869
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: sexism in Clinton v Obama? Reply with quote

rlynn wrote:
Well, I'll kick things off with the Democratic race.

I've read a few pieces from women who expressed their annoyance that a younger, flashier man beat out the seemingly more experienced woman. I confess I'm in the "youth vote" bracket so while I can see that position, it doesn't completely resonate with me.

Admitting my bias, yes I voted for Obama, I do feel he won things fair and square. Yes, the media was overly fawning in the beginning (my sister made jokes about the coming of Obama-Jesus) but while it did go over the top, it wasn't unfounded. He was exciting the youth. He was attracting huge crowds. He was generating tremendous fundraising. The media went overboard covering that phenomena but since they tend to do that for everything, I don't necessarily associate that with sexism in particular.

So I'm curious about those who see things differently. Was it the media's fault? Or is it more of a cultural problem that worships the young and charismatic, or values the "masculine" over the "feminine"? (Which we've certainly argued in regards to the romance novel industry itself). I guess I'm just curious about anyone who feels Hillary was robbed. Why do you think so?


I'm very conflicted about all of this. I DO think that Hillary has been the victim of sexism in the media. I've stopped watching one of my favorite news shows - Keith Olbermann's, on MSNBC - because of it. I personally think that the Dems actually could win if the two teamed up, with Obama as president and Hillary as VP, and in that order because he really does look at things in a generational way that's different (his views on Cuba, for instance, versus hers), but also because she could be the sort of pit bull for him as Cheney has been for Bush. But, to be honest, when I voted in Texas' ridiculous primary (because it has a combination primary/caucus system, my vote was rendered useless), I voted for Hillary, and I did so because Obama has never held a hearing on the sub-committee he chairs on the US in Europe/NATO. I think she's been more active, and although right-wingers hate her more than anybody, she's worked effectively with Republicans in the Senate.

All that said, though, ONLY us Dems could possibly lose an election that should be a piece of cake. My fears? Hillary is so hated that she'd be unable to win...that Obama's race WILL create problems in the general election...OR that he will be assassinated.
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LeeB.



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1271
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion, I think there are men out there who would never ever vote for a woman for president. I have no scientific evidence but just a gut feeling after reading numerous articles and talking to co-workers.
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LLB



Joined: 21 Mar 2007
Posts: 869
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LeeB. wrote:
In my opinion, I think there are men out there who would never ever vote for a woman for president. I have no scientific evidence but just a gut feeling after reading numerous articles and talking to co-workers.


I agree; I think sexism is even more prevalent than racism, although it takes a more "benign" form on the surface.
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sula



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 352
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the beginning of the contest, I would have been comfortable voting for either. She completely lost me during the Ferraro dust-up and then the "he's not Muslim as far as I know" clinched the deal. Never. Getting. My. Vote. Ever. Wow, that still infuriates me to this day. Since then, it has been a constant race to the bottom with her campaign never finding a line it isnt willing to cross. I have lost any modicum of respect I may have had for her. Triangulate, insinuate, hell, when all else fails you can flat out LIE. Spin. Whatever. If she wants to play Karl Rove's handbook, she's welcome to join the other party.

I was happy to vote for Obama during the primaries, and I can't wait to campaign for him in the general.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2477

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think all the 'isms' have come into play in the Democratic primary--racism, feminism, and anti-clintonism--in both negative and positive ways. It's interesting for example how many young women have voted for Obama, whereas older women went for Clinton. Whether that suggests that they are anti-clinton or anti-feminist or pro-youth or just making a choice, I'm not certain. Racism has certainly played a part as the lopsided results of the black vote in many states and the lop-sided vote amongst older white males suggests. Anti-clintonism in the media has been pretty well established. Isn't it a terrible sort of irony that two historic possibilities--a woman candidate with good chances and a black candidate with good chances, representing two big problems that have troubled the U.S. in the last half century--occurred at the same time?
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Sandy AAR



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 443

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sula wrote:
At the beginning of the contest, I would have been comfortable voting for either. She completely lost me during the Ferraro dust-up and then the "he's not Muslim as far as I know" clinched the deal. Never. Getting. My. Vote. Ever. Wow, that still infuriates me to this day. Since then, it has been a constant race to the bottom with her campaign never finding a line it isnt willing to cross. I have lost any modicum of respect I may have had for her. Triangulate, insinuate, hell, when all else fails you can flat out LIE. Spin. Whatever. If she wants to play Karl Rove's handbook, she's welcome to join the other party.

I was happy to vote for Obama during the primaries, and I can't wait to campaign for him in the general.


The gut reaction goes both ways. Obama lost me the day he said we can't have a presidential candidate nobody likes. Well, that, and his general condescending air regarding her. He all but smirks.

He's got some fences to mend with me and with a whole lot of other women who are appalled at the level of sexism this campaign has once again brought to the surface.

I'll vote for him, but not exactly happily at this point and only because I will be voting against John McCain. And, to be honest, I think his chances of winning aren't good. Jeffrey Wright is his swift boat.

The only thing that might sink McCain is his continued support for the war. Voters from both parties just aren't buying that anymore.

There are a whole lot of Democrats who continue to support Hillary and he can't win without us. What makes McCain particularly dangerous, I think, and attractive to some blue collar Democrats is the general impression that he's not as conservative as he actually is. Obama better get crackin' on that fence-mending. I hope he succeeds because another Republican administration is the last thing this country needs.
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Guenevere



Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 17
Location: Camelot

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="sula"]...the "he's not Muslim as far as I know" clinched the deal. Never. Getting. My. Vote. Ever. Wow, that still infuriates me to this day.[quote]

Okay, I actually had to register and delurk to respond to this - I think that flap was one of the more egregiously unfair examples of Sen. Clinton smearing. It pains me to see an Obama supporter repeating it as if it were a valid criticism of Sen. Clinton. Here is the actual conversation with 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft:

KROFT: You don't believe that Senator Obama is a Muslim?

CLINTON: Of course not. I mean, that's -- you know, there is no basis for that. You know, I take him on the basis of what he says. And, you know, there isn't any reason to doubt that.

KROFT: And you said you'd take Senator Obama at his word that he's not a Muslim.

CLINTON: Right. Right.

KROFT: You don't believe that he's a Muslim --

CLINTON: No. No. Why would I? There's no --

KROFT: -- or implying, right?

CLINTON: No, there is nothing to base that on, as far as I know.

Clinton's first response is "Of course not"; she then goes on to deny three more times that she believes Obama to be a Muslim, only appending the "as far as I know" to the last denial. It honestly came off to me as more of a meaningless verbal tag - I mean, she had denied it three times, what more was she supposed to say? Her first words were "Of course not", but all the Obama fans hear was the "as far as I know". That interpretation strikes me as Rovian in its disingenuousness.

I could go on about the vicious sexism that Sen. Clinton has been subject to, both by Obama fans and the media, but that's another post, and likely it'd take me all day. Here is a little, off the top of my head sampling of some of the names I've heard Sen. Clinton called, as well as other comments about her: shrill, shrewish, witchy, castrating, selfish, bitch, a pimp for her daughter, a whore and "looking like everyone's first wife standing outside a probate court".

Keith Olbermann, a man I actually used to respect and enjoy, suggested on a broadcast that someone should "take her into a room and only he comes out", as a way of ending her candidacy.

Seriously, I could go on and on. And the people saying these things aren't crackpots or right-wing fanatics - they are the mainstream media, they are prominent liberals. While people want to focus obsessively on race as it relates to Obama, there is a deafening silence on the issue of Clinton and sexism. I find it very, very depressing.
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Sandy AAR



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 443

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guenevere, have you been following the Shakesville blog?

http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2008/05/hillary-sexism-watch-part-eighty.html

I remain just as stunned as you are by the mysogony this race has once again made acceptable in a mainstream way.

Let me add one more word to your list of adjectives: Strident. (One of my personal favorites and right up there with shrill.)
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Guenevere



Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 17
Location: Camelot

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually just came across the Shakesville blog last night - I almost posted the link myself, but decided I'd said enough.

I remembered another too - Sen. Clinton's laugh repeatedly described as a "cackle".

The misogyny is so, so depressing - even more so when you consider that women seem to be indulging in it as much as men.
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Kristie(J)



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1110
Location: Southwestern Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As an interested next door neighbour - I find this whole thing very depressing. While I don't really care for Hilary Clinton - she strikes me as being just another smarmy politician - I think they ALL are by the way - here AND in the US, I do find it sad that so many Americans make a big deal out of the fact that she is a woman. Many of the democratic countries have had women leaders - England, India, Pakistan, Israel to name a few - why even we had one for five months - a very short time mind you.
Personally I would rather live in a country that is ruled by a woman. So why does the United States - supposedly the most powerful country in the world, seem to have such a unenlightened attitude? I don't get it.
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1145
Location: Elsewhere

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Personally I would rather live in a country that is ruled by a woman. So why does the United States - supposedly the most powerful country in the world, seem to have such a unenlightened attitude? I don't get it.

From what I gather, Angela Merkel is doing pretty well in Germany, yet tabloid editors still feel the need to print unflattering pictures of her in a bathing suit or focus on what cleavage she has. It's awful. Spain has a pregnant minister of defense, which I find very cool (though I know nothing about her). I don't follow the US campaign that closely but it seems to me that there's a lot of talk about the effect of race while the pretty blatant sexism gets little mention.

BTW, I'm from Israel, and I have to say our one woman PM did an awful job. But I don't think it was because of her gender.
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LisaW



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 173

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LeeB. wrote:
In my opinion, I think there are men out there who would never ever vote for a woman for president. I have no scientific evidence but just a gut feeling after reading numerous articles and talking to co-workers.


It's not just men ... I think you'll find there are people of both sexes who would never vote for a woman for President, just as you'll find people who will never vote for an African-American as President. People are just people.
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1353

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I contributed to Hillary’s campaign last year when she was featured by Emily’s List (see http://www.emilyslist.org/ if you’re not already familiar with it), but by the time my state primary came around this year she was looking too Dumbya/W/Shrub-like for me to vote for her. NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNING is a signal for me to AVOID a candidate. It indicates a candidate who does not have anything POSITIVE to contribute if they end up in office, like the ruiner occupying the White House right now. Race and gender are WAY below platform for me--I wouldn’t care if a candidate was a purple hermaphrodite if I believed a positive election campaign.
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KarenS



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 868
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Call me a racist and a sexist, shame on me, but I refuse to vote for a Republican white guy in November. Republican white guys have messed up our country pretty badly so I'm willing to take a chance/willing to have hope that either Hillary or Obama can make things better. If there's any consolation H or O can't make things worse. For the record, I am a white, college-educated, female over 50, liberal-leaning Democrat.
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