Wednesday, February 27

Are We Seeing a Double Standard?

I've heard a lot of chatter the last several days about how Hillary Clinton is being unfairly treated just because she's a woman. The one commentator said that if you searched on any of the derogatory names being used to refer to her (ice queen, Lady MacBeth, femi-Nazi, etc.), you'd find hundreds of thousands of hits linked to her name.

So I searched on the three names I listed above plus one other (b*tch) and came up with nearly 250,000 hits directly tied to Hillary's name.

So let me throw out a few questions for fodder:

1. Is Hillary being treated unfairly just because she is a woman? Would we ever characterize a male candidate in similar terms?

2. I think most people would agree Hillary is one of the leading feminists of this era. So, then, is her waning support with women for the presidential nominee an indication that women are moving away or even rejecting feminism?

On last weekend's SNL, they made fun of the media's love affair with Obama as they lobbed him softball questions and swooned at his answers. Clinton? She was passed over completely.

Are we seeing a double-standard? Would the other Clinton be receiving the same type of treatment if he was running again?


Livin' Life said...

I think the media has always found a candidate they can totally blow out of proportion. I believe Hillary is unlikable as a person whether female or male. She is not approachable and many find her rude. I honestly would not have a problem with a female Presidential Candidate but it is not Clinton. I would not want her representing women in the political realm.
In the end you can not trust the media like you indicated in an earlier post. They are really blowing the whole female thing out of proportion in my opinion. I bet you could find a whole bunch of nasty stuff on any of the male candidates too. Well that's just my two cents.:)

Barb said...

I can't decide about this issue. I have to ask myself, "Why don't I like Hilary?" I don't think it's because she is a woman, but on what criteria am I judging her? Personality? Her marriage history? Her (seeming) lack of compassion? Do I care about Obama or McCain's marriage, personality or compassion as much as I do about hers? Probably not and it's probably because they're not women. I hate asking myself these questions and exposing underlying biases I have! At the end of the day, all I can do is research the candidates and choose the one I think we do the best job and not let my other biases stand in the way.

momteacherfriend said...

I have seen plenty of disrespect and vulgar attitudes towards male candidates and presidents. So I don't think it is that she is a woman.

belle said...

here's my two cents, i agree with barb pretty much, i don't like hillary as a person. i do care about the marriages of the men who are running though- it is important to me. one of the reasons i disliked bill so much was his lack of care and concern for hillary- and i dislike her for taking it! and using it for her own political gain, i see them both as very coniving, mainpulative, power hungry people who use what they need for their own advantage. i have no repsect for her (or his) parenting skills either, sorry, i dislike them pretty strongly. but here's the thing... why is it a bit more important for a woman to have such a strong personal background? because women are "whole" characters, they draw from the whole pool to make a decision. men compartmentalize things and they are quite capable of being a great dad and being a terrible husband at the same time. they can be a great leader but be terrible at other things... it's an analogy my husband often uses: if people were cabinets with drawers- women have all of theirs open at the same time, men use one and then put it away before they get out a new box. not, this is to say that i don't consider a man's personal integrity and moral fiber before i vote- i do- very strongly because i want the whole package deal... i personally think that if the foundation on which a person is built is shaky then they cannot stand when the going gets tough... ok, enough soap box:) just my two cents. even if hillary were a man, i would not vote for her.... there are so many more women who would be more worthy of the historical first and make better use of the honor- i think... i'll save my vote for them.

The Gang's All Here! said...

I wonder if it's because so many people still have a problem with the stereotype of a strong woman? She is indeed a strong personality, very focused on her agenda and her path. Historically speaking, strong women are not well-liked nor are they spoken well of until they hit the pages of the history books! (countless suffragists to just name one pertinent group!)

Not that I want this particular strong woman representing me in the White House but I have frequently thought as of late that there is a double standard going on. Her strength is portrayed by and perceived by the media as b*&chy because strong women are just so 'boat rocking' to so many. I can't remember the last time I saw a report that showed her softer side in a positive light either. Maybe when she cancelled the rally in deference to the loss of that security detail cop . . .

zeebee said...

In my effort to not judge Hillary based on her personality alone, I have made several attempts to get at some of the animosity that people have toward her. But every time I ask someone specifically why they don't like her, I get things like..."she just bugs me" and that is not enough for me. I love Barb's ability to look inside her own personal biases which we all have. And what a good point about strong women in history! I hope that I can make the most informed decision.
Thanks for the comments, they have been very thought provoking for me.

Happyhome said...

I think the treatment Hillary is receiving has nothing to do with the fact that she is female, but rather who she is as a person. We have seen many sides of her over the last two decades - she comes across as cold, uncaring, manipulative...I could go on, but the bottom line is I don't trust her. That has nothing to do with her gender and everything to do with ethics and integrity.

Quite frankly, I am tired of the Clintons and wish they would just go away. We all know she helped run the country during her husband's term and now we see him chomping at the bit to get back in to the White House. Whether we choose to admit it or not, the Clinton's are a two-for-one package.

Anonymous said...

My personal opinion is that a lot of the animosity toward the Clintons is fueled by years of really hateful rhetoric on talk radio and elsewhere. Like everyone, they certainly have their personal flaws and are very political people. However, from a public policy standpoint, they're actually quite moderate and practical. Their personal shortcomings have been exponentially amplified by a political and media/entertainment cultural that feeds off of hateful and really despicable language to demonize opposing viewpoints. The Clintons certainly aren't innocent bystanders, but they're not the terrible people they're made out to be in the media.

rachel said...


Second off... a co-worker and I decided that we disliked Hillary because it is almost as if she stayed in her marriage (and forced Bill to do the same) just for political gain--it was like she looked at his affair as a stupid political move. Her emotions are as stiff as her hair.

Laura said...

I do think that the hatred of hillary has something to do with how she comes off as a woman... Its not so much thats she's a woman as it is that she seems harsh and power hungry, and these qualities seem even more disturbing in a woman than a man. She seems... unfeminine. A man may speak in similar harsh tones, but it doesn't seem as bad. However, I believe that a woman may be able to get away with somethings a man can't... POSSIBLY being more emotional or soft? And maybe people feel a little more comfortable with the thought of a man as president in a time of war. Although Obama doesn't exactly give me good vibe about his competence as a commander in chief either... just throwing some thoughts out there.

Amy said...

Personally I don't like Hillary for many reasons. The one thing I do respect about her is that she is one of the few candidates that has actually let her platform be known. She wants this country to be more socialist in nature than ever and she has said as much. One thing that particularly bothers me is when she talks about serving in the White House. Last I knew the First Lady is not an elected position. There is a lot of good the First Lady can do and she deserves our respect, but she is not the one the country elects to be in charge. Another thing that concerns me about her as a leader is her crying. She seems to want to be trying to connect with women at an emotional level, but I don't particularly want a president that can't keep his/her emotions in check. Although I suspect she really can and it is all an act anyway in which case this offends me as a woman that she thinks that a few well placed tears are all it takes for me to want to elect her.
Is the media too harsh on her? She probably thinks so. They have had such a role in her and her husband's political life that she probably feels pretty betrayed. Is the media any more harsh on her than they are on a true conservative? I don't see it. It just that the conservative doesn't expect the media to be fair to him/her. If the journalists would start being journalists and actually report the news instead of their opinions about everyone, we would be further ahead and not trying to decide if Hillary would be a good or bad president based on her gender.

Laura said...

What does everyone else think about her crying... now i agree with amy that it's probobly an act, BUT if it was genuine, was is appropriate?
I tend to think that there would be two main kinds of crying- and "i'm losing it" crying, and a "I'm touched" crying. I agree that I want them to be able to keep their emotions in check as in not "lose it", but a tear over a tragic event, or some other emotional issue doesn't concern me. It might even endear me. However, it is a balance thing.

Dave and Jenni said...

Hi, I'm new to this website (found it through Rocks in my Dryer), but your discussion drew me in.

What's funny is that I used to greatly dislike Hillary as a person. I thought she seemed to be a mean-spirited, negative politician who grimaced far too often. I thought she was bitter (not that Bill didn't give her reason to be bitter) and too good at "playing politics" rather than being a leader. I didn't want someone with those kinds of divisive attitudes running the country.

However, after watching some of the early debates, I realized that she wasn't the devil. She was a smart, powerful woman, who wanted to run the country in a way that she saw as beneficial to Americans. I began to think that maybe it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if she were elected.

Until the crying episode. My first thought was, "She feels really strongly about this. Maybe she deserves a chance." My second thought was, "Was that real or just a sound byte for the media?" And that's when I knew I couldn't vote for her. I couldn't trust her at her word.

While I don't think the crying showed weakness, but rather conviction, I do think it highlighted, for me, how completely untrustworthy she was that I couldn't even trust that her tears were real.

Whether or not McCain or Obama are trustworthy remains to be seen. But that's what it boils down to for me - can I trust who is in office - will they hold to their word when the tough decisions come down the line? And when it comes to Hillary, the answer, for me, is no.

Person(Also Known As Mommy) said...

I had to leave a comment on this-I only have one standard for judging presidential candidates and that is the Constitution. Would this person (regardless of gender or even political party) repect, protect, and uphold our Constitution during their time in office?

Mrs. Clinton would not only NOT do so, but I believe she would work hard to continue the work of her recent predecessors and habitually undermine the soverignty of this nation all the while expanding the role of the federal government and squashing the rights of the States and the People.

So I could never vote for her, but it's not because she's a woman.

Super Zoe said...

I am not voting for Hillary, but it's because I don't want socialized health care, not because she's a woman. I think she is unlikeable, but that's not about her gender, either.

I ABSOLUTELY think that she is being differently and worse because she is a woman. It's the terminology! She gets gender-characterized epithets hurled at her from all sides, and as a woman I chafe at that. It sets a bad standard for all of us.

Why are women the first ones to pounce all over another woman?!


blogger templates | Make Money Online