Saturday, May 31, 2008

Leon Hadar on Sexism

Dr. Hadar scores a few telling points in his argument that sexism has nothing to do with Mrs. Clinton's bumpy political road.

...her rise to political power as a democratic senator from New York and now as a leading presidential candidate had everything to do with her being a woman - the wife of the popular man who occupied the White House for two terms and the sympathy that many Americans, and especially women, have felt towards her in the aftermath of the Monica Lewinsky affair (during which many of them accused her husband of being a misogynist).
In fact, most political analysts would agree that if Hillary Clinton had been a male Democratic presidential candidate with no chance of winning enough delegates to be nominated by his party, he would have withdrawn from the race a long time ago and pledged his support for Barack Obama. The reason that the Democratic Party's leaders continue to tolerate Mrs Clinton's behaviour is because she is a woman and they, indeed, don't want to be accused of sexism.

More at the link, including...

...male public figures have always been mocked by hostile voters and a cynical press, claiming that they had no hair on their head or too much hair, they were too short or too heavy, too macho or too pretty or too 'wimpy'.

It goes with the territory of dirty politics. Male and female candidates don't win brownie points by playing the role of the victim. No one expects that a male politician losing an election would accuse his opponents and the media of sexism or 'anti-manism'. That would sound as either pathetic or ridiculous, or both.

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