Sexism (with a capital S)

The New York Times actually published a whole article yesterday about Hillary Clinton’s laugh. I’m sorry, not her laugh, her “Cackle.” With a capital C. A totally negative, gendered word:

cack·le (kkl)
v. cack·led, cack·ling, cack·les
v.intr.
1. To make the shrill cry characteristic of a hen after laying an egg.
2. To laugh or talk in a shrill manner.

No, this isn’t Rush Limbaugh or Fox News using a gendered description of her laugh. It’s the nation’s newspaper. Aren’t journalists supposed to be better at finding original and creative ways of describing things? “Cackle” falls back on stereotypes. So does “giggle,” which is another descriptor used in the article.
The article goes on to discuss how Hillary laughs at inappropriate moments. Wouldn’t you, if you were trying to counteract the “ball-busting bitch” image bestowed upon you by both conservative commenters and the mainstream media? If she’s all serious, all the time, she feeds the stereotype. But she can’t seem to get ahead by trying to infuse more humor, either. She’s addressed this herself, after she laughed at her own joke about her husband’s infidelities, and reporters followed up with serious questions:

“You guys!� she said to reporters, chuckling, after the third question on the topic. “I thought I was funny. You guys keep telling me, lighten up, be fun. Now I get a little funny, and I’m being psychoanalyzed.�

No kidding. Psychoanalyzed and basically called a witch.
Slate has a slightly better take on the coverage of Hillary’s laugh, one that at least acknoweldges the sexism inherent in descriptions like “cackle” and “giggle”:

Clinton’s ideological enemies have had fun, too. Matt Drudge posted a sound clip of it, and Sean Hannity raised the pressing question of whether Clinton’s laughter was presidential. Hannity should be reminded that George Bush’s Beavis laugh was such an accurate imitation of the teenage cartoon reprobate he should have had to pay royalties. Like all aspects of the Clinton campaign, there’s sexism in the giggle critique: Women can only laugh in certain preapproved ways. Historically, men have categorized women’s laughter as a way to diminish them—they either cackle like a witch, or they titter like a schoolgirl.

No shit. If they weren’t using witch or schoolgirl allusions to describe the laugh, they’d no doubt be calling it “mannish.”
Below the jump, a video clip of what I’m now calling “The Laugh.”

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52 Comments

  1. Posted September 29, 2007 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    I have been defending Slate from all the Feministing criticism that’s come up, but I really have no defense for that Clinton laugh article. Hillary’s laugh sounds…perfectly normal to me. I’m not sure where Slate got the description “highly idiosyncratic.” I shudder to think what would happen if I ever laughed publicly while running for office. My laugh is a lot weirder than that one.
    And while Slate acknowledges the “sexism in the giggle critique,” it also seems to participate in it. Unless I see Slate articles about Obama’s laugh or Edwards’ laugh, I’m going to continue to be offended by this article. What does someone’s laugh have to do with their ability to be president anyway?!

  2. Shadow32
    Posted September 29, 2007 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    It gets worse. Media Matters recounted a “body language expert”–Fox News, I think, but I’m not sure–discussing that Hilary has an “evil laugh.” Literally.

  3. florafloraflora
    Posted September 29, 2007 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Oh, crap. Not just because of the sexism, but because this means they’ve accepted that Hillary’s nomination is a done deal and they’re giving up any coverage of the policy differences between the primary candidates to move on to the “inane stories about personal detail” phase of the campaign.

  4. DrkEyedCajn
    Posted September 29, 2007 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Lauren, I noticed that about the Slate article, too. They post a sound clip of Hillary’s laugh themselves, then wag a finger at Matt Drudge for doing the same. Ridiculous.

  5. Ann
    Posted September 29, 2007 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Oh definitely, Shadow. I linked to that Media Matters report in the post.

  6. Posted September 29, 2007 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    I think that the “chuckle” descriptor is far more accurate than either a cackle or a giggle. I can’t even imagine how you could characterize her laugh as a “giggle” after actually hearing it. I mean, seriously? It’s not even close.

  7. Posted September 29, 2007 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    I encourage you guys to comments on the Times’ blog about this, or write a letter. They’re being inundated with responses but the more the merrier:
    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09/28/laughing-matters-in-clinton-campaign/

  8. ambidextrous amazon
    Posted September 29, 2007 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    I’ve noticed a few recent-ish criticisms of slate articles from feministing that I thought were a bit unwarranted after reading the original context, but I do feel that this criticism is right on. Have they analyzed any of the laughs of male candidates?
    And I’m not trying to get political, but FFS, do we really care about a candidate’s laugh at all after we elected Beavis TWICE??

  9. ambidextrous amazon
    Posted September 29, 2007 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I should set up a pool for the first article in which Hillary’s feminine hormonal status is analyzed, and conjecture is made upon the the effects this would have in conjunction with her potential access to a “nuke button.”
    I wouldn’t be surprised if such an article existed already and I haven’t been made aware of it yet.

  10. Barbara P
    Posted September 29, 2007 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    To me, her laugh sounds not evil or silly, but insincere.
    I get that impression from male politicians too, including Bill Clinton. Maybe they rub off on each other?
    IMHO, for good or for bad, Hillary is no different from male politicians. Of course, the more people treat her in a sexist way, the more inclined I am to vote for her out of spite, even though I’m not that crazy about her. It’s just my natural reaction.

  11. hellotampon
    Posted September 29, 2007 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    ^Yes, I agree. It just sounded fake.

  12. Peepers
    Posted September 29, 2007 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    ARGH!
    What is with all of the “Mrs. Clinton” stuff, too? Can someone enlighten me about that? Is that her preference?
    I can only view the first snippet of the Times article, but it’s already riddled with “Mrs.”
    If I recall correctly, AP style dictates that an elected should be referred to by his or her office title “Senator Clinton” and non-officials should just be referred to by last name in all but the article’s first mention (“Clinton”).

  13. equityforbothgenders
    Posted September 29, 2007 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    When Senator Clinton was on the Sunday Morning Shows last week, she went out of her way to break out in laughter on each of the shows. What was sold as a “I’m just like you” gesture is really just another Clinton calculation. She made her laugh fair game by trying to use it to her advantage to get a news cycle out of it. Now she can also get fundraising out of it by showing how sexist Sean Hannity is.

  14. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Her laugh does come off as over the top and insincere sometimes. But I don’t see what all the fuss is about. Next thing you know they’ll start focusing on her boobs or something.
    Given the love that Mo Rocca gets on this site, I’m surprised there is no link to his parody of the Clinton Laugh Obsession!
    Here is the video:
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=3G8K5-2wQ4g&mode=related&search=

  15. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    Maybe the way she laughs is a little over the top, but I think I would have laughed at least a little at that question. It’s pretty funny.
    And why is it such a negative thing for a laugh to be calculated? I would think that if she’s trying to act a certain way b/c she thinks it will make the public more comfortable with her, all that means is that she’s smart. Most of the politicians have hired advisors to tell them how to look/what to say to impress the public, and being President is basically all about calculations anyway (in makinig important decisions, and in interacting with the heads of other states).

  16. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    I mean, if you don’t have some skills in impressing and manipulating people, you would never even make a good congress person (b/c of the requirements of working with other congress people and needing to form coalitions to work on issues important to you). I know the American public idealizes their president’s character, but most of that is just b.s.

  17. werechick
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    Equityforbothgenders, don’t be so harsh. Any politician who is attacked (particularly one who is attacked on something completely BS) has a right and an obligation to defend themself. What was she supposed to do? Just let them attack her on it?
    I agree, Sen. Clinton is very calculated, but so are most politicians. She’s just unlucky enough to show it.
    It’s still outrageous and sexist to make such a big point out of her laugh, her clothing choices or other insignificant details when there are real questions that could be asked. For god’s sake, the big question is ON THE SAME CLIP.

  18. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    Also I wonder how much of the reason she’s focusing on being funny/jovial has to do with the way Kerry was basically skewered in the last election for his lack of doing so.
    George W smiles and laughs a lot. I think George W sounds very sinister when he laughs sometimes, and other times sounds like an idiot, but that didn’t keep him from winning the presidency (twice).

  19. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 2:03 am | Permalink
  20. Rach
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    It’s so frustrating that Hillary gets all this crap just because she’s a woman. People are so focused on her clothes, clevage, and “cackle” that they don’t have any energy left to focus on her ideas.
    Can you imagine if the newspapers covered male politicians based on their tie choices and receding hair lines?

  21. Ann
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    As for the question of why the article refers to her as “Mrs. Clinton,” that’s the New York Times’ style. On second reference people are always Mr./Mrs./Ms. — they refer to male senators as Mr. So-and-So on second reference.

  22. LongHairedWeirdo
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Her laugh wasn’t bad. It might have been forced – “someone who can be fooled by George W. Bush” isn’t all *that* funny – but if so, it was more the forced laugh of “I’ll applaud the joke you just made” not the forced laugh of the “I scoff at you”.
    But even if it was forced, it wasn’t bad… certainly not evil or nasty or cackling.
    I think this is the kind of thing were folks should point out that how a person laughs doesn’t really touch on how a person leads, and why should we care about this? What kind of fucking *moron* thinks that the sound of her laugh matters?
    It’s like folks talking about Edwards’ hair… what the hell difference does it make?

  23. Peepers
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Ann, for the explanation. I have enough to be irked about without that issue :)

  24. thebewilderness
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Senator Clinton laughed out loud, on purpose, several times this past week. I think she did it to remind us that in our society it is considered a male only privilege to laugh out loud. Women laughing out loud in public is a punishable offense.
    It reminds me that men are afraid that women will laugh at them, and women are afraid that men will kill them.
    Every time I saw her laugh like that, it made me smile, because I felt like she was sending women a message, and I got the message.

  25. Posted September 30, 2007 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    As for the question of why the article refers to her as “Mrs. Clinton,” that’s the New York Times’ style. On second reference people are always Mr./Mrs./Ms. — they refer to male senators as Mr. So-and-So on second reference.
    I hate to quibble even further, here, but does Hillary actually go by Mrs.? She strikes me as a Ms. kind of woman, but that may be my own personal preference talking. Then again, she got so much sexist, hateful shit for having the nerve (the NERVE!) to go by Hillary Rodham Clinton that I wouldn’t be too surprised about her bowing to public pressure and going by Mrs.

  26. invisible_hand
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    i dunno…
    the fact that ms. clinton’s laugh came off as insincere is a function of the nature of politicking, that great big bullshitting machine.
    however, something about it did rub me the wrong way. it was condescending, as it was followed directly by “it is a little more complicated than that…” a dodging manouever to scoot around the fact that she voted for the war.
    laughing out loud is great for women’s and men’s image and just plain existence – it makes them look more attractive, it makes them more relaxed, and it makes them seem more approachable and trustworthy. it also makes life better. but that laugh did not come out of a place of joy, and it gave off an air of the uncanny. bush’s butthead laugh makes me feel the same way. it’s like “insert laugh A into slot B.”
    also, while the gendered connotations in the times are not excusable, i think a reason they used “cackle” was to be alliterative with “clinton.”

  27. ponies and rainbows
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Women laughing out loud in public is a punishable offense.
    Holy shit, I think you just read my mind. I used to have a really loud, jovial laugh, but every time I laughed out loud in public, everybody and their dad would turn and GLARE at me. Never mind if some obnoxious guy on his Bluetooth was screaming about HTML and CSS to one of his buddies in the same room — oh, no, don’t let the stupid girl with her deep laugh enjoy life! When I was in Sam Goody one time when I was about 12, some asshole actually mocked my laugh while I was with my mom. My friends and boyfriends always said they loved my laugh, but I eventually toned it down because I just couldn’t stand how strangers acted. I’ve noticed the same thing with sex — most guys HATE if their partner laughs. What I’ve come to think is that people really, really cannot stand the thought of women enjoying themselves.
    Also, a while back when Jessica was on CNN, didn’t some ass biscuit come over here and give her shit for “giggling”?
    Ambidextrous Amazon, you should also set up a pool for what completely irrelevant aspect of Hillary the media will dissect next. Like Barbara P, the more she gets treated like this, the more I want to vote for her out of spite.

  28. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    “most guys HATE if their partner laughs”
    Hmm… in my personal experience I have not encountered this problem. Then again, I have been complimented for my laugh (although to be fair, when I was about 15 my sister said I sounded like a monkey when I laughed, so then I tried adjusting my laugh to make it more attractive. I don’t laugh quieter, just maybe, differently than I used to…)

  29. Dave
    Posted October 1, 2007 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    I thought the guest on The Factor did a great job of explaining her opinon of Senator Clinton’s laugh. Are there any body language experts out there that can use visual clues from those same clips and give a different opinion? I would be curious to hear other views and the reasoning behind them.
    At the moment, I tend to agree that her laugh was contrived. I feel uncomfortable with someone that gives a contrived laugh when discussing serious matters.

  30. Justin
    Posted October 1, 2007 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    Arguably more disgusting than the Times’ sexist analysis of the laugh is what came after the laugh in that clip: Hillary’s line about being against “preemptive war” in ’02 when she was one of the biggest Democratic cheerleaders of the war, citing Iraq’s nuclear program etc.

  31. ponies and rainbows
    Posted October 1, 2007 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    Nina, I’ve encountered it a LOT, even after altering my laugh to be more “attractive” and less offensive. (Seriously, is there anything women aren’t required to alter about ourselves?!?) One guy said, “What are you laughing at?” and one extra-special fucker even lost his erection because I giggled. He even told me that was why…I know not all women have had this experience, but a lot of women I’ve talked to have, and some have even altered their behavior during sex to be less “offensive” to their partners. (Because apparently having fun during sex is offensive if you’re female? I dunno.)

  32. Posted October 1, 2007 at 3:58 am | Permalink

    Tireless Purveyors Of Conventional Wisdom

    Mike Allen and John Harris of the Politico have decided to pen a hit piece on Sen. Clinton (From The Politico? I know, shocking.) because I guess they need something to prop up circulation this week. In this instance it’s…

  33. Ele
    Posted October 1, 2007 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    This issue has also been picked up by the UK’s Independent newspaper – “Clinton’s cackle may give opponents the last laugh.”
    It’s so depressing to be focusing on such a trivial (and super sexist!) issue during a presidential campaign.
    How shallow can people be?
    And I have witnessed very similar sexist attitudes here in France, too, with last year’s campaign of Ségolène Royal – am so fed up with this nonsense!

  34. LC
    Posted October 1, 2007 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Ponies and Rainbows:
    I personally think that if a woman (or man) can’t laugh at times during sex, there’s something wrong. I have, however, been informed by more than one woman that this is not a common view.
    I did once sleep with a woman who informed me she sometimes broke into hysterical laughter upon climax. She felt she should warn me because “it had not always gone over well” with some people.

  35. sybann
    Posted October 1, 2007 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Jeebus – they are making us vote for her.

  36. Terry Ott
    Posted October 1, 2007 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think the snarky comments re: Sen Clinton are exclusive to her, or more generally to women in politics.
    Ford stumbled and he was made out to be dullish, Carter wore sweaters and was roasted for his Mr. Rogers style, Bush smirks and mangles words like Norm Crosby used to, though we don’t misunderestimate what he means. WJClinton was always late in a disorganized kind of way, wolfing down Big Macs, being portrayed as “slick”. Kerry windsurfed and that WAS hilarious. Oh, and Dan Quayle …
    It’s not a big deal; happens to all of them.
    Personally, Hillary came off my list by virtue of that corny “stand by your man” thing so it doesn’t matter to me if she seems kind of phony at times.

  37. Posted October 1, 2007 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    At least Slate refers to Clinton as “Clinton” and not as “Hillary”, but as Oprah would say, that’s another show.
    There was an interesting pre-debate exchange between Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, in which they discussed the The Laugh as a defense. I didn’t detect any sexist overtone; in fact Matthews lauded Clinton for using The Laugh effectively.
    I second Matthews’ sentiment. I mean, how else would a rational person respond to Gravel, or to Chris Wallace’s accusation of partisonship? She showed poise and charm. People are just making something out of nothing.

  38. Posted October 1, 2007 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    The Healy Conundrum: What’s Behind the Attacks?

    Patrick Healy (photo above), known for his assaults on Democratic politicians, recently wrote a particularly disturbing piece in N.Y. Times about Hillary Clinton’s laugh, which he labels a “cackle.”
    Stepping offstage, she took q…

  39. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    “Ford stumbled and he was made out to be dullish, Carter wore sweaters and was roasted for his Mr. Rogers style, Bush smirks and mangles words like Norm Crosby used to, though we don’t misunderestimate what he means. WJClinton was always late in a disorganized kind of way, wolfing down Big Macs, being portrayed as “slick”. Kerry windsurfed and that WAS hilarious. Oh, and Dan Quayle …
    It’s not a big deal; happens to all of them”
    I don’t know about the first two, but I know that Bush and Kerry were criticized for minor things primarily by the /opposition/ by the democrats and liberals (in the case of Bush, at least during the election and early in his terms) and by the right-wingers and the Republicans (in the case of Kerry). To me Hillary’s treatment seems unique because the criticism over minor things is coming from all sides (the liberal media, as well as right-wingers).

  40. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think so many democrats would hate Hillary if she was a man and she was merely Bill Clinton’s best friend…

  41. PhillyLass
    Posted October 3, 2007 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    1) There’s no question that the media are using sexist assumptions when they interpret the so-called “cackle.” But it seems pretty clear to me that HRC is using the “cackle” to diffuse another set of sexist assumptions about her– that she’s mannishly aggressive. Personally, I prefer the ball-buster version of HRC. This pseudo-hilarity annoys the hell out of me. Is someone asks her about health care, she should put the smack-down on bullshit accusations of her “socialist” leanings instead of using the air-headed schoolgirl routine and responding with a chuckle.
    2) All presidential candidates’ body language is obsessively scrutinized in the media. How many Bill Clinton lip-bites and hand gestures have we seen lampooned on late-night television?
    3) If we’re going to talk about media sexism where HRC is concerned, how about we talk about the fact that people seem to think it’s okay to refer to her by her FIRST name? She’s a SENATOR, damn it. People rarely call Bill Clinton by his first name. He’s referred to as “Clinton” or “President Clinton.” How about we honor the office the electorate gave her?

  42. sasha0189
    Posted October 5, 2007 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    I am wondering if anyone else has seen this month’s Vanity Fair. It has a very interesting article about how Al Gore was treated by the “liberal media” during his presidential run- skewered for claiming to invent the Internet (which he never actually said), etc.. Meanwhile Bush was pretty consistently depicted as the fun candidate you would want to get a beer with. Gore still managed to win the election (except for the one at the Supreme Court), but wouldn’t it have been more difficult for Bush to steal if not for all the rumors that Gore was OMIGOD SUCH A LIAR?
    I think that the coverage of Sen. Clinton is very unfair, but she needs to continue to be strong and call their bullshit, as with the “pay attention to your hair” poster that was on here awhile back.
    Seriously though, read that article. My only regret about it was that it didn’t really discuss how Gore’s situation is paralleled by that of Hilary today.

  43. Mina
    Posted October 5, 2007 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile, has anyone seen this BBC article on coverage of Senator Clinton?
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7025528.stm

  44. ccomfo1
    Posted January 3, 2008 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    The problem with the train of thought a lot of people voting for clinton is that they are only voting for her BECAUSE she is a woman. Which is just as wrong as not voting for her because she is a woman. Why is anyone paying attention to her sex. That shouldn’t even be in question. Her politics are what matter.
    I see so many people defending her but she is a horrible candidate for president. For one she is a typical politician. She stands for nothing unless it is politically beneficial. The few things she actually stands for she isn’t strong on. She wants to get us out of Iraq but she wants leave 60k troops there (yeah that’s good 60k are going to manage to do what the massive amount of troops we have in there already couldn’t). She wants to get us INTO war with Iran. Which means another never ending war in the attempt to control the supply of oil to the world. She has employed a campaign leader who works for the likes of Blackwater USA. A company that can be directly linked to the cause of many American deaths in Iraq.
    So don’t try to defend her as a politician. She is a horrible candidate for president. It would be like me voting for Obama because he’s black. Voting for someone because of their race is as bad as voting for Bush because he’s Republican. You don’t vote along party lines, race lines or gender lines you vote according to a persons politics and ability to lead. Hillary has proven that in the end she is nothing more than a career politician like the rest. She will say and do whatever is popular.
    The only one who’s pushing the limit thats putting up a fight against Hillary and Obama is Edwards. What Edwards is saying is determining a lot of the strategy and even some of the politics of his two competitors so wouldn’t it then follow that the person making the most progressive proposals to fixing this country, getting us out of an endless war(instead of deeper in) helping the common every day worker and taking power from corporations (including going so far as to be the first to not accept money from corporations or lobbyists which means he is in no way indebted to them when he becomes president like Hillary is).
    If Hillary gets elected solely because she is a woman and female voters are voting for her only because she’s a woman which is the common trend right now and she does a bad job it will be a large step backward for women’s rights not forward. If she can’t stand up and take the reigns and do amazing things in this country those who voted for her because she’s a woman will be guilty by association and I guarantee if she doesn’t stand up to the scrutiny and prove them wrong in practice you won’t see another female candidate for a long time. Just like if Obama gets elected solely because he’s black you will not see a black candidate for a long time if he doesn’t do a good job.
    We stand on the precipice of a great step in American politics but I do not think either of these “minority” candidates is the one to take that leap forward I think for both of them it will be either standing still and making no significant change or a huge step backward in politics and racial and gender recognition in the political forum.

  45. ccomfo1
    Posted January 3, 2008 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    The problem with the train of thought a lot of people voting for clinton is that they are only voting for her BECAUSE she is a woman. Which is just as wrong as not voting for her because she is a woman. Why is anyone paying attention to her sex. That shouldn’t even be in question. Her politics are what matter.
    I see so many people defending her but she is a horrible candidate for president. For one she is a typical politician. She stands for nothing unless it is politically beneficial. The few things she actually stands for she isn’t strong on. She wants to get us out of Iraq but she wants leave 60k troops there (yeah that’s good 60k are going to manage to do what the massive amount of troops we have in there already couldn’t). She wants to get us INTO war with Iran. Which means another never ending war in the attempt to control the supply of oil to the world. She has employed a campaign leader who works for the likes of Blackwater USA. A company that can be directly linked to the cause of many American deaths in Iraq.
    So don’t try to defend her as a politician. She is a horrible candidate for president. It would be like me voting for Obama because he’s black. Voting for someone because of their race is as bad as voting for Bush because he’s Republican. You don’t vote along party lines, race lines or gender lines you vote according to a persons politics and ability to lead. Hillary has proven that in the end she is nothing more than a career politician like the rest. She will say and do whatever is popular.
    The only one who’s pushing the limit thats putting up a fight against Hillary and Obama is Edwards. What Edwards is saying is determining a lot of the strategy and even some of the politics of his two competitors so wouldn’t it then follow that the person making the most progressive proposals to fixing this country, getting us out of an endless war(instead of deeper in) helping the common every day worker and taking power from corporations (including going so far as to be the first to not accept money from corporations or lobbyists which means he is in no way indebted to them when he becomes president like Hillary is).
    If Hillary gets elected solely because she is a woman and female voters are voting for her only because she’s a woman which is the common trend right now and she does a bad job it will be a large step backward for women’s rights not forward. If she can’t stand up and take the reigns and do amazing things in this country those who voted for her because she’s a woman will be guilty by association and I guarantee if she doesn’t stand up to the scrutiny and prove them wrong in practice you won’t see another female candidate for a long time. Just like if Obama gets elected solely because he’s black you will not see a black candidate for a long time if he doesn’t do a good job.
    We stand on the precipice of a great step in American politics but I do not think either of these “minority” candidates is the one to take that leap forward I think for both of them it will be either standing still and making no significant change or a huge step backward in politics and racial and gender recognition in the political forum.

  46. sgzax
    Posted January 3, 2008 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Ugh, ccomfo, way to misread this board. I’d say Clinton is not the candidate of most participants here, and if she is it is because people believe in her ability to lead.
    The point here is that she is largely being assessed on things that have nothing to do with the content of her campaign. Of course the candidates should be chosen based upon their platforms. If you take the time to read (radical concept, I know), you’ll find that feminists don’t seem to have a problem understanding this but for some reason it’s a real challenge for everyone else (as in you).

  47. ccomfo1
    Posted January 3, 2008 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    No it’s not that I’m commenting on the board. I’m commenting on the fact that I have heard a lot of women around me say this. Especially older women who want to see a woman in office. It’s not a misrepresentation of what’s being said or an indictment of women. Contrary to popular belief not all men are sexist. My argument isn’t about feminists either. It about Hillary. I and part of the group who supports women’s rights fully. But you’re arguing the fact that she is being criticized for things that are unfair so is Obama thats the problem with being in the lead. They will criticize you for anything they can. To take away your lead. Hillary stand with the problem of being in the head of the election and just like someone pointed it out it happened to Al Gore. Obama is getting it but not as much because he’s only in second. It called politics. Granted they are picking topics that can be said the be sexist but at the same time they are picking the easier targets because those who are doing it have the experience sniping at politicians to bring down there ratings. So don’t play me up as sexist just because I disagree with a lot what’s happening here. It just as bad as me calling you racist because you think I can’t understand that not all feminists are following this stuff. My little black mind can’t take it apparently. Or maybe its my stupid male mind. Since thats what you seem to be playing at with your last comment.

  48. ccomfo1
    Posted January 3, 2008 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    No it’s not that I’m commenting on the board. I’m commenting on the fact that I have heard a lot of women around me say this. Especially older women who want to see a woman in office. It’s not a misrepresentation of what’s being said or an indictment of women.
    Contrary to popular belief not all men are sexist. My argument isn’t about feminists either. It’s about Hillary and the platform she is trying her hardest to run on (appealing to women to vote for her because she is a woman) . I and part of the group who supports women’s rights fully. But you’re arguing the fact that she is being criticized for things that are unfair so is Obama thats the problem with being in the lead. They will criticize you for anything they can. To take away your lead. Hillary stand with the problem of being in the head of the election and just like someone pointed it out it happened to Al Gore. Obama is getting it but not as much because he’s only in second. It called politics. Granted they are picking topics that can be said the be sexist but at the same time they are picking the easier targets because those who are doing it have the experience sniping at politicians to bring down there ratings. So don’t play me up as sexist just because I disagree with a lot what’s happening here. It just as bad as me calling you racist because you think I can’t understand that not all feminists are following this stuff. My little black mind can’t take it apparently. Or maybe its my stupid male mind. Since thats what you seem to be playing at with your last comment.

  49. ccomfo1
    Posted January 3, 2008 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    No it’s not that I’m commenting on the board. I’m commenting on the fact that I have heard a lot of women around me say this. Especially older women who want to see a woman in office. It’s not a misrepresentation of what’s being said or an indictment of women.
    Contrary to popular belief not all men are sexist. My argument isn’t about feminists either. It’s about Hillary and the platform she is trying her hardest to run on (appealing to women to vote for her because she is a woman) . I and part of the group who supports women’s rights fully. But you’re arguing the fact that she is being criticized for things that are unfair so is Obama thats the problem with being in the lead. They will criticize you for anything they can. To take away your lead. Hillary stand with the problem of being in the head of the election and just like someone pointed it out it happened to Al Gore. Obama is getting it but not as much because he’s only in second. It called politics. Granted they are picking topics that can be said the be sexist but at the same time they are picking the easier targets because those who are doing it have the experience sniping at politicians to bring down there ratings. So don’t play me up as sexist just because I disagree with a lot what’s happening here. It just as bad as me calling you racist because you think I can’t understand that not all feminists are following this stuff. My little black mind can’t take it apparently. Or maybe its my stupid male mind. Since thats what you seem to be playing at with your last comment.

  50. ccomfo1
    Posted January 3, 2008 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    The problem with the train of thought a lot of people voting for clinton is that they are only voting for her BECAUSE she is a woman. Which is just as wrong as not voting for her because she is a woman. Why is anyone paying attention to her sex. That shouldn’t even be in question. Her politics are what matter. I see so many people defending her but she is a horrible candidate for president. For one she is a typical politician. She stands for nothing unless it is politically beneficial. The few things she actually stands for she isn’t strong on. She wants to get us out of Iraq but she wants leave 60k troops there (yeah that’s good 60k are going to manage to do what the massive amount of troops we have in there already couldn’t). She wants to get us INTO war with Iran. Which means another never ending war in the attempt to control the supply of oil to the world. She has employed a campaign leader who works for the likes of Blackwater USA. A company that can be directly linked to the cause of many American deaths in Iraq. So don’t try to defend her as a politician. She is a horrible candidate for president. It would be like me voting for Obama because he’s black. Voting for someone because of their race is as bad as voting for Bush because he’s Republican you don’t vote along party lines, race lines or gender lines you vote according to a persons politics and ability to lead. Hillary has proven that in the end she is nothing more than a career politician like the rest. She will say and do whatever is popular. The only one who’s pushing the limit thats putting up a fight against Hillary and Obama is Edwards. What Edwards is saying is determining a lot of the strategy and even some of the politics of his two competitors so wouldn’t it then follow that the person make the most progressive proposals to fixing this country, getting us out of and endless war(instead of deeper in, helping the common every day worker and taking power from corporations (including going so far as to be the first to not accepting money from corporations or lobbyists which means he is no way indebted to them when he becomes president). If Hillary gets elected solely because she is a woman and females voters are voting for her only because she’s a woman which is the common trend right now and she does a bad job it will be a large step backward for women’s rights not forward. If she can’t stand up and take the reigns and do amazing things in this country those who voted for her because she’s a woman will be guilty by association and I guarantee if she doesn’t stand up to the scrutiny and prove them wrong in practice you won’t see another female candidate for a long time. Just like if Obama gets elected solely because he’s black you will not see a black candidate for a long time. We stand on the precipice of a great step in American politics but I do not think either of these “minority” candidates is the one to take that leap forward I think for both of them it will be either standing still and making no significant change or a huge step backward in politics and racial and gender recognition in the political forum.

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