Hillary Sexism Watch (Chelsea edition)

hillarychelsea.JPGApparently they’re still hitting the “bad working mom” theme with Hillary Clinton. The nerve of her, allowing her adult daughter to campaign for her! (Never mind that Chelsea is 27 years old.)

DAVID SHUSTER: Bill, there’s just something a little bit unseemly to me that Chelsea’s out there calling up celebrities, saying support my mom, and she’s apparently also calling these super delegates.
BILL PRESS: Hey, she’s working for her mom. What’s unseemly about that? During the last campaign, the Bush twins were out working for their dad. I think it’s great, I think she’s grown up in a political family, she’s got politics in her blood, she loves her mom, she thinks she’d make a great president –
SHUSTER: But doesn’t it seem like Chelsea’s sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?

Uh, no. It doesn’t. And it’s not like we never see male politicians’ wives, mothers, and daughters on the campaign trail with them.
UPDATE: Shakes has a round-up of even more sexist bullshit about Hillary.
UPDATE II: Shuster has apologized.

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42 Comments

  1. Posted February 8, 2008 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    O NOEZ! Hillary is corrupting her daughter to have a voice, too! ACK!

  2. ElleMariachi
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    I wonder if this has more to do with the fact that Hillary’s a woman, or with the fact that that people always rail on Chelsea for her looks. You know what I mean? Like, if Chelsea looked more like the “more attrtactive” (not IMO, but whatever) Bush twins, would the situation still be referred to as a “pimping out”?
    Either way–totally uncalled for and disgusting.

  3. Posted February 8, 2008 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Yes, there’s just something unseemly about women getting out there and participating in the political process as if they had the right.

  4. Posted February 8, 2008 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Although I’m not a Hill supporter, I find that kind of language uncalled for and unprofessional. And, oh yeah, sexist. The slime from Chris Matthews is leaving a residue on MSNBC. And he’s a real idiot BTW.
    http://anonymissblog.blogspot.com

  5. Posted February 8, 2008 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    And let’s not forget, the Mittster had his sons driving around in a Winnebago. Oh wait, that wasn’t just working on the campaign, that was “service to their country.”

  6. EG
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Well, you know, any time a young woman does any work whatsoever that involves contact with other people, she’s really just selling sex. Obviously. Hillary Clinton is just like a pimp. Employing one’s adult daughter is just like forcing her to have sex with strangers for money, taking more than half of the proceeds, and beating the shit out of her if she fails to comply.

  7. Posted February 8, 2008 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Unbelievable! The daughter of a strong, outspoken woman has grown into *gasp* a strong, outspoken woman! I don’t know what to do! The horror!
    Of course, when John Kerry ran, the focus was on his daughter’s accidental nipple pop. Oh, and that military reprimand he got for saving someone’s life instead of leaving them to die. But it had nothing to do with pimping. And I’m pretty sure Vanessa Kerry is about the same age as Chelsea (I could be off, but I think within a few years).
    Oh, and lest we forget the Bush twins. They never did anything to support that stupid dad of theirs. No. Neverrrrr. And he never pimped the engagement of one of them to make them seem like a wholesome American family or anything. *gag*
    I guess Hillary should be a good mom and go home and iron some of Chelsea’s shirts, huh? Maybe make a pot roast while she’s there, too.
    *facepalm*

  8. Posted February 8, 2008 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Whoops, it was Alexandra Kerry that had the nip slip. Sorry.

  9. Burbank
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I don’t think this is so sexist as it is just pure hatred for the Clintons. The conservative “press” are so obsessed with the Clintons, trying to find fault in absolutely everything they do.

  10. crshark
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    According to comments from the linked article, Shuster has apologized. Doesn’t in anyway excuse his misogyny, though, and his blow-dried face shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near any media outlet.

  11. triskelion
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Yeah, this is just fucking ridiculous. I mean John Edwards even had his children (who are actual children) with him at a lot of events during his campaigns. Was that child prostitution? I’m with Burbank- people are just trying to find ANY reason at all to pick on Clinton but I do think this hatred of Hillary stems from a poorly disguised sexism.

  12. RachelInga
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I think Kucinich was more of a “pimp”…his platform was basically “I have a hot wife, vote for me, and I”ll tell you how to get one!”

  13. julia_b
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    What’s particularly ironic (or just moronic) is that when Bill ran for president, he and Hillary kept preteen Chelsea very much out of the spotlight. A lot of people didn’t even know they had a daughter. Clearly they knew what was best for their kid. I’ve always said, whatever their other problems, the Clintons definitely did something right with Chelsea, who is smart, articulate, and would be a fine role model for anyone’s daughter. But for mom to let her participate in the campaign now that she’s an adult, oh, the horror.
    Of course, she’s also been around politics long enough to know how to deal with idiots. I’m sure she doesn’t take remarks like that personally. But the rampant misogyny on exhibit here is disgusting.

  14. Sirriamnis
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad someone else mentioned Mitt’s sons. At least Hillary isn’t trying to pawn off Chelsea’s campaigning as “service to her country.”
    Freaking Republican.

  15. crshark
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    RachelInga — Very clever. Your remark is as ignorant as Shuster’s.

  16. Jovan1984
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 1:08 pm | Permalink
  17. pythonrunner
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    hmmm…i guess if Chelsea is being “pimped” then McCain’s 96-year-old mother is being slave driven? Idiot.

  18. AngryYoungFemme
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone read Judith Warner’s NYTimes blog post today?
    http://warner.blogs.nytimes.com/?hp
    I thought she brought up an interesting point, but then, her conclusion rang hollow, if you could call it a conclusion. Any thoughts?

  19. the15th
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I also like how Shuster (in a longer quote from this exchange) seems to see some inconsistency in the fact that Chelsea is putting herself in the public spotlight as a political spokesperson now, even though it was considered inappropriate for the media to hound her when she was 12: “The collective Washington media, which has respected the sort of unwritten rules about staying away from Chelsea, not asking her questions, that is now out the window, that it’s now fair game.” Of course, there’s nothing wrong with subjecting any representative for a campaign to some scrutiny, but this is along the same lines as, “You ladies want equal treatment? All right, I’ll give you equal treatment.”

  20. Posted February 8, 2008 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    AngryYoungFemme: I read the linked post, and couldn’t get anything out of it apart from that her male friends are fucking jackasses, she feels like she is a sell-out, and that she hopes to hell that Fools’ Gold (starring Matthew McConaughney and Kate Hudson) is not as unbearably lame as it looks because that’s the only movie Girls’ Night Out could agree on.

  21. Burbank
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    You know, triskelion, I’m starting to agree – as much as they hate the Clintons, I don’t think they’d make the same argument if Bill Clinton was the one currently running.

  22. dananddanica
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    While it was a stupid comment I think it is just a reflection of the pure irrational hatred a lot of people have for the Clintons. I’ve never seen hatred of any politician boil over so often. it began with bill expandeed to hillary and has gotten worse since ’93. heck in the early days of the web, some folks had a website dedicated to killing the clintons cat!

  23. feministfuries
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I found it ironic that the following quote made it into my thesis this afternoon…
    “Furthermore, Dianne Bystrom (2006) notes that “Journalists often hold women politicians accountable for the actions of their husbands and children, although they rarely hold male candidates to the same standardsâ€? (171).
    There is an awful lot of HRC bashing going on in the media because she happens to be married to Bill, but I think Shuster’s comment went beyond that to blatant sexism. And while it’s fine for Kerry, Romney, and Edwards to use their children in the campaign context, it’s different for them because they are males and putting their family on display enhances some wholesome, family-guy image. For Clinton to use Chelsea though, in the campaign context, well, now that’s just “pimping her out.”
    Honestly, comments like these just make me want hide under my bed until the convention. And if she gets the nomination and manages to win, I might move out of the country, not because I hate Hilary, but because this shit will last until far after she takes the Oath of Office…
    *sigh* Hopefully I’m just being cynical.

  24. MLEmac
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never understood why people like to say that Chelsea is unattractive. I think she is very pretty, and has an amazing smile (like her mom). I think that since she was raised as a feminist and taught to not always look flawless in public, people like to attack her.

  25. Marissa
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I always thought it must have been really hard for her growing up with all of the unfounded attacks on her appearance. Aside from her actually being really pretty, that is just so brutal. I wonder how much of it she saw and heard growing up. I think every young woman is subject to this same type of scrutiny/ridicule of their appearance, but to have it happen to her so publicly at such a young age has always made me upset.

  26. mpowell
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 3:56 pm | Permalink


    But doesn’t it seem like Chelsea’s sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?

    Maybe the problem here is not the pimping itself, but the fact that a woman is the pimp! What an outrage to the natural order of things!

  27. Posted February 8, 2008 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    It’s unfortunate because Shuster isn’t a bad journalist. He’s not usually this stupid — and I believe he is anti-war and tends to report in a fair manner.
    We need more progressive Gen X representation on the airwaves. I really think this was Shuster trying to throw some hip lingo into his coverage, which I’ve seen him do before…
    …and it never goes well for many reasons.

  28. erinelizabeth
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    FYI- Just heard via public radio that Shuster has been suspended…good.

  29. RishiGajria
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    David Shuster needs to be kicked on his behind. Really Hard.

  30. Marshall Lucky
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    “You know, triskelion, I’m starting to agree – as much as they hate the Clintons, I don’t think they’d make the same argument if Bill Clinton was the one currently running. –Burbank ”
    Funny you should mention that since Lucianne Goldberg (Jonah’s mother) accused Bill Clinton of molesting his daughter back when the neo-Nazi crowd was calling Bubba a rapist.

  31. The Crab
    Posted February 8, 2008 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    In related news, Velvet Jones just donated $250.00 to Hillary Clinton, but I think he misunderstood the context of the news report.

  32. Posted February 9, 2008 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    “I’ve never understood why people like to say that Chelsea is unattractive. I think she is very pretty”
    I agree. She was a teenager when Bill was President (well technically she was 12 when he was inaugurated, but close enough), so she was kind of in an awkward phase. Uh, who isn’t awkward at that age? We’re all a little goofy looking in our early teens. It’s called puberty. And like teenage girls aren’t self-conscious enough, she had tools like Rush Limbaugh calling her a dog. ARGH!
    I actually didn’t realize how much she looks like her mother until I saw the picture here.

  33. LlesbianLlama
    Posted February 9, 2008 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Before I address the actual content at hand I have to say something about this gem of a comment…
    “I think Kucinich was more of a “pimp”…his platform was basically “I have a hot wife, vote for me, and I”ll tell you how to get one!” ”
    It’s pretty clear you haven’t followed the candidates very closely. Seriously?! Kucinich’s platform is anything BUT sexist and was certainly never promoting that he could score anyone a “hot wife”. If anything, his wife was targeted in that exact way by everyone around him! In one debate, another candidate, I think Biden, made a comment that his favourite thing about Kucinich was his wife. It made me sort of queasy.
    Anyways, sorry to be off topic.
    As for Chelsea being “pimped” out by her mom– give me a break! It’s not like every other candidate with a kid has eeeevvveerrrr enlisted their help on the campaign trail. Or a wife. Or a husband. Or a friend. Or anyone who would be willing to help them in any way. Sheesh.
    And to anyone who thinks this isn’t a sexist comment- think about it for a second. “Pimping” is the ultimate in sexist terms, not to mention a blatantly offensive parallel on other levels, considering what prostitution ACTUALLY is/means for sex workers. Then there’s the issue of WHO is doing the pimping. Hillary is a woman, and challenging her [alleged] “exploitation” of her daughter likely rests on discomfort with deviance from the dominant idea that only men are allowed to do said “pimping”. Sick.

  34. zirpister
    Posted February 9, 2008 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    I don’t know where to post this but I just found it.
    http://i26.tinypic.com/y1big.jpg
    I feel like punching someone.

  35. hungerheadache
    Posted February 9, 2008 at 12:49 pm | Permalink
  36. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted February 9, 2008 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Chelsea Clinton spoke at my school this week. I agree she’s pretty, and smart, and well-spoken. It was a little unclear how much of her campaigning was her own idea and how much was purely to support her mom though, as I certainly got the impression she may not be quite as interested in political leadership as her mom is. (Of course, she was campaigning for her mom so she was doing her best to answer questions from her mom’s perspective -so on that level, I guess sort of a detached feeling from some of the responses would make sense)

  37. Spinsterina
    Posted February 9, 2008 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    The “Imus Effect” at MSNBC has created a frat-house, smart-ass environment that leads to nice fellas like Schuster making sexist cracks. Imus had a macho morning clubhouse where pols and sport figures and journalists could crack wise and let it all hang out. Insults flew in all directions on Imus’ show. If you were part of that club you were connected. You were cool.
    Though Imus is gone, the spirit lives on. It’s not just about Shuster. It’s Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist in the morning. It’s Tucker Carlson and Chris Matthews in the evening. It’s horrible. Poor Mika Brzezinski tries to find a role in all this macho bloviating but she is berated and rolled over at every turn. Rachel Maddow has been given a chance to weigh in, though, giving me some hope that she’ll soon play a bigger role. MSNBC knows they have a problem, but what will they do about it?
    Recently Matthews was forced to apologize for insulting remarks about Hillary. Schuster insulted Chelsea. Tucker bragged that he “bashed” a gay man once. Imus, of course, had his dumbass moment on MSNBC. The contagious assholism out of control over there.
    Even a nice boy like David Shuster can become an obnoxious misogynist when he wants to fit in with the cool frat boys.
    “The Mess at MSNBC”:
    http://mediamatters.org/items/200802080011?f=h_top

  38. amanohyo
    Posted February 9, 2008 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    If Shuster had said that Obama was “pimping out” his wife or children, he would have been fired, not suspended.
    It’s still not as bad as McCain’s 1998 Chelsea comment, which was all the more disgusting because it was planned in advance. If Hillary wins the nomination, I hope the media reminds Americans about his charming sense of humor.
    Here’s a link for those who don’t remember:
    http://www.salon.com/news/1998/06/25newsb.html

  39. Posted February 10, 2008 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    And let’s also look at the (inevitable) sexist backlash from Schuster being reprimanded. I’m hearing a lot of Obama supporters talk about how this is just some (very weird, possibly counter-productive) strategy for the Clintons. Like Hilary Clinton is just so calculating and inhuman that it’s inconceivable she would genuinely be offended that a reporter called her daughter a prostitute.
    I loathe that left-leaning, white guys get a total pass on using all this veiled sexism because it is somehow “evened out” that they are support an African-American candidate.
    I think Obama is a fine candidate but srsly, some his supporters are Le Douche.

  40. Meramoo
    Posted February 10, 2008 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Did he somehow forget that Romney’s sons have been campaigning for him for ages? I know it’s a moot point now, but still.

  41. Lucy
    Posted February 11, 2008 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    It’s really immature for people to say that Chelsea’s being pimped out, just because she supports her mother in becoming the next president. At least she has the decency to support her mom in a positive way by getting others to support her. Unlike other daughters from previous president nominees, she does not dress in clothing that will show more that others need to see. I really don’t think people should be judging her just because the person she supports is a women. Women can do anything they please and should never be held back by anyone.

  42. Posted June 13, 2008 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Please click on the link below. It is proof of sexism against Sen. Hillary Clinton during this campaign.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_ZHa5rNZC8

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