Gender, race and the 2016 psychodrama

I recently read a collection of essays entitled NASTY WOMEN AND BAD HOMBRES: Gender and Race in the 2016 US Presidential Election edited by Christine A. Kray, Tamar W. Carroll and Hinda Mendell (2018).

The question the book seeks to answer is how such an ignorant and misogynistic man such as Donald Trump could have defeated such an intelligent and well-qualified woman as Hillary Clinton.

The answers are sought in rhetoric, psychology and popular culture, not public policy. Clinton and Trump are treated as symbols, not as individuals with public records.  The election is treated as a psychodrama, not as a struggle for power.

The common theme was the need to overcome prevailing male attitudes toward women (“the patriarchy”) and prevailing white attitudes toward people of color (“white supremacy”).

I have reservations about this approach, which I’ll get to in due course..  But I first want to acknowledge the book’s merits.

One chapter discussed the obscene and vicious abuse directed at Hillary Clinton based on her gender, in the form of postcards, posters and Internet memes.  She was caricatured as a witch, a Medusa, a hag, a lesbian and a transgender man.  Unlike with Trump and Bernie Sanders, her age was held against her; she was depicted as a hag.  No human being should be subjected to this.

This unfortunately is not unusual nowadays for women who successfully compete with men.  They are subject to harassment via the Internet, up to and including threats of rape and death..

Donald Trump got his share of abuse, too—for example the widespread meme, including a video distributed by the New York Times, showing Trump and Vladimir Putin as gay lovers—the unstated assumption being that gays are weak and disgusting.

But I don’t think Trump, Sanders or any other male candidate was subjected to anything comparable to what Clinton had to endure because of her sex, and that Barack Obama had to endure because of his race.

I’d be interested about the experience of conservative woman in politics, such as Sarah Palin and Nikki Haley,  Do they get the same level of vicious and obscene abuse as white women?  My guess is, probably not, but I don’t know.

Another of the essays was about images of the women’s suffrage movement of a century ago.  The suffragists were mocked for presuming to assume male roles.  The mockery was extremely condescending, but it wasn’t threatening or obscene.

Is the viciousness of attacks on women nowadays due to a lowering of standards of public discourse?  Or do anti-feminist men today feel more threatened than than anti-suffragist men did back then?

But then there also are women, quoted in another chapter, who think that Hillary Clinton does not behave as a woman should.  Many of these same women excused Donald Trump’s bad behavior.

Indeed, the 2016 Presidential campaign illustrated the double standard for personal morality for men and women.  It is not just that Hillary Clinton could not have gotten away with trash-talking like Donald Trump.  Neither she or any of the current crop of female Presidential candidates could have been forgiven for infidelity in their marriages, as Bill Clinton and Donald Trump have been.

Various writers highlighted this double standard and speculated as to the cultural and psychological reasons why it exists.  Others dealt with a range of topics, from the myth of immigrant crime to religious freedom for Muslims.

There is much to be learned by isolating a single factor in politics, as this book does, and analyzing its impact.  The danger of this approach is in assuming the factor being analyzed is the only thing that matters.

in the introduction, the editors remark how Trump appealed to white working men whose “masculine pride” was wounded by unemployment in manufacturing industry.

But the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that almost 30 percent of American factory workers are women. That comment rendered those women invisible.

A number of contributors use the phrase “white working class.”  That language negates the existence of millions of wage-earning women and men of color.

There is one essay by a women about her mother who voted for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary and Donald Trump in the general election, in hope that Trump might do something about her economic plight.  But in general, little is said in these essays about struggling wage-earning women and people of color.

One essay is devoted to the role of Tim Kaine as husband, father and Democratic vice-presidential candidate.  The two authors concluded that he is unobjectionable in the way he supports his spouse, children and running-mate.

But simply by virtue of being an exemplary traditional husband and father, they wrote, he implicitly supports “systems of gender domination” and “masculine hegemony.”

It’s noteworthy that they can assume that it is possible and desirable to abolish the traditional family and not have to give any arguments to justify that assumption.

The reason that kind of thinking can be taken for granted is that it in no way whatever threatens the wealth and power of the corporate elite.

A number of essays explore the troubled friendship between the famous suffragist, Susan B. Anthony, a native of Rochester, N.Y., and the famous abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, a long-time resident of this city.   The editors of Nasty Women and Bad Hombres are on the faculty of Rochester Institute of Technology and the book is published by the University of Rochester press.

Douglass, a black man, advocated women’s right to vote.  Anthony, a white woman, the rights of citizenship for black people.  Both are buried in Rochester’s Mt. Hope Cemetery, and Anthony’s grave has become a feminist shrine, where feminists on Election Day leave their “I voted today” stickers on Anthony’s tombstone.  I did not realize, until I read this book, what a big deal this is.

Anthony wanted Douglass to oppose the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbid denial of the right to vote based on race, color or previous condition of servitude, because it was silent on denial of rights based on gender.  Douglass refused.

Later Anthony accepted support for women’s suffrage of white racists, who argued that it was wrong that educated white women be denied a right that was given to ignorant black people and immigrants.

All this foreshadowed the Clinton-Obama contest in 2008 Democratic presidential primary.  Once again there was a conflict over whether the white woman or the black man should have priority.

Clinton in 2008 was not above mentioning her appeal to “hard-working people, white people.”  Later, in 2016, her supporters accused Bernie Sanders of doing the same thing.

Shirley Chisholm

Black women are caught at the intersection of the tension between women’s rights and the rights of people of color.

Several chapters mention Shirley Chisholm, a courageous black woman who served in Congress from 1969 to 1983.  She ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972, the first woman to do so.  .

She was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the National Women’s Political Caucus.  She was an opponent of militarism and an advocate for African-Americans, for women and for working people.  Her slogan was “unbossed and unbought.”

She encountered opposition by black men as well as white people, and once said that she encountered more prejudice as a woman than as a black person

I think of her as a forerunner of insurgent women in Congress such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Tulsi Gabbard, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.

I do not see Chisholm as a forerunner of Hillary Clinton, the personal friend of Henry Kissinger and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

Clinton chose a different path from Chisholm.  She chose to downplay her feminism and femininity in order to be accepted as equal competitors in a man’s world.

I’m thinking of her decision to cease practicing law under her maiden name, her support for her husband’s harsh anti-crime measures, her effort to ingratiate herself with conservative Senators and the fact that she was the fiercest war hawk in the Obama Cabinet.

And after a adult lifetime of self-discipline and conformity, she was defeated by the dissolute Donald Trump, a rich man’s son who always did exactly as he pleased, flouted the written law and the norms of human decency and always got away with it.

I think there are millions of professional women who identify with Clinton’s experience.  They learned how to function in a man’s world and do everything that men can do, and yet are passed over in favor of less-qualified men.  All they can do is put stickers on Susan B. Anthony’s tombstone.

∞∞∞

Afterthought [Added 7/1/2019]

Gender and race are fundamental dividing lines in U.S. politics. If only men voted or only white people voted, Republicans would almost always win. If only women voted or only people of color voted, Democrats would almost always win.

A Democratic victory depends on getting more than 90 percent of the votes of African Americans, a solid majority of the votes of Hispanics and a sufficient number of white votes to add up to an overall majority.

Although Republicans get a majority of the votes of white women, it is a smaller majority than they get from white men. If they get as high a percentage of vote of white women as they do of white men, they would win.

The 2016 election was not a re-aligning election. Donald Trump got basically the same number of votes from the same groups as Mitt Romney or John McCain. Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton ran very much ahead or very much behind other Republican and Democratic candidates.

What the 2016 election showed was a falling-off of the Democratic vote among all its core constituencies, which is the continuation of a trend seen in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

The tipping point was targeted social media messages sent to African Americans, students and labor union members in swing states, attacking Hillary Clinton’s record and encouraging them to stay home.

The 2018 election, which was held after publication of this book, revealed a rallying of the Democratic coalition—possibly inspired by revulsion against Donald Trump, possibly resulting from the emergence of new voices in the Democratic Party. I’m not so bold as to say whether this trend will carry over into 2020.

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14 Responses to “Gender, race and the 2016 psychodrama”

  1. Benjamin David Steele Says:

    It was Trump, not Clinton, who won the majority of white women voters. That isn’t limited to working class white women either.

    Remember that Trump got his strongest support from the lower middle class. Clinton got stronger support from the upper middle class to upper class.

    Initially, the working class went for Sanders, but I’m not sure how many voted in the election once Sanders was no longer an option. The poor tend to have extremely low voting rates.

    “Is the viciousness of attacks on women nowadays due to a lowering of standards of public discourse? Or do anti-feminist men today feel more threatened than than anti-suffragist men did back then?”

    I don’t think there is anything unique about women at the moment. As a society and civilization, we are facing a greater existential crisis than in the past. Divides and conflict are proportionately worse.

    Yes, women are probably being attacked more viciously. But so are immigrants, minorities, poor white men, etc. The system is protecting itself from all potential challenges.

    Like

    • philebersole Says:

      I was brought up in the 1940s to be chivalrous to women—that is, to treat them with great courtesy and to protect them from harm. I think most respectable American men of my era and before were taught to behave that way toward respectable women.

      Hillary Clinton is a respectable woman by the standards of that era. She is faithful to her husband, a caring mother to her daughter, a regular church-goer, someone who behaves with decorum in public. Yet this gets her no consideration.

      This seems to me to be something new—unlike the vicious contempt for minorities, immigrants and poor people.

      Like

      • Benjamin David Steele Says:

        In the 1940s, a respectable woman by mainstream standards never would have entered politics. And anyone 1940s woman who tried to enter politics wouldn’t have been treated as respectable in mainstream society. Woman were treated as respectable in the past, generally speaking, to the degree that they kept in their place. So, there is that.

        Hillary Clinton is treated with much more respect as a politician now than she would have been treated three quarters of a century ago. Many other women politicians right now are treated with even more respect. More people, for example, seem to respect Tulsi Gabbard than respect Clinton. It depends on the woman. Many people simply don’t like Clinton as a person or a politician, even as they like other female politicians just fine.

        Let me speak about myself in the present. I don’t hold to mainstream moral norms of the 1940s, the era of horrific treatment of minorities and left-wingers and any woman who stepped out of line. From my perspective having been born in the 1970s and being on the political left, I don’t see Hillary Clinton as being a good person in the slightest. A good person wouldn’t do the kinds of things she has done as a politician, but that is true of many other politicians. I could easily list dozens of politicians, mostly male, that I consider not to be good people and some of them far worse than Clinton.

        I still hold to the viewpoint that the choice between Trump and Clinton wasn’t about lesser evils but greater evils. Either of them being elected would not have led to the world being a better place. In some ways, Clinton might have been the more dangerous choice because she would have further normalized the political evil in Washington DC precisely at a time when that is the last thing in the world we need. Trump, at least, is forcing Americans awake. We are no longer the slow boiling frog and, with the heat turned up, we might be able to jump out of the pot before it’s too late.

        I do admit that Clinton is treated worse than male politicians. That is undeniable. Then again, she is treated worse than other female politicians as well. Part of it is her seeking to control the Democratic Party at a time of so much stress and uncertainty, which has led the Clinton Democrats to more viciously attack the left (where the majority of the population resides) than I’ve seen in my lifetime. The American population is further left and so the political left is stronger. That makes Clinton further out of touch with the American public than was the case with her husband decades ago. The stakes are higher now and the public less tolerant of bullshit.

        Is it fair how she is treated? No. As I said, plenty of politicians deserve more criticism. But is she a good person? Definitely not, as far as I’m concerned. She is a neocon imperialist who doesn’t care about the lives of those her political actions harm and kills, not even other women (mostly poor brown women in foreign countries). I don’t feel any pity for her. She joined a system of political evil and has been less successful than others. In a more gender-neutral system of political evil, would she be more successful? Sure. But it would still be political evil.

        Like

      • Benjamin David Steele Says:

        I really wouldn’t dismiss the economic mood right now. No matter what one thinks of Trump, the fact of the matter is he did campaign economically to the left of Clinton. That is what differentiates Clinton from Gabbard as well.

        Like Trump, Gabbard is using more progressive rhetoric, specifically as it relates to economic nationalism (progressives like TR and FDR were economic nationalists). This progressive rhetoric of economic nationalism has gone hand in hand with anti-imperialistic rhetoric, for both Gabbard and Trump, as in opposition to Clinton’s imperialistic political record.

        Right now Gabbard, a woman, is the most popular Democratic candidate. It’s her politics that resonate with the American people, no matter her gender. Joe Biden’s privilege as a white male professional politician presented as the DNC choice isn’t likely to help him much. I bet he’ll do far worse than Hillary Clinton did in 2016.

        I don’t think gender is going to be a deciding factor. If anything, Gabbard being a woman might be a net benefit. That is because she is a different kind of person and politician than Clinton.

        https://uprootedpalestinians.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/paradigms-flip-as-trump-and-tulsi-emerge-as-the-winners-of-the-democratic-party-debate/

        “Connected to Trump as the ‘winner’, it was Tulsi Gabbard who stood out from the rest of the candidates. Interestingly, reliable polling data just out from the Drudge Report shows that Gabbard emerged as the winner of the debate on ideas and policies overall. She won some 40% of the vote, and when compared to the candidates whom the other 60% was divided, it was a landslide. […]

        “When the subject moved to Afghanistan and occupation, Gabbard was on confident and really on fire. This is significant because while historically Gabbard’s anti-imperialist line on occupation would be associated with (normally later broken) Democratic Party talking points, it was here that Trump defeated Clinton at the polls, when Trump won the anti-war vote in 2016. […]

        “At face value, Trump and Democrats seem to be 6’s and 7’s over immigration. But when we really look at what the real deal is, we find yet another alignment of the Democrat’s position to that of Trump’s. How can this be?

        “To understand this is to understand the overall trajectory now that the US empire is all but finished. Its historical aim now is to be able to disentangle from the Mid-East, a prominent Trump position which used to be Obama’s until it wasn’t, and on the Democratic side today is only being carried forward by Tulsi Gabbard. The so-called neo-isolationism of the US isn’t so much that, as it is a return to the Monroe Doctrine. […]

        “While Trump is nominally strict on immigration, it was under Obama that the US deported the most migrants in history. This is a fact that Democrats ignore in their talking points and attacks on Trump’s ‘inhuman policy’ that tears families apart. And so in a strange departure from what might otherwise occur to us, it was Obama’s policy that was worse by the numbers for pro-migration advocates, and it’s been Trump who has openly called for investment into Latin America with a named reason being to stem the migration ‘crisis’. […]

        “What Tulsi Gabbard, the clear winner of the debate, will do next is to appropriate Julian Castro’s ‘Marshall Plan’ line on Mexico and Central America. It dog-whistles numerous Trump talking points in relation to Mexico, as well as taking a ‘less migration is good migration’ approach to what is no doubt a real problem, without engaging in reactionary attacks on the migrants themselves. To get ‘to the source’ of the problem, as Castro explains, requires investment into Latin America.

        “Gabbard will be well positioned to nominally attack Trump’s policy implementation along human rights grounds, while not being specific on anything except getting ‘to the source of the problem’.

        “Gabbard is the dark horse, and along with Yang (in the second night’s debate) will no doubt pull ahead of the conventionally pre-selected winners that were supposed to be Booker, Sanders, Warren and especially Biden. We will see much more focus on Gabbard now in virtual spaces, even while the mainstream media will continue to wrongly focus on Biden and Booker. Booker played his left-most game in the debate, but as prospective voters sort him on questions as far and ranging as Palestine, war, and labor (economy) – they will find him sorely lacking.

        “With 60% of American generally supporting Trump’s approach to the economy, these are his highest approval ratings, and ones which Americans care about and highly prioritize. Gabbard would be wise to approach the question of distribution, winners and losers of the economic boom, and focus on the 1% vs. the 99%. Doing so will help her move beyond her initial base of support as the anti-war candidate.”

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  2. Mel Clondike Says:

    I agree, Trump and Hillary were both deplorable

    Liked by 1 person

  3. philebersole Says:

    Gender and race are fundamental dividing lines in U.S. politics. If only men voted or only white people voted, Republicans would almost always win. If only women voted or only people of color voted, Democrats would almost always win.

    A Democratic victory depends on getting more than 90 percent of the votes of African Americans, a solid majority of the votes of Hispanics and a sufficient number of white votes to add up to an overall majority.

    Although Republicans get a majority of the votes of white women, it is a smaller majority than they get from white men. If they get as high a percentage of vote of white women as they do of white men, they would win.

    The 2016 election was not a re-aligning election. Donald Trump got basically the same number of votes from the same groups as Mitt Romney or John McCain. Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton ran very much ahead or very much behind other Republican and Democratic candidates.

    What the 2016 election showed was a falling-off of the Democratic vote among all its core constituencies, which is the continuation of a trend seen in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

    The tipping point was targeted social media messages sent to African Americans, students and labor union members in swing states, attacking Hillary Clinton’s record and encouraging them to stay home.

    The 2018 election, which was held after publication of this book, revealed a rallying of the Democratic coalition—possibly inspired by revulsion against Donald Trump, possibly resulting from the emergence of new voices in the Democratic Party. I’m not so bold as to say whether this trend will carry over into 2020.

    Like

    • Benjamin David Steele Says:

      “A Democratic victory depends on getting more than 90 percent of the votes of African Americans, a solid majority of the votes of Hispanics and a sufficient number of white votes to add up to an overall majority.”

      That is partly where Hillary Clinton failed. In some key states, she lost significant proportions of the minority vote, either because they voted for Trump or didn’t vote at all. The majority of rural Hispanics favored Trump, largely because of the rhetoric of economic populism and progressivism. He was lying, of course, but many Americans have been feeling desperate and hungry for change. Like Obama, Trump promised change. And in both cases, many of the same people were rallied to that message.

      There are some more damning examples of votes lost. In Florida, Haitian-Americans didn’t vote for Clinton and helped the state to go to Trump. The reason Haitian-Americans hated Clinton so much is because they knew the evil she had committed in Haiti. In defense of cheap labor, Clinton as secretary of state had intervened in Haitian politics to suppress wages in order to ensure US companies had cheap labor, and that being a country where people are already horrifically poor. She is heartless, not a good person, and so Haitain-Americans treated her accordingly.

      Still, it isn’t only about minorities. The Democratic Party has long been the party of the white working class, especially in union strongholds. Yet Clinton lost votes among this demographic. What was once the loyal base of the party had been weakening for decades, but Clinton had the misfortune to run for president when it was finally hitting a breaking point. Her out and proud neoliberalism didn’t help matters. The most symbolic loss of that election was a county in Kentucky coal country that had gone to every Democratic presidential candidate since the Civil War, until Hillary Clinton.

      The thing is Trump campaigned economically to the left of Clinton, which created a strange situation. No Republican presidential candidate has campaigned to the left of the Democrats in a very long time. A male Democrat would’ve struggled in the same situation in finding themselves as the economic right-wing candidate in a historically economic leftist party.

      “The 2016 election was not a re-aligning election. Donald Trump got basically the same number of votes from the same groups as Mitt Romney or John McCain. Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton ran very much ahead or very much behind other Republican and Democratic candidates.”

      Broadly speaking, that might be true. The demographics and vote count wasn’t particularly different than the past. But there was a shift in key places, whether or not it indicates a realignment. Don’t forget how close Clinton came to winning. If she had not lost those key places, she probably wouldn’t have lost the election. Because of how our electoral system is designed, it doesn’t require many votes for Democrats to lose and Republicans to win, as the popular vote is irrelevant.

      During economic good times, voters might have been more forgiving of Clinton’s campaigning as a professional politician with a message of neoliberalism and neoconservatism. That was the case for her husband during the 1990s. But this isn’t the 1990s. She spent her entire campaign attacking the political left and then suddenly found herself to the right of Trump on economics precisely at a time when Americans wanted economic left-wing policies more than ever before.

      Like

      • philebersole Says:

        As in most of your comments, you make good rebuttals of arguments I didn’t actually make.

        Like

      • Benjamin David Steele Says:

        As in most of your responses to my comments, you accuse me of making rebuttals I didn’t make. So, I guess there is at least an equality in our mutual miscommunication and misunderstanding. I was simply writing out some thoughts, not arguing against you.

        I was explaining why, in my own understanding, Hillary Clinton is so unpopular at a time like this even as other women politicians and candidates are popular. It wasn’t intended as an attack on your perspective, but it was an attempt to offer context.

        I just think it is interesting. Like her husband, Clinton would have pushed the Overton window to the right on economics. But the public mood was less populist and progressive back then. It’s strange that it took someone like Trump to push the economic debate to the left and so open the field for our present crop of Democratic candidates.

        Trump normalized left-wing economics. That amuses me. In his own demented way, Trump was far less out of touch from the public than Clinton. My basic point is that Clinton being out of touch, the main issue of her unpopularity, has nothing to do with gender. Yet I agree that there is a gender bias, something that is undeniable.

        I was trying to offer a nuanced position. Even if we don’t entirely agree on this issue, I don’t see us as in opposition either. But obviously, I failed to express myself well. I do have a tendency of coming off as sounding antagonistic. I’m sorry about that.

        Like

      • Benjamin David Steele Says:

        Considering our two perspectives, what do you see as the common thread? Do you think that Clinton would still be treated unfairly as a woman even if she wasn’t a neoliberal and neocon professional politician who has become the main DNC figurehead of ruling elite control, corporatocratic political evil, the police state, and military-industrial complex? If gender really is the primary issue, why is Gabbard treated so differently? Why does gender seem so problematic for Clinton but not for others? What is it about Clinton that elicits antagonism and animosity in a way other women don’t, if not her personality and political history? Why has liberal ‘respectability’ politics broken down and lost sway as populist outrage has increased?

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      • Benjamin David Steele Says:

        Actually, in this particular comment you responded to here, I assumed that you probably agreed with much of what I was pointing to. I thought it went without saying that we likely shared views here, based on shared knowledge. I wasn’t trying to school you. I was just bringing up points that I assumed, in many cases, you probably were already aware of. It was general commentary.

        I wasn’t implying that this was knowledge you lacked. But I don’t doubt that an edge came across in my comments here. Politics these days do make me feel on edge. And intended or not, I wouldn’t doubt that you sense that in me. But try not to take it personally. We do disagree on some issues, although I don’t think to a significant degree. Our main disagreement seems to be the emphasis of points we make.

        Like

      • Benjamin David Steele Says:

        I’m going to stop commenting here. I rub you the wrong way. My style of writing apparently comes across as confrontational. So you see me as attacking you. And that feels depressing to have so many of my comments interpreted that way. I don’t want to argue with you.

        Like

      • philebersole Says:

        Perhaps I do take your comments in the wrong way. I don’t disagree with any major point you’ve made. I think we pretty much agree on major issues. I don’t think most readers of your comments would assume this, however

        I think Hillary Clinton does deserve criticism both as a neoconservative in foreign policy and as a neoliberal on economic policy. I’ve criticized her harshly and don’t see the need to recapitulate my criticism in every post.

        I think that economic issues are important and that Democrats’ allegiance to the interests of the donor class is bad for the country and bad for their future prospects. I don’t see the need to recapitulate this in every post, and, in any case, this was not relevant to the point I was trying to make.

        Having said this, I don’t think economic policy and foreign policy explain attacks that question the womanhood of Hillary Clinton and also of Nancy Pelosi, nor the viciousness and obscenity of such attacks. Few if any question the manhood of Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden or Chuck Schumer.

        Why, indeed, does Tulsi Gabbard escape this kind of criticism? The worst she gets is accusations of being a tool of Vladimir Putin or Bashir al-Assad, which of course is unfair, but on a different level from the sexist attacks on Clinton and Pelosi.

        Margaret Thatcher was a strong leader and no friend of the working class, but was she attacked in this way? Maybe she was and I didn’t see it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Benjamin David Steele Says:

        As you point out, it’s not only Hillary Clinton. Margaret Thatcher seemed to pull it off decades ago. And Tulsi Gabbard isn’t the only female candidate with popular support. Kamala Harris seems to be doing just fine. It’s highly likely one of these ladies will be the nominee, assuming that Elizabeth Warren doesn’t get it.

        I’m pretty sure Biden has already lost this fight. And the corporate media seem to be dismissing Sanders quite effectively, as they did last time. The rest of the male candidates probably don’t have a chance.

        So, as you ask, what do Clinton and Pelosi have in common that is the opposite of Thatcher, Gabbard, Harris, etc? Why are some women in politics despised while others are quite likable? It’s not about being too strong and uneffeminate or whatever.

        If anything, there is an age bias. Old white men like Sanders have been dismissed precisely because they’re old. But I suspect some of the criticism of Clinton is also because she is old. There is a sense of generational conflict at the moment. And at times that can overlap with other deeply embedded biases.

        The fact of the matter is young women don’t particularly like Clinton either, at least in terms of political support. But it wasn’t necessarily ageism, though, as Sanders somehow managed to get fairly large support from young women as with young men. Are older men more attractive to the young than older women? I don’t know.

        I guess that might be the case. But I don’t know how to separate out all of the factors. Anyway, as I said, it’s not worth arguing about. You could be right in some sense, even ignoring the other female candidates that might be exceptions to the rule.

        I’ll accept your criticisms of gender bias, as I’m not really disagreeing. I was just pointing out complications.

        Like

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