>Before I begin, I want to apologize for my brief absence. A tornado touched down about 3 miles from where I live Tuesday evening and our Internet connection was out for two days.
Anyway, as I drove into work Friday morning, I listened to NPR correspondents and pundits discuss recent concerns made about how Sen. Hillary Clinton’s supporters say that if Sen. Barack Obama gets the Democratic nomination, they will leave the party, citing sexism towards their candidate.
Listen to the NPR podcast here.
One well-known comment made by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews:
Let’s not forget, and I’ll be brutal: The reason she’s a U.S. senator, the reason she’s a candidate for president, the reason she’s a front-runner is because her husband messed around. That’s how she got to be senator from New York — we keep forgetting it. She didn’t win on her merits. Because everybody felt ‘my god, this woman stood up under humiliation.’
There are plenty of comments that have been made by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly that denigrate Sen. Clinton, but I don’t feel the need to re-post them because we all are familiar with them.
Recently, CNN’s political contributor Alex Castellanos came under fire during a discussion about Sen. Clinton’s assertion that sexism has been rampant during this election season. Soon after the discussion became known, Castellanos apologized:
Supporters of Sen. Clinton also believe that if she were a man, calls would not be made for her to step aside and let Sen. Obama ascend to the Democratic nomination. Citing her husband’s campaign in 1992, Sen. Clinton pointed out that former President Bill Clinton didn’t secure the nomination until he won the California primary in June of that year. She then followed that assertion with: “We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California,” which caused an uproar from Sen. Obama’s campaign.
I know I’ve explored this topic before, but I want to come at it from a different angle: sexism in the news industry. It’s obvious that male commentators have been given free reign to say what they want and when they want about Sen. Clinton and other female public figures. They are routinely referred to as “outspoken” whenever they make these remarks.
What’s more mind boggling is how female commentators, and regular women, routinely dismiss their male counterparts’ remarks. These “women” sit idly by, nodding and smiling, while these men declare open season on Sen. Clinton. I’ve even seen these “women” participate in the degradation in the blogosphere.
While I’ve become ambivalent and disappointed by Sen. Clinton’s campaign, I will continue to defend her when it comes to blatant, sexist attacks by male and female commentators. It’s appauling that more women refuse to stand up and fight back against sexism on the airways and the Internet. It makes me wonder if, in fact, sexism is more accepted among men and women.
What do you think?