Hillary, You May Not Go To The Bathroom and Other Double Standards

23 Dec 2015

Hillary, You May Not Go To The Bathroom and Other Double StandardsThe criticisms leveled at Hillary Clinton are in an orbit beyond familiar disparities in male vs. female candidates’ coverage and treatment. Last week, four of Bernie Sander’s campaign staffers “improperly accessed the Hillary Clinton campaign’s proprietary voter database” and downloaded private Clinton voter data. Sanders apologized for the breach during last Saturday’s debate. Hillary accepted, even while his campaign distracted from their actions by claiming Sanders’ brief punishment was a “conspiracy” against him to benefit Hillary.  If past is prologue, the press will move to magically make the whole thing her fault.  Sanders even intimated Hillary and others should be investigated for doing what his campaign did, though there was no evidence to warrant such a charge.

But if Clinton had been guilty of breaching another candidate’s voter data, every attempt would be made to run her out of the race. The beltway press, and candidates of all stripes, would have their torches and pitchforks out. But for a man? *Crickets* Secretary Clinton was encouraged by all to be magnanimous to Senator Sanders. What if she weren’t? Clinton would have been called bitch, witch, shrew, conniving, egomaniac and more. Does anyone doubt this?

Clinton was eager to move on and made a show of unity with Sanders, realizing whoever wins will need the others’ supporters to win next November. Yet Sanders’ campaign filed suit against the DNC, perhaps to the take focus off their staffers’ behavior. Who is the adult in the room? And why are we loath to give Hillary Clinton credit for being a class act? If the situation were reversed and the man had been “forgiving,” would we have been so dismissive?

On other fronts, Republican front runner Donald Trump, ever more Neanderthal, just said Hillary was “schlonged” by Obama in 2008 and that she was “disgusting” because she went to the bathroom during Saturday’s debate. From Jennifer Weiner of the NY Times:

“Trump said: “I know where she went — it’s disgusting, I don’t want to talk about it.” (This from a man who’s been married three times, has fathered five children, and presumably understands that even hot models occasionally need to pee.)”

Sanders helpfully informed the “confused” Trump that he went to the bathroom, too, but that didn’t seem to matter.

The corporate-owned media loves click bait, so rather than nailing Trump for the manipulative rabble rouser he is, they are preoccupied with pressing Hillary to apologize to him for pointing out his anti-Muslim rhetoric is an “ISIS recruiting tool.” Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who understands terrorism on a cellular level, agrees with Hillary, by the way.  But big media seems loathe to ask Trump apologize to Hillary – and all women – for his grotesque, backward comments.

Politics aside, why are certain quarters anxious to throw a powerful woman under the bus, with no qualms about doing it in a way that disrespects all women? What message does it send to our young people that the woman must forgive the man any transgression but that the man has no such obligation? That a man like Trump can still degrade Hillary Clinton for her very womanhood or, in the alternative, imply that ancient misogynist stereotypes still apply, says something both sad and disturbing about our culture.

In a ridiculous development, NBC’s Matt Lauer and Chuck Todd both agreed with Jeb Bush that “Hillary likes being attacked,” and would “play the victim” over the “schlonged” comments.  I assume this charge is a sexist’s attempt to paper over his guilty conscience with familiar victim blaming: “She must want it.”

She didn’t…and didn’t “play the victim” either.

By the way, if men like Bush, Todd or Lauer ever got anywhere near the full dose of what Hillary gets daily, they’d be balled up in a corner, crying…and whining like Trump does. Bullies have no character and less spine.

The suspicions aimed at a powerful woman, that she must be “conniving,” “underhanded” or “disgusting,” remind of frat boys who use old tropes to elevate themselves at a woman’s expense. Those dirty words only magnify the insecurity of the man using them. If you cannot win against a woman with a legitimate argument, then you don’t have one. Any man who must heap filth upon a woman to make himself look better might need to look in the mirror for what is “disgusting.”

That the corporate (male-owned) media would play to these sexist stereotypes, particularly where Clinton is concerned, indicates that she is 1) so threatening to the white male status quo that they are throwing the kitchen sink at her, happy to let the odious, publicity seeking Trump do their dirty work and 2) that she is much closer to breaking the highest, hardest glass ceiling than they would like to admit.

Only when we stop buying into the worst clichés about strong women will we have a chance at embracing effective leadership and a sea change. Hint: If you’re waiting for a crude, nasty old white man to bring that change for you, think again.

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Comments

  1. Good Lord! Some of the stuff happening in this campaign is totally wacky! Blast Hillary on her policies in a coherent way, but leave her bathroom habits alone. Why the debate even began before she returned was so disresptful. 10 more months of this insanity.

    • I know, Elaine! Frightening. But the stuff they are hitting Hillary with is so inappropriate, and weak tea at that…if that’s all they’ve got, she’s in good shape.

  2. The recent attacks seem to be getting increasingly more and more petty. Trump’s comments are so mean spirited and sexist.His explanation is bogus. I’m from NY and I have NEVER heard anyone…NO ONE… use that word to describe anything. Who talks like that? What kind of a person talks like that?

    • Anita Finlay Says: December 29, 2015 at 5:51 pm

      Louann, we know Trump is a bully and a carnival huckster. And like all bullies, when he gets called on his crap, he runs for cover and tries to divert attention from his sins with more attacks. He is more concerned with all the free publicity he gets from the media than saying anything of substance to get him there. Thanks so much for commenting.

  3. Richard Paul Says: January 3, 2016 at 10:54 am

    It’s because of arrogance like this I’m never voting for Hillary Clinton. Thinking a DNC and vendor recommended staffer isn’t the problem. #BernieOrBust. You’re blaming the wrong people, but you find nothing wrong with that. Why not? Because you have an agenda to push. You fail to realize it’s about her policies. People are tired of using neoconservative foreign policy, and Neoliberal economic. Her idea is grow the global economy, and to hell with real domestic issues. Increase The power of the private sector, decrease unions power. That’s why people oppose her.

    • Anita Finlay Says: January 4, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      Actually, the comment you posted doesn’t make much sense. Hillary is not and never has been a neocon. She has an impressive record of genuine accomplishment for veterans, education, childhood development, SCHIP, first responders and much more. Also odd that Sanders’ senior staffer is the fault of everyone else. If the Senator wants to be Prez, the buck stops with him. What of Sanders record on gun control? I suppose there’s excuses for that, too. Or that he thinks talking “income inequality” is a one size fits all solution to every problem? He pretends to be an “outsider” but has been in Congress and Senate for 26 years. Well meaning though he may be, he has gotten precious little accomplished. Lots of things worth shaking one’s fist at. Getting something done about it is another matter. Thanks for stopping by and best of luck with your chosen candidate.

    • Anita Finlay Says: January 26, 2016 at 12:15 am

      Please do some research into her lifelong record and stop posting Republican smear.

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