Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sunday Reads

Sexism is actually at the root of why some people "distrust" and "dislike" Hillary Clinton:

The most difficult aspect of the double bind is that it is invisible; we think we are just reacting to the candidates as individuals. Yet even the words we use to talk about women, as compared to men, come drenched in gender. This is as true for journalists as for voters in conversation. For example, joining a chorus of praise for Clinton’s performance in the first Democratic debate, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni used words that undercut her authority. He began by characterizing her as a “seamstress” because she “threaded the needle as delicately and perfectly as a politician could.” Sewing clothes and threading a needle require skill and dexterity, but the metaphor feminizes—and trivializes—the tasks for which these skills are suited. Bruni ended by calling Clinton a “sorceress” because she came across as forward-looking and energetic despite her “many decades in the political trenches.” The word “sorceress” not only diminishes with its –ess ending (would you entrust your life to a doctoress?), but also evokes a long history of demonizing (literally) powerful women as witches.

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