Facing up to sexism

We are only now — a bit late — beginning to face up to sexism as a factor in the Democratic race and as an ongoing problem in America.

Katie Couric spoke out:

Sound bite: “It isn’t just Hillary Clinton who needs to learn a lesson from this primary season, it’s all the people who crossed the line and all the women and men who let them get away with it.”

The New York Times today delivers the stock on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand, try-to-say-nothing roundup that comes to no conclusion but does, at least, compile a few of the sins:

Cable television has come under the most criticism. Chris Matthews, a host on MSNBC, called Mrs. Clinton a “she-devil” and said she had gotten as far as she had only because her husband had “messed around.”

Mike Barnicle, a panelist on MSNBC, said that Mrs. Clinton was “looking like everyone’s first wife standing outside a probate court.” Tucker Carlson, also on MSNBC, said, “When she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs.”

The establishment news media were faulted too. The New York Times wrote about Mrs. Clinton’s “cackle” and The Washington Post wrote about her cleavage.

Ken Rudin, an editor at National Public Radio, appeared on CNN, where he equated Mrs. Clinton with the actress Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction.” “She’s going to keep coming back, and they’re not going to stop her,” Mr. Rudin said. He later apologized.

Howard Dean comes out to decry the sexism. Why didn’t he do this during the campaign?

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic Party, who says he was slow to pick up on charges of sexism because he is not a regular viewer of cable television, is taking up the cause after hearing an outcry from what he described as a cross-section of women, from individual voters to powerful politicians and chief executives.

“The media took a very sexist approach to Senator Clinton’s campaign,” Mr. Dean said in a recent interview.

“It’s pretty appalling,” he said, adding that the issue resonates because Mrs. Clinton “got treated the way a lot of women got treated their whole lives.”

Mr. Dean and others are now calling for a “national discussion” of sexism.

Howard Dean doesn’t watch Chris Matthews? Yeah, sure.

: And here‘s The Times’ Nick Kristof writing the speech on sexism he wishes Obama would now deliver.

  • http://www.webtransplant.com Evan Rudowski

    Jeff,

    Greetings from my adopted country, where a female prime minister was elected in 1979.

    The way Hillary was treated in this campaign — not only by the media but by many individual Obama-backers who spoke out in blog posts, comments and the like — was disgusting.

    What justified the outrage at Hillary’s attempt to achieve her ambition, when male candidates are admired and applauded for the same? And what excuse was there for the level of vitriol spewed at her?

    Were people so angry at Hillary because she did not just shut up and get out of the way, like a good woman is expected to do?

    Sexism must have something to do with it, for it’s hard to imagine a male candidate being so vilified for trying to do what it takes to win, or having his motives and intentions questioned so ruthlessly.

    A national discussion is definitely in order, but yes the timing is highly suspect.

    If Obama supposedly represents a new kind of politics, why didn’t he encourage such a discussion during the primaries when it might have made a difference? Because he was the beneficiary of the sexism that helped bring Hillary down.

    Kind regards,
    Evan Rudowski

  • PXLated

    Personally, it has nothing to do with sex, there are many of us who just can’t stand Hillary and would feel that way even if she was male. She lost, get over it.

  • Ron

    Is the opposite of “sexist” “sexless”? I think the inference here is that any reference to a female candidate better be gender neutral. The double standard, of course, that no one has any issue with masculine cliches applied to male candidates. Example… “Candidate A (woman) is a Barbie Doll” – egregious sexism. “Candidate B (man) is a Ken Doll”…no problem.

  • Tim

    Uh Evan, Margaret Thatcher rose to power by her own merits, and in spite of massive old-boy opposition from both males and “wets” who hated her ideas and the fact that it was a woman who was delivering them.

    BUT

    Margaret Thatcher never wailed and shrieked about being persecuted, about being a victim. She stood up in the Commons and faced down her opponents by sheer will and her skills as a debater. She was a politician and a leader first; her status as a woman was secondary.

    Hillary Clinton, by contrast, was a joke. She had every privilege and every protection, she was the front-runner from the beginning, and yet now she is a victim.

    PATHETIC.

  • http://www.tyndallreport.com Andrew Tyndall

    Rudowski –

    You mention “…the sexism that helped bring Hillary down…”

    There is no one I am aware of — not Katie Couric nor Jeff Jarvis nor even an outrageous partisan like Geraldine Ferraro — who claims that Rodham Clinton’s gender was nothing except a benefit to her during the primary campaign. The advantages accruing to her by getting a big majority of the female vote in a party that is, by the way, majority female, outweighed by far any disadvantages flowing from sexist attitudes. Her gender was indispensible to her coming to close as victory as she did not an explanation for her defeat.

    So the Couric complaint that Jarvis cites was not about the result of the election but about the performance of reporters, commentators and political activists in not making a big deal about campaign ephemera such as Iron My Shirt signs and novelty nutcrackers portraying Rodham Clinton as a ballbuster.

    Interestingly, Couric chose not to go on to explain the editorial thinking at CBS Evening News, one of the outfits that chose not to dignify those misogynist stunts with serious journalism.

    Personally, I think Couric’s complaint is a stretch. If one of Rodham Clinton’s opponents had lapsed into misogyny or stereotyping or sexist condescension then that would have been a legitimate story and it would have been a journalistic sin of omission to ignore it, as it would have been Howard Dean’s failure as chairman of the party if he had not policed such conduct.

    I do not think any of the other Democrats did that and I do not think Couric or Jarvis are suggesting that candidates were the sexists.

  • http://seanbyrnes.com Sean

    The irony here is that if Hillary won the nomination, this discussion would decry the racism prevalent in the US that prevented Obama from being treated fairly. I don’t think blaming sexism for a poorly run campaign is what we need right now.

    If there really was such blatant sexism, Hillary never would have been considered the front runner for the nomination.

  • Mike G

    I think Hillary got a lot of shit a man wouldn’t get. On the other hand, I think she got a lot of shit no other woman would have gotten, either, unless Madonna ran for president. I mean, she was the Alexis Carrington in the most popular soap opera of the 90s, and she used that as her qualification for her husband’s old office. You can’t decide to spend 40 years getting to power on your marital connections, leapfrog all those other people who’ve soldiered away in federal and state government for decades on the basis of your celebrity, and then declare that people are only allowed to talk about your platform, not your personal life and your fame.

    In four or eight years a woman will run for president on the basis of what she’s done as a governor somewhere, and she will get 10% of the sexist grief that Clinton got. Clinton cast her die nearly 40 years ago when she decided to marry an up and comer instead of trying to be one herself.

  • Keith

    What I find more shocking is the ageism that McCain is constantly subjected to. The barbs and jokes about McCain’s age on the late night talk shows are so constant they have become repetitive and we’re still 5 months from the election. He can’t change his age and Obama can’t change his race… Both should be off-limits–not just one of them.

    The jokes about “crossing one’s legs” when Clinton enters the room are no different from jokes about checking one’s wallet or “wide stances” in public toilets or Kerry being an effete gold digger married to Heinz. All those are jokes about the behaviors of the person involved, not their identity as a person, even when using gender-specific terms to describe those behaviors. Calling a woman a “bitch” is no different and no more sexist then calling a man an “asshole.”

    I also totally agree with Sean @ 2:03pm.

  • LTB

    Interesting to read this as parts of the media now starts to focus on various rumors being promulgated about Michelle Obama. Oh, and speaking of Theresa Heinz, how come Cindy McCain isn’t getting double helpings of what they did to that would-be first lady? Whoever in a blog called names of Clinton, Obama does not have control of 12 million anon posters, but has himself and required of his surrogates reasonable decency.

    To Keith: while I doubt that McCain is senile, I almost think in some ways you could consider suspicion there as benefit-of-the-doubt. The gags may be gratuitous, but if the man can’t form a coherent argument that even suggests that he remembers what he said 2 days or 4 years ago – this is deadly serious fair game. Unless President-as-Mere-Figurehead is the desirable norm, how well the man thinks, whether he is foggy or quick to temper, as affected by age, disease, or anything else — that matters. Can not be off limits. And certainly, is not the same as making race or sex the issue.

    Actually, I’m afraid that McCain will simply melt down if he and Obama ever debate. Republican or Democrat, I really don’t want to see that, and I guess I’m ageist because I really don’t want to see an older guy, somebody’s grandpa, humiliated like that.

  • http://twitter.com/moon paul

    That story was repeated on the web and TV as they attacked MSNBC while FoxNews has been bashing Hillery for years.

    The Republicans wanted to run against Obama and John McCain just opened an office in New Jersey.

  • bc

    The pilot for Star Trek had a woman commander. That was 1968. The audience focus group reaction was hurricane force. Nix on the broad in the captain’s chair. The rest is William Shatner history. How far have we come from there? Apparently, not that far.

  • TomK

    LTB said:

    Actually, I’m afraid that McCain will simply melt down if he and Obama ever debate.

    Vietnamese torturers didn’t break the guy, I doubt a lightweight like Obama poses much of a threat.

  • paul abarge

    “sexism as a factor in the Democratic race and as an ongoing problem in America”

    You had me at “Democratic race” and then you went over the side.

    Sexism is not an ongoing problem of any great degree in America.

    Hypocritical feminism is an ongoing problem of a great degree in America.

    Stop the hate. Ignore the feminists.

  • moptop

    If McCain is going to melt down, why is Obama dodging the town halls? Probably because the man who “can do purdier things with his tongue than a twenty dollar whore” is affraid to take an unscripted question.

  • cv

    Maybe we will get to see that legendary temper of Obama in a heated debate!

  • http://www.bellebooks.com Deb Smith

    Hillary was shunted aside for a male candidate the way women in business have often been told to sit down and shut up so their young male proteges could get the promotions instead. Her ambition, toughness and unrelenting determination would have been praised if she were a man; instead we had numerous commentators (and bloggers) calling her everything from “a narcissist” to “crazy.” It was a sickening display of the true nature of sexism in this society and revealed, in particular, the hypocrisy of so-called “liberal” and “progressive” Dems who saw nothing ironic about their sexism.

  • http://tomgrey.motime.com Tom Grey – Liberty Dad

    The bias against any Rep is far worse than the anti-woman or anti-black bias against the Dems.

    “but if the man can’t form a coherent argument that even suggests that he remembers what he said 2 days or 4 years ago”

    Let’s see for the Dem: 57 states? Uncle liberating Auschweitz? Undivided Jerusalem?

    Obama can deliver a FANTASTIC speech, and it might get him elected — but for somebody whose strength is “speech”, his gaffes are under reported.

    On Hillary, the let’s not go there place that the coverage didn’t go to was this: her husband was sexually harassing women, and he was prosecuted for it. In his testimony about his harassment of one woman, he committed perjury by claiming not to have had sex with Monica.

    He’s a womanizer. Hillary, as a wife, has been abused by her husband. It looks like that, for personal political ambitious reasons, Hillary has been accepting that adulterous behavior.
    How can husbands and wives who ARE faithful to each other really respect such a person?

    I don’t know of such cases, but I don’t think a man married to a woman who was, or had often been, cheating on him, and it was widely known, would be very electable to most gov’t offices.

    Reagan broke the divorce barrier, and Kerry the gold-digger trophy wife, so McCain and Cindy aren’t such a big deal. (See Cindy’s charitable activities last decade from the McCain website — big against landmines, for instance.)

    Identity politics will always have some effect — it should be more honestly discussed and blacks supporting a black, women supporting a woman, and old folk supporting an old folk should all be reasonable topics. Also Mormons supporting a Mormon, Catholics supporting a Catholic.
    And the non-X opposing the X.

    Racist blacks supporting Obama was a bigger factor than sexist women supporting Hillary, and will be a bigger factor than ageist old / young supporting the old McCain / young Obama.

    But identity politics is a poor focus for coverage, rather than big policy differences.
    McCain wants victory in Iraq, for freedom, democracy, and an American Ally.
    Obama wants to leave, even if that means defeat, terrorist victory, and a MidEast version of the Killing Fields.

  • http://assistantvillageidiot.blogspot.com Assistant Village Idiot

    Not to mention ageism against McCain. And that one has no counter-prejudice to offset it. Some women voted for Hillary because she is a woman (Yeah, I’ve heard ‘em say it myself), and some AA’s are voting for Obama because he’s black (sort of). But no one is voting for McCain on the basis of his being an old guy. I take that back – maybe I am, but I’m probably the only one who thinks grouchy old guys are natural presidents. It can hardly be considered a wash.

    We all believe the refs are in the tank when they call the foul on our guy, but it ain’t necessarily so.

  • http://www.mothering.com/discussions/forumdisplay.php?f=44 Acksiom

    Wait; is this the same ‘Katie Couric’ who once raised the suggestion of castrating a runaway groom to his jilted bride-to-be on national television?

    Are we talking about this ‘Katie Couric?’

    I think we can all agree that ‘Katie Couric’ complaining about sexism counts as beclowning herself. It seems to me therefore that the question is instead whether citing her without pointing out this kind of sexist behavior on her part counts as Mr. Jarivs beclowning himself,

  • http://strangemonkeydoll.com/ The Count

    No sexism from Fox News?

  • http://sinequanon.spleenville.com charles austin

    Who exactly is this “we” you speak of since these were Democrat primaries? And as mentioned above, if Senator Clinton had prevailed, we’d be reading, “We are only now — a bit late — beginning to face up to racism as a factor in the Democratic race and as an ongoing problem in America. ”

    Yawn.

  • Diane

    It’s interesting how so many people who can see racism in everything that is said or written about Obama (and even in many things where he isn’t named) are totally unable to see the obnoxious way Clinton was treated. Then again, it’s still mostly men running newsrooms.

  • G.

    It is entirely possible to detest Candidate Clinton and everything she stands REGARDLESS of gender. Until you can accept this, you will always be stuck in 1974.

  • mayumi

    oh come on. Can anyone really say with a straight face that the media treated Hillary worse than male politicians? No one has been treated unfairly and viciously quite the way Bush and Republicans are treated by the media. Republicans are the women of politics.

  • JorgXMcKie

    mayumi has it right, and the MSM is an abusive spouse saying, “if you hadn’t provoked me I wouldn’t have had to abuse you” to Republicans.

  • Roy Mustang

    LTB said:

    Actually, I’m afraid that McCain will simply melt down if he and Obama ever debate.

    That’s why Obama refused McCain’s offer of 10 townhall debates….and counteroffered only 1 debate. Obama is a horrible speaker and thinker without prepared remarks.

  • David Preiser

    The “cleavage” and “cackle” article were written by women. Are women overly harsh on other women? Yes. Is that sexism? In a way, that does make Hillary a victim of her gender.

  • Etain P

    Evan said:

    Were people so angry at Hillary because she did not just shut up and get out of the way, like a good woman is expected to do?

    >>>

    This is precisely what Mitt Romney did, and many viewed it as a very positive and masculine thing, putting the good of the party ahead of his own selfish interest. I think feminism is set to see everything as misogynist.

  • Ken Hahn

    Hmmmm, MSNBC, MSNBC,MSNBC, NYT, WaPo, CNN…. what’s missing from this litany of sexism? Oh yeah, VRWC conspiracy cable commonly known as Fox. The more liberal the media the more likely it is to offend some portion of the coalition of grievances that is the American left and its electoral wing, the Democratic Party.Clinton Democrats are learning what Republicans have known for decades, the media is biased and will resort to any tactic it feels necessary to promote its chosen one. Bill and Hillary had a great run, but after 16 years it’s now Obama who’s above criticism.

  • LTB

    Charles Austin: If we had ended up with Hillary, pundits would be “discovering’ the continuing pervasiveness of racism? Um…maybe the ones who haven’t paid attention over the last oh, 30 years.

    I used to get into these rhetorical arguments with a classmate back when, arguing that you (any group) couldn’t get ahead without leaving behind a victimization based rhetoric citing a history of abuse and persecution, institutionalized prejudice, etc. You just slog it out, just as other minorities have had to do. The current dialogue isn’t the only thing to change my perspective over the years, but it certainly has brought some things into sharper focus. Archie Bunker’s more urbane and educated heir may not be crazy about taking orders from a woman, but there’s still a hierarchy of greater and lesser insults to his sense of his place in the universe. Ironically, Hillary glommed right onto that, and – as I said – may prove right about having been “more electable” . Does any honest person believe that this is because McCain-leaners are so much less sexist?

  • memomachine

    Hmmmmm.

    “Oh, and speaking of Theresa Heinz, how come Cindy McCain isn’t getting double helpings of what they did to that would-be first lady?”

    Because Theresa Heinz generally beclowned herself throughout the campaign.

    Look. When you’re trying to show how non-elitist you are and how you’re just reg’lar folk, you shouldn’t look at a cup of Wendy’s chili and ask “Is this food?”. And following that up with “What is this ‘chili’?” doesn’t really help either.

    Oh and then throwing it all in the trash, uneaten, while gourmet dinners are being served from an expensive local 5-star restaurant is probably a bad idea too.

    Just got a cascade of bad memories of Kerry in all of his glory as a complete fruitcake. All of his weird tries at being a sportsman and failing so incredibly badly. His “Can I get me a huntin license” schtick.

    Uggg.

  • memomachine

    Hmmmm.

    Frankly, and I cannot believe this either, I’d prefer to vote for Hillary than either Obama -or- McCain. As crappy as Hillary would be I don’t think she would’ve pushed cap-and-trade on CO2 or some of the other crazy nonsense that both Obama and McCain want. She may be untrustworthy and completely driven by polls but at least she follows those polls.

    McCain is so far into his “independent maverick” role he’s actually trying to setup a coalition between liberal Republicans, disaffected Clintonites and whatever moderates he can scrap together. Basically he’s pissed off so many conservatives so many times that most conservatives I know, including myself, wouldn’t trust him to tell say it was “morning” at 9 am.

    And I don’t know which is worse.

    A McCain that lost because he didn’t have the conservative support and thus instructing the GOP that their recent leftward shift is a death sentence … but with Obama as President.

    -Or-

    A McCain that won with such a weak coalition and thus driving the country right off the cliff since neither he, nor the GOP, would be restrained by conservatism in any way.

  • Toxicroach

    Guess I’m an ubernerd but I couldn’t let the Star Trek thing go.

    A guy was the original captain, but was replaced with Shatner. If a woman was considered for Captain it didn’t make it to the filming stage.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Pike_(Star_Trek)#Christopher_Pike

    There’s plenty of anecdotes about sexism without making them up.

  • Thomass

    The sexism charge is just PC nonsense.

    As a male conservative who votes republican… I know Hillary and Hillary’s supporters were treated terribly by Obama supporters. I stopped by their blogs and read the comments from Obama supporters.. It’s just that they treat people like me the same exact way. They treat everyone that disagrees with them that way. Female / sexism has nothing to do with it. They’ll throw any insult that comes to mind and sometimes those are sexist… I remember one lame one from an Obamaniac putting down the [blue collar] Hillary people for liking cheesesteaks… anyway, it’s not sexism IMO.. it’s that Obama attracted some people who are asses.

  • Thomass

    Diane Says:

    “It’s interesting how so many people who can see racism in everything that is said or written about Obama (and even in many things where he isn’t named) are totally unable to see the obnoxious way Clinton was treated. Then again, it’s still mostly men running newsrooms.”

    She got a raw deal… I just wouldn’t agree it was because she is a woman. She just wasn’t the MSM consensus choice. Obama is.

    McCain will get the same negative treatment.

  • http://gankomon.blogspot.com StoneHead

    One last side note on the Star Trek thing (yes, we Trekkers are kind of nerdy that way). The pilot featured a female second in command to Jeffrey Pike, not a female commanding officer. Her position as Executive Officer was given to Spock before the second pilot. And despite the miniskirts on the female crew members, Star Trek was rare in that it did feature women in positions of authority- for example the Doctor in the second pilot, etc.

    As far as the sexist thing, Hillary lost because she was a terrible candidate and has massive amounts of baggage. The media, fickle as always, wanted a different candidate to fulfill their need to put a Democrat in the White House. Posters who mentioned the fact that compared to the Republicans, no Democrat ever receives comparablly negative press coverage are correct- the media turned on Hillary because they decided Obama would be a better choice to win the White House in November. And the other posters are correct- the coverage Hillary received is nowhere near the level of pure hatred that the Bush Administration has been putting up with from the national media since November 2000.

  • Rahmulus

    You know the single greatest aspect of being in the privileged white male class?

    You would think it would be all the great fun we have raping, pillaging and plundering minorities, women, poor people, democrats, starving children, mother earth, homeless people, spotted owls, dolphins and baby fawns.

    But you would be wrong.

    The answer is that no victim status is allowed. Ultimately, did you win or lose?

    Hillary gained the most respect from everyone when she quit whining, stopped crying and figured out she wasn’t’ going to be anointed. I can’t stand her but was impressed the last two months when she came out fighting.

    That’s what you lefties don’t get. She is now the tougher candidate because she went through the fire and came out much stronger, she was the token “Republican” in the primary. She got a chance to take the tough questions and hone her rhetoric just like the Republicans.

    Obambi has been protected throughout primary and will be coddled as much as possible in the general by the press. And when it heats up is he going to be able to handle it?

  • gs

    “Katie Couric spoke out” about sexist treatment of Clinton. Couric’s ratings at CBS News have been poor. Two birds, one stone?

    I’ve long wondered whether some of the emphasis on Clinton’s gender is a Hillary stratagem to distract concern that her Presidency would be Richard Nixon’s third term.

  • Don

    Sexism in this country – you betcha. My draft number was 97. Any women want to tell me theirs? I didn’t own my body. The state did. The law still in effect reads ‘all males 17 to 45′.

    When we get around to true equal responsibility in this society, we’ll get around to true equal opportunity.

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  • Jamie

    Rahmulus, I second. I was never a Clinton supporter, both because her platform is pretty well diametrically opposed to what I want and believe (as is Obama’s) and because her achievement record is way too weak for me to want to risk the Presidency on her being a quick study (and ditto for Obama on that too). But when she doubled down and really started fighting for her candidacy, I was moved to respect her virtual cojones.

    I have a daughter. More than that, I wanted to be president myself when I was growing up. I would dearly love to see a woman elected President in my lifetime – but I’m not willing to see just any woman elected. (And this also goes for Obama, and shame on you, Democrats, for trying to elect a man whose record in public service renders him almost a “token” for the Presidency. “Hope”? “Change”? For heaven’s sake. Get over the identities and move on to the actual individuals.)

  • syn

    Nothing done to either Obama or Clinton was as horrific and disgusting as what was done to Dr Condolezza Rice; now which political party treated Dr. Rice as an ‘Aunt Jemima for the white man’ or called mocked her in their own house of worship as a slut?

    The Democratic Party is the party of dreadful Identity Politics, by all means Democrats continue on with the ugly that you are.

  • John

    I suppose, just to continue the Star Trek thing — that the female commander’s part in the first pilot was played by Majel Barrett, who a short time later became Mrs. Gene Roddenberry, even as she was demoted to ship’s nurse in the regular series, and Leonard Nimoy got to be the No. 2 in command. But that’s more for a debate on nepotism than one on sexism.

    As far as the problem Jeff’s actually posing, here’s a question — Does the sexism against Hillary, or for that matter, the racism against Obama, shape people’s negative views about their politics, or do their political views bring out the worst in people (in Hillary’s case now on the right and the left) and cause them to reveal their latent sexism/racism as a brute and base way of expressing their anger? I think that when people get really emotional about political disagreements, many have a habit of seeking out the most easily identifiable differences between themselves and that person and try to use it as an invective, and the image of Hillary created by both people who dislike her and her own actions have made it more socially acceptable (though not socially correct) to go after her in a sexist way that is tolerate in a way hurling racial slurs at Obama today isn’t by society.

  • Rahmulus

    Jamie, you really nailed it with “doubled down” because that’s exactly what she did.

    Nothing concentrates the mind like a hanging and she handled her situation extremely well. I would never vote for her but was thinking there at the end….I would disagree with her on almost everything but I could live with it.

    Obama…..who knows…none of us do. Hillary we know.

  • http://www.ch.aoti.ca Stefanie

    It is about time that people start to face up to the fact that sexism is still a major problem. When I introduce myself as a feminist, I am often drawn into a debate about how women have attained equality already – not when things like this are still happening.

  • Mary

    Those who cite Margaret Thatcher got it spot on. She had a lot worse thrown at her than did Clinton, but shrugged it off and got on with the job. She was respected by just about everyone, even if they were opposed to her.

    Clinton? I’d say sexism was the least of her worries. Factor in shady real estate deals, shady deals at Rose Law Firm, Travelgate, Filegate, health-care fiasco, BILL Clinton — and there’s plenty more — and you’ve got a good many other reasons not to elect her.

  • Thomass

    Stefanie Says:

    “It is about time that people start to face up to the fact that sexism is still a major problem. When I introduce myself as a feminist, I am often drawn into a debate about how women have attained equality already – not when things like this are still happening”

    Most of us just eye roll because being a feminist is sort of like being a Marxist.. you just replace class with gender and spout a bunch of lame theories to hate out groups (capitalists AND republicans, white males, et cetera)…

    Trust me; it’s what feminists are perceived as standing for… not ‘sexism’.. that gets you the cold shoulder…

    60s feminism was better… but it’s really gone downhill since the 90s. Partially because you have achieved so many of your goals… you have to grasp at abstractions to stay outraged and/or the more moderate people melted away from the movement leaving bitter clingers in charge…

  • http://oldgrouch.mee.nu Old Grouch

    “When I introduce myself as a feminist…”

    Try introducing yourself as “Stefanie” instead, and see what happens.

  • http://www.poorschmuck.net John D

    The only choices you had in the Democrat primary were to be labeled a racist or a sexist.

    It appears that most Democrats are more scared of being a racist.

  • memomachine

    Hmmmm.

    “It is about time that people start to face up to the fact that sexism is still a major problem.”

    This is why one of the first questions I ask a woman is what she thinks about feminism.

    Really enthused = leave her immediately.

  • jt007

    This is a joke. Hillary Clinton was a “family lawyer” at a corporate law firm in Little Rock that just coincidentally happened to be the largest securities firm in Arkansas specializing in public debt offerings. For idiot liberals, they hired the governor’s wife because their practice was in a highly regulated industry and their clients were public officials. You’d have to be a moron to believe that Hillary Clinton, who never lived in New York, would have been elected to the Senate there if she hadn’t been married to Bill clinton. Liberals made the same argument about Bush and they were right. He would have never become president if he hadn’t been the son of George H.W. Bush. Save me all the “Hillary was exceptional in her own right” nonsense. She was in her 50′s when she became a Senator and her greatest professional achievements were serving on the board of the Children’s Defense Fund, sweetheart deals on cattle futures and doing legal work on fraudulent real estate deals. Her supervisor on the Watergate committee said she was unethical and wouldn’t give her a recommendation.

    Hillary Clinton glommed on to Bill and has ridden that association for all it is worth. She hasn’t accomplished anything as a Senator, she voted for the war and then tried to undermine it when the politics changed. Her supporters can scream epithets like little babies, but it is the truth and, in this case, I gues the truth hurts.

  • Mike G

    “Save me all the “Hillary was exceptional in her own right” nonsense.”

    Hey, Hillary was a very promising individual before she met Bill. If she’d never married him, she could have risen to… a partner at Winston & Strawn.

  • Griff

    One of the huge problems Hillary faced was the perception that her position was not based on her own accomplishments, and maybe only marginally on her own ability. Micheal Medved, no fan of the Dems or the 90s Clintons, praised her intellect in his book. Yet, Hillary was married to Bill, and took on the taint of his sins. Her possible worth was obscured by his very real failings and rampant egotism. And she stayed with a man who repeatedly and publicly humiliated her. Many people may have had a hard time seeing her doing that for any other reason than her own advancement on his coattails. True or not, the impression was of rank opportunism. The doubters just didn’t believe she’d done it on her own. Hence the calls “iron my shirt.” One wonders how many of those catcalls would have gone to the women who’ve served in Iraq, the ones who have won medals based on their performance, not on the fact they stayed married to the first black president.

  • http://spap-oop.blogspot.com Tish Grier

    This was truly an historic presidential primary–and with the making of an historical event, a lot of really nasty stuff that’s been simmering underneath the status-quo is going to come out (kind of like lancing a boil.) It came out in the sexist remarks about Clinton, the racist remarks about Obama, and the agest remarks against McCain (not to mention the prejudicial remarks against Romney’s Mormonism that were pretty off-base as well. we may have freedom of religion, but what is an acceptable religion for a presidential candidate is still an issue)

    Can any of us remember the last time so many candidates represented so many of our differences? Last time I can remember, and barely because I’ve only read the history, was Kennedy/Nixon, when Kennedy’s Catholicism came up. Before Kennedy, we had Al Smith in the 1920′s….

    In time, a lot of the nasty remarks will go away. Maybe that will happen when the people continue to vote for media outlets (and debates) with their remotes and voice their opinions very loudly through the various forms of social media. It may also happen when, as was stated above, we see a woman as a presidential candidate who’s there because she has solid experience as a governor. And, frankly, it may have been Mrs. Clinton’s rather big-mouthed baggage that didn’t help her with some voters. Maybe some of us just didn’t want the Hill and Bill show again.

  • http://www.christainnewyork.blogspot.com Christa Avampato

    Hi Jeff,
    Thank you for writing this story. It seems that sexism is more taboo than almost any other social issue in this country. I appreciate your honesty and candor, and your courage to talk about an issue that many would prefer to just brush under the rug. It needs to be addressed at the governmental level and at the business level in this country. For all the progress our society claims to have, it some times makes me sad to think how far we have to go toward equality in this nation.

  • http://blowingintheether.blogspot.com LC

    Couric participated in the incredibly sexist, misogynistic, biased attacks on Hillary – as did all of these other people who are just now discovering that maybe, perhaps, the attacks on Hillary were a bit, say, over the top.

    But, Mr. Jarvis, where were you? Yes, you supported Hillary and made that clear, but for a person whose focus is the media, where were you? I came to this blog occasionally, not daily, wondering if it would ever occur to you to at least comment on not just the sexism but the fact that the entire media (print, TV, and the A-List blogs) was engaged in actively promoting the Obama candidacy and destroying not just the Hillary candidacy but Hillary herself.

    Even Richard Nixon at his lowest point had a few “name” supporters.

  • Karen

    The evidence is right here in these blog posts. Comments from many males here (not all, I can see. There is hope!) reveal a problem of understanding sexism. Old Grouch’s comments are classic. You ARE AN OLD GROUCH.

    I teach journalism and discuss sexism with my students. Yet, they struggle to see it, including many female students. In fact, some male students appear to get it more than females, especially if they are older than the female students. This issue of sexism is a complex problem. Both men and women acquiesce to sexism as Katie Couric so aptly put it.

    Do you your own part. Study what is sexism, challenge yourself to see in your thinking patterns and make changes. What I find is that many people have an opinion on sexism, and it is precisely just that–an opinion. It is not informed opinion.

  • Karen

    Pardon the error in my haste to post. I meant to say near the end:

    Do you your own part. Study what is sexism, challenge yourself to see IT in your thinking patterns and make changes. What I find is that many people have an opinion on sexism, and it is precisely just that–an opinion. It is not informed opinion.