Despite all kinds of “truces” and “promises” in the media lately about “leaving race and gender out” of the democratic primaries, gender and race are obviously a part of this presidential election cycle.
But, here’s a newsflash: even when the candidates are all white men, gender and race are STILL a part of the decisions made about who should be president.
Think back to 2004 for a moment– remember all those political cartoons criticizing Kerry for being too “French” (as opposed to American Cowboy) and generally feminizing his image (feminine = bad for politics) in political cartoons. Here are 2 examples:
I’m fascinated by the anti-Hillary Clinton facebook groups. There are dozens of these groups, but four groups have the most members.
- Stop Running for President and Make Me a Sandwich– 30,000+ members
- Anti Hillary Clinton for President ’08– 65,000+ members
- Stop Hillary Clinton: One Million Strong AGAINST Hillary– 700,000+ members
- Life’s a Bitch, Why Vote for One?– 14,000+ members
So this morning I spent some time looking at the images that dominate these groups. The images these groups use to criticize Clinton as a presidential candidate make it pretty clear that sexism is alive and well (beyond the protesters asking Clinton to iron their shirts)– and that gendered ways to talk about politics are as cogent as ever! Here’s a smattering for you– there are so many I couldn’t possibly post them all!