League of Women Voters on sexism

06/02/08 Arielle Stevenson
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:

In an interview more than a week ago, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke with Washington Post reporter Lois Romano about the sexism she has experienced from the media during her campaign.

Saturday in Tampa, WMNF spoke to the Hillsborough County League of Women’s voters about whether they have witnessed gender discrimination toward the senator.

Clinton says more people would be against voting for a woman than black man, which is rarely reported.

Guest speaker and Tampa native Congresswoman Kathy Castor spoke to WMNF about beliefs that she says tend to die hard. Castor, a supporter of Barack Obama, also spoke about the media that comes with being a presidential candidate and a “trailblazer.”

League President Linda D’aquila says sexism is inherent in our society; however, Sen. Clinton’s concerns could be a fault of the campaign and not the media. D’aquila also spoke about why she believes those attitudes of sexism still exist today.

League member and clinical psychologist Rich Brown says there no question about whether there is sexism in the media against Clinton.

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Gender Was Not Hillary Clinton's Downfall

My personal viewpoint (which comes from being a middle-aged white woman) is that Hillary Clinton has suffered less from sexism than Barack Obama has from racism. It is true that both exist in our society and in our politics, which is unfortunate, but a current reality. I find it rather telling that Senator Clinton's frequency of complaints regarding sexism occurred towards the end of this bitter contest as her nomination seemed to be further and further from her grasp. After watching her behavior and listening to her remarks throughout this campaign, there is no way I could vote for her. She isn't falling behind in the polls because she is a woman, and personally I think the "crying episode" was sexism that worked in her favor, people felt sorry for her. I think she is ruthless, says inappropriate and untruthful remarks and is very manipulative and I don't feel I can trust her. If someone wants to label that sexism, go for it, but I could use the same to describe our current president. People are judged ultimately by their words and deeds, whether they are male or female and regardless of race. I would love to see a candidate of my gender that I feel is worthy of the presidency, but I refuse to vote based on gender alone, and the rest of the Hillary package is not representative of my beliefs and ethics. If anything, her gender has helped her more than it hurt her, as we know who her "base" is, I think she took advantage of women and counted on them to get her to the finish line. Too much pandering for me.

Misogyny Never Rests

Let's see: "Hillary cries..." "Hillary should quit..." "Hillary should rein in Bill..." "The Clintons are pimping out Chelsea...." The media have been relentless. Has anyone suggested that Barack is pimping out Michelle or his kids? Has anyone suggested that he should rein in Michelle? Would anyone dare suggest that he should quit? No. Of course not. Why? Because they'd be pilloried as racists. But misogyny -- old-fashioned sexism -- is alive and well and culturally acceptable in the USA. If women supported Hillary to the extent(90%!) that blacks support Barack, she'd be a shoo-in. But the "sisters" have never stood united the way the "brothers" have. And that's the truth.