Sexism in the 2016 race

Nurses Endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders

Peter Daou and Tom Watson on Hillary Clinton as the target of sexism:

It is easier to understand and reject juvenile insults than to comprehend the complexity of the relationship between well-funded GOP research groups, the corporate media and the political commentariat.

The true problem is what our friend Rebecca Traister refers to as the “longstanding lack of appetite for women who threaten or trouble us.”

If we think of Trump’s ugly comments and those like them as sexism in total, the real gender barrier is obscured. At the same time, calling everything sexism dilutes the term and weakens it. That is not our intention. Obviously, not every critique of Hillary is sexist. Hardly so. We have our own policy disagreements with her. Voters are entitled to like or dislike any candidate of their choice. Critics are always free to express their views. No candidate is beyond reproach, no person is perfect. These things go without saying.

But opponents of Hillary’s policy proposals should pay attention to Sen. Sanders. When a wall of words is erected simply to stop one woman from attaining a historic goal, then we must turn a critical eye to the process and ask ourselves whether or not it is being done because of her gender. In Hillary’s case, it is unacceptable that in a one-month span, the following terms were used by major media publications to describe one of the most accomplished and popular women in American history:

Machiavellian, Lovecraftian, slithering, monstrous, imperious, musty, petulant, paranoid, stale, scornful, regal, devious, deceitful, robotic, abnormal.

Similarly, it is unacceptable for the New York Times to publish false accusations of criminality and then fail to apologize; to grant a platform to a columnist whose personal vendetta against Hillary involves spreading the most virulent tropes against her. In Bernie Sanders’ words: “I don’t know that a man would be treated the same way that Hillary is.”

The desperate “STOP HILLARY” movement is a manifestation of gender bias in action and we will defend Hillary against this sexism every step of the way. We are gratified that Bernie Sanders has stepped up and called it what it is. Let’s hope more men in politics have the guts to do the same.

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