Friday, March 16, 2007

Hair and Clothes

A very interesting post (NSFW, swearing that's removed in the quote below) by Erica C. Barnett. I think we all know that Clinton is going to get a disproportionate amount of clothing talk.

Hillary Clinton, distilled through the gender-cliche filter at the New York Times: A "nurturing warrior." A "tea-sipping girlfriend." A "giggly mom" who's "tough... but tender." Not a "power-hungry climber." Someone who likes to have "chitchats" and do "little jigs." An "air-kisser." Loved by "girls." A "fed-up mom" with a "high, insistent" voice who gets "discernibly nervous" in crowds.

Yes, Clinton has focused on her gender on the campaign trail--in large part because the media can talk about nothing else. Male is the presumed default gender in politics, yes, but it's also the default gender in every other f------ (taking out the swearing mine -Stephen) aspect of life. "Over the years," the story begins, Clinton has "evolved through a series of female personas." Funny how stories about male politicians never start with a dissection of their evolving "male personas."
Of course when it was Al Gore, they just said they were different personas (He wears different clothing to a debate and a farmer's market! Who is the real Al Gore?) But the point remains, that Clionton is going to be considered a female first and a presidential candidate second in too many stories. In part because the first female candidate is so new, and in part because the media isn't 100% sexism free.

Ultimately, I'd like Barnett to post more of the Clinton stuff on Slog, although I guess it's more commentary than news, so perhaps that's the wrong place.

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