Politics & Policy

Saying Hillary Can’t Be Described by Certain Words Because She’s Female Is What’s Sexist

Choose your words carefully… (Mark Wilson/Getty)
It's not feminist to say we can't call her what she is just because she's a woman.

A group that’s referring to itself as Hillary Clinton’s “Super Volunteers” has promised to track when the media uses “coded” sexist words — such as “ambitious” and “insincere” — to describe her, according to New York Times political reporter Amy Chozick.

The other forbidden words and phrases are “polarizing,” “calculating,” “disingenuous,” “insincere,” “ambitious,” “inevitable,” “entitled,” “over-confident,” “secretive,” “will do anything to win,” “represents the past” and “out of touch.”

The idea is either that when these words are used to describe her more often than male candidates or that when they are used to describe her at all there is some kind of negative connotation attached to them that’s rooted in sexism.

Good thing they warned me. Otherwise I at some point might have called her “insincere” or “disingenuous” — because she, you know, is. Just earlier this week she vowed she was beginning a new, open relationship with the media during a speech and then refused to take questions after it. Oh, and while we’re at it: Using your private e-mail for official government business and pretending it was a matter of “convenience” seems pretty damn deceitful.

But I guess we can’t call her what she is, and the reason we can’t is that she’s a woman. You see how ridiculous it is to consider this a feminist point of view, right?

#related#I don’t doubt that it’s tougher for female politicians in a lot of ways. Sexism is still a big problem. If you disagree, go ahead and spend 14 seconds reading an Internet comments section and then tell me I’m wrong. It’s true, a lot of people think that women can’t handle the same things that men can.

But here’s the thing: Doesn’t creating a whole set of special “rules” for Hillary just because she’s a female reinforce that idea? I don’t know how to solve the problem of women not being treated like other candidates — but not treating them differently from other candidates because they’re women sure does seem like a good start to me.


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