I’ve linked to a fair few stories over the last couple of years about women in politics, but with Clinton running for President and May as PM it seems that the subject is getting more media discussion so I thought I’d set up a dedicated thread.
I’ll start with Clinton. Hillary Clinton is an impressive politician, one of the most successful Secretary’s of State in recent years, and arguably the most qualified presidential candidate in history given not only her own political achievements but the fact she knows what the job entails, personally as well as professionally, from an angle that no other candidate has seen it. Yet the level of vitriol and disdain directed at her is incredible and far beyond any many (even Trump) has received. Luckily some are starting to realise the huge role that sexism plays in the double standards she faces. I particularly like this piece,
"A mishmash of sexist tropes dominated the  election: The media questioned the legitimacy of Clinton’s marriage and her sexuality. Some said she’s too emotional to be president while others claimed she’s not emotional enough to connect with voters like past executives-in-chief. She’s simultaneously too-devoted a grandmother to fully focus on national affairs and also a loveless woman who views her grandchildren as political props…
Female politicians are often judged by much different standards than their male counterparts. The current race is a prime example. A man with no political experience who’s a literal member of the rich elite is seen as an equivalent and more populist choice than Clinton, whose political qualifications are unmatched in modern history." [my emphasis]
7 of the Less-Noted But Still Very Sexist Attacks on Hillary Clinton
A great listicle that, in essence, summarises many of the points raised by the first article.
“It’s distressing to see how little resemblance there is between Clinton’s actual record and the pictures commonly painted of her. It’s especially distressing to see how many progressives and liberals have bought into the decades-long right-wing smear campaign against her. But it’s unsurprising to anyone familiar with sexism. Women in the workplace and in public life can expect to have their accomplishments and opinions ignored, diminished and trivialized.”
Trump’s “alpha-male” paradox: How gender bias makes his behavior seem manly, no matter what
While this piece is about Trump it really highlights the double-standard placed on men and women in the public sphere.
I’ll end for now with a piece looking at the supposedly different approaches of men and women to politics,
The Myth of the ‘Female’ Foreign Policy
It’s an interesting article that looks at the history of women in politics and whether or not they have had a more ‘feminine’ approach to diplomacy. It seems not, but I’d argue that they were having to play by the rules rather than, as is finally becoming the case, making their own. The first example, that of Margot Wallström, Sweden’s foreign minister, downplays her efforts which seem to have been quite radical and progressive.