Sexism sells. Are YOU buying it?

I am so mind-blowingly horrified right now that I’m having a hard time stringing together a coherent sentence.  So bear with me, please.

As an American woman living in the UK, I will be the first one to admit that I’m way out of touch with the American media.  I see snippets of it here and there, but not enough to get a real feel of what’s going on.  What I’ve seen in that video horrifies and sickens me.  How could they – in 2008 – say those types of things and still think it’s okay?  How could they possibly think that talking about Hillary Clinton on television and equating her with the stereotype of the “nagging, bitchy wife” would be acceptable?  And I don’t say this just because it’s Hillary Clinton.  Take her out of the picture and substitute ANY woman – you, your mother, your sister, your friend, your spouse – and the result would be the same.  Narcissistic, misogynistic men completely ignoring the woman as a person and simply bringing out every stereotype in their arsenal and equating said woman with that.  It’s disgusting to think that it would even happen in the modern age.

But obviously, it does.

It sickens me.  It sickens me to think that the women close to me that still live in the U.S. have been subject to this kind of indirect abuse from the media.  Because it doesn’t matter which woman they happen to be talking about at a particular time – when they say things like that, it affects all women.

I guess I’ve been spoiled.  The British media aren’t nearly as bad.  That’s not to say that sexism has been completely eradicated from the British media, but it isn’t nearly as rampant as what the above video shows.  More often than not, when talking about women – and especially women politicians – the media treats them just the same as they would treat a man.  I don’t ever remember a woman politician here (at least in the last five years) being criticized on what makeup she’s wearing.  Maybe it’s because Britain has already had one woman leader.  Whatever the reason, it just seems to me that the American media could learn something from that.

Because I live here in the UK, I don’t know that there’s much of anything I can do to make a difference.  But I thought that spreading the word – even if it’s just a few paragraphs on my personal blog – would be better than sitting here, furious and horrified, doing absolutely nothing.

Found via Shakesville, and pointed to The Women’s Media Center and their blog.

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4 Responses

  1. Sadly it’s women who seem the most committed to ignoring and tolerating (read:perpetuating) sexism…it’s not your father but your mother who’ll bind your feet, cut off your clitoris or stuff you in a girdle and a pageant gown.

    Women often seem to compete for the privilege of being anti-adult-female, believing staunchly that it gives them an edge when seeking a man to pretend that they are naturally as hairless, thin, fair-haired and ignorant as a child. With enormous artificial breasts and a hunger for luxury goods. Shallow women teach men to be shallow too. Then everyone bashes the men.

  2. Yes, everyone bashes the men because they expect ALL women to be “as hairless, thin, fair-haired and ignorant as a child.”

    And then when a woman comes along that ISN’T like that, y’all don’t know how to handle it. So you resort to your “It’s a MAN’S world, honey” attitudes simply because you’re facing a woman who won’t live down to your “fantasy.”

  3. I’m a newspaper reader, not a TV watcher, so I have been nearly as out of touch with this stuff as Lee was. It makes me angry, of course. How is this kind of talk still acceptable?

    While Hillary was treated unfairly by some of the pundits, I still think she was a flawed candidate, especially from the perspective of breaking the glass ceiling. Of course Hillary wasn’t elected senator because her husband cheated on her, as Chris Matthews says, but she was elected in large part because her husband was the president. She owes her name recognition and her political reputation to Bill Clinton. Her success in New York had little to do with her own accomplishments.

  4. And you know what? I can agree with that – that most of her success is due to being a Former First Lady. And if they had talked about that, about the fact that she was able to use her husband’s name and reputation as her stepping stone? Personally, I wouldn’t have had a problem with that. Because, right or wrong, it’s true. If he was still a former AK governor, and nobody had heard the name “Clinton,” she probably wouldn’t have ever come close to getting in the Senate. Nobody’d even heard of her.

    But no, they don’t talk about stuff like that, or about her record since she did get in the Senate. They equate her with their mothers, i.e. she’ll just nag the country into doing what she wants. They just had to stoop to the “we don’t want our old lady running the country” attitudes. It’s not the fact that they’re talking about her unfavorably, it’s WHAT they said.

    It’s stuff like this that make me ashamed to admit I’m an American when I’m asked.

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