The gender issue | Arkansas Blog

Friday, May 30, 2008

The gender issue

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2008 at 7:20 AM

Here's a male columnist, E.J. Dionne, not ready to write off the idea that Hillary Clinton has endured criticism of a sort a male wouldn't have encountered.

How much anger is there among women about how Hillary Clinton has been treated during this campaign? Some of the nation's leading female politicians will tell you: quite a lot.

"From the beginning, she's been treated very badly," says Therese Murray, president of the Massachusetts Senate. "No woman would have run with Obama's résumé. She wouldn't have been considered." But Clinton has been "demonized by the press and the talking heads. How do you get away with that?"

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) says she is regularly approached "by women of all races, of all ages, of all faiths. They stop me, grab my hand and say, 'Look what they've done to her, we were so close.' They wanted this for their daughters and granddaughters. . . . It's so heartbreaking."

For Rep. Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.), the evidence that "sexism reigns supreme" lay in the wide availability of offensive anti-Hillary paraphernalia in stores and on the Internet. For Barbara Johnson, president of the Minneapolis City Council, Clinton may have been the victim of "ageism" as much as sexism. The message, she said, was: "Your time is past, it's time for somebody new to take your place."

There's more. The good news for Barack Obama, Dionne says, is that the anger is directed more at the media than at Obama.

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