Friday, December 16, 2016

Sexism in the 2016 Election

The first time I read the two pieces for this post, I was aggravated but also hopeful. There were issues of sexism, which sadly came as no surprise, especially after reading McIntosh’s list of male (and white) privilege. However, as Jill Soloway expressed in the Time piece about Trump’s “locker room talk,” the sexism was being brought to light, and this was something exciting and hopeful. Reading the texts now, on the other hand, just leaves me sad and afraid. Now, we live in a nation that has elected Donald Trump to be its president, and it is clear that the sexism that was highlighted in these two articles, along with so many other issues, has been deemed overlookable at worst, justifiable at best.
The New York Times piece discussed underlying sexism in critiques of Hillary Clinton’s voice, while the Time article detailed Trump’s very explicit and overt sexism. A lot of people now are claiming that they do not support Trump’s comments, but could not bring themselves to vote for Hillary, calling her a liar when they have called all politicians liars for years and still voted for them. This is not unlike what Chozick was saying in the New York Times article about how male politicians raise their voices just as often as Clinton does, but she is seen as abrasive while they are viewed as passionate. Apparently, Clinton was unforgivable, but Trump can now be redeemed. It seems to me, then, like the underlying and implicit sexism expressed by Chozick is just as dangerous as the explicit; the latter would have no power without the former.
Chozick quotes Denise Graveline as saying “some research suggests that women can be competent or likable, but not both,” and it really stuck with me. I hope to be a part of changing perceptions, and to live in a world where women are rightfully seen as both. I am having trouble, though, believing that we will get there soon with Trump as our president. I almost cried in Barnes and Noble the other day when I read a children's book called Isabella: Girl in Charge. Spoiler alert, but at the end of the book, Isabella goes with her family to the inauguration of a black female president, followed by a timeline of women in US politics with the heading "It's Time" above. As I wait for Trump to officially take office, this could not seem more like fiction.

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