And anyone visiting any number of so-called progressive blogs who dares to post a comment in support of Sen. Clinton, soon finds themselves the target of some of the worst misogyny I've witnessed in a long time.
I once had a boss who would praise any woman he considered particularly promising by saying that someday she could be managing editor. He thought this was a big deal; at the time no woman had come close to a job that elevated. The only problem was that managing editor was the No. 2 job, and it was hard to believe that anyone would tell a guy that he was such a star that he might rocket to the second spot. One crazy day I said that. My boss looked at me as though I had lost my mind because I'd spoken it. Lack of gratitude, sense of entitlement—that's what he was thinking. [...]
[T]here has also been an inescapable undercurrent of bias. It's summed up in the word "calculating," which is often used to describe the senator in as witchy a way possible. There is no male politico equivalent for "calculating," except perhaps "business as usual."
Consider the guys who yelled "Iron my shirts!" at a Clinton event in New Hampshire. The point wasn't the yahoos with the Neanderthal mantra; it was that their jeers got little coverage. If someone at an Obama rally had called out a similar remark based on racial bigotry—"Shine my shoes," perhaps—not only would it have been a story, it would have run on page one. [...]
Even the prototypical new man, Senator Obama, had his moments, accusing Senator Clinton of attacking him "when she's feeling down," making opposition sound like shoe shopping. Imagine Obama using that turn of phrase against McCain. You just can't. [...]
Attacking this persistent pernicious nuance isn't victim politics of years past. It's important for the future. There aren't that many wonderful people running for elective office in America; if you need reminding, take a look at some members of the Senate. And if half the available candidates are held to some unexamined standard in which ambition is considered a pejorative and a loud voice a turnoff, that deficit will persist. Make no mistake about it: if we're going to continue to have elections that excite and engage, we need the women.
Exemplary husband, perfect kids, no negatives—I guess you could argue that the double standard guarantees that female candidates are stellar since they are required to be all things to all people. It was a woman politician, the mayor of Ottawa, who is responsible for one of the most notable quotes about this: "Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily this is not difficult." It may be an era of change, but Charlotte Whitton's 1963 comment still rings true. I've just always thought she was a little too sanguine about the math.