My last word (for now) on sexism

I'm a sucker for thinking evidence will change people's minds. So watch this video, and tell me sexism hasn't hurt Hillary Clinton in this campaign.

By Joan Walsh

Published April 9, 2008 10:29AM (EDT)

I never intended to spend so much time on this blog arguing that Hillary Clinton has faced sexism in her historic presidential run because it's so self-evident. It doesn't mean that without it, she'd be defeating Barack Obama; it doesn't mean she is without flaws; it doesn't mean Obama doesn't face racism; it doesn't mean she deserves to be either the Democratic nominee or the president. It just means sexism is one of the unfair disadvantages Clinton has had to deal with. It's just a fact.

The idea that so many people are so incapable of admitting that blows my mind. I'm going to try to take a break from this depressing debate, but a friend just sent me this video. (A few minutes earlier a reader also posted a link in my letters thread.) Take a look. (Warning: I would not argue that every single statement in this video is sexist -- I thought Keith Olbermann's "Special Comment" on Geraldine Ferraro was over-the-top, but not sexist -- but taken together, the montage is pretty devastating.) I'd urge people who are minimizing the sexism Clinton faces, or who are trying to argue that racism against Obama has been just as public and disabling, to make a YouTube video that's comparable to this, and that features media stars -- not Clinton surrogates, not Obama critics, but guys paid by major news networks -- using comparable slurs against Obama. Maybe it's possible. I doubt it, but maybe. If anyone succeeds, I promise I'll post it here!

(Update: The version of this video I watched this afternoon ended after the Howard Beale moment; I hadn't seen the second half, which is essentially an ad for Clinton, which I don't endorse. But the montage of media stars attacking her is still worth watching.)

Joan Walsh

Joan Walsh is the author of "What's the Matter With White People: Finding Our Way in the Next America."

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2008 Elections