Should we judge our next President by their laugh?

October 6, 2007 at 5:46 pm 2 comments

Although I usually discuss makeup and beauty in this blog, I am going to get on my political soapbox for just a moment. Let me start by saying that this is not a Hillary plug. I just want to comment on a small detail of how Hillary is covered in the press, which small detail piles up with all of the other small details.

Recently, an article on MSN.com talked about the ranking of the Democratic Front Runners for President of the United States. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is in the lead over all of her Democratic opponents. In the few words dedicated to reviewing Hillary’s prospects, the article manages to mention her laugh: “Hillary Clinton, New York senator. Last Ranking: 1 . . . Her laugh tick is getting noticed, but it’s endearing in a way.” The article doesn’t mention any physical characteristics of the other candidates.

Another recent article is entitled: “Bwah-ha-ha! What’s With Hillary’s Laugh?

“When former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe told columnist Roger Simon that Hillary Clinton’s “great belly laugh” was proof of her unseen human side, could he really have been talking about this noise? Call it a caterwaul, call it a bray, call it what you will, the sound the Democratic front-runner makes when she performs the actions of mirth are now a part of the political conversation.”

By contrast, Newsweek just ran a detailed, 10 page article on Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Throughout the 10 pages, the article focused on real issues. Although every aspect of a person’s character is fair game during a Presidential Race anymore, it seems Hillary is ridiculed and judged on physical appearance and superficial things like laughing. I didn’t read any comments about Mitt’s laughter or appearance, other than that he is strikingly handsome and so is his gorgeous wife Ann.

Again, this is not meant to be a slam on Mitt or his candidacy. It is also not my intention to promote either candidate here.
I just want to reinforce my belief that women and men demean and demoralize women’s credibility by focusing on their physical appearance and attributes rather than what really matters. The questions should be: Does what a candidate offer meet what is required to be a good President of the United States.

Why are there so many comments about Senator Clinton’s wardrobe, hair styles, cleavage, weight, and tone of voice? What does that have to do with being a competent contender for President? Attacks on Hillary are frequently attacks on professional, competent women in general. Name Hillary’s three weakest attributes. What are her strongest attributes? Make the same two lists for any of the male candidates. Chances are, many people will find that they are closet sexists. Does this mean Hillary is the best candidate? Maybe and maybe not. It would just be nice to pick the best candidate by comparing apples to apples.

I really don’t care which party or candidate you support. I do believe that we do not value women in the same way we value men. Hillary is tagged as a bitch when she expresses a strong opinion and comes across as aggressive in nature. Men with that same attitude would be respected and viewed as having strong leadership skills. By attacking Hillary for anything other than her positions, leadership skills and vision, we may be attacking women in general and teaching our children that we do not approve of women who exhibit the same qualities we admire in men.Hillary is being judged on things that don’t matter when it comes to Presidential competence! I suggest that we focus on things that do matter like experience, leadership, decision making, competence, and confidence. Combine these “real” attributes and then ask if she is good enough to be the President or not? Drop all the comments about her lipstick, pant suits, laugh, cleavage, and her latest hair style! Does Hillary Clinton represent what you want in a President, or does her physical and inconsequential attributes stand in your way of judging her fairly? If you drop the sexist slander, is she good enough? If not, don’t vote for her.In a recent blog, another Jen talked about the assumptions we make. She so eloquently stated that sometimes we need to challenge our assumptions and rethink what beliefs we hold.

The difficult thing is coming to know better, even when that means abandoning ingrained ideas of what you’ve always done or what you were taught was the best. What assumptions are influencing your life, which may or may not be based on truth?

I am constantly hearing other women judge Hillary Clinton critically, over things that are superficial and demeaning. And generally speaking, these same women applaud men for belittling her as well. And, generally speaking, the men and women who belittle Hillary applaud men for the very things they criticize and detest in Hillary.

Are we really just shooting ourselves in the foot?

Let’s elevate our conversation about Hillary Clinton and of all women.

Entry filed under: Self Acceptance, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Captain-Sky  |  October 7, 2007 at 9:34 am

    I Agree 100% I Thought I Were The Only One Who Noticed That Senator Clinton Were Being Judged On Her Personal Attributes & Not Her Credentials Which Is A Travesty.But I Do Believe The American Public Is Aware Of This Negative Input Against Her For No Apparent Reason At All,If You Don’t Want To Vote For Senator Clinton That’s Your Right But Why The Sharp Un Called For Comments That I See All Over The Entire Internet.It Doesn’t Matter What You Say If You Judged Senator Clintons Attributes To Those Of The Other Canidates And I Mean Both Party’s You’ll Find That All The Things We Look For Experience Wise & Inteligents,You’ll Find That Senator Clinton Is Head Over Heels Ahead Of The Other Canidates,And I Based This On And You Can Say It Ain’t So But The Fact Of The Matter Is’It Is So,She’s Been In The White House For 8 Years And She Were Responsible For Making Important Decisions Here At Home And Abroad,If She Doesn’t Have Anthing Else It’s On The Job Training,But Again It Goes Much Deeper Than That,She’s Trying To Let People Know With Belittleing Her Husband That She Were Responsible For Making Policy As Well.Especially Foreign Policy She’s Not Coming In With No Idea Of What’s Going On In The White House & The Mess This Mr Bush Has Gotten Us In,You Might Say Canidates Like Biden,Dodd,&Mcain Has More Experience Than Senator Clinton But The Fact Is They Don’t Because It Were Not In The White House,She’s 8 Years Ahead Inteligently Wise,As To What Needs To Be Done,It Has Gotten To The Point That No Democrat Know What’s Going To Have To be Done And To What Extent The Damage That Mr Bush Has And Will Leave Us In I King Of Believe That’s His Intentions.

    Reply
  • 2. jen38  |  October 7, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    I also have a Google blogspot, and here are some of the comments I am getting from some people there:

    “Hear Hear! This is a great post! Someone saying the other day instead of Hillary, we should elect Laura Bush, because “she’s so much nicer.” I think there’s a certain amount of not-niceness for any woman to succeed in this world. But if it were a man, it would be deemed “confidence” and “healthy ego” but if its a woman she’s a bitch and a ball-breaker.

    If you have a problem with Hillary, base it on her politics, not on her physique, mannerisms, or stupid email propaganda that usually isn’t accurate!” – Jen

    “Thank you for getting to the issues. More should ask the better questions and expect the better answers.” -Anon

    Reply

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