Alex Blaze

Epic misogyny

Filed By Alex Blaze | January 09, 2008 1:15 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics, The Movement
Tags: Chris Matthews, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Iron my Shirt, misogyny, MSNBC, New Hampshire, sexism

Hillary Clinton won the New Hampshire primary last night. Here's Chris Matthews this morning:

She was falling behind in the polls that were released in the days leading up to the election by double digits, so this win has been called an upset. I think a lot of the change has to do with misogyny reaching a fever pitch right before the New Hampshire primary.

This past Monday in a campaign stop we all saw Hillary get close to tearing up, and here's the video for those of you who missed it:

The reactions were swift. ABC asked in a headline: "Can Clinton's Emotions Get the Best of Her?" The Right went into their normal frenzy. There was more than the usual snickering at her for showing some emotion. Even John Edwards said:

I think what we need in a commander-in-chief is strength and resolve, and presidential campaigns are tough business, but being president of the United States is also tough business.

Edwards's own tearing up is beyond reproach, of course. In fact, a Pennsylvania State University study found that participants reacted more positively to men crying than to women crying. So maybe Edwards knew what he was trying to capitalize on.

And all this comes after being referred to, either implicitly or explicitly, as a cold bitch for the last 16 years. The contradiction is so gaping that Echidne asks:

Now could someone in the media write a piece about exactly how a female candidate may show emotion, when and where.

While I personally do not support Clinton because of her triagulating, her close union-busting advisers, and her vote for the endless war, this stuff is actually making me a lot more sympathetic to her. The level of insanity in the media, the way they've been running screaming about the possibility of a woman president since the start of this, the way they ask if America's ready for a woman with a wink and a nudge, the way they disparage Hillary so personally, that guy with the "Iron my shirt" sign, and the way the media feel so free to comment on her marriage in a way that they don't with regards to the other candidates, makes me think that there is something the matter with the system that can be fixed by having Hillary actually become president.

This feeling is what Pam Spaulding has called "The Tweety Effect" ("Tweety" being a nickname for Chris Matthews, the MSNBC commentator who's probably more obsessed with Hillary-hating than any of his colleagues):

I’m not sure that it applies here, given the complicating factor of gender bias, and what we can now call “The Tweety Effect,” where the misogyny of a talking head in the MSM so enrages a demographic that they go out and vote in a manner that will put egg on the face of the talking head.

Well, that's what I'm thinking from the MSNBC YouTube clip above. Matthews feels completely at ease with saying that the only reason Hillary was a Senator was because her husband cheated on her (should we expect to see Mrs. Craig run for office any time soon?). He says point-blank that she didn't win on merits (like her community organizing, center-left politics, charisma, technocratic campaign, or incredible intelligence) - it was all about her husband.

While polls aren't everything and there are multiple interpretations of the same data, I think that there's a definite possibility that Hillary's gains between Iowa and New Hampshire among women may have had a lot to do with Pam's Tweety Effect.

Hell, if I can feel sympathy for a union-busting, pro-war former Wal-mart board member and half feel like I'll be flipping off the system by supporting her, then I think that there's a definite chance that others reacted strongly enough to change their votes.

So, way to go, Hillary haters.


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Chris Matthews is a complete misogynistic blowhard. His views on not just Hillary, but all women, show why even if you don't like Hillary, you might think her Presidency would start to break down some of the ingrained male-dominance of our country.

Great analysis, Alex!

Yeah, that definitely put me strongly in the Hillary camp. Even though I was already there. Oh yeah, that and her article in Foreign Affairs.

Tweety is disgusting, but there isn't anything misogynistic about pointing out that Hilary's career is, in fact, built upon her husband's--without bill she wouldn't be a national player, because she has no vision, nothing new to bring to the table.

Kevin~ Did you watch the video? I think you're the first person I've heard say that there's no misogyny in there.

Matthews didn't just say that Bill helped her out, he said that she didn't win on merits and that people only voted for her because they felt sorry for her.

Oh, i'm not saying there wasn't misogyny in what he was saying. There is! I'm saying that --putting aside the awful misogyny that Matthews brings into it-- argument that Hilary isn't winning on her merits is not inherently misogynistic.

There's the rub. I don't think that Hillary would have gone so far without Bill's back to ride either, but is it misogynistic to say so? She has contributed to her own career obviously. No one can get as far as she has by simply saying, "I married So-and-So!"

That's part of the problem Hillary's campaign is having, I think. A lot of Americans remember Clinton fondly and while he was President she was the one America didn't like as much. (Think George vs Laura Bush or George vs Barbara.) They automatically assume that she's riding his coattails - and they're correct to a point - and then feel guilty for assuming the worst. Several folks will end up voting for her just because they want to be "progressive" and "modern" more than they want her to win on her own merits.