Toronto Feminists

Posts Tagged ‘Sexism

Letter to CBC The Hour George’s Sexist Diminishing of Sarah Palin – Her Boots

Jan 1, 2009


By emphasizing how sexy you think a politician’s boots are, you diminished Gov Palin’s professional accomplishments.

There is an incredible double-standard that you have demonstrated against Sarah Palin.  Women get scrutinized based on appearance far, far more than men.  There has been plenty of talk and plenty written about Sarah Palin’s jackets, her hair and her looks.  Sound familiar?  There was plenty of talk and plenty written about Sen. Hillary Clinton’s looks, hair and pantsuits.

Compare that with the attention given to Sen. Barack Obama’s $1,500 suits or Sen. John McCain’s $520 Ferragamo shoes. There is no comparison.  When a male newscast reporter wears a not-so-great tie, how much e-mail do you think he gets from viewers?

For women, the media makes a woman’s appearance part of her job – as did you against Palin by remarking on her boots rather than on her qualifications – would you have mentioned Obama’s shoes or clothes?  I didn’t think so.

Let’s keep the focus on what really matters here.

– Daniela


Written by erishkigal

January 3, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Gender Politics

So I know it’s long past Hillary’s concession and I’ve been meaning to comment on the retrospective coverage in the media on the sexism.  I have been keeping track of interesting articles to mention so I’m just going to point to a few of them here.  Firstly, an article in the New York Times about the sexism in the media coverage and a really interesting response in Slate -a correspondence between one of the pundits quoted in the NYT article and his lawyer daughter who is upset that he claimed sexism was only being seen by supporters NOW because Hillary lost.  Of course, Christopher Hitchens also has a piece in slate responding to claims of sexism, but that’s not surprising given he’s one of the journalists who never ceases to spew sexist commentary.

I don’t think there’s any doubt in the minds of people who followed the media coverage that sexism was obvious from day one.  However –this article from new york magazine has me hoping that it might end up helping.  It’s titled The Feminist Reawakening: Hillary Clinton and the fourth wave -and the point is that even if you don’t fall in with Hillary’s politics, watching the obvious sexism spewed at her has caused young women who have believed they were living in a post-feminist world to wake up and realize how pervasive and restrictive sexism still is.  It’s a great article and I definitely needed to read it again after watching the video above produced by the women’s media centre.

So, who knows, there may be a lot more US politics to come up on this blog, I have high hopes for Obama but I just hope Michelle doesn’t get clobbered with the same heaps of sexism Hillary did.


Written by outdoorsgrrl

June 21, 2008 at 3:40 pm

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Watching the race

Alright, So Hillary has won in New Hampshire and naturally this is opening up all kinds of discussions on Hillary as president, what a female president means and whether or not sexism plays any role in elections.  Some interesting pieces to read are Maureen O’Dowd  and Gloria Steinham’s  op-ed pieces in the New York Times today as well as following the discussion going on at the XX factor blog  at

Sexism is hard to talk about in our society and this presidential race is providing excellent commentary and room for discussion. One example that they’ve brought up is how ingrained sexism is -the ‘seemingly’ sexist remarks  hurled at Hillary.  Some have speculated that the newspaper couched the report with a ‘seemingly’ because it was possible the Clinton camp had planted these guys to stir up gender sympathy. And many commentators have rightly said Hey, if guys were yelling racist comments at Obama would a national newspaper report it as ‘seemingly’ racist remarks?  Unlikely, there would be uproar and outrage.     

As for the footage of Hillary ‘seemingly’ crying, I haven’t looked it up and I don’t really feel the need to since no tears actually fell but apparently glistened in her eyes for all of 10 or 15 seconds.  That prompted John Edwards  to question her ability to be president if she cries.  Really?  Say ‘good bye’ to the Oval Office Hillary because your lacrimal glands are working overtime!  Shit, I’ve gone into full on sobbing when I run out of coffee for pete’s sake and I’ve never questioned my competence (although I do question my caffeine addiction).  But yet again the double standard that is frequently mentioned and quickly shrugged off remains -being strong and stoic makes her inhuman and unpopular yet the slightest show of emotion renders her incompetent.

Garr…I’m frustrated just reading all this I can’t imagine the strength it requires to be the focus of it!  I’ll just go somewhere and cry J


Written by outdoorsgrrl

January 9, 2008 at 3:42 pm

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