Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > News

Is Sexism The Real Reason Men Won’t Support HRC? President Obama Wants To Know

We’ve got less than a week to the election and whew, has it been a tough one for Secretary Hillary Clinton. She was recently publicly reprimanded by FBI director James Comey, who has decided to open up a new investigation into those emails; she has seemingly either lost or is hardly holding on to her lead in the polls; and former CNN correspondent and current interim chairperson of the Democratic National Party, Donna Brazile, was also revealed to have leaked Clinton a debate question in advance. But don’t count her out yet. It seems Clinton has a huge ally in her corner: President Barack Obama. While campaigning in Ohio yesterday, Obama asked several things of the audience: he want to know whether or not they were contributing to sexism, and he begged them not to be fooled by Donald Trump’s promises to the working class.

In his Ohio campaign stop for the Democratic nominee, President Obama told working class voters not to feel “duped” by The Donald at the polls, stating Trump really doesn’t care about their lives. Instead, President Obama suggested Trump is only using working class voters to get to the presidency. “The notion that this guy is your champion, the notion that this guy is going to fight for working people when his entire life he did not have time for anybody who wasn’t rich or a celebrity. Who wouldn’t let you into one of his hotels unless you were cleaning the room. Wouldn’t let you onto one of his golf courses unless you were mowing the fairway. Come on,” he said, asking, “This guy is going to be your champion? Don’t be bamboozled.” 

President Obama even pointed out the obvious differences between the two nominees (besides party lines)—that difference being that Trump is a man and Clinton is a woman. Like other women, Clinton has to face sexism in her everyday life, but particularly in her career field. President Obama called this out during the campaign stop, directly confronting the men in the audience and asking if the real reason behind their skepticism of Clinton is an ingrained sexism. “You know there’s a reason we haven’t had a woman president before… And we have to ask ourselves as men… I want every man out there to ask themselves if they’re having problems with this stuff, how much of it is that we’re just not used to it.” He continued on, “When a guy is ambitious and out in the public arena, working hard, well then that’s ok. But when a woman suddenly does it, you’re all like, ‘Why is she doing that?’ I’m just being honest. I want you to think about it because she is so much better qualified than the other guy.” He noted the obvious difference, saying, “Hillary is consistently treated differently than any other candidate I see out there.”

This is not the first time this week Obama has spoken about the inherent sexism that threatens to hold Secretary Clinton back from the presidency. In an interview that aired Monday with Samantha Bee, Obama pointed out, “I think the equivalent [of a birther issue for Hillary Clinton] would be, ‘she’s tired, she’s moody, she’s being emotional, there’s something about her. When men are ambitious, it’s taken for granted. ‘Of course they should be ambitious.’ But when women are ambitious, ‘why?’ That theme… has contributed to this notion that, somehow, she is hiding something.”

While the president avoided talking about Clinton’s mounting problems, he, too, had made mistakes. “Has she made mistakes? Of course, so have I. There’s nobody in the public arena over the course of 30 years that doesn’t make some,” he said. “But she is a fundamentally good and decent person who knows what she’s doing and will be an outstanding president.”

With only six days to the general election, it’s unlikely that any sexist tendencies are likely to just disappear in that time—but hopefully, President Obama’s words are forcing men and women alike to confront it head on.

Dream McClinton is a graduate (!) of Georgia State University with a degree in Journalism with a concentration in Telecommunication. Her interests include creating visual art (of all types), watching reality television and traveling. She hopes to soon acquire enough money to pay off her student loans and build a life she loves.