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The Sh*t Hillary Clinton Puts Up With

Every time a woman runs for an executive position, there are countless things working against her. In politics, these things are not only multiplied on a national scale, but are publicly broadcasted for everyone to see. Hillary Clinton is one of the many women who face these problems and just so happens to be running for the most powerful position in the world.

1.  Speaking = Yelling

If you’re a woman and you’ve tried working with men, you’ve probably been told to “calm down” or “relax.” In the same way, men and many women are just not yet comfortable seeing other women passionate and confident in politics. Everytime Hillary does a speech, attends a rally, or participates in a debate, she needs to be constantly aware of when and how people will perceive her as being “aggressive” or “emotional” while men doing the same thing are just campaigning as usual.

 

2. Serious Tone = Nagging

Similarly to checking emotions, women in politics also have to check their tone. No matter how much experience you have in the field, as a woman, your failures can still be attributed to a “nagging voice”. By limiting female power in the first place, we are already limiting our ability to see women outside of the roles of mother, daughter, sister, and wife. Seeing them in charge brings up terms like “bossy,” “frigid,” and even “bitch.”

3. Outfits and Clothing


As a girl who spends days agonizing over what she has to wear for a professional event, I’m in awe of Hillary’s outfit choices at the debates this past month. However, I’ve also heard her outfits called “maoist” and, “oh my God what is she wearing?” These are all valid opinions, but the problem lies in the fact that they are being voiced in the first place. Not only is Hillary defining what women in positions of power will wear in the future, she is pushing through layers of sexism and judgement to do so.  

 

4. Being associated with husbands and children

For some reason, it is impossible for North Americans to differentiate women in politics from their families. Not only do Hillary’s husband’s previous actions and decisions get brought up every other day, but Hillary is expected to respond to them. Similarly, her ability as presidential candidate was questioned early in the race with the announcement of her daughter’s pregnancy, which was something no one thought to ask Mitt Romney or his 23 grandchildren.  

 

5. The Woman Card

This is a term used to accuse women in power of exploiting sexism against all women for their own benefit. It allows people like Donald Trump to attribute all of a woman’s success to a mindless support by other females that doesn’t consider any other part of her identity. Obviously, this kind of sexist idea isn’t something anyone should have to put up with but Hillary Clinton does. In fact, she turned it around and managed to make a 2.4 million dollar profit for her campaign off the support garnered from official Hillary Clinton “Woman Cards.”  

 

Women in politics face all sorts of thing they shouldn’t have to, but push through it anyway. Hillary Clinton is just one example of many incredible women who work their whole lives against a patriarchal system and pave the way for future female leaders.   

 

Ashna is currently a first year student at the University of Western Ontario and is a part of the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities. She loves reading, writing, drawing, and staying up to date with feminist discourse. Ashna hopes to graduate with an Honors Specialization in Creative Writing and do something Big. In the meantime, she continues to learn more about life as an adult and taking naps.
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