Politipress: Examining the double standard for women in the election

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Politipress: Examining the double standard for women in the election

Isabel Gitten

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A woman in the general election. After 238 years of democracy in America, it is the first time that we can say this. Hillary Clinton has made history by becoming the first female presidential nominee for one of the two major parties in our country’s history, breaking the long domination of men competing for the Oval Office. Finally. Hopefully our country is ready for a woman in power. There are two sides of women in this election. On the Democratic side, women are making groundbreaking history, while on the Republican side, women are being torn apart. It is time that we analyze how women are seen in our election.

Around a month ago, Humans of New York interviewed Hillary Clinton. In this interview, Clinton explained how she was forced to hide her emotions and stay focused while many men put her down throughout her pursuit for her own education. She revealed how her strong-minded attitude has lead people to think that she is cold and unemotional. She also talked about how there are no role models for women in politics. This is true. When Clinton emerged in the political scene, she was a trailblazer for women in  politics. Creating her own image unlike any male politicians who came before her. She has worked hard to defy the stereotypes that have weighed upon women before her: how they can be too emotional or not strong enough to have powerful positions. Women are seen differently than men, especially in politics. In positions of power and influence, our country is used to seeing a man in a suit calling the shots rather than a woman.

Clinton is seen through a tougher lense than Trump. She must stay calm and collected while being relatable and knowledgeable. At the same time, Clinton can’t be shrill, robotic, or passive. She is constantly criticized for trying too hard to fit in, but in a scene dominated by men, she is forced to mold herself to get the public to like her. It seems like everything she does is not enough, and she is still seen as a crazy old woman.

People say that their dislike and distrust for Clinton is not because she is a woman, but Trump is not held to the same standard Clinton is. He can say and do outrageous things, and so much of the American public will accept it as “locker room talk.” People laugh it off and claim that it’s what men will do. A man can do or say offensive things, not just in this election but also in society, and get away with it because it is what is expected and accepted. This does not apply to women. If Clinton were to say controversial statements about how many men she got with or comment on the appearance of men, the country would be outraged. This is a black and white example of a double standard.

It is ironic how at a time when women should be inspired by the success of a female presidential nominee, Trump is spreading an opposite message.

This election has shown a numbing truth that there are still people out there who think it is acceptable to offend, talk down to and control women. This is not okay. In many cases, this is sexual abuse. The rhetoric that Trump is creating by saying that his derogatory, offensive, and abusive statements towards women is just “locker room talk” is telling Americans that mistreatment of women is no big deal.

That is scary.

Even if you don’t think that Trump’s statements affect his ability to be president, it is disappointing and embarrassing to see how the presidential election in a country that prides itself on its democracy has turned into a reality TV show that media cannot get enough of. The candidates are forced to focus more on sex scandals, affairs and sexual abuse rather than policies.

When looking at this election, it is important to examine the different ways men and women are treated in politics. Next time you here Trump say something controversial, ask yourself how you would react if Clinton said the same statement.

Is our country ready for a woman in power? Hopefully. If there is one thing that we can learn from treatment of women in this election is that you must be tough if you are a woman running for president. We have moved past the time when women were seen as a nothing but housewives, but still in 2016, some people are still scared to see a strong woman in office. From the way this election is spinning out, it seems more possible that a woman can be in power every day.

As a country, we must be aware of how we view women in politics and become aware of the double standard that divides men and women.

Opinion articles written by staff members represent their personal views. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent WSPN as a publication.

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