‘Don’t tell her to smile’: the subtle sexism still facing Hillary Clinton

Yet another reason why defining women by gender is oppressive.

From The Guardian UK: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/17/hillary-clinton-facing-sexism-sexist-politics

Explicit sexism against the democratic frontrunner might be unacceptable, but subtler forms of prejudice are everywhere – and women have had enough


March 17, 2016

As Hillary Clinton was giving her victory speech after Tuesday night’s primaries, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough tweeted out two sentences that nearly every American woman has heard some version of at one point in her life:

Smile. You just had a big night.

Women on the internet were, to put it lightly, not amused. Many took Scarborough on immediately; even Full Frontal host Samantha Bee responded by replying with a picture of her not-so-smiling face.

This meme-able moment is part of a broader trend this election season: as the explicit sexism we saw during Clinton’s 2008 run has mostly been quelled or deemed unacceptable, women are pushing back against less easy-to-name offenses. And the visceral response against Scarborough demonstrates just how tired women are of having to explain how sexism operates over and over again.

Of all the things women hear from men – whether street harassers or pundits – there is special disdain for “smile” because of its particular condescension, and the tired trope that women should be forever chipper even as they’re walking down the street or, you know, running for president of the United States. In fact, men telling women to smile is such a universally hated prompt that there are feminist art projects dedicated to it, Buzzfeed lists that outline imagined responses (“just fart instead”), and a popular Broad City gif of the lead characters responding to a stranger’s insistence that they put on a happy face.

But it hasn’t been just Scarborough’s poorly thought-out tweet that women have found familiar. There are certain phrases, sentiments and actions that might not seem gendered upon first glance but are so typical to women’s everyday experience of sexism that they rub a lot of us the wrong way.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/17/hillary-clinton-facing-sexism-sexist-politics

2 Responses to “‘Don’t tell her to smile’: the subtle sexism still facing Hillary Clinton”

  1. jim Says:

    All the women and libtard men who complain about this show exactly why they are considered drama queens and how they make a mountain out of a mole hill & read into everything.

    99.9% of the time if a woman said to a man “smile” guess what would happen???……they’d smile!….see…it’s not complicated. The guy wouldn’t sit around for days afterwards contemplating what it meant or how “offending” it was……they’d smile…that’s it.

    No wonder many women have the reputation of being high drama and have to examine any type of interaction for hidden meanings……most men are simple…deal with it.

    • Suzan Says:

      I’ve noticed that the biggest drama queens of all are Conservative Christian Men who think they should be the only ones with rights, freedoms and equality. They think nothing of going mental if some poor retail clerk, who may be Jewish, or just conscious of other people’s holidays, wishes customers “Happy Holidays” (BTW between Thanks Giving and mid-January there are many holidays including several Christian ones besides Christmas)

      My partner and I were discussing the following yesterday about how the real war on religion was businesses staying open and forcing their workers to work on days like Thanks Giving, Christmas and Easter.

      But having some intrusive prick tell me to smile is annoying at best. When the street hassling was what used to send me into a rage.

      I’m a dyke, I carry weapons and know how to use them. The street hassling threats of violence didn’t much bother me because I had a pretty damned good idea of who would be walking away and who would require serious medical intervention. Stat as they say in ERs.


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