Bill Moyers

Had a particularly interesting show this week, about they way Hillary Clinton is seen/treated online and in the media for the first half, about Mitt Romney's Come To Jesus Moment in the second half.

BILL MOYERS: And you can't use your uterus and your brain. That's the old argument, right? You can't be caring and tough. That's the old argument against women, right?

KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Well, and at one time there was actually an argument that if women became educated, they would become infertile. There was also, for a long period of time, serious penalties for women who tried to speak in public. And the residue of this is a language that suggests that women in power cannot be women and be in power. And as a result, as Hillary Clinton certifies herself as being tough enough to be president, competent enough to be president, these attacks say then she can't be president because she's not actually a woman. And you can't trust someone who is that inauthentic. So underlying this and underlying the vulgarity and underlying the assertions of raw sexual violence is deep fear about a woman holding power.

But I'm not sure that it's only about that with Hillary Clinton because Hillary Clinton has been attacked as long as she's been in the public sphere. She came into national public awareness with the candidacy of Bill Clinton. Some of this coincides with attacks on liberals and Hillary Clinton as a liberal woman. Some of this coincides with original attacks when she was in the White House and what was framed as exercise of unelected power. And one of the questions that-- I find interesting is this hypothetical. Let's say if Elizabeth Dole was this far along in the polls for the Republican nomination. Would she be subject to the same kinds of attacks? And I think the answer is no.

BILL MOYERS: Let me show our audience some of those attacks. But let me also say that you can, as a scholar and historian and a journalist, discuss this avalanche of misogyny directed at Hillary Clinton without endorsing her campaign, right?

KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Yes.

BILL MOYERS: And you're not endorsing any candidate, as I understand it--

KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: No, I'm--

BILL MOYERS: --nor am I.

KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Yeah, actually, I've been studying the way in which women are characterized when they move into leadership positions before Hillary Clinton moved into leadership position.

BILL MOYERS: And what was that book you wrote?

KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Book was called BEYOND THE DOUBLE BIND: WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP. And these kinds of attacks have actually been deployed against women as they began to run for public office in the United States before. So the assertion that a woman would have to be childless or she couldn't be voted into office because if she were in office, she would neglect her children. But a man elected to office would not neglect his children. Men were supposedly going to be taking care of children. Long-lived attack.

In unrelated news, you should read the Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

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