Gender and Sexuality Column

Clinton’s feminist, campaign success tainted by media misogyny

/ The Daily Orange

This election marks a giant jump for women, but whether it is forward or backward is up for debate.

It seems as though the closer we get to Election Day, the more scandal and adversity surrounds Clinton considering the FBI re-opened its investigation into Clinton’s private email server this week. But unlike Trump, who has had his fair share of scandal, the criticism does not fade or lessen with time for Clinton.

Media outlets seem to be hungry for incriminating information to tarnish Clinton’s recent strides as a candidate and the email scandal is just another instance where Clinton has been unnecessarily targeted. If Clinton were a man, the media’s relentless attacks would be significantly less pointed at the fact that she is a woman. So while Clinton’s campaign has started a conversation, it has and will not mend the issue of women being crushed by a glass ceiling in politics.

She has been constantly thrown under a microscope, down to the clothes that she wears and her husband’s affair — though it takes a strong woman to work through marital issues, especially in the public eye. She has been doubted, called a “nasty woman” by her opponent and asked if she has the stamina to be president after contracting pneumonia, an illness to which just about anyone can fall victim.

The backlash Clinton has faced challenges the idea that the country really is moving forward. We’ve all seen the tweets and inspirational campaign messages about encouraging our young girls and women to strive toward their goals because there are “no limits.”

But, it’s become clear, now more than ever, that although little girls might dream of being president, they face a harder road than their male peers. Syracuse University professor Jennifer Stromer-Galley, who studies politics and media, agrees.

“If Clinton breaks the highest of glass ceilings, it unfortunately does not mean we will see it get easier for other women who seek political office,” Stromer-Galley said in an email.

“Just as President (Barack) Obama has not ushered in a new era of racial harmony where blacks are truly treated as co-equal with whites — we wouldn’t need the Black Lives Matter movement, if he had — Clinton will not, unfortunately, usher in a new era of gender harmony.”

Even though a woman has finally made it further than any other before in the United States’ competitive political arena by securing the Democratic nomination, it must not be forgotten that this progress is not without its drawbacks.

Ivana Pino is a sophomore political science major. Her column appears weekly. She can be reached at ivpino@syr.edu.

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