Hillary Clinton Issues Warning To Any Woman Who May Want To Run For President

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton revealed after her shocking loss that she believes sexism is partly the reason. While other factors were at play and she’s not playing the gender card, she does note that female candidates are treated differently than male candidates. She has some advice for any women considering making a bid for the White House in the future.

Clinton has been in politics a long time. She started as a First Lady and practically re-defined the role. At the time, no other first lady had earned a post-graduate degree and had a successful career before entering the White House. She was given an office in the West Wing and became part of the inner circle for the new administration. She played a central role in public policy issues.

After her husband’s second term came to an end, Clinton went on to become a Senator and Secretary of State. By the time she was nominated as the Democratic party’s candidate in 2016, she was one of the most experienced, qualified individuals to be found in Washington. She had more experience than then-President Barack Obama, who, incidentally, beat her in the 2008 Democratic primaries. She certainly had far more experience than her opponent, then-GOP candidate Donald Trump, who had never even held public office. Despite the fact that she’d proven herself ten times over, she was still treated differently than male candidates.

“You have to be prepared for what it means to literally be brutalized,” Clinton told an audience at BookExpo America in New York City on Thursday. “It is unlike any experience she has ever had before. Our system in our country is the most difficult political environment in the world of any democracy to elect a leader.”

It’s true everyone gets brutalized when they’re running for president, especially in this day and age. The country has been disillusioned with political leaders for decades, and much respect has been lost. The media, ideally supposed to be objective purveyors of facts, has become little more than a circus trying to ramp up the entertainment. Everyone with a social media account is a political pundit. Mudslinging has reached an all-time high (or, perhaps more appropriately, an all-time low). It’s harsh, and a candidate needs to have thick skin.

A woman needs to have doubly-thick skin, though. Clinton warns any woman, be she politician or political activist, of what she’s in for. “You are carrying the burden of the double standard and you have to know that,” she explains.

Some deny the double standard exists; they say women have come far enough to run for high offices, and they’re getting clobbered like any other candidate. Women have to essentially "man up" and take it.

Studies show the double standard does exist. For example, when a man runs for office, no one questions how he is going to do his job as a father. When Sarah Palin ran for Vice President in 2008, many questioned how she was going to do her job as a mother. Male candidates don’t get criticized for their looks or their wardrobe, while female candidates are scrutinized and judged as if they’re entering a beauty contest rather than a political campaign. So many serious male candidates stand up at the debates with furrowed brow and a grim look of concern on their faces - can you imagine someone commenting that they aren't smiling enough? Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican Party, tweeted that Clinton "was angry + defensive the entire time - no smile and uncomfortable".

Female candidates are more likely to get interrupted by their male counterparts. Political Research Quarterly reported a study that found that the media and other candidates focused more on character traits with women rather than the issues. Female candidates are also more likely to be outright ignored; Carly Fiorina, who ran in the 2016 primaries on the Republican ticket, was excluded from a major televised primary debate, even though she was polling ahead of some of the male candidates who were invited. Her backers began calling ABC the "Anyone But Carly" network.

Clinton can relay her own experience and advice about what she went through – and in fact, she is writing a book about it right now. But she says any future candidate needs to "find his or her own way".

Source: HuffPost
Photo: BuzzFeed Screenshot

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