If there's anyone who knows about previously insurmountable hurdles along the path to the presidency, it's the person who broke the 220-year history of only white men holding the office. On Sunday, President Obama acknowledged the systemic gender bias confronting Hillary Clinton on her journey to become the first woman elected to the U.S. presidency.There's more at the link, including a perfect and terrible example of the unequal standards to which Clinton and Donald Trump are held.
At a DNC fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, President Obama said:
There's a reason why we haven't had a woman president; that we as a society still grapple with what it means to see powerful women. And it still troubles us in a lot of ways, unfairly, and that expresses itself in all sorts of ways.Like, as but one example, the ways in which women are obliged to conceal emotion can be translated as being cold, as Clinton herself recently addressed in a Humans of New York feature. It's one of the less obvious ways in which gender bias plays a role in politics (and every other arena), alongside the more visible double-standards like endless discussions about one's sartorial choices.
This is not the first time that President Obama has spoken out thoughtfully about the gendered challenges Clinton faces. During a January interview with Glenn Thrush, he recalled the tight primary contest they ran as competitors in 2008, saying she "had a tougher job throughout that primary than I did."
"She had to do everything that I had to do, except, like Ginger Rogers, backwards in heels," he said. "She had to wake up earlier than I did because she had to get her hair done. She had to, you know, handle all the expectations that were placed on her."It's a line he ad-libbed again during his address at the Democratic National Convention, at which Clinton got her historic nomination.
Have I mentioned a million times yet that I really, really like late second-term Obama? And how much I regret that we often only get to see the true depth of our politicians' decency (those who are decent, anyway) once they no longer have to worry about getting reelected...?