Lena Dunham, creator of popular TV series “Girls,” has spoken out against mainstream media coverage of Hillary Clinton and provided a list of the “sexist” words she would like reporters to stop using.
Dunham calls for “a reevaluation of the way male and female candidates are talked about,” according to Celebrity Cafe.
Death And Taxes Mag has already spoken out agreeing with Dunham, but their agreement has a twist to it. The mag argues that criticizing Hillary for being a woman plays right into the Democratic candidate’s hands and works to her advantage by distracting people from the aspects of her campaign and character that are truly “horrible.”
“It’s never okay for the media to cover a big money establishment candidate in so sexist a manner that it distracts from the things about her that are actually horrible.”
These “actually horrible” things include Hillary’s support for use of excessive US military force, the economic austerity stance that would decrease living standards of working class Americans even more following the recent recession, and Hillary’s cynical, empty, and opportunistic political maneuvering, according to the report. There is even speculation that Hillary “would love” to move the debate to the issue of sexism, where she is in easily defendable territory.
Attacking Hillary Clinton for being a woman is like attacking Henry Kissinger for being a Jew. She’d love for you to move the battle to such irrelevant and defendable territory.
Asked about income inequality, Hillary pivots to sexism & racism; Sanders asked about anything, pivots to income inequality #DemTownHall
— Anthony Zurcher (@awzurcher) January 26, 2016
Observers of the Democratic Town Hall have indeed noted a pattern of Hillary changing the topic to either racism or sexism when she is asked about income inequality. Is the Wall Street-backed Democrat, who has close ties to the major US financial institutions Sanders seeks to break up, eager to avoid answering questions about her “complicated romance with Wall Street?”
— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) January 26, 2016
In a piece about sexism on the left in Blue Nation Review a former Hillary staffer agrees with Dunham’s view that Hillary is regularly the victim of gender-based attacks. The former staffer urges left-wing Americans to remember that “you don’t have to hate Hillary to love Bernie [Sanders].”
In all my years of online advocacy, nothing has matched the unhinged attacks generated by my unabashed support for Hillary Clinton, someone I admire tremendously and for whom I’ve worked as an adviser.
— Sherri (@SherriPizza) January 23, 2016
For her part, Lena Dunham has provided a list of words she believes the media should not be allowed to use when describing a female candidate:
Shrill, inaccessible, frumpy, difficult, plastic.
“Shrill” is a word often used to criticize both men and women on the mainstream Left, and it is a favorite word of spiked columnist Brendan O’Neill. Debrief columnist Gemma Styles has spoken out against the word “frumpy,” arguing that it is a backwards word used to punish women who choose to cover up rather than be complicit in the mass-media’s obsession with examining women’s bodies and finding fault with them. “Inaccessible” and “difficult” are arguably both words used to shame women into conforming to traditionally feminine behavior; the implication of the critic who uses these words is that she should be more “accessible,” ie. reveal her emotions, smile more, and spill more about her private life, and that she should also be more “yielding” and “easygoing.” Neither of those qualities, some would argue, would stand a person in public life in particularly good stead. “Plastic” is another word used to shame a female in public life who retains some stoicism about her and does not conform to the Oprah Winfrey-ish trend of discussing your feelings, personal failings and inner life at length.
Dunham added that she believes a double standard is in play, and indeed, that the media does not seem to be “allowed” to talk about men in a similar way.
“If we were allowed to talk about male candidates like that, I’d have a f*****g field day.”
Is Lena Dunham right that coverage of Hillary Clinton has been sexist?
[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]