New York: A new book about the 2008 campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin has opined that both were targets of overt sexism-related attacks and got a raw deal, which led to their respective losses to Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
The book is titled 'Big Girls Don't Cry', which has been authored by Rebecca Traister and published by Simon and Schuster, a division of CBS.
Commenting on Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Traister says: “Well, there was an enormous amount of sexism, some very overt -- the Hillary 'nutcrackers', the 'iron my shirt' bumper stickers that used the 'b' word and worse about her. That stuff was very overt, and there was the more subtle stuff -- the obsession with her voice and her tone and her laugh and what she was wearing -- that was all really tied to the fact that she was a woman. And that was the stuff that we needed to talk about a little bit more in order to recognise it as sexism.”
She also says that former Alaska governor Sarah Palin experienced much of the same, but “from different angles”.
“One of the things that became apparent through what was sexism and racism that we heard through the campaign is that these things are really connected, and that when you talk about people who have been shut out of power, people who have never had access to presidential power or really even to serious presidential campaigns before, you're talking about different kinds of oppressions that have been connected, and in fact we saw them during 2008 uprooted together a little bit,” claims Traister.
When asked whether America learned something from the 2008 campaign, and whether women better off today, are they doing better today because of what Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin went through?, Traister said: “I wouldn't suggest that things are fixed and that misogyny and sexism are gone any more than the racism is gone when we talk about Obama sometimes.”
“But what I would suggest is that the fact that we are having these conversations and that we have vocabulary and heightened awareness about the sexism, about the prejudices, that we're talking about with these candidates means that we're moving toward a better place, where we can we talk openly about some of the unfairness the candidates face.”
First Published: Monday, September 27, 2010, 13:48