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Lena Dunham: Media use “gendered” language about Hillary–uh, isn’t Hillary a woman?

September 25, 2015

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Hillary with Lena: If only voters actually used the word “likable” to describe Hillary

Politico reports:

“Clinton will discuss campaign issues that resonate with Dunham’s target audience, like student debt and women’s health. In the clip, Dunham, dressed in a checkered jumper, sits across from Clinton in a folding chair and asks: ‘Do you consider yourself a feminist?”

“’Yes,’ Clinton responds. ‘Absolutely. I’m always a little bit puzzled when any woman of whatever age, but particularly a young woman, says something like, “well, I believe in equal rights but I’m not a feminist.” Well, a feminist is by definition someone who believes in equal rights. I’m hoping that people will not be afraid to say, that doesn’t mean you hate men, it doesn’t you want to separate out the world, so you’re not a part of ordinary life — that’s not what it means at all! It just means that we believe that women have the same rights as men.’

“Clinton’s message fits in with her efforts to make gender central to her campaign, framing women’s issues like equal pay, childcare, and paid sick leave, as major economic issues.

“After teasing an excerpt of her upcoming interview with Hillary Clinton — in which the Democratic frontrunner says she is ‘absolutely’ a feminist — Girls creator and star Lena Dunham called into CNN Thursday afternoon to share some more details of their conversation and her feelings about the candidate.

“’Really what we wanted was just to present Hillary — outside of being just a presidential candidate — as a feminist role model, as someone who represents so much of what is interesting and challenging and unique about being a woman in America at this time,’ Dunham told CNN’s Kate Bolduan. ‘And I do think we expect really different things, in terms of likability from our female candidates, than we do from our male candidates.’

“When people use terms like ‘warm’ and ‘likable’ and ‘relatable’ in relation to Clinton’s campaign, Dunham said those are ‘frustrating terms’ to her because ‘they seem really gendered.’”

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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One Comment
  1. Lastango permalink

    “…‘warm’ and ‘likable’ and ‘relatable’ in relation to Clinton’s campaign” — said nobody ever.

    As usual, Clinton’s “conversations” are pre-scripted, down to the wry smiles and empathetic head tilts. As such, these exercises in theater can only be conducted together with complicit political operatives. It ain’t easy being a thuggy little grifter.

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