Style & Substance, Gender & Politics (Clinton)


I’m in a bind. On the one hand, I’ve got to quit it with this avid cheerleading for the candidate, which is turning me into a veritable fanboy. On the other hand, to not say something seems like the worst kind of anti-feminist capitulation and complicity. I had an argument with a friend who complained that Clinton can’t communicate like Bernie, Obama, or even like Bill Clinton. But if Bill is a negative foil with which a Sanders’ supporter wants to compare Hillary, then part of the problem is not substance but style, particularly in relation to gender. There’s an article from the NYT about this which you can read here. Clinton is corrigible. Is that what’s held against her? She won’t be able to project charisma and authority “like a man.” She’ll have to figure it out and be herself. And we have to figure out what we’re going to listen for. What is a woman supposed to sound like at the center of the political arena? About both style and substance, there will be plenty of time for criticism later.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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1 Response to Style & Substance, Gender & Politics (Clinton)

  1. milx says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that among a certain kind of man who defines his masculinity as a kind of uncompromising ethical warrior we find lots of sexism about the threat a woman president poses to their alternative conception of patriarchy wrapped in the language of moral outrage.

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