women

Kamala Harris: The sexist history of calling women ‘unlikable’

To historians who study women in politics, it was obvious.

“Likability among male politicians is pretty exclusive,” said Claire Bond Potter, a professor of history at the New School and the author of a book on political engagement. “This is part of a bigger problem that women have — a permanent outsider status in politics. They are always in the process of gaining entry.”

One of the ways to deny women entry is to deny anyone would want to be around them in the first place. The suffragists felt this wrath. So did Hillary Clinton. And now Harris is, too.

The code words are everywhere.

“One of the things that a man has to do to become likable is to be perceived as the kind of guy you want to have a beer with,” Potter said, referring to a phrase that was often used to describe Bill Clinton, George W.

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women

In Pence’s VP debate interruptions of Harris, women see sexist norms

Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate didn’t descend into the widely panned chaos of the first presidential debate, which featured Donald Trump repeatedly interrupting his Democratic challenger Joe Biden and the moderator. But the one and only meeting of California Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence did rub some people the wrong way.

Specifically, women.

The former Indiana governor, some women said after watching the pair face off, came across as patronizing toward both Harris and moderator Susan Page of USA Today. Pence repeatedly interrupted Harris, and routinely ignored Page’s attempts to cut him off when he spoke past the debate’s agreed-upon time limits.

“He is condescending to women,” said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a longtime political analyst in the Golden State. “I resented the fact that that he hardly ever acknowledged Susan Page until he was finished saying what he wanted to say, regardless of the timing.”

Former Missouri

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