Don’t show emotions if you are a woman politician

The Daily Show uses the absurd fuss over the news of the future birth of Hillary Clinton’s grandchild to examine how differently the media scrutinize male and female politicians. Although the clips are funny, it is not really a laughing matter. Talking of laughing matters, do people recall the time when she was running for president in 2007 and there was a period of intense focus on the way she laughed and whether it was an unbecoming cackle? It was ludicrous.

The Daily Show
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(These clips aired on April 22, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)


  1. chrisj says

    Of course, a woman who doesn’t show emotions is likely to be attacked by those same groups as “cold”, “unfeeling”, “unfeminine”, and so on. As so often, women aren’t actually allowed to win, just to choose which attacks they want to face.

  2. Schlumbumbi says

    Does anyone remember her shedding crocodile tears when she complained how hard it was “for a woman” to campaign against Obama ? That was the exact moment when she demonstrated herself to be unfit for office, and her ratings, with men and women alike, started plummeting.

  3. Mano Singham says


    That may be a little harsh. Surely many (if not most or even all) successful politicians fake emotions they don’t feel and we don’t usually suggest that this makes them unfit for office. The real test for them is whether they do so convincingly and at appropriate times.

  4. says

    I’m always glad when you post the best bits of the Daily Show because I don’t have cable and I don’t really enjoy watching whole episodes online. These two videos made me want to cry-clap. Up until I got my most recent job, I had worked primarily with men, in most of my jobs and I’ve always felt like my emotions were judged to a completely different standard than men’s. They didn’t seem to see themselves or their colleagues as emotional when they would kick or throw things in frustration or scream or bully other people when they didn’t agree.

    I’ll grant that everyone has bad days and can feel overwhelmed but I always knew that crying, or shouting or otherwise overtly showing strong negative emotion would hamper my ability to be taken seriously, while the men I worked with were unencumbered by this concern.


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