I was hanging out at my guy friends' apartment the night of Super Tuesday 2 when one of them jokingly made a negative comment about Hillary Clinton's wardrobe choice.
Without realizing what was happening, I was on a rant about how wrong it is so much importance is placed on women's appearances instead of professional attributes and, of course, Clinton isn't adventurous in wardrobe since she is a woman who has been under national scrutiny for 25 years and did you know the one time she dared wear a slightly lower neckline to the Senate the Washington Post literally wrote a full article about it?
It is exhausting being a woman interested in politics. Aside from troll-y comments like my friend's, people tend to say condescending, patronizing and, frankly, dumb things.
I mean, this happens to every woman every day, but it is especially difficult to hear in the political sphere, where men continue to dominate and relentlessly attempt to take away women's right to make our own life decisions.
And it is definitely worse for female politicians who have to face ridiculous sexist bullsh*t on all sides, as the Clinton campaign is showing this year. Whether you support Clinton or not, it's still rough to watch sexist attacks made on her, and you still have to face gendered scrutiny and presumptions about your voting decision.
With all of this, there are many things women who are into politics are tired of hearing. Here's a sampling.
1. "So you love Hillary, right?"
Of course. Everyone knows if you have a uterus you automatically love literally anybody else with a uterus.
2. "Oh wow, you really know a lot about foreign policy!"
I know, right! It's, like, so weird to find a girl who actually knows stuff besides how to take a selfie!
3. "Wouldn't it be wrong for you to vote for the old white guy over the woman?"
I dunno, I can't find anything about "not voting for the girl" in the Official Woman Handbook.
4. "Yeah, see, how Dodd-Frank works is that..."
Oh my God, thank you so much for explaining the topic that I just explained but using different words. I understand it so much better hearing it from your authority.
5. "You only like her because she's a woman."
Believe it or not, when I step into a voting booth my vagina does not press the button to cast my vote.
6. "But you don't look like a feminist."
Please stop looking at my boobs to confirm I'm wearing a bra.
7. "Did you learn that in women's studies?"
Actually I learned it in economics, but would that have made the fact any less factual?
8. "Actually, Bernie is at a disadvantage because he's a man."
Please, tell me more about that.
9. "Listen, it has nothing to do with the fact that she's a woman, but I can't stand the sound of Hillary's voice."
Totally, totally, totally. I'm sure there are other reasons you can't stand to hear a powerful woman besides the threat to your historical power.
10. "No offense, but--"
-- Imma stop you right there.
11. "It's not that I don't want a female president, it's just that I think we should be looking at real qualifications."
You're so right. Serving as senator and secretary of state definitely don't count as real qualifications*.
(*Unless you're a man.)
12. "Can you really say women's health is more important than the economy?"
Yup. Next question.
13. "Have you had an abortion?"
It's perfectly reasonable for you, casual acquaintance, to ask me a personal health question like that.
14. "How will PMS jeopardize national security?"
You are currently jeopardizing your own security.