O’Donnell: Sexism and Clinton campaign


If anything has remained consistent during the 2016 election cycle, it is the undeniably problematic rhetoric and actions of Donald Trump. As the events unfold from the horrendous recording of Trump demeaning women, it is important to examine how this event, and its exposure, have once again brought forth blatantly sexist attacks on Hillary Clinton.

To be completely clear, Hillary Rodham Clinton is running for the U.S. presidency, not former President Bill Clinton. Many have seen and heard the recording in question, who then have equated the behaviors to Bill Clinton’s Oval Office escapades. Deterring from Hillary Clinton’s ability to lead this nation or not, based on the choices of her husband, is absolutely sexist.

Even at the beginning of the campaign trail, in 2015 during the primary races, Clinton has been continually evaluated in the constructs of a “Bill Clinton presidency.” Hillary Clinton not only is an individual of her own merit, who is separate from the entity that is Bill Clinton, but she and all women for that matter, should never be measured by the decisions of their husbands.

Hillary Clinton has walked with grace and dignity through a great deal of scandalous turmoil during her lifetime. Her political ability and capacity to lead and cultivate American laws are all attributes she must uphold, as should any politician. The political, social, and historical record of an individual is what must be taken into account when applicable to any position of tremendous power. When a woman, specifically one running for president of the United States, is continually held to a different caliber than those around her, the ingraining of sexist normalities seep into the mindsets of all who watch this treatment of women.

In response to Trump’s horrifying recorded conversation regarding the notion of what specifically he has done and likes to do with women, many Americans have dusted off Monica Lewinsky and other skeletons in the closet. Mandating that Hillary Clinton is not fit for the presidency, or attempting to deter and offset the bewilderment of the American people toward Trump, because of Bill Clinton’s relationships in the past, is problematic for one reason — it has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton, but it has become a “viable” criteria to demonize her compared to Trump.

Trump is the individual who joked about sexual assault, recalling the times when he attempted, or even succeeded, in sexually assaulting women. It is imperative, that Americans understand two simple facts when entering into the polling stations in under a month. First, Hillary Clinton is not Bill Clinton, and to argue otherwise would be an insult to her personhood, discrediting to the work she has done, and it would continue perpetuating the sexist notion that women are only as good as, or solely the reflection of, their husband. Second, it has come to a point where the releasing of this video recording and past actions have led to showcase a great deal of Trump. It is hypocritical, and fairly saddening, to hold Hillary Clinton to a different expectancy than Trump on temperament, effectiveness, and capability.

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