The Politics Of He Said, She Said: A Harsh Presidential Campaign Illuminates A Battle Of The Sexes Playing Out Across Media

By Meredith Blake
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Meredith Blake makes some very insightful remarks in this piece about the “gender” divide this election season. As Blake points out, “as Wonder Woman celebrates her 75th anniversary, the battle of the sexes is also playing out in pop culture.”

Los Angeles Times

Personalities may have overshadowed policy during this presidential campaign, but one issue has dominated virtually every news cycle:

He said, she said, he interrupted.

Whether she wins the White House or not, Hillary Clinton has already changed American discourse. If it has done nothing else, her historic campaign has illuminated the belittlement, condescension and hostility that women have endured for decades in workplaces across the country.

From the moment in the Democratic debates when Bernie Sanders snapped at Clinton, “Let me finish,” to the recent sight of Newt Gingrich accusing Megyn Kelly of being “fascinated with sex,” this campaign has been the embodiment of a growing awareness of the subtle, and not so subtle, sexism women face.

Documented in numerous studies and over countless commiserative glasses of post-work wine, such experiences have spawned at least three neologisms (“mansplain,” “manologue,” “manterruption”), an entire cottage industry around the empowerment of working women and even an app.

But this election put what once seemed anecdotal or academic starkly on display on television and in easily shareable YouTube clips. Along with post-debate fact-checking came an actual tally of how many more times Donald Trump interrupted Hillary Clinton than vice versa (51 versus 17, according to an analysis by the news website Vox).

These gendered confrontations have been replayed to the point of ubiquity, analyzed by the numbers and illustrated with snazzy graphics.

It is an issue that crosses political lines; even as memes circulated of Trump yelling “wrong” repeatedly while Clinton spoke during the debates, Republican analyst Ana Navarro shot to fame by refusing to be shushed when she quoted the exact wording of the now infamous “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump is heard making lewd remarks about women.

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