Are female politicians "divisive" or victims of sexism? | The Tylt

Are female politicians "divisive" or victims of sexism?

As the 116th Congress changes the gender landscape of the U.S. Capitol, and a crop of female politicians begin to announce their plans to take on the president in the 2020 elections, questions of female politicians' "likability" are once again rising to the forefront. Elizabeth Warren has faced unflattering comparisons to Hillary Clinton. Rashida Tlaib was taken to task for her language. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was booed on the House floor. Some people argue these criticisms are just coded sexism. What do you think?

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Are female politicians "divisive" or victims of sexism?
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Are female politicians "divisive" or victims of sexism?
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A Politico article published shortly after Warren began pushing to the front of the 2020 crop of presidential candidates has sparked outrage among pundits. The article, framed around the idea that Warren could face similar issues Hillary Clinton faced in 2016, contained quotes from many close to Warren claiming the criticism she's faced has been based predominantly around her gender. 

“All of us are just scratching our heads over why this is happening. She has a great operation, she’s very smart about it all,” added Warren’s biographer, Antonia Felix. “She’s not just a viable candidate, she’s someone who can actually win. It’s like they’re throwing cold water on that.”
Others see sexism in the barrage of Warren criticism and alleged parallels to Clinton. If there’s a public perception that’s personally rankled Warren, it’s the depiction that she’s cold, according to one of her former advisers.
“They say that about women — anybody who runs for president. As you go up the political ladder and go up in the polls, you will get that criticism,” said Mary Anne Marsh, a Boston-based Democratic strategist. “First it was Hillary Clinton. Then it was Nancy Pelosi. Now it’s Elizabeth Warren. Who knows who is behind her.”
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A satirical response came out in McSweeney's shortly after, pointing out the hypocrisy of many people's opinions on female politicians. 

Another thing about Elizabeth Warren: She claims she advocates for the poor, yet she isn’t a poor herself. She lives in a fancy house with her fancy Harvard salary. I’m no fan of Trump, but that Elizabeth Warren is such a phony. That’s a thought, and thoughts are true, and I will never examine how that thought got into my head.
I mean, think about it for a moment. If Elizabeth Warren were so great, why would Robert Mercer be funding a super PAC whose sole purpose was to portray her as an out-of touch hypocrite? If she were a truly good leader, why would so many people like me dislike her?
I always tell my daughters they can be anything they want, so long as they don’t make other people feel uncomfortable. They can be as ambitious as they want, so long as they do it in an acceptable manner. They can reach for the stars, which you can see right up there on the ceiling painted to resemble a sky.
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Others though, like Karol Markowicz at The New York Post, say there is nothing gendered about talking about a candidate's likability. 

With her foot-stomping about how likable she is, Warren merely exposed the modern use of identity to protect certain people from criticism. Fact is, Warren comes off as stern, abrasive and unfriendly.
But we can’t point out the obvious, because she’s a woman. She can deflect any and all criticism by playing the sexism card.
Meanwhile, the hundreds of articles about how Ted Cruz has a “punchable” or “slappable” face went mostly unanswered during the 2016 election. Instead, mainstream journalists had a lot of fun pinpointing what exactly is so offensive about his face.
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Ashton Pittman at NBC News points out that Elizabeth Warren, specifically, has gone from incredibly popular and well-loved to divisive and unlikable in the eyes of the media over the span of two short years. 

So what’s going on here? Has Warren become incredibly unlikable over the past two years? Or is this change more an indication of her growing power. High-achieving women, sociologist Marianne Cooper wrote in a 2013 Harvard Business Review article, are judged differently than men because “their very success — and specifically the behaviors that created that success — violates our expectations about how women are supposed to behave.” When women act competitively or assertively rather than warm and nurturing, Cooper writes, they “elicit pushback from others for being insufficiently feminine and too masculine.” As a society, she says, “we are deeply uncomfortable with powerful women. In fact, we don’t often really like them.”
In other words, Warren’s expressed desire to potentially become America’s most powerful politician has changed the calculus. After all, Hillary Clinton was a popular secretary of state; Warren is a popular senator.
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Pundits, even in Warren's home state, worry she doesn't have the ability to bring the nation together around her candidacy. Per NBC News:

It's that she's "too divisive," an argument put forward by her hometown newspaper, The Boston Globe, in a widely discussed editorial last week urging her not to run for president. It sparked both public rebukes of the paper and some private nods of agreement from Democrats as they begin to consider in earnest what kind of person their party should put up against Trump in 2020: a fighter, a friendly face or some combination of both?
"Democrats will be looking for someone who can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee," said Matt Sinovic, the executive director of Progress Iowa. "The nominee will have to point out Trump's many (many) failures and lies in a compelling way, fire up the base — all while reaching persuadable voters as well."
FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Are female politicians "divisive" or victims of sexism?
A festive crown for the winner
#DivisivePoliticians
#AllAboutSexism