onsdag 26. august 2015

Cracking the Glass Ceiling: Om Hillary Clinton, kjønnsdynamikk og amerikanske presidentvalg

Forrige fredag holdt jeg et seminar på PRIO her i Oslo om Hillary Clinton, "gender" og amerikanske presidentvalg. Det var skikkelig moro, med stort oppmøte og veldig mange engasjerte spørsmål fra salen. PRIO ba meg deretter oppsummerer presentasjonen min i et blogginnlegg, og det har jeg gjort her.

Første del lyder således:

In a now legendary 2008 Saturday Night Live skit, comedians Amy Poehler and Tina Fey opened the show by imitating Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and unsuccessful Democratic contender for the nomination Hillary Clinton, respectively. The skit could have been a harmless imitation game, with Fey and Poehler simply doing their brilliant impressions of each candidate’s personalities. Instead, it was an extended comment by two female comedians on what they saw as the unacceptable sexism in the 2008 campaign. As Fey wrote in her memoirs Bossypants:

This sketch easily could have been a dumb catfight between two female candidates. What Seth [Meyers] and Amy [Poehler] wrote, however, was two women speaking out together against sexism in the campaign.... you all watched a sketch about feminism and you didn’t even realize it because of all the jokes. [...] Suckers! (2012: 216-17)

That the 2008 presidential cycle was “rife with overt [gender] bias,” as political scientist Jennifer Lawless has written should not be a controversial claim. (2009: 71) If you think it is, then I invite you to have a look at this rather shocking compilation of TV clips that the Women’s Media Center made in 2008. The compilation shows established TV news anchors focusing on Hillary Clinton’s clothes, hair and style rather than on her position on the issues.

[1] Which is incorrect, as there have been several women that have run for the presidency. Clinton’s candidacy was seen as historic, however, because of its perceived viability relative to her predecessors’.  (Blakemore, 2015)

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