A Woman in the Race…

While scrolling through Yahoo’s coverage of last nights debate, I came across an interesting tweet. Now, I don’t personally use Twitter or have an account, but I had to click on this particular tweet from @DCHomos (what a name).

Obviously, having the first woman president would be groundbreaking, but I think focusing on sex of the candidates in the way that this twitter account, as well as many other people are, is changing the race.

To bring this back to our course, I will use the cultural theory of anthropology. Anthropology says gender isn’t absolute, nor is it a universal concept. So, what is considered masculine or feminine in our culture, may be dramatically different or even opposite of another culture. Traditionally, our culture views the job of President of the United States of America as a masculine position. So how would our ideas change if Hillary Clinton were to win the race? Would that make Hillary masculine, or would that make the job more feminine?

Something to think about…

7 thoughts on “A Woman in the Race…

  1. I think you pose a good question for us to respond to. Within chapter 7, we were discussing the different forms of masculinity and femininity. There are certain guidelines you are expected to follow as being feminine or masculine. A a result of Hilary running for president, it shows the world that running for office is not just for men but women. I can understand how some may consider the role of President to be masculine. That is because all there has ever been is a man in office and not a women. I don’t think our ideas would change if Hilary were to win the presidency, it would only further the growth of women empowerment and show that women are reaching a higher status and level of respect in today’s society. Within chapter 7, it states that women have a tendency to “be superwomen.” We want to do it all and achieve just as much that is expected of us to do. I believe that if Hilary wins, it would make her job neither masculine or feminine. By her winning office she will be erasing the label and making new labels. I say that because no one will consider the role of president a masculine thing anymore. Also just because she is a female does not mean she will we act in feminine ways all the time because she will have to represent herself in a independent way that doesn’t distinguish herself as be feminine but the President of the United States.

  2. I think this is an extremely interesting topic to explore. I have noticed that Hilary is often criticized for her appearance i.e. what she wears, her hair styles, even her make-up choices. There was even a recent SNL skit (linked at the bottom) that implied she changed her appearance since the last election in order to fit the image that people believe she should have. They joked how she has lost the pant suits and grew her hair out. That skit made me think, did she make those choices because she simply wanted to evolve her style or was she working to gain society’s approval by dropping some of her “masculine” qualities? Although the position of president is associated in our country with being a more masculine position people were not okay with a masculine female taking on the role. I found this as society almost having conflicting views, they want someone masculine to fill the position but then when a woman that ifs fighting for the position has more masculine qualities they reject her. It is something I do not quite understand but it sounds like society as a whole might not be too sure about it either.


  3. I think you’re post was very interesting. It is a puzzling question that makes you think Would Hilary Clinton becoming president make her more masculine or make the job more feminine? The class we are in being gender I found it interesting that you connected feminism to Anthropology. I think it would be very interesting to look up what is considered masculine and feminine in other cultures.

  4. I really enjoyed reading this post. I think your question on whether the seat of President will become neutered, or if Hillary Clinton will be come masculine brings up a fascinating point. Is the President’s Office completely free of gendered norms (obviously not, considering it has been male dominated for its entirety)? I find it interesting that nearly everything in human society, including gender and the office of the president, are social constructs. So how is a position of power (a social construct) limited by other things such as gender (another social construct)? Positions of power are being “infiltrated” by females quite a lot these days, as mentioned in the previous comment. With any luck, and a lot of open-minded individuals, a female leader can become a common place rather than an outlier.

  5. Hi Sarah! I too have wondered what would happen if Hillary Clinton were elected president, in regards to our culture’s masculine association with the position. It’s interesting how in other countries around the world women are often highly-respected leaders. Yet, for whatever reason our culture has believed women are not strong enough to be president of the United States because many believe women are too emotional or that it is simply a ‘man’s job’. To fight this ridiculous gender association our culture created, Pantene created an advertisement to fight labels against women in the workforce. In the video is a man and a woman who are both leaders (possibly CEO’s) of their workplace. For the man, words like “boss”, “persuasive”, and “dedicated” because our culture tends to believe men are supposed to work hard therefore their leadership and discipline is encouraged. On the other hand, the woman who is doing exactly what the man is doing is followed by words like “bossy”, “pushy”, and “selfish” because women are typically not encouraged to be leaders in our society like men are. If Hillary were elected president, I believe she would deal with this battle of labels of women in the workforce on a daily basis. It’s unfortunate, but with advertisements raising awareness on this issue like Pantene’s, there is hopes for a brighter future for women leaders in the workforce.


  6. I like how you connected it to the cultural theory Anthropology. I think looking at other countries, such as Germany and Denmark, that have female leaders lends support to this theory. If I’m thinking correctly, about 20 (give or take) countries have female leaders right now, and many of those countries, like those stated previously, are successful. I think a lot of people already make comments poking fun at Hillary for being “masculine” (examples at the bottom), which shows that our society thinks that a woman in leadership roles comes off as “manly”. I always hear the argument (mainly from men) that a female president would be too emotional, and wouldn’t be able to handle running a nation because of that. I think Hillary shows that that is not the case. Though I do not necessarily support Hillary, I believe that she is an important figure in the 2016 election, showing that the job of President isn’t masculine or feminine.


    • I find this to be a very interesting concept. I believe that if we were to see an actual female President then the way that we as a collective society see “gender roles” may shift rather drastically. This could be heavily attributed to the fact that very social “norm” that has come in existence was once socially constructed by someone as some point in time, so with that in mind we could very well be on the verge of constructing new “norms” and new “standards”, as we continue to surge into 2016.

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