In comments first flagged by PJ Media which got wider exposure after ending up as the Drudge Report banner, former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader said Hillary Clinton’s hawkish foreign policy comes from her trying to “overcompensate” for being a woman, adding she should return to the “tradition of women of peace”:
This is the problem of women trying to overcompensate in becoming more aggressive and macho so they are not accused of being soft on the need to kill and war, right? Instead of taking the tradition of women of peace, and turning into a muscular waging of peace of conflict and prevention, she [Clinton] did the reverse, and [Madeline] Albright did the reverse and Anne Marie Slaughter did the reverse and some of Obama’s advisers did the reverse.
So to summarize, an old white male not only accuses Clinton of taking a certain position because of her gender, but he laments that she doesn’t take a more “traditional” position in line with her gender. It was a blatantly gendered attack on a candidate well-poised to be the nation’s first ever woman president. This was a story ready-made for outlets and bloggers that thrive on outrage and microaggressions. (RELATED: TIME Jokingly Suggests Banning Word ‘Feminist,’ Feminists Go Ballistic)
And the reaction from feminists? Crickets.
No article on Jezebel. None on Wonkette or Salon. Amanda Marcotte, Roxanne Gay and Jessica Valenti were silent. Even more broadly liberal outlets like Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo and Think Progress didn’t have anything to say. A Google News search shows that the outlets covering the remarks are nearly all libertarian or conservative.
What gives? It’s not as though liberal outlets suddenly decided to take a calm and collected stance towards perceived grievances. Take, for example, today’s liberal freak-out over the extremely, extremely tame Caitlyn Jenner joke Clint Eastwood made during an awards ceremony. (RELATED: Spike TV Will Censor Clint Eastwood’s Caitlyn Jenner Joke During Awards Show)
And it’s not as though Nader’s too low-profile to skewer. Just ask Wonkette, who has a piece today attacking Republican Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert. You know, that guy?
Simply imagine if a conservative politician with similar levels of prominence (say, Ron Paul) had made a sexist remark along the lines of Nader’s. Does anyone doubt that every single one of these outlets would have long, detailed explainers on why and how the remarks were sexist, why they reflect poorly on all conservatives and Republicans, and why every self-respecting woman must support Hillary Clinton in protest? Does anyone doubt the video would be played at the top of each hour on CNN and MSNBC?
But when a liberal politician who got 2 million Americans to support his bid for the presidency attacks Clinton, the response is muted. One gets used to the longstanding double standard where ugly and sexist attacks towards conservative women are laughed off or explained away. But apparently, that double standard even extends to liberal darlings who are being attacked for not being liberal enough.
It’s an embarrassment, for liberal feminists and the women the claim to represent alike. But the real embarrassment comes later, when mainstream media outlets treat these outlets as nonpartisan observers the next time they invent ginned-up charges against a prominent Republican.