Watch Hillary Clinton Answer Four Decades of Sexist Questions

Watch Hillary Clinton Answer Four Decades of Sexist Questions
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has heard it all. In the 2016 presidential race alone, she's been called dishonest, unlikable and shrill. People have asked that she smile more and project her voice less, criticized her wardrobe choices and taken jabs at her appearance. 

But when you've been in politics for nearly 40 years, sexist comments like those are just the tip of the iceberg. On Wednesday, the National Memo posted a video on YouTube attempting to capture the breadth of the patriarchal BS Clinton has endured over the course of her career

The video begins with a 1979 interview, when Clinton was the first lady of Arkansas. In the clip, a male correspondent remarks, "One gets the impression that you're really not all that interested in state dinners and teas and garden parties." In a 1992 clip, Clinton is asked whether she believes a first lady can be "both popular and opinionated." 

In subsequent interviews — during her time as first lady, senator, secretary of state and eventually 2016 presidential candidate — she's probed with questions about trustworthiness, "strong opinions" and what it's like being a "powerful woman."

Source: YouTube

Though some argue that their criticisms of Clinton aren't related to her gender, a recent study has shown that not everyone who claims they're ready for a female president have cleansed themselves of hidden sexist beliefs.

"Because the generic female candidate is presumed more honest than the generic male candidate, voters judge a female candidate more harshly if she appears to violate the expectation of honesty," Macalester College political science professor Julie Dolan told the Washington Post in May

As a woman, Clinton faces many other impossible, and in many cases contradictory, standards. She must be objective and serious lest she be dismissed as "too emotional" for the presidency — yet at the same time she's derided for being cold and unlikable. As first lady she was asked to be nurturing and domestic, to bake cookies and pick out table cloths only to be slammed for reminding people of a nagging wife, punished for the very role she was asked to assume.

Clinton says in a 1992 interview shown at the end of the video, "You know, I suppose I could've stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession, which I pursued before my husband was in public life."

Read more:
Hillary Clinton's Women Supporters Reflect on What Her Historic Nomination Means to Them
• Eye-Rolling: The Secret Language of Women
Samantha Bee Explains the Reason Hillary Clinton Must Win: She Isn't Donald Trump

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Marie Solis

Marie is a staff writer with a focus in feminist issues. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

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