Posted by: katieschu | September 13, 2012

Sexism in the 2008 election

Sexism in the 2008 election

I remember watching this video a few years ago.  This is a segment of “He Said, She Said” that was shown on the O’Reilly factor in 2008, around the time of the Democratic primaries.  Margaret Hoover, a Republican strategist, and Marc Rudov, an author were brought on the show to discuss the downside to having a female president (Hillary Clinton).  Rudov answers the question with, “you mean besides the PMS and the mood swings, right?”  Next, he admits that he was joking and says that he could support a female in office as long as she doesn’t have a “female agenda,”  which he says is obvious from Clinton.  I thought it was incredible to see this man, Marc Rudov, talk so easily about his close-minded views on national television. 


I hope you all enjoy the clip, especially if you haven’t seen it yet!


  1. This clip brings up the complex issue of social identities and leadership. Social identities are shared identities, thus allowing people to feel a sense of connectedness and belonging. People run the risk of favoring those with whom they can identify and alienating those who do not share a social identity strongly identified with. Clearly, social identities can be a source of connection, but they also can be divisive. All leaders have multiple social identities, but political leaders in particular strategically use social identities to purposefully connect with voters for support – drawing in some and pushing away others in the process. Some leaders choose to play up their social identities and others shy away from associating their social identities with the leadership roles (e.g., in class we talked about Marissa Mayer, new CEO of Yahoo!, who simply refers to herself as a ‘geek’ rather than a ‘woman’ when discussing her success and challenges in the field). In terms of the current election, the social identity of race is still salient but seemingly less so than in 2008. The “new” identities of focus are socioeconomic status and religion – distinguishing the two candidates. SES has been discussed extensively, given Romney’s remarks over the past months, but religion has not yet played as prominent a role as one may have thought. The SES identity is playing a key part in how each candidate is trying to connect with voters.

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