Is this magazine cover misogynistic?

…of course not. I’m not sure how you can get “woman hating” out of something like this. Jill thinks it is.

There is a danger here. Much like the danger in every criticism of Obama being characterized as racist (some are, some aren’t). We risk diluting the term and numbing ourselves to real racism and misogyny. Hillary Clinton is a political figure. A polarizing one at that. Poking at her is fair game. All of the bubbles mention things that relate to her campaign:

“Caucuses are elitist!”

“You’ll take away this nomination from my cold dead hands!”

“If you exclude states that start with a vowel, Americans
abroad, and former members of the Confederacy, then multiply my results by pi…”

“How do you say “Judas” in Spanish?”

Now. If the bubbles had said things like “I belong barefoot and pregnant” or “Don’t mind me I’m on the rag”, THAT could be construed as misogyny. The above are all fair political barbs. Nothing more.

I know Jill takes the BlogHER approach and is sensitive to women’s issues. I think her characterization of this magazine cover does more harm than good to a cause she’d like to think she is working for. It’s like shouting fire in the feminist movie theater when there isn’t even smoke.

I’m left wondering. Is every lampooned image of a male candidate anti-male? Or just anti-candidate? Where is the line? And why hasn’t Jill been up in arms over images of Obama with Dumbo ears? Is there a pattern here?

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  • It certainly is a bad picture of Hillary.

    But I think it’s kind of a stretch to accuse the New Republic – a pretty liberal magazine – of Misogyny for printing it on the cover.

    Or maybe I’m missing something here.

  • bonobo

    I think, and I could be wrong here, that the combination of the photo, the title with “voices in her head” and the subtitle containing
    “psychodrama” give the impression of a person who is irrational, perhaps “hysterical.”
    That’s a hot-button for many women. I think that you’re right, “misogyny” is probably too strong a term, but an argument for “gender-baiting” could be made.

    Obama’s name and racial background have certainly elicited more of this type of crap than Hillary’s gender, but that doesn’t excuse anybody. And stereotypes don’t necessarily get used by people because they have ill-will toward a group, they get used in place of actually putting effort into thinking. That doesn’t excuse anybody (myself included) either.

  • I am having a hard time understanding why you don’t get it, but as I wrote in a comment at my blog, the cover lacks journalistic integrity: it has zero to do with the article and everything to do with money. That is what I object to. Everything else just gives me more wrinkles.

  • Oh and on the BlogHer thing – what is with you guys? There are more than 7 million of them – trust me – they don’t want to have people putting me on the face of BlogHer. I strongly advise against such labeling and stereotyping – you know me well enough, Eric. I can only think you’re trying to give me wrinkles too! 🙂

  • @3: don’t get what? that the cover IS misogynistic? i’m equally having a hard time understanding why you DO!

    if you object to just the journalistic integrity of the cover, then why not title the post “The New Republic Lacks Journalistic Integrity: Hillary Cover”?

    instead you chose misogyny and now want to back away from it? not happening sister. step up and defend your position.

    “BlogHer” reference was just me pointing out you might be more sensitive to the cover because of your female blogginess. note dig, really. unless you want it to me. 😉

    so what about the substance of my post? do posts like yours water down and cry wolf on important issues like sexism and misogyny?

  • What backing away, Eric? Hello?
    It IS misogynistic and it DOES lack journalistic integrity. You get the same Media Matters talking points in the inbox that I do, but neither of us needs them to know that that cover is only to slander and sell. And it’s wrong, Eric. Just plain wrong. That you laughed or even if I’d laughed doesn’t make it right.

    I’m not more sensitive because I’m a woman – I’m human, period. And humans’ sensitivity ranges, obviously. I’ve expressed mine. I stand by it.

    Sheesh – what is the problem with that? People seem to have a real problem today with expression on blogs. Sigh.

    So you asked, “do posts like yours water down and cry wolf on important issues like sexism and misogyny?”

    Of course not. That’s absurd. But that doesn’t mean that you and the John Ettorres of the world don’t think otherwise.

    I’m not going to “save” my anger or outrage or reactions only for the things I “really” want people to notice. Blech.

    You think I’m overly sensitive? Whatever.

    Every abuse should be noted and TNR is being abusive with that cover.

    If you want to get more into why every abuse should be noted (why I believe that), I’m happy to do that, Eric. But I’m not doing it if you are hear to joust back with stale stuff about “stepping up.” This shit is serious to me and I’m happy to give analogies. But not if it’s a waste of time from the get-go.

  • That’s the old pepper. THAT’S the old pepper! NOW we are getting somewhere. What misogyny is implicit in a poor photo of Hillary? Every single quote is based on actual campaign activity and is in no way an attack on Hillary simply for being a woman, which is what your claim of misogyny seems to be saying it is.

    My original claim of you backing off was in response to seeing only “journalistic” arguments being made by you. Glad to see you owning your post title. You go girl!

    My stepping up stuff was not stale at all. You needed to do so – glad you did.

    I continue to feel you are making the cover out to be more than it is. I can see a claim of some journalistic sensationalistic standards breach. I can even see a claim of unfair lampooning and anti-Hillary bias. Misogyny? Again, this is crying wolf and it does more harm than good.

    Would a poor picture of Obama highlighting his big ears be racist? Of course not. This cover, likewise, is not explicitly anti-woman. That’s absurd to claim.

    I love that you are sticking with your argument (the whole of which is contained in a blog post title until we drag it out of you i guess), but I must say I remain unconvinced.

  • It’s an unfortunate picture of Hillary. And, as the prospect.org post Jill linked to points out, there are way too many bad pictures of Hillary out there- while the pictures of Obama tend to be, well, presidential.

    There certainly does seem to be a bias on the part of the MSM (and bloggers as well) toward Obama- but I’m not sure it’s because Hillary is a women.

    One certainly could argue that the cover biased in that it is unrelated to the article’s content- which is about leadership changes and battles between members of HRC’s campaign staff and not, as the title suggests, about anything actually coming from Hillary directly.

    But I’m guessing the people doing the cover art didn’t actually read the article and just designed it around the article’s title.

  • Eric – I’m not shy, you know that. And if I’m going to back away, I’m going to say, I’m backing away.

    Of course I’m sticking with my “argument” but it’s not really even an argument to me. It’s, to me, fact. Joseph does a nice job of pinpointing the problem as it’s been pointed out before.

    Yes, man or woman, someone who has done and behaves the way Clinton has would be a good target for a lot of what has been thrown at her. However, the misogyny is on top of all that – the sexist remarks – everything that is connected to obvious and far less obvious sexism that exists at so many levels in our society.

    Okay – I’m going to try to explain why I believe every incident deserves to be noted, Eric. And I don’t know how you’re managing as a new dad third time around, but I can tell you, as a mom of three kids going through the damn OATs this week and next? I’m FRIED.

    So – here goes:

    You never know what is going to be the straw the breaks the camel’s back. Will it be what you see or what someone else sees just after you? Did ten people complain before you, or are you the first, to be followed by no one or everyone?

    It is about building, contributing to a critical mass of evidence, of incidents.

    I did not cry wolf – again, that is a talking point put down, Eric – you are far better than that. You will KNOW when I am “whining” or “crying.” That post is neither. The only folks who are being so sensitive are the ones all concerned about labeling an inappropriate cover for what it is – inappropriate.

    Tom Blumer used a phrase that angered me enormously – objectively outrageous. As though we all possess the same compass. We don’t – and not because any of us are better or worse than anyone else. But because of nature AND nurture. That’s just the way it is, IMO.

    So to say something is objectively outrageous can almost always be attacked – because not everyone gets outraged by the same things.

    And then some people get outraged by others. That is life – it’s always been this way.

    That cover angers me. It is wrong. I’m blogging about how it is wrong by drawing VERY VERY simple attention to it – with what has turned out to be a powerful title and links. And comments.

    And that’s as it should be.

    I have a shitload to say about Marc Dann’s office and need time to write what needs to be said.

    But so far – no one has had the courage to write it or say it – and I hope to end that.

    To me – that situation is objectively outrageous, and yet we know many many people do not see it that way – because it goes on in so, many, offices and work places.

    So – I’m rambling and blathering too much now – I need my wine. I mean my whine. 🙂

  • Aw dudes – I just left a long comment – are you moderating?

  • @10: spam filter catching you for some reason.

  • …and what did you mean by “dudes”. Are you labeling me?

  • Eric, you sir are a dude. I saw it in the dictionary – right next to “Zen Dude.”

  • Well- regardless of how we feel about the New Republic cover- at least we can all agree that Tom Blumer constantly says things that anger us enormously.

  • Modern Esquire

    Glad to see Eric finally admit that some Obama supporters have screamed the race card too many times when it was called for. Of course, it would be nice to see Eric actually publicly chide Obama supporters for using race card too many times (say like when Obama supporters claim racism whenever Obama does poorly in certain areas, even in areas he never campaigned in?)

    How can New Republic not be capable of engaging in misogyny because it’s a liberal magazine (the DLC’s Pravada is now liberal?), but Clinton is a racist for every attack or criticism of Obama?

    Even Russo characterizes the whole thing as Hillary as the nagging wife, and yet, somehow says that’s not misogynst because it plays to a “true stereotype.”

    On an unrelated note, belated congrats Eric on the baby. Thanks for the post on the environmentally friendly diaper post. Wish I had known about it nine months ago.

  • Modern, please don’t put words in my mouth. I did NOT say “some Obama supporters have screamed the race card too many times when it was (wasn’t?) called for”. What I DID say was that every criticism of Obama is not racist. Don’t respond to my post in a way that changes it’s meaning.

    What I think would be nice is if YOU would publicly hit the Clinton campaign for using GOP like fear mongering tactics to scare up votes. I don’t expect that’s forthcoming either. I’ll be glad to have you back on my team though. It’s saddened me so to have to bang on ME. Detente is, what? A few weeks away?

    As for me not chiding anyone, I think I DID comment on the charges of racism in the Ohio election in comments on Brian’s post about it and elsewhere. There was evidence of it. We disagree. No big. (assuming this is the incident you are speaking of).

    Assume you are responding to Joe (#1 above) on the liberal magazine comment.

    I don’t agree completely with Russo’s take and plan to comment accordingly a bit later.

    Thanks for the congrats! The g diapers are working out great. Now if we could only get the little guy to figure out day and night. 😉

  • Modern Esquire

    My son starting sleeping through the nights at three months. First, we thought there was something wrong. And at that age, we were so SIDS panicked, he slept fine, but I was up checking on him throughout the night.

    Eventually we realized what a blessing it was and how lucky we were. We thought about pressing our luck and striking while the iron was hot and have another child right away. Then we thought better than to press our luck.

  • SIDS is scary stuff. There was a healthy little boy who’s parents come get Starbucks at my wife’s store who died 2 months ago or so from SIDS. Very sad. My wife was especially torn up, because she played with that little boy (and his twin brother and older brother) every day. Scary, scary stuff.

    I will, unsurprisingly, come down on Eric’s side regarding the misogyny. I just don’t see it. I will gladly concede that my “filter” for inputs is quite different than Jill’s, and even that she’s got more “authenticity” when it comes to making claims of misogyny than I do… but I still can’t see it. I’m trying, I am, but it’s just not clicking for me.

    I will say this, tho – I can’t wait for this primary to be over so we can all get on the same end of the rope again and pull as a unit. I happen to feel Obama is better on a number of policy issues, but in reality the two candidates aren’t that far apart. Either would be miles better than McCain (and – to agree with Obama – I feel all three would be an improvement on Bush, but that’s not necessarily saying much). We shouldn’t lose sight of that.

  • Pingback: Glass City Jungle | The men say it’s not misogynistic…us women better listen…()

  • Pingback: Why calling out is rooting out: Clinton-New Republic & Obamas-New Yorker | Writes Like She Talks()

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