Hillary Clinton’s “Likable” comment is a swipe at how people talk about women leaders

Editorial / Opinion Piece / Blog Post

January 8, 2019

Hillary Clinton’s “Likable” comment is a swipe at how people talk about women leaders


By Mehreen Kasana,

More often than not, "likability" tests haunt women in politics more than their male colleagues. Most recently, pundits wondered aloud if Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who announced that she was exploring a 2020 presidential bid in late December, was "likable" enough for American voters. Taking a swipe at such gendered criticism on Monday, Hillary Clinton weighed in on the "likability"issue that women leaders face.

The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee was joined by New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo at an event at Barnard College in Manhattan, New York. "There’s been a lot of talk recently whether our country is ready for women leaders and that really takes me back," Clinton said as the audience laughed. "Today, I want to thank all of you for your persistence."

"I know many of you and can attest as to how smart, determined, effective, and dare I say, likable you all are," Clinton added.

The "likability" factor often comes up whenever male politicians or media analystsdiscuss a female politician. And Clinton is no stranger to such public scrutiny; throughout her political career, she's been dubbed "polarizing," "disconnected," and "unlikable."

A recent Politico piece about Warren delved into whether she risked being bogged down by the "ghosts of Hillary," a reference to the Clinton's oft-analyzed public image. The piece got a lot of pushback, and two days after it went up, Warren retorted on Twitter, "I hear women candidates are most likable in the quiet car!"

Click here to read the full article published by Bustle on 7 January 2019.

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