Yet Media Matters is upset. And Melissa McEwan cries sexism:
[I]f you are savvy enough to understand that the sexes don't play on equal playing fields in the first place, then you ought to be savvy enough to understand that singling out Clinton's voice as horrible necessarily invokes the woman-specific sexist context, even if that is not your intent.Look, we make fun of male candidates. We joke around about how they look and sound and it's often unfair and unrelated to their qualifications for office. It's part of the vivid debate we have in America. We don't have to pull back and tone it down because a woman (or a black person) is running. The candidates are seeking vast power. We should be irreverent and unafraid.
As I've said before, you can't divorce criticisms of women from the context of womanhood....
[W]e can't use misogyny-charged criticisms in reference to Clinton as if her sex doesn't matter. And "her voice is unbearable" and/or "her laugh is terrible" are unavoidably tinged with a misogynist history older than this country, even if the person making the complaint isn't consciously or even subconsciously motivated by sexism.
The point is, you've got to be aware of your history. And there's a long-ass history of marginalizing women in this way. So if you're inexorably compelled to criticize Hillary's voice, just know that you've got to own the sexist context, too.
McEwan apparently means to be a good feminist by saying things they teach you to say in Women's Studies class, hushing and chiding us, and grasping after moral high ground with vague references to "history," but this notion that a powerful woman needs special protection from the full force of political debate — with all its vicious mockery — is not good for women. It may be stupid or unfair to judge a candidate by her laugh, but to cry sexism is lame.