I was prepared for her book tour to be a cavalcade of blame-shifting but I was not prepared for how much blame she’s been shifting to the public itself for her loss. Blame Comey, blame Trump, blame her campaign staff, blame the media, blame Anthony Weiner — sure, fine, we all knew that was coming. Sniping at voters who didn’t turn out on Election Day? That’s … a little more surprising, but okay, sure. We can indulge her some basic sour grapes against no-shows.
What the hell is *this* about, though?
Sheryl [Sandberg] ended this really sobering conversation by saying that women will have no empathy for you, because they will be under tremendous pressure — and I’m talking principally about white women — they will be under tremendous pressure from fathers and husbands and boyfriends and male employers not to vote for “the girl.” And we saw a lot of that during the primaries from Sanders supporters, really quite vile attacks online against women who spoke out for me, as I say, one of my biggest support groups, Pantsuit Nation, literally had to become a private site because there was so much sexism directed their way.
Women who dislike Hillary, including women who supported Bernie Sanders in the primaries, are semi-helpless tools of their male relatives’ sexism? What?
Watch the clip below from this morning’s “Today” show in which she insists, citing Science, that women become less likable the more professionally successful they are. That’s a convenient self-serving bit of sociology to explain away a defeat that’s widely and properly attributed to Clinton simply being a terrible retail politician in a hostile populist climate with no national vision beyond “Trump is evil.” It’s true that there was a study done in 2003 and popularized by Sheryl Sandberg in her book “Lean In” that showed that female bosses were rated less favorably by employees than male bosses were. You can imagine why that might be true — an assertive woman might be viewed as “bitchy” rather than as “commanding,” men might resent taking orders from the so-called “weaker sex,” etc. But there’s a problem. Per a 2013 story in the Atlantic, other studies have questioned the findings.
A 2011 study published in Human Relations surveyed 60,000 full-time workers on their attitudes toward male versus female managers. At first, its conclusions seem to bolster Sandberg’s claim that people are more accepting of successful men than successful women: Of the 46 percent of respondents who expressed a preference for their boss’s gender, 72 percent said they wanted a male manager. But another aspect of the results highlights a flaw in the Heidi/Howard study: People who actually had female managers did not give them lower ratings than people who had male managers. That is, though many people preferred male managers in theory, in practice those gender biases did not play out…
In a recent segment for his show, CNN’s Anderson Cooper had New York University’s business school repeat the Heidi/Howard study, now ten years after it was originally conducted. This time around, students rated the female entrepreneur as more likable and desirable as a boss than the male…
Fifteen years ago it may well have been the case that Americans were less comfortable with women in command than they were in 2016. As it was, she still won the popular vote and almost certainly would have won the election if her completely needless self-inflicted email scandal hadn’t driven public perceptions of her honesty into the toilet. For all the whining she’s done about Comey this week, the plain fact remains: No homebrew email server with classified information on it, no Comey investigation, no eleventh-hour Comey letter reopening the investigation. A woman with Hillary’s credentials and without her scandal baggage may well have taken 350 electoral votes.
But there’s another problem. If people dislike professionally successful women, how do we explain this?
— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) September 13, 2017
Right, right, just because a small part of the public admires Hillary *a lot* doesn’t mean she isn’t widely disdained for being such a supposedly awe-inspiring professional success. We’ll put that to the test when another woman is nominated for president, which could happen as soon as 2020 with Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, or Kirsten Gillibrand. For all her fame and historic import as the first woman presidential nominee, Hillary was actually a terrible test case for how reflexively reluctant the American electorate might be to elect a woman president. The irony of her presenting herself as some sort of stand-in for Women writ large is that her image is defined by so many other things — she’s a tornado of Clintonian drama, Wall Street money, establishment clingers, soft ideology, and corruption-related debris. The real gut-check for voters will be when the country gets its first *strong* woman nominee. Clinton’s place in history as the first woman nominee is secure, at least.
Hillary Clinton: "The more professionally successful a woman becomes, the less likable she is." pic.twitter.com/bvnJgr0Te2
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 13, 2017