Everyone, not just women, should watch this Rachel Maddow Hillary Clinton clip. It should be discussed as much as Clinton’s emails were, because it is actually much more important to more people’s lives than the non-existent email scandal was. But it won’t be. So savor this.
“I also feel like the sexism that you faced in 2016 was considerably worse than the sexism you faced as a barrier in 2008,” host Rachel Maddow said on her MSNBC show to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“And I know in 2016 you got further, but I feel like what I saw directed at you as a public figure was more vitriolic, and frankly more rhetorically violent (Clinton nodded and agreed) than what I saw eight years earlier,” Maddow continued.
“Which implies to me, I mean maybe that’s the general election versus the Democratic primary, but I like to think that things get better over time, too, and I don’t see that as having happened with you,” Maddow said on The Rachel Maddow Show.
“But I think there were several different conditions that had to be dealt with for the first time,” 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton responded. “The Internet was obviously up and going but social media was not as unleashed as it was in 2016.”
“I ran against someone who demeaned women, degraded them, attacked them, and again not just me, but Miss Universe contestants and Republican women who dared to run against him and interviewers who questioned him. It was so rhetorically vile, what he said about so many women, and that kind of lifted the top off of what had been much more restrained,” Clinton continued.
“I did feel like in ’08 there was a lot of it, it was out there, but by the years that followed I thought okay, people are coming to grips with the fact that you don’t talk about women like that, you might think it but you don’t talk about it and you have to at least give lip service to women being treated equally. Trump threw all of that out the window.”
Maddow asked, “You think he changed the weather. You think he changed what was possible in American politics.”
Clinton replied, “I think he gave permission for people to be much more sexist and misogynistic, which is much more generalized hatred of women. And even for me, I was taken aback by some of what he would say and the fact that people would vote for him including women after the Hollywood Access tape. It just had a different feel to it, so yeah, I think he was in large measure the determinative factor that made it so much worse in 2016.”
For those who are asking why Clinton doesn’t just go away, this interview demonstrated why thinking people should hope she doesn’t go away. The Maddow interview was sans the latent hostility that was present in so much of the Hillary Clinton coverage during the campaign. This allowed two brilliant political minds to discuss the glaring issue facing half of the country right now, and that is misogyny on steroids.
It was a huge relief to hear Maddow say the sexism Clinton faced was so brutal. This is a conversation our entire media should be having regarding their coverage of Clinton, because she is not the only woman candidate or political figure. These conversations should be had with women, not about women.
Maddow once again did something uniquely brilliant with her show by talking about the horrific sexism Hillary Clinton faced. She did it with dignity, she did it without apology, she did it with grace and Hillary Clinton replied in kind.
It’s not an excuse, it’s a fact: Hillary Clinton faced “considerably” more sexism running against Donald Trump than she did in ’08. Something rotten has been unleashed in our country and so many are suffering because of it.
Image: MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show screengrab