Hillary Clinton, the first woman to participate in a United States presidential debate, has revealed the unspoken double standard for men and women in position of leadership.
Trump consistently interrupted Clinton while she stated her ideas, yet she waited patiently when he was speaking. Clinton, as well as other women involved in politics, have been told by not only men, but also other women, to be cautious about matching the aggressive demeanor of their male rivals out of fear that they will be perceived as “bitchy,” according to United Kingdom website, The Independent.
“The premise is that women have not been socialized to compete successfully in the world of men, and so they must be taught the skills their male counterparts have acquired naturally,” according to the Harvard Business Revenue. “But, at the same time, they must ‘tone it down,’ or risk being labeled as having sharp elbows.”
Clinton seemed to keep her cool during the debate, but her forced smile did not seem to work for some people as they saw it as a disadvantage and a sign of weakness towards Trump’s strong comments.
“She doesn’t have the look, the stamina,” Trump stated. “To be president of this country, you need tremendous stamina.”
Not only are women criticized for what they do or do not say, but also their attire. Women who take on leadership roles tend to be either mocked or admired for their appearance rather than for their views or ideas.
After an earlier debate, Chad Merda of the Nation Sun Times reported, “When Hillary Clinton stepped on the debate stage on Thursday night, Twitter lit up with commentary on one of the most important issues of the night: Her wardrobe.”
Whether it’s a pant suit, a dress, high heels, or winged eyeliner, there is always room for judgement. Women have to find the balance between being too “girly” and too “assertive” for them to be taken seriously yet relatable.