As Hillary Clinton gave her Tuesday night victory speech in Florida, male political pundits responded to her big night by tweeting about how they think she’s shouting too much and not smiling enough.
Hillary shouting her speech. She has the floor; a more conversational tone might be better for connecting with folks at home
— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) March 16, 2016
Hillary having a big night in the primaries. So she's shouting angrily in her victory speech. Supporters loving it. What's she mad at?
— Brit Hume (@brithume) March 16, 2016
Smile. You just had a big night. #PrimaryDay
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 16, 2016
.@HillaryClinton in a nutshell: Calling for love and kindness — by SHOUTING!
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) March 16, 2016
This is far from the first time media members have used gender-encoded language to describe Clinton. In early February, Journalist Bob Woodward of Watergate fame said Clinton “shouts” too much, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe commentators launched into a lengthy discussion that touched on many of the common tropes about Clinton: “screaming,” acting “unnatural,” and being “feisty.”
The sexism of the 2008 campaign was so heavyhanded that it inspired the Women’s Media Center to draw up a guide to gender neutral coverage of female politicians for reporters. Research done by a WMC affiliate found that simply mentioning a female candidate’s appearance, whether to disparage, praise, or notice, hurts her election chances. The center has also identified certain words, like “feisty” and “scold,” as female-specific dogwhistles that can impact public perception.
Clinton has said she has learned to stop worrying about the attacks. “It is just never ending,” she told Diane Sawyer in an interview. “You get a little worried about, okay, people over on this side are loving what I’m wearing, looking like, saying…I’m done with that. I’m just done.”