Head Of Republican Party Says Clinton Needs To Smile More When She Talks About The Military

She was participating in a forum about her qualifications to be Commander-In-Chief.

Hillary at the Commander-In-Chief forum, September 7, 2016 CREDIT: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
Hillary at the Commander-In-Chief forum, September 7, 2016 CREDIT: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

On Wednesday night, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump participated in NBC’s Commander-In-Chief Forum to discuss their qualifications to head the United States military.

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican Party, was watching. His conclusion: Clinton needs to smile more.

It’s unclear what, exactly, Hillary would have to smile about when discussing drone strikes or the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

But this isn’t the first time Republican men have urged Clinton to smile more during the campaign. After her dominant performance on Super Tuesday during the primary, former Republican Congressman and current MSNBC host Joe Scarborough warned Hillary she needed to smile.

Men telling women to “smile more” is a well-known sexist trope.

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Feminists and other people who are not jerks think it’s inappropriate for someone to police another person’s facial expressions. This has been going on for decades.

Back in 1970, the feminist writer Shulamith Firestone proposed her “dream action” for the women’s liberation movement: she called for “a smile boycott” in which, she wrote, “all women would instantly abandon their ‘pleasing’ smiles — henceforth smiling only when something pleased THEM.”

Jessica Valenti explained earlier this year in the Guardian that “there is special disdain for ‘smile’ because of its particular condescension, and the tired trope that women should be forever chipper even as they’re walking down the street or, you know, running for president of the United States.”

UPDATE (9/8/16):

In a press conference on Thursday morning, Hillary responds:

We were talking about serious issues last night. Donald Trump chose to talk about his deep admiration. Maybe he did it with a smile and the RNC appreciated that.