Hillary Clinton’s Achievement Of Becoming The First Female Presidential Nominee Was Immediately Downplayed
Hillary Clinton officially became the Democratic presidential nominee after a roll call vote at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday. As you’re probably (hopefully) aware, she’s the first woman in U.S. history to receive the title, but immediately after becoming the first female presidential nominee of a major political party, Clinton’s accomplishment was downplayed by the media and her own campaign. Even if she loses the election to the man the GOP is trying to pass off as a politician and overall sane human, she will still have made history. No matter your personal feelings about the former secretary of state, we need to give her this moment and celebrate the magnitude of it.
The day Clinton formally became the nominee, her campaign pulled a video supposed to play at the DNC celebrating her mother’s life. “There were a number of options how to celebrate the historic moment last night,” a campaign spokesperson told The Daily Beast. “Ultimately we chose the best option for the amount of space available in the program.” Although this spokesperson denied it, another source told The Daily Beast the 11-minute video was cut from the program because her campaign was worried it presented her as too soft and too feminist while she worked to become commander in chief.
There’s no such thing as “too feminist” (like, you can’t be too into equality), but I digress. The fact that appearing too much like a woman is still a concern for the candidate’s campaign proves that the nation still hasn’t totally gotten on board with a woman in charge — that she’s gotten this far despite being a woman.
And that’s to be expected at this point. The first woman to break into any male-dominated arena isn’t openly accepted. But Clinton not wanting to appear too much like a woman also has to do with the one demographic she can’t tap into — white men. She fares better than Donald Trump when it comes to female and minority voters (for obvious reasons), but 75 percent of white men view her unfavorably. There’s nothing more threatening to white men than a woman in power standing up for other women and races.
Of course, the Clinton campaign is just trying to do what’s necessary to win, so if that means downplaying Clinton’s gender a bit, then so be it. What’s worse is the way the media minimized the major feat Clinton achieved Tuesday. Accompanying headlines that said some iteration of “Clinton Becomes First Female Presidential Nominee,” many newspapers published photos of her husband, Bill. The former president gave a speech advocating for his wife Tuesday night, but that’s no excuse for his photo to make the front page over hers when she’s the one who just made history.
It wasn’t just one paper, either. I could make a whole goddamn photo album of all the front page photos of Bill under headlines about Clinton officially winning the nomination. Many of the newspapers at fault have even openly supported Clinton over Trump, but are apparently still uncomfortable fully praising a woman for her achievements.
All of this together portrays the way in which Clinton becoming (say it with me) the first female presidential nominee was put down literally right after it became official. Couldn’t we as a nation give it at least one day of positive coverage, with the actual woman candidate at the forefront? Sure, we’ve expected it for months, but now it’s real and such a monumental milestone for women in America deserves a celebration.