Vogue highlights sexist media candidate coverage by simply sharing the humanity of women
Many of us have expressed our frustration about the (lack of) coverage of women running for president in 2020. It’s sometimes difficult to articulate how the coverage is so different, but this recent human interest piece by Vogue demonstrates it by simply providing the kind of coverage some of the male candidates frequently receive to the women candidates.
Although it is by a fashion magazine, and is a bit of a fluff piece, it is revolutionary. Reading this made me realize that I do know a whole lot more about Beto O’Rourke’s history of being in a band and Pete Buttigieg teaching himself Norwegian than I do about similar attributes of the women running for president. This isn’t surprising because the media simply doesn’t provide the same kind of profiles for the women candidates. This discrepancy isn’t something that should be ignored since likeability is a key factor in elections. I appreciate that Vogue is pushing against this by providing more insight into the human side of the women running for president. Here are a few snippets.
Sen. Klobuchar enjoys hiking and is a barre-class devotee. (“It’s a reminder that we must all be humble," she told Vogue, "because I’m like the worst in the class.”) She has also accompanied her dad, Minnesota newspaper reporter, Jim Klobuchar, "on epic bike rides that helped her get to know Minnesota’s scenic beauty," according to one review of her book.
I had no idea. The only narrative that reached me was that she was an “angry” woman who was “mean to staff.” She seems a bit different when presented as a outdoorsy nature enthusiast who I might run into at a barre-class!
Similarly, my mind is blown with this tidbit about Kamala Harris. I didn’t know she crochets while watching cartoons. What is more folksy and Middle America than knitting and crocheting? Why is the appeal to Midwestern voters always associated with hunting, fishing and the like? Aren’t stereotypically “female” hobbies just as valid?
Just a few of Harris's many hobbies growing up, according to her Vogue profile: singing in an Oakland, Calif. church choir, joining civil rights marches, mastering Indian cooking, cleaning test tubes in her mother's (a cancer researcher's) lab and knitting while watching cartoons (the only way she was permitted to watch TV). “I have no idea how many blankets Kamala must have crocheted,” Harris's sister, Maya, told Vogue. “She was the mad crocheter.”
Did you know that Kirsten Gillibrand once interviewed the Dalai Lama? She also was an advocate for women within her law firm.
As a law partner at New York's Boies, Schiller & Flexner (yes, the same that has represented Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos), Kirsten Gillibrand realized the firm didn't have a maternity leave policy. So, in 2002, she wrote one herself.
Elizabeth Warren was a star debater in high school and is apparently also a big fan of Michelob Ultra. Ick as far as my taste buds are concerned, but if Biden gets Scranton “real guy” cred, I think Warren deserves the same when it’s due!
Thank you, Vogue, for providing a little more depth to these candidates.