During the past Presidential elections, we had two serious candidates of different positions who were female. They were Hilary Clinton (D) and Sarah Palin (R). Throughout the media coverage, these women were portrayed differently than any of their male counterparts–for example, they were often refered to in the newspapers and news articles by their first names, whereas their male counterparts were always refered to by their last names. The media also didn’t focus on the women’s view on the issues, they focused on things they did that made them distinctly feminine–like their wardrobe or their emotional responses.
These media double standards are also discussed in our book. The fact that both of these women were predominantly featured in the election defies the studies cited in the text that state they’re represented in 11% of the print media) (Gamble, 2003). For example, it was a big deal when the information came out about how much the Republican Party spent on Sarah Palin’s wardrobe and hair, whereas Clinton was criticized for showing too much cleavage. God forbid they show any of their feminine features. Clinton was also criticized because of her short haircut–which is interesting because typically, women tend to adopt more masculine looks the higher up they climb into male-dominated careers. Either way, she was bound to be criticized for something because society has taught us to critically analyze women’s looks (Gamble, 2003).
Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.