The “Woman Attacked” Catch 22


Yesterday it was reported that a campaign worker for Bernie Sanders managed to look at confidential Hillary Clinton election data.  Mr. Sanders fired the worker, the Clinton campaign expressed displeasure, and the DNC first denied and then reinstated (under threat of suit) Sanders’ access to DNC data.

I’m not writing to criticize the Sanders campaign or the DNC.  I would, however, like to note that because she’s a woman, Ms. Clinton’s now in a no-win situation that the Sanders campaign created.

If she shrugs it off, says she’s satisfied with the offending staffer’s firing, and attempts to continue to focus on the issues, rather than on a personal debate with Mr. Sanders, she looks weak.  If she can’t even stand up to the Sanders campaign when they steal her data, how will she ever stand up to Mr. Putin when he spies on the U.S.?

If, on the other hand, she hits back at the Sanders campaign, she’s being a bitch, using her front-runner status unfairly, showing that she’s thin-skinned.

It’s the classic Catch 22 that professional women face all the time.  Behavior that, in a man, might be magnanimous and diplomatic is, in a woman, weak.  Behavior that, in a man, might be forceful, strong, determined is, in a woman, bitchy, thin-skinned, whiney.

Just something to keep in mind.

Picture found here.


One response to “The “Woman Attacked” Catch 22

  1. Jane Gagle-Bennett

    Yes, exactly. She has to fine-tune every response.

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