Don't call her Hillary!

Why? Because a bunch of women's studies professors say that's sexist.

Here's the report from McClatchy:

“I think it’s pretty unjust,” said Monica Warek, 23, on a recent visit to Washington from New York City. “I think it shows the level of inequality that still exists in the workforce and just in general in society.”


Laura F. Edwards, a history professor at Duke University who studies gender, said calling a woman by her first name is part of a larger problem in our culture in how to acknowledge women, who have always used their fathers’ and husbands’ names because they were never expected to have a public place in the world.

“All this gets to the point that women had no public identities of their own,” she said. “And we’re still living with the implications of that.”


Clinton, the first female candidate to seriously vie for the presidency, was called by her first name four times more than her 2008 Democratic rival Barack Obama, according to a study examining news coverage of the 2008 presidential race by University of Utah researchers published in the Political Research Quarterly. Male news anchors and reporters also dropped Clinton’s title of senator more than did female broadcasters, the document showed.

In any case, John Mosier, 67, of New York City, never liked the practice. “I think it generally cheapens the image of the candidate,” he said.

Deborah Tannen, a linguistics professor at Georgetown University who referred to Clinton in her book, “Talking from 9 to 5: Women and Men at Work,” said Clinton may be called by her first name in part because “Hillary” is more distinctive than common female names such as Susan or Mary. (Clinton’s mother had said she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, a New Zealand explorer who with Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest. In 2006, her aides said that was not true.)

Tannen said that no matter the reason that people use first names – even if it’s a sign of friendliness – there is no denying that the result is that the person does not get as much respect.


The irony is that Hillary Clinton's distinctive first name may be one of her strongest campaign selling points. It's an usual variant spelling of "Hilary," its more common female-first-name cousin–so when you see the word "Hillary" on a bumper sticker elsewhere, you know exactly who's being talked about. Hence that Ready for Hillary PAC.

Nonetheless, Hillary Clinton seems to have attracted a cadre if self-appointed language policemen standing by to brand as "sexist" anyone who looks cross-eyed–or even objectively–at the apparent Democratic presidential front-runner. The HRC Super Vols Twitter-bombed New York Times reporter Amy Chozick back to the Stone Age for daring to use such words as "ambitious," "polarizing," and "secretive" with respect to former President Bill Clinton's wife.

The group asserts that words like “ambitious” and “polarizing” amount to nothing more than coded sexist language, subliminally suggesting that these qualities — when exhibited by a woman (or at least by Clinton) — carry negative connotations.

“You are on notice that we will be watching, reading, listening and protesting coded sexism,” the group reportedly told Chozick.

So if a few adjectives can raise the hackles of the Hillary Police (oops!), you'd best be very afraid to use her first name.





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