Obama Suggests Sexism Is Stopping Men From Supporting Clinton

“I want every man out there to kind of look inside yourself.”

John Minchillo/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


President Barack Obama posed a tough question to the men attending his speech in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday night: Is sexism stopping you from supporting Hillary Clinton for president?

It’s clear from his comments that the president believes that a suspicion of ambitious women is hampering Clinton. “You know, there’s a reason why we haven’t had a woman president before, and I think sometimes we’re kind of trying to get over the hump,” Obama said. “I want every man out there who’s voting to kind of look inside yourself and ask yourself: If you’re having problems with this stuff, how much of it is, you know, that we’re not just used to it?”

Obama continued, “When a guy’s ambitious and out in the public arena and working hard, well that’s okay. But when a woman suddenly does it, suddenly you’re all like, ‘Well, why’s she doing that?’ I’m just being honest. I want you to think about it because she is so much better qualified than the other guy. She has conducted herself so much better in public life than the other guy. This notion that somehow it’s hard to choose, it shouldn’t be.”

Clinton and her campaign have shied away from suggesting that people are voting against her because she’s a woman. But Obama appears to be making the case for her. In an interview on comedian Samantha Bee’s show Full Frontal earlier this week, he suggested that people would try to discredit Clinton, if she becomes president, with sexist tropes about women: “She’s tired. She’s moody. She’s being emotional.”

“When men are ambitious, it’s just taken for granted,” he told Bee. “‘Well, of course they should be ambitious.’ When women are ambitious: ‘Why?’ That theme, I think, will continue throughout her presidency, and it’s contributed to this notion that somehow she is hiding something.”

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate