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Did HRC lose to sexism?

Thursday, June 05, 2008 by Dave Winer.

This question will be asked for years to come, no doubt.  Permalink to this paragraph

I don't have any deep insights to offer, at least not at this time, but I do have a superficial one. Permalink to this paragraph

Yesterday I saw an interview with a woman who said it was sexism, and offered an example. Why is it she asked, that we referred to her as Hillary and referred to the others as Obama, McCain, Romney, etc. Permalink to this paragraph

She said that was an indication of sexism. Permalink to this paragraph

Maybe so, but I can offer two explanations that have nothing to do with sexism. Permalink to this paragraph

1. She was called Hillary because "Clinton" would be confusing. There are two Clintons, one is a former President, and until recently Clinton would refer to Bill Clinton not Hillary Clinton. Now, I think she's established herself as an equal to her ex-President husband, so maybe next she time runs we'll call her Clinton. I've been trying to do that in my writing, actually. Permalink to this paragraph

2. But there's an even more convincing reason. She calls herself Hillary. Look at the signage for her campaign. The ads, the banners, the buttons. They all say Hillary, not Clinton. I noticed this in the same segment, they had a campaign rally and there was a sea of Hillary. My guess is that they made a marketing decision, that reason #1 above dictated the brand being Hillary and not Clinton. Permalink to this paragraph

I don't want to be a sexist so I'll try to refer to her as HRC. I want to be properly respectful. Though I supported Obama and still do. And I chose him, initially, over HRC, because I thought she and her husband were appealing to racism, even being racist themselves. I will never go for that, as much as I would have chosen her over Obama if I thought he was appealing to sexism. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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