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Woman In The White House

The Hillary Clinton rally on October 27 was everything that I thought it would be – of course, my perspective was through a laptop screen as that was the closest I was going to get to being inside the coliseum (thanks to the one class that didn’t get cancelled that day…. I’m clearly not bitter at all). However, there was one thing that struck me, and that was the music that was played before Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton spoke – specifically, the song “Woman in the White House” by Sheryl Crow. After the initial laughter at the slight absurdity of the song, I noticed that the lyrics portrayed some of the stereotypical ideas of what it means to be a female and how one is female. However, these portrayals support the notions society has of political women that one sees in Gender Stereotypes, Information Search, and Voting Behavior in Political Campaigns by Ditonto, Hamilton, and Redlawsk, and further supports the problem that one sees with the role of women in our society – specifically, those who hope to take on a role within the political world.

Within the piece by Ditonto et al., one sees that women who seek political office are “perceived as more emphatic and less decisive than men” and also as “more trustworthy, honest, and compassionate” (Ditonto et al. 338). One of the lyrics within “Woman in the White House” is “There’d be a lot less fussing and fighting, and carrying on. There’d be a lot more loving and hugging and getting along’.” These lyrics support Ditonto et al.’s statement that women in politics are seen as being ‘emphatic’ and ‘compassionate’ (viewpoints that typically keep women out of politics) even though the song is in support of a woman being in politics. Therefore, I have to question the choice of the Clinton campaign to play this song – yes, I do like the initial message it sends; however, once you look into the lyrics, you see that the song supports stereotypes that help keep women out of politics which is ironic considering Hillary Clinton has the possibility to be our first female president.

Emily • October 31, 2016

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