Hillary Clinton says ‘double standard’ for women ‘alive and well’

April 4, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday night that the “double standard” for women is “alive and well.”

The news media, she said, is “in many respects the principal propagator of its persistence.”

Clinton, a possible presidential contender in 2016, was participating in a “Women in the World” forum in New York when she was asked the double standard question by panel moderator and New York Times columnist, Thomas L. Friedman.

She recalled reading an advice column when she was a young lawyer, in which this question was posed:

 ‘I got a promotion and will have my own office and don’t know how to decorate it. Any advice?’

The columnist responded with the advice that if you’re a man, decorate your desk with family photos so people will think you’re a family man, but if you’re a woman, don’t show family photos because people will think you distract easily….These attitudes still persist…we need to talk about them.

“I think there is a double standard obviously.  We have all either experienced it or at the very least seen it. And there is a deep set of cultural psychological views that are manifest through this double standard.”

If such attitudes persist “in as open and as transformational society as ours is right now, you know how deep they are. That’s why it’s important that we surface them and talk about them,” she said.

People need to know “when they’re crossing over from an individual judgement into a stereotype.”

Fred Barbash, the editor of Morning Mix, is a former National Editor and London Bureau Chief for the Washington Post.
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Nick Kirkpatrick · April 4, 2014