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Column: Media Sexism During Campaign Goes Unchecked By Public

This story was written by Danielle Fleischman, Indiana Daily Student

It would be hard to argue that Barack Obamas victory Nov. 4 was not a historic event.Regardless of his foreign policy experience and questionable economic strategies, the very fact that there will now be an black president in the White House says a lot about this country. Only 145 years ago, slavery was still common practice in America, and now someone who would have had no rights or freedoms a century ago is the leader of the free world.But while this drawn out and remarkable race has proved how far America has come with its relationship with one minority, it is also a strong reminder of how negatively perceived another subgroup of this country is.Yes it is true, there were slurs and sneers against Obama for nothing more than his race, but they were never as mainstream or accepted as the ones against Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.The majority of us are guilty of it. I will admit, even I am guilty. Some of my articles were even dedicated to ridiculing the hockey mom from Alaska, and I spent my fair share of time insulting Clinton and her haphazard attempt for the White House. But while these two women ran weak campaigns, the media manipulated the situation to new heights, and the public at large did not object.Looking back at this election with the power of hindsight, I am astonished at the blatant, unchecked sexism that ran rampant in the media during this race. A Fox News anchor made the crack that no man could take Clinton seriously because they would just flash to their wives nagging them about taking out the garbage. The former First Lady was even compared to a she-goat.When talk show host Rush Limbaugh asked the nation if they really even wanted to watch Clinton age in the White House, he received little in objection. When Don Imus made that infamous comment about the Rutgers womens basketball team, he was kicked off the air.Palin of course received her own share of sexism during her course as vice presidential nominee. She came under fire for taking on too many responsibilities while she had five children to raise (including one newborn with special needs). Vice President-elect Joe Biden never came under such scrutiny for continuing public service.In March, The New York Times released a poll that showed 42 percent of Americans believed that racism was more of a problem than sexism. While it is true that electing a black president might fix the problem of race in society, it is important that this nation take the time to reflect on its treatment of women who tried to achieve the same position.
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