At the Barricades In the Gender Wars March 29, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, feminism, gender, gender gap, Hillary Clinton, sexism.
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Clinton’s women supporters fear her bid has unleashed a sexist backlash
Wall Street Journal; by Jonathan Kaufman and Carol Hymowitz; March 29, 2008
Valerie Benjamin, a human-resources manager for a consulting firm here, was driving to work recently in her red minivan with a Hillary bumper sticker when a man pulled up alongside and rolled down his window. “You can be for Hillary all you want,” he shouted, “but there is no way that thing is going to become president.”
“I couldn’t believe this guy was shouting at me in my car,” says Ms. Benjamin. “I am continuously surprised by the level of venom.”
When Sen. Clinton started her presidential campaign more than a year ago, she said she wanted to shatter the ultimate glass ceiling. But many of her supporters see something troubling in the sometimes bitter resistance to her campaign and the looming possibility of her defeat: a seeming backlash against the opportunities women have gained.
Just as Barack Obama’s campaign has been empowering for African-Americans, Sen. Clinton’s run has inspired women across the country, drawing millions to the polls and putting her in a neck-and-neck battle for the nomination. She has already gone farther than any woman before her — a source of great pride for her women supporters.
But her campaign has also prompted slurs and inflammatory language that many women thought had been banished from public discourse. Some women worry that regardless of how the election turns out, the resistance to Sen. Clinton may embolden some men to resist women’s efforts to share power with them in business, politics and elsewhere.
Sen. Clinton, the onetime front runner, has had to recast herself as the fighting underdog. There are many reasons for that beyond gender, of course. Among other things, she faces the perception, shared by many women, that she is a politically polarizing figure. And her opponent, Sen. Obama, has galvanized young people, including many women who don’t see gender as a defining issue.
But even some women who don’t support Sen. Clinton express unease about the tone of some attacks on her. “Why is it OK to say such horrible things about a woman?” asks Erika Wirkkala, who runs a Pittsburgh public-relations firm and supports Sen. Obama. “People feel they can be misogynists, and that’s OK. No one says those kinds of things about Obama because they don’t want to be seen as racist.”
The concern among some women about sexism comes amid signs that women’s progress in the workplace has stalled or even regressed. In 2007, women earned median weekly wages of 80.2 cents for every dollar earned by men, down from 80.8 cents in 2006 and 81 cents in 2005, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic.
At the nation’s largest 500 companies, women account for 50% of managers, but hold just 15.4% of senior executive jobs, down from 16.4% in 2005, according to a survey by Catalyst, the New York research firm and women’s advocacy group. Almost three-quarters of these senior women are in jobs that rarely lead to the corner office. The number of senior women in “line” jobs that involve running a business, with responsibility for profits and losses, dropped to 27.5% last year from 29% in 2005, according to Catalyst.
At U.S. law firms, women accounted for 17.9% of partners in 2006, up from 14.2% of partners 1996, according to the directory of legal employers compiled by the National Association for Law Placement, even though women received 48% of law degrees granted in 2006 and 43.5% in 1996.
Katherine Putnam, president of Package Machinery Co., a West Springfield, Mass., equipment manufacturer, recalls that at a lunch she attended recently, a group of male chief executives “started talking about what an awful b—- Hillary was and how they’d never vote for her.” She says she kept quiet. “I didn’t want to jeopardize my relationship with them,” she says. “But their remarks were a clear reminder that although I could sit there eating and drinking with them, and work with them, instinctively their reaction to me isn’t positive.”
Women make up the enthusiastic core of Sen. Clinton’s supporters. She won almost 60% of women voters in the Democratic primaries in Texas and Ohio, fueling her comeback, and she is counting on them in the coming Pennsylvania primary. Recent polls show her with a double digit lead in that state, and support from 60% of women.
“Every time Sen. Obama tries to close out the campaign, there are a ton of women who say, ‘Here is a woman trying to get her shot and they are going to elect a guy,’ and they rally to her,” says pollster William McInturff.
In the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, conducted this week, Democratic women favored Sen. Clinton over Sen. Obama, 52% to 40%. Among Democratic men, the results were reversed: Sen. Obama garnered 52%, versus 36% for Sen. Clinton. Negative views about Sen. Clinton were more prevalent among Democratic men than women. Fifty-one percent of men said they had negative views of Sen. Clinton, while 32% reported position views. Among Democratic women, 44% reported negative views about her, and 42% reported positive ones.
Many factors, of course, shape how voters view the two candidates: their positions on the issues, Sen. Obama’s rhetorical skills and message of change, and Sen. Clinton’s personality and record. But the tenor of the campaign is unsettling many women.
“No one can say that the male vote is all gender-based,” says Beth Brooke, global vice chair of strategy and regulatory affairs at Ernst & Young, and one of four women on the company’s 21-person America’s Executive Board. “But it reinforces among women of my generation the feeling that every day we walk in the door [at work], we are walking into an environment that is still biased. I’m feeling a tension I don’t normally feel.”
One reason women have faced difficulty ascending the corporate ladder in recent years is that the number of management jobs has declined as companies have gotten leaner. The total number of corporate-officer positions has declined 21% since 2002, according to a Catalyst study.
The ranks of women in senior-executive jobs are so thin that when a woman retires, switches jobs or is ousted, gains are often reversed. When Meg Whitman steps down as CEO of eBay on March 31 after 10 years at the helm to pursue other interests, she’ll be replaced by John Donahoe, president of eBay’s marketplaces division — and the number of female CEOs at the top 500 companies will decline to just 12.
A few weeks ago, Sheryl Sandberg, former Google vice president of global online sales and operations, moved to Facebook, the privately owned social-networking site, to become chief operating officer; she was replaced at Google by her former deputy, David Fischer. When Morgan Stanley co-president Zoe Cruz was ousted last December, her position was eliminated. On the other hand, women this week snagged two top finance jobs: Terri Dial was named global head of consumer strategy at Citigroup Inc., and Jane Mendillo was chosen to manage Harvard University’s endowment.
Heather Arnet, a Clinton supporter who runs a Pittsburgh organization that lobbies for more women on public commissions and corporate boards, recently surveyed the Internet and found more than 50 anti-Hillary Clinton sites on Facebook. One of them, entitled “Hillary Clinton Stop Running for President and Make Me a Sandwich,” had more than 38,000 members.
“What if one of these 38,000 guys is someone you, as a woman, have to go to and negotiate a raise?” she asks.
Here in Pittsburgh and surrounding blue-collar areas, Sen. Clinton’s run is stirring discussion among women about sexism in politics and in the workplace. The pay gap between male and female professionals in the Pittsburgh area exceeds the national average across most industries and occupations, according to a new University of Pittsburgh study. Women managers earned just 58.3% of what male managers made, and 89.5% of what women managers around the country made, according to the 2000 U.S. Census. In the political arena, Pennsylvania ranks 45th among states in number of female officeholders.
Even in the nonprofit sector, where women have been faring better nationwide, women in Pittsburgh earn less than two-thirds what men do, which is larger than the national gap. Four large nonprofits in the area recently had CEO openings; all the jobs went to white men, including two positions formerly held by women.
“I’d like to think that doesn’t reflect a trend, but just a periodic wrinkle,” says Frederick W. Thieman, who recently succeeded a woman as head of the Buhl Foundation.
An hour away in Indiana, Pa., a working-class town, Jill Fiore, who teaches part-time at a local college and has a doctorate in English, says she constantly has to remind students to call her “Dr. Fiore” — the same way they address male professors — rather than “Jill” or “Mrs. Fiore.” Unable to get a full-time college teaching job, she made just $8,000 last year cobbling together part-time work, and she recently decided to open a yoga business.
“The sexism aimed at Hillary is astounding me,” she says. “We want to let our daughters know that we can be anything. It’s a lie. If even Hillary Clinton can’t make it, what chance do we have?”
Exit polls indicate that Sen. Clinton has run strongest among working-class women and women in low-paying professional jobs such as nursing and teaching — women who work on their feet, who often have faced wage discrimination and have struggled economically.
Jean Yarnal, who has worked in local government for 41 years, says she was unnerved recently when a man she knew came into her office and asked for help with a zoning issue. When talk turned to politics, she says, he denounced Sen. Clinton as a “lesbian” and used several slurs. Ms. Yarnal says she didn’t respond, but thought to herself, “That’s the last time I do you a favor.”
“It’s like the feelings against women are getting stronger,” says Ms. Yarnal. “It’s like men are saying, ‘We want to put you women in your place — watch out, don’t go too fast.’ ”
Charles McCollester, a professor of industrial relations at Indiana University of Pennsylvania who works with union members, says he is ready for a woman president, “just not this woman.” He supports Sen. Obama. “Several of my really close female friends feel this is unleashing some kind of antiwoman sentiment. But I don’t see it. We love women. I just never cared much for Hillary. She has set out to become as male as all the rest of the boys.”
Some women in town say they don’t bring up politics at work. “The consensus in my office is that women are too emotional and won’t make a good president,” says Terri George, a paralegal in a law office.
Some young women who support Sen. Obama — sometimes to the chagrin of their pro-Hillary mothers — say they too are troubled by the gender gap in the workplace. But many say they don’t feel comfortable being called “feminists,” and that they look to different role models than Sen. Clinton.
“It isn’t easy being a woman in academia,” says Amanda Moniz, a 36-year-old Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Michigan. “I want a woman candidate who is strong, but also feminine, and who doesn’t feel she has to be tougher than men to succeed,” she says. “Although Hillary has achieved a lot on her own, she wouldn’t be where she was if not for her husband — and that isn’t an inspiring lesson.”
Alexa Steinberg, 25, a graduate student at the University of New Hampshire, says she recognizes “that women only make 78 cents for every male dollar, and there are still hurdles for women that I’ll face.” She says she thinks it’s only a matter of time before she’ll be supporting a female candidate for U.S. president — but it won’t be Sen. Clinton. “Politically and personally, she’s trying to take on the male persona, and isn’t a woman in the way I want a woman candidate to be,” she says.
Ms. Steinberg, who supports Sen. Obama, says she’s far more drawn to Michele Obama as a role model. “Michele has a career and even earns more than Barack, and she can knock him for not picking up his socks or doing the laundry,” she explains. “But she has a sense of humor, too. She has a blend of many things, a balance that I can see and appreciate.”
With the Pennsylvania primary looming on April 22, it’s unlikely that workplace tensions over Sen. Clinton’s candidacy will abate. On March 5, the day after Sen. Clinton won Ohio, Jackie LeViseur, a fund-raiser at Youngstown State University, arrived at her office to find her female colleagues, mostly secretaries, high-fiving each other and cheering in the hall.
The men, most of them bosses, remained in their offices, looking, says Ms. LeViseur, like their team had lost the football game.
“They might have been a little afraid to speak up,” says Ms. LeViseur.
Exit Poll: Critical Clinton Wins – Latinos, Lunch Bucket Voters, Late Deciders Put Clinton on Top March 5, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, gender gap, Hillary Clinton, Latino vote, Ohio, Texas.
ABC News – by Gary Langer – March 4, 2008
Latinos, working-class voters, women and late deciders helped Hillary Clinton push back against Barack Obama’s recent winning streak, while some Texas and Ohio Republicans fired a warning shot at John McCain even as he clinched his party’s presidential nomination.
Latinos, Lunch Bucket Voters Put Clinton on Top
The Democratic races in these states were more closely fought, with demographics — more Latinos in Texas, more lunch bucket voters in Ohio — assisting Clinton after her string of losses since Feb. 9.
She also did well with late deciders, winning those who made up their minds in the final few days by 20 points in Ohio and 23 in Texas.
Latinos in Texas accounted for a record 30 percent of voters, up from 24 percent in 2004 — second only this cycle to New Mexico, and matching California — and they backed Clinton by 63-35 percent, crucial to her fortunes.
Obama hit back with 85 percent support from African-Americans, two in 10 Texas voters. And while Clinton won white women in Texas by 19 points, the two candidates split white men evenly.
Ohio was different; there Clinton won white men, a swing group in many Democratic primaries this year, by 59-38 percent.
That partly reflected the working-class nature of the state: Obama won white men who’ve been graduated from college, albeit by narrower-than-usual 51-47 percent; as elsewhere, Clinton won white men who don’t have a college degree, here by a wide 66-31 percent.
And those lacking a college education made up a greater share of white men in Ohio, 61 percent, than in Texas, 49 percent, or all primaries to date, 48 percent.
Familiar Change vs. Experience Theme
While the theme of change continued to resonate in Ohio and Texas, it wasn’t by as wide a margin as in most previous primaries.
The ability to “bring needed change” beat “experience” as the most important quality in a candidate by a 16-point margin in Ohio and by 17 points in Texas, 44-27 percent. Both had among the fewest to pick change as the top attribute in any primary this year.
It mattered, given the correlation of these views and vote preferences.
Obama won “change” voters by more than 2-1 margins in Texas and Ohio alike, while those more concerned with experience went for Clinton almost unanimously in both states.
If a contrast were needed, the two smaller states voting Tuesday, Vermont and Rhode Island, provided it.
Obama won across demographic groups in Vermont, beating Clinton among senior citizens as well as among white women, two of her mainstays.
There his change theme prevailed over experience by more than a 30-point margin, at the high end in primaries to date. In Rhode Island, though, Clinton won easily; there change beat experience by just 10 points, less than anywhere but Arkansas, and late deciders again went heavily to Clinton, by 62-37 percent.
Warning Signs for McCain
McCain lost few groups in Texas, but they were telling ones in terms of his challenges in the Republican base: the most religious and most conservative voters, and those looking mainly for a candidate who shares their values, all backed Mike Huckabee, and the two roughly split evangelicals.
McCain was comparatively weak among those same groups in Ohio. But Texas was tougher to him. There he lost values voters — the top candidate attribute in both states — by a wide 57-32 percent. And in Texas a substantial 45 percent in preliminary exit poll results classified him as “not conservative enough.”
As noted, there were challenges within McCain’s broader victory.
In Texas, Huckabee won those who attend church more than once a week, 29 percent of GOP voters, by 20 points, 56-36 percent. Evangelicals, a hefty 62 percent of Texas Republican voters, split 47-43 percent between Huckabee and McCain. And Huckabee won “very” conservative voters, a third of the electorate, by 8 points.
But McCain came back with broad leads among “somewhat” conservative and moderate Republicans. He won non-evangelicals by a huge margin, 63-21 percent.
He prevailed among less-frequent churchgoers, and won 81 percent of voters focused on the No. 2 attribute, experience. He also beat Huckabee by more than 2-1, 64-27 percent, among senior citizens, compared to an 11-point win among GOP voters younger than 65.
In Ohio McCain did better; he won “very” conservative voters, 51-41 percent.
And McCain came closer to Huckabee than usual among Ohio evangelicals, Huckabee’s mainstay, while winning non-evangelicals by nearly 50 points. But as in Texas, a candidate who “shares my values” was the most important attribute in Ohio, and Huckabee won them there, too, albeit by a closer 48-40 percent.
At 19 percent, African-Americans didn’t increase their turnout in Texas, and it was well down from their 34 percent share in 1984, when Jesse Jackson ran. In Ohio, though, blacks’ 18 percent share was up from 14 percent in 2004; that aided Obama, albeit not enough.
Women increased their turnout in both states — to 59 percent in Ohio and 57 percent in Texas, up from 52 and 53 percent, respectively, in 2004. And Clinton won white women by more than 2-1 in Ohio, as well as by 59-40 percent in Texas.
The upscale/downscale division among white voters was striking. In both states Obama won college-educated white men, while Clinton won those who don’t have degrees. In both states Clinton won college-educated and non-college-educated white women alike, but won less-educated women by broader margins.
As previously there were huge generation gaps.
Clinton again easily won seniors, by 73-24 percent in Ohio and 64-34 percent in Texas, while voters under 30 went for Obama by 20 points in Texas and 26 points in Ohio.
In both states turnout among young voters was up from 2004, by seniors, down.
Seniors accounted for 13 percent of voters in Texas and 14 percent in Ohio, fewer than in most states this year. Interestingly, in Texas Obama came close to Clinton among Latinos under 30, losing them by 5 points in preliminary data, while she swamped him among older Latinos.
Also in both states, Clinton prevailed among mainline Democrats. Obama tied her among independents and Republicans voting in the open Democratic primary in Ohio, and won those groups in preliminary results in Texas.
It’s the Economy…Again
The economy was the top issue in Texas and Ohio alike, and most strikingly so in Ohio, where 59 percent of Democrats ranked it as the single most important issue, second only to Michigan in the importance of the economy to Democratic voters this year.
Almost eight in 10 in Ohio were worried about their family’s finances, 38 percent were “very” worried about it and voters there almost unanimously said the national economy is in bad shape. Slightly fewer in Texas were “very” worried about their own finances, 33 percent.
The exit poll indicated a smaller-than-previous turnout by union voters in Ohio — 35 percent were from union households, down from 44 percent in 2004.
At the same time it also found broad anti-trade sentiment: About eight in 10 said that trade with other countries takes more jobs from Ohio than it creates. Anti-trade sentiment was lower in Texas, with about six in 10 there saying trade takes jobs.
Whatever their candidate preference, Democratic voters had some greater criticism for Clinton than for Obama on negative campaigning — 54 percent in Ohio and 52 percent in Texas said Clinton attacked unfairly, while fewer than four in 10 both states said Obama did.
By about similar margins, however, more said Clinton, rather than Obama, offered “clear and detailed plans” to address the country’s problems.
Mining the Gender Gap for Answers March 2, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, feminism, gender, gender gap, Hillary Clinton, sexism.
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The New York Times – by Robin Toner – March 2, 2008
Move beyond the tactical skirmishes in this campaign, and one of the most intriguing issues remains the influence of gender on Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s candidacy.
The questions are fundamental and — even with modern polling technology — almost impossible to answer. For example: How much of Mrs. Clinton’s political vulnerability is linked to being a woman, and how much to her own, very specific political identity and past? Why do so many Democratic men and women, at this particular moment, see the race so differently?
The latest round of polls provided fresh data, although few explanations. In a New York Times/CBS News poll, Senator Barack Obama had the support of more than two-thirds of the male Democratic primary voters, while dividing women fairly evenly with Mrs. Clinton. The latest Pew Research Center poll, a few days later, showed a similar pattern — Mr. Obama outdrawing Mrs. Clinton by two to one among Democratic men.
Surveys of voters leaving polls in the last Democratic primary, Feb. 19 in Wisconsin, were particularly striking: Mr. Obama drew the support of 67 percent of the men, including 80 percent of the men under 45. He and Mrs. Clinton divided the women 50-50.
Patterns that lopsided inevitably raise questions, as they did back when the “gender gap” was first identified and widely debated during the Reagan era. Ronald Reagan was often substantially more popular among men than among women, a finding that was usually attributed to his staunchly conservative domestic and foreign policies. In this case, though, the gender gap is within the Democratic Party and between two candidates who agree on a wide range of policies and philosophical positions.
And one of those candidates happens to be a woman.
Perhaps, some strategists suggest, this gender gap is more about women’s loyalty to Mrs. Clinton than about men’s reluctance to vote for a woman. By this argument, men are responding in droves to the broad appeal of Mr. Obama — the promise of change over experience — while women are hanging back in gender solidarity.
“If I were betting, the difference is much more driven by women being more sympathetic and connected to her,” said Geoffrey Garin, a Democratic pollster.
But Kathleen Dolan, a professor of political science and an expert on women in politics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, argues that the visceral reaction of many men to Mrs. Clinton suggests that something more is at work. “You could say men are just really captivated by Obama,” Ms. Dolan said. “But I’m not willing to say that’s what it is.”
Ms. Dolan noted that any Internet search of images of Mrs. Clinton quickly summoned “all sorts of visceral and emotional reactions to women, but attached to her” — like Mrs. Clinton in full attire as the Wicked Witch of the West. Ms. Dolan also noted that gender stereotypes were among the “most ingrained,” and argued that much of the news coverage — including whether Mrs. Clinton was too tough and whether she was crying on cue — played off of those stereotypes.
Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, said that Mrs. Clinton clearly had a “likability” problem among some men that runs across party lines. For example, a recent Pew poll found that 67 percent of the Republican men (but only 54 percent of the Republican women) found Mrs. Clinton not likable personally; similarly, 43 percent of the independent men (but only 29 percent of the independent women) felt that way.
“A lot of men just don’t like her,” Mr. Kohut said. “And that gets us back to the argument, is it something about her, or is it her gender?”
Mr. Kohut says he thinks “it has to do with the way men react to Hillary,” not women candidates in general.
But Ms. Dolan wonders how people separate the candidate from the woman. From Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign on, she noted, Mrs. Clinton was confronted with a series of controversies around gender roles and stereotypes — from hairstyles to “co-presidencies” to “standing by her man” against charges of infidelity.
“The notion that she is a Rorschach test for where we are on gender issues was true on Day 1, when we met her, and it’s absolutely true today,” Ms. Dolan said. “So when people say it’s just her, I don’t buy it.”
Proving any of these theories — like proving theories about the role of race — is problematic. But long after the details of the horse race are forgotten, scholars are likely to be debating this. “For all the postmortems we do on 2008, I don’t think we’ll ever be able to separate out what is gender stereotypes from what is Hillary Clinton,” Ms. Dolan said.
Exit polls show that Latinos, Asian Americans, and women give Hillary Clinton a decisive victory in California over Barack Obama February 6, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, 80-20, Asian American, Asian Americans for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, feminism, gender, gender gap, Hillary Clinton, Latino vote, race, Super Tuesday, Uncategorized, women's vote.
If you look at the MSNBC exit polls from the California Democratic primary, it shows a sharp racial and gender divide.
It’s apparent that there was a huge gender gap as women came out in large numbers for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama. Clinton beat Obama among women 59%-34%. White women were heavily tilted toward Hillary Clinton (55%-34%) whereas white men heavily favored Barack Obama (52%-34%).
This is what CNN said about how Hillary Clinton won California:
“(CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton can thank Latino and Asian voters for her projected victory in California. Early exit polls indicate that Sen. Barack Obama carried white voters in California because of his overwhelming support among white men. White women, as in other states, more often supported Clinton. Black voters overwhelmingly favored Obama but Asian voters, whose numbers are comparable to blacks, went overwhelmingly for Clinton. The deciding factor may have been Latinos, who make up roughly 30 percent of California’s Democratic vote. They went for Clinton by a two-to-one margin.”
If you look at the white vote, it was surprisingly even with Clinton with 45% and Obama with 42%. As expected though, the black vote went overwhelmingly for Obama 78% to 19%. However, unlike in southern states where the black vote made up 45%-55% of the total Democratic primary electorate, the black vote only made up 6% of the total Democratic primary electorate in California. What made the difference for Clinton’s big victory in California was that she crushed Obama with the Latino vote which she won handily 69% to 29%. Latinos made up 29% of the Democratic primary electorate in California. The other group that put Clinton over the top was Asian Americans. Asian Americans made up 8% of the Democratic primary electorate in California and Clinton clobbered Obama among Asian American voters by an overwhelming margin of 75% to 23%. (I wonder how much 80-20′s endorsement of Hillary Clinton in the California Democratic primary influenced Clinton’s 52% advantage over Obama in the Asian American vote?)