Campus Reform | Calling Hillary ‘Mrs. Clinton’ is sexist, say Georgetown Dems

Calling Hillary ‘Mrs. Clinton’ is sexist, say Georgetown Dems

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A recent post in the Georgetown University College Democrats' blog asserts that referring to Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as "Mrs. Clinton" is sexist.

"Please Don’t Call Her 'Mrs. Clinton'" appeals Julie Antonellis, Editor-in-Chief of The Progressive, asserting that using the gender-specific honorific, as opposed to her official titles of “Secretary” or “Senator,” is one of the “rhetorical strategies her opponents employ” to diminish her.

"Some may claim that it’s too persnickety to worry about the best name to call her," Antonellis notes, "but they fail to recognize the rhetorical strategies her opponents employ by referring to her in different manners."

Antonellis acknowledges that Mrs. Clinton’s case is somewhat unique, in that her husband’s prominence as a former president precludes reducing the reference to her last name alone, observing that “McCain” and “Rubio” are sufficient stand-ins for senators John and Marco.

Still, she insists that “referring to Hillary as ‘Mrs. Clinton’ diminishes her accomplishments by specifically attaching her to Bill and subtly diverting attention to her famous husband and his administration,” ranting that “it makes her appear as if she retired after serving as First Lady and retreated to Arkansas to stereotypically sip sweet tea on her front porch, instead of then becoming a [U.S.] Senator and Secretary of State.”

Antonellis states she does not believe “being labeled a wife is insulting,” nor that “political titles always precede politicians’ names.” She does, however, contend with the justification that all former politicians should be called Mr. or Mrs., saying that “this ‘rule’ is widely ignored,” and is often “selectively applied” in the case of Mrs. Clinton.

"Next time you see someone call Hillary ‘Mrs. Clinton,’ note if what the individual says is something positive or negative about her," the self-described feminist concludes. "I think you’ll find that most of the time the individual expresses negative thoughts about her. Personally I would prefer to call her 'Madam President.'"

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