A Missouri based college professor thinks the presidential race has offered a window into the way gender and power operate in American culture.
Professor Mary Ann Dzuback chairs women, gender and sexuality studies at Washington University in St. Louis. She thinks the media has failed to equally represent the strengths and weaknesses of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. “I think it’s a gender issue” said Dzuback. “I think there’s a lot of comfort in pointing to Trump’s professional record as a businessman in real estate, self-promotion and all the kinds of things that he’s done that have an enabled him to promote, to market his products as well as his television career.”
Dzuback contends the press has dwelled on Clinton’s Benghazi and email problems while understating her accomplishments as Secretary of State. She also thinks the media failed to examine Trump’s shortcomings outside of some of his bankruptcies and the Access Hollywood video bombshell. Dzuback claims the media has not treated the accomplishments of Clinton and Trump equally. “There’s something about a public woman who has a very, very, very strong, well rounded public record in government that the press has been unwilling to take up and explore, or even refer to on a regular basis, in the same way that they have about Donald Trump’s business career.”
Dzuback points to Trump’s behavior during the debates as an example of his sensitivity to criticism. She says Clinton was able to expose Trump’s vulnerabilities when being challenged, especially by women who claim he sexually assaulted them.
“He doesn’t have the tools to maintain a calm demeanor in the face of that kind of criticism” said Dzuback. “I think the fact that Hillary Clinton figured it out and just made enough of a commentary to enable him to expose his own weaknesses was pretty strategic and pretty smart.”
Dzuback thinks the next big question will be whether there’ll be a public discussion about sexual harassment following the outing of Trump’s statement about groping women. She says the last time the issue received so much attention was in 1991 when Anita Hill testified before a Senate committee about being harassed by Clarence Thomas, who was later confirmed as a Supreme Court justice.