Most of the time, Melissa McEwan’s “Hillary Sexism Watch” is on the ball. There have been some real instances of sexism against Hillary, and it’s good to see the perpetrators called on it. But sometimes, like in the latest installment of the series, McEwan reads in sexism where it just isn’t there. This sentence, from Scot Lehigh, draws her ire:
Even allowing for all that [sexism], the notion that sexism is primarily to blame for Clinton’s woes doesn’t pass logical muster.
To which McEwan responds:
Ooh, see what he did there? Doesn’t pass logical muster. So anyone who suggests that sexism might be primarily responsible for “Clinton’s woes” is illogical. Well, isn’t that just like a girl? Someone tell Mr. Lehigh we can’t help it—it’s all the estrogen clogging our brains.
Um, wow, that’s not what Lehigh said at all. Now, certainly, accusations of being governed by emotions and unable to reason logically are common tools of sexists. But that doesn’t make every man who accuses women of illogic sexist. Lehigh, in particular, made no reference to hormones, or emotions, or any of the things McEwan brings up. She’s just putting words in his mouth. Her straw-man version of Lehigh’s argument is sexist, yes, but nothing he actually said is, in and of itself, sexist. This seems like one of those instances, like when the words “periodically” and “perceive” were deemed sexist, where far more is read into comments than is reasonable or fair.