Matthews and National Journal's Douglass on Clinton's "anti-male thing"

››› ››› RYAN CHIACHIERE

During the November 1 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, while discussing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) speech at Wellesley College, her alma mater, in which she asserted, "In so many ways, this all-women's college prepared me to compete in the all-boys club of presidential politics," host Chris Matthews asked: "Is this pandering or playing to the Seven Sisters crowd up at these all-women's colleges, where there may be that sort of mood if you're -- and they all want dates. I assume a lot of them do, on weekends. But this anti-male thing, is that something that's particularly something you can sort of spruce up, you can play up, up there?" Matthews opened the segment by asking his guests -- National Journal contributing editor Linda Douglass and NBC News political director Chuck Todd -- "Don't you both agree, Linda, that she should just lighten up on this gender -- 'the boys are coming to get me' routine?" Douglass replied: "I think, in this case, she's making a really big mistake, because now she's ventured into feminist territory where the man is the enemy."

Later, when Matthews asked, "Can [Clinton] get away with making this on the front page, in this weekend's newspaper, a boy-girl issue, rather than a ... flim-flam issue?" Douglass replied, "I think it is not smart, because I think what it does is tap into the discomfort that male voters, many male voters, have about her anyway. She was a feminist wife of a candidate in 1992." When Douglass started to add, "There was a lot of talk about whether --" Matthews interjected, "I think you're so smart," later continuing, "You are so smart! I am so glad you're on because I had this very positive feeling. OK, I'm a metropolitan guy. I'm not a metrosexual, but I'm very metropolitan guy." Matthews also stated, "This country -- it may well be time for a woman president. It may well be time. A lot of men have that attitude. They'll be looking to women, and the way they talk about it, to decide if that's true. If women take a positive attitude and say, 'This woman is talented, qualified, and let's face it, honey, smarter than the guys she's running against,' a lot of men will be open-minded to that. If, however, they get a scent that this is a woman-against-male thing, they go, 'Wait a minute. I'm supposed to be part of that bandwagon?' "

From the November 1 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:

MATTHEWS: Don't you both agree, Linda, that she should just lighten up on this gender -- "the boys are coming to get me" routine?

DOUGLASS: Well, you can't ask people to be gender-blind and then make it all about your gender. And I think, in this case, she's making a really big mistake, because now she's ventured into feminist territory where the man is the enemy. That's part of what comes across when you say, "It's the boys. It's all about the boys attacking me." And I can imagine conversations that are going on at kitchen tables all around this country between husbands and wives, and the husbands are getting irritated. And I think --

MATTHEWS: Is this something that's --

DOUGLASS: -- that this has legs for that reason.

MATTHEWS: Is this pandering or playing to the Seven Sisters crowd up at these all-women's colleges, where there may be that sort of mood if you're -- and they all want dates. I assume a lot of them do, on weekends. But this anti-male thing, is that something that's particularly something you can sort of spruce up, you can play up, up there?

DOUGLASS: Well, certainly, in that crowd, I mean, with an all-women's college, there certainly is going to be a lot of that. In the Northeastern colleges in general, there's often a feeling among women students that they aren't treated equally with men.

MATTHEWS: Yeah.

DOUGLASS: All around the country, there are women who feel they aren't treated equally with men.

[...]

MATTHEWS: Can she get away with making this on the front pages, in this weekend's newspaper, a boy-girl issue, rather than a flip-flop -- flim-flam issue?

DOUGLASS: Well, I mean, they are the ones who made it a boy-girl issue by running the video saying that everybody was piling on. And she's added to it today --

MATTHEWS: It's not smart.

DOUGLASS: -- and the boy's world -- and I --

MATTHEWS: [inaudible]

DOUGLASS: I think it is not smart, because I think what it does is tap into the discomfort that male voters, many male voters, have about her anyway. She was a feminist wife of a candidate in 1992. There was a lot of talk about whether --

MATTHEWS: I think you're so smart.

DOUGLASS: -- you could have a strong and professional --

MATTHEWS: You are so smart! I am so glad you're on because I had this very positive feeling. OK, I'm a metropolitan guy. I'm not a metrosexual, but I'm very metropolitan guy. I really want --

TODD: You've got cuticles, [inaudible]. You know, I'll give you that. So, you know, you've got a little bit going on.

MATTHEWS: I'm trying to make a point. This country -- it may well be time for a woman president. It may well be time. A lot of men have that attitude. They'll be looking to women, and the way they talk about it, to decide if that's true. If women take a positive attitude and say, "This woman is talented, qualified, and let's face it, honey, smarter than the guys she's running against," a lot of men will be open-minded to that. If, however, they get a scent that this is a woman-against-male thing, they go, "Wait a minute. I'm supposed to be part of that bandwagon?"

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Gender
Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Chris Matthews
Show/Publication
Hardball
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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