News & Politics

Barbra Streisand Plays Expired Gender Card: Hillary Facing 'Outright Sexism' in Run for President

Barbra Streisand speaks to audience as The Hollywood Reporter hosts the 2015 Women in Entertainment Breakfast at Milk Studios on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages) via AP Images

Longtime Clinton crony Barbra Streisand says Hillary Clinton has been a victim of “outright sexism” in her run for  president of the United States and that makes her angry. In a piece for the Huffington Post, the legendary songstress laments that “nothing much has changed” in the 24 years since she complained that “men and women are clearly measured by a different yardstick.”

Twenty-two years ago, I had the honor of introducing Hillary Clinton at a Humanitarian Award dinner, given by The Elie Wiesel Foundation. I said of her then and it holds true today, “There is no one in this country who would deny the competence, intellect, stamina, warmth and courage of Hillary Rodham Clinton… But the criticism of Hillary Clinton has again demonstrated that the strong, competent woman is still a threatening figure in our culture. …A man who graduated high in his class at Yale Law School and made partnership in a top law firm would be celebrated. But a woman who accomplishes this is treated with suspicion… Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of the acclaimed biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, said of Hillary Clinton, ‘I don’t think there is a First Lady who has been treated as rudely and meanly except for Eleanor Roosevelt.’” Both of these women boldly risked the scorn of “those threatened by the image of a woman carrying the fight for social justice into the public arena.”

It seems that nothing much has changed. It’s been 24 years since I said in a speech for Women in Film, “Men and women are clearly measured by a different yardstick. And that makes me angry. Of course, I’m not supposed to be angry. A woman should be soft-spoken, agreeable, ladylike, understated. In other words, stifled. Language gives us an insight into the way women are viewed in a male-dominated society.

She goes on to cite as examples of  “implicit sexism of the political and media punditry” a couple of tweets she found offensive after Hillary Clinton won five primaries on March 15th: “Fox News’ Brit Hume tweeted, ‘she’s shouting angrily in her victory speech’… ‘What’s she mad at?'”  and “MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough tweeted she should, ‘Smile. You just had a big night.'”

Because pointing out that someone seems inappropriately angry and “shouty” is now apparently sexist.(Don’t tell that to Howard Dean circa Jan. 2004.) And never mind the fact that plenty of women also found much of the speech to be off-putting because of the angry shouting.

It was always assumed that Democrats would deploy their GOP “war on women” strategy in 2016 with Hillary Clinton as their party’s standard-bearer, but unfortunately for Hillary, the “gender card” just isn’t working for her this year. At all.

As NRO’s Jonah Goldberg explained in the Baltimore Sun, Hillary Clinton may be a lot of unsavory things, but what she is not “is an icon for a category of humanity called ‘womanhood.'”

In Iowa, Bernie Sanders crushed Ms. Clinton among women under 30 years old by 70 percentage points (84-14). He beat her significantly among 30- to 44-year-old women (53-42). Meanwhile, Ms. Clinton trounced Mr. Sanders among mature and, uh, very mature women. Women over the age of 65 backed Clinton 76 percent to 22 percent.

In New Hampshire last week, Ms. Clinton won women ages 45 and up, according to CBS News polling, but she lost the female vote to Mr. Sanders overall by 11 points and young women ages 18 to 29 by nearly 60 points.

While a gaggle of female Democratic politicians and aging feminist writers and actresses have tried to gin up female solidarity, it’s largely backfired.

Apparently Barbra Streisand didn’t get the memo.