Actually, Jimmy Kimmel and Hillary Clinton Did a Pretty Great Bit on Mansplaining Last Night
Last week, Joe Scarborough tweeted at Hillary Clinton during her primary-night rally in Florida to “smile. You just had a big night.” As we wrote at the time, Scarborough has a history of giving similar criticisms to male candidates as well, but telling a man to smile or otherwise change their appearance doesn’t come with the same gendered pressures as it does for women. On Jimmy Kimmel Live! yesterday, Kimmel and Clinton addressed the “smile” comment in a short but effective bit on mansplaining.
The segment opens with Clinton defining mansplaining, only to be promptly corrected by Kimmel. He then orders her to give a speech, which he derails with conflicting advice; she should be assertive, but not too shrill, outwardly happy, but not so much it seems disingenuous. When Clinton finally calls him on his bullshit, Kimmel condescends to her and calls her anger “cute.”
All in all, it’s a pretty accurate encapsulation of the ways women—even women who don’t have a massive public presence like Clinton does—are constantly told that we just can’t win. I hope that anyone who watches this video and sees some of themselves in Kimmel’s behavior will make the leap to consider the likely-unconscious ways they demean women everyday; whether it’s by interrupting us, attempting to correct us on a topic about which they’re less knowledgeable, or presuming we give a flying frack what they think about our physical appearance.
Kudos to Kimmel for being willing to look like a huge jerk in order to make an important point.
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