MEDIA

Fusion's Alicia Menendez Reminds The Media: 'Sexist Coverage Influences How We Vote'

06/09/2015 11:41 am ET | Updated Jun 09, 2015

Fusion host Alicia Menendez slammed the media for its sexist coverage of female presidential politicians Monday, stressing that asking candidates like Republican Carly Fiorina about their pink nail polish isn’t just trivial -- it hurts their chances of winning.

“Sexist coverage influences how we vote,” Menendez said on “Come Here And Say That.” “When we in the media talk about female candidates in a way we wouldn’t talk about their male counterparts, it sways voters away from those female candidates.”

Menendez cited a new study from women's advocacy group UltraViolet showing that female candidates are quoted less and get fewer chances to express their views. Their viability is questioned more, as is their appearance, and their titles are dropped more often.

“So it isn’t former Senator, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- it’s just ‘Hillz'!” Menendez quipped.

The Fusion host pointed to a number of sexist incidents from past campaigns, including Tucker Carlson’s claim that he involuntarily crosses his legs when Clinton speaks. (Did he think her voice threatens to castrate him?) Menendez also mentioned Washington Post style writer Robin Givhan, who dedicated an entire piece in 2007 to criticizing Clinton’s low neckline at an appearance on the Senate floor.

“For those in the media, it’s a reminder that every time we fall into the trap of covering women candidates’ hair or clothes, that’s two minutes we could have spent talking about something that would truly inform voters,” Menendez said.

Gabriel Arana is senior media editor at The Huffington Post.

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