After Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday night, like clockwork, political reporters and pundits ― mostly men ― began commenting on the sound of Clinton’s voice, which they have done time and time again.
Fox News’ Brit Hume took issue with her “not-so-attractive voice.”
“She tends to accelerate her delivery and speak louder and sterner,” Hume said. “She has a great asset as a public person, which is a radiant smile, but she has a not so attractive voice, and I think for much of her speech tonight, she lapsed into that familiar lecturing tone. And I suspect that there were some people that, even who agreed with her words, found the tone off-putting.”
Steve Clemons, editor-at-large for The Atlantic, also mentioned Clinton’s “lecturing” and advised her to “smile.”
On PBS and NPR, female commentators noted the historical importance and emotional resonance of Clinton’s speech. Their male counterparts focused on Clinton’s voice.
“I don’t know why she can’t project more humanity,” New York Times columnist David Brooks said on the broadcast. “She projects one emotional tone throughout, and it has a combative manner to it, and not a happy warrior manner.”
And on Twitter, many political commentators complained about Clinton’s “annoying” voice and suggested she calm down.
Apparently, making history as the first female presidential nominee of a major political party doesn’t stop sexist attacks.
Sadly, this is nothing new. Clinton received similar criticism in previous speeches and political debates, mostly from men. They claim their critiques aren’t sexist. But male candidates, like Clinton’s primary opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, rarely receive equivalent scrutiny.
Attacks on the sound of a woman’s voice often mirror negative perceptions of women as too “aggressive” and “dominant.” Meanwhile, when it comes to men, those same qualities and traits are cast as positive attributes.
To everyone: Stop doing this, please.