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Sanders accused of sexism in CNN debate

Opinion seems strongly divided over this exchange. Sanders’ irritated ‘Excuse me I’m talking’ was denounced as sexist by many viewers.  Interrupting, or silencing, women can certainly be seen a sexist trope.  However in this case it was Clinton who was doing the interrupting – Sanders had paused slightly but was clearly in the middle of a sentence.  The writer of this Vox piece observes:

He came off as a man shouting down a woman.

But what if his opponent had been a man?  Would Sanders have responded differently?  When David Cameron told Angela Eagle to ‘Calm down dear‘, it was easy to argue that this was a sexist jibe. He almost certainly would not have addressed a man in such a way, and the effect was patronising.  In other clips from the CNN debate Sanders spoke passionately and without much smiling or smoothness.   I suspect he would have addressed a male rival in the same impatient way.  Perhaps it could be argued that the way this exchange is being described is more ‘gendered’ than the exchange itself.  I don’t suppose he would have been accused of ‘shushing’ another man.

Gene adds: Sanders said some foolish things during the debate (“When you are white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto, you don’t know what it’s like to be poor.” Really? “We are, if elected president, going to invest a lot of money into mental health. And when you watch these Republican debates, you know why we need to invest in that.” A rather flip response to a serious problem.) But he did have a good, heartfelt moment about his Jewishness:

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