Stewart of course had to talk to Bill Clinton about his wife's presidential run. My point here isn't about if Hillary should or shouldn't be president, but the gender assumptions associated with that. During the whole segment, Stewart kept pushing Bill to talk about how weird it would be to have his wife in a position of power over him. Stewart made pillow talk jokes, and implied that one's manhood would be in question if one's wife were to be president. Bill to his credit did everything he could to avoid those paths Stewart was trying to lead him down.
Now I know that the Bill and Hillary thing is different in a way because she is running for the position he once held and all that, but the gender assumptions aren't limited to their relationship. Even when Bill was president people took offense that Hillary played such an involved role in politics. Unlike other First Ladies she wasn't just a pretty accessory who shows off the White house Holiday decorations to the press and occasionally gets involved in "good causes." I remember frequently seeing bumper stickers that went something along the lines of "Impeach President Clinton and Her Husband Too!" Now I was not a Clinton fan at the time, but I still found those bumper stickers offensive for the assumptions they made about women, especially women in power.
The idea is that there is something wrong about a woman being in a position of political power. Some men think it is a challenge to their manhood to answer to a woman. If anyone watched the TV series Commander in Chief a couple of years ago you saw this theme played out (well at least after the point in the season where Rod Lurie was removed from creative control and they started pursuing stupid plots like that...) In that show, when a woman (by accident not election) became president, her husband entered an identity crisis and basically abandoned his family so he could prove himself. This is the American idea of what it would mean for a woman to lead. The focus is less on her abilities and qualifications, and more on her sexuality and its impact on men.
Now I fully understand that people don't support Hillary for a number of reasons other than her gender, but as the campaign continues it is disheartening to see the gender card continue to be played against her. Is the country really still so sexist and afraid of women in positions of power? What will it take to truly get beyond that? For those of you in other countries (especially those that have elected women as heads of state) do you see a different dynamic at play?