Friday 18 August 2017

Clinton gives us a master class on how to neutralise the 'mansplainers'

Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton smiles during the first presidential debate with Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, U.S., September 26, 2016 Picture: Reuters
Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton smiles during the first presidential debate with Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, U.S., September 26, 2016 Picture: Reuters

Lorraine Courtney

On Monday night, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met on stage at Hofstra University to debate the important issues of the US election: Clinton's deleted emails and whether it's ever okay to call a woman a "fat pig." Into that heady mix we got a crash course in 'mansplaining' too.

Every woman who has ever been mansplained to or patronised at work by a bigger, blustery man watched the first presidential debate through their fingers. You see, no matter how much a woman accomplishes, we must still put up with being talked over and patronised.

Now, the debate stage, despite all the pleas from moderators, is never a nice place. Lester Holt gave his instructions to Clinton and Trump not to talk over each other and to respect the two-minute time limit they were allotted to answer each question. That didn't happen, with Trump interrupting Clinton a whopping 51 times. He just couldn't stop talking, while she only spoke over him 17 times.

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