Obama said that Hillary will face insurmountable sexism in the way of people describing her as shrill and tired. Well, let’s be frank…she does look tired–like…all the time. But let’s examine the term “shrill,” which Obama states is never used to describe a man.
I am inclined to quote Mark Twain. No…not “The difference between the right word and the wrong word is the difference between lightning and a harmless lightning-bug.” I mean: “If death did not exist, we would be forced to invent it.” In this case, if the term “shrill” did not exist, we would be forced to invent the term after hearing Hillary speak. Literally, my eardrums actually remove themselves, sprouted legs, and tried to run away from me when I hear her. Literally. No, seriously, I’ve had to have them reattached twice already. Dude…she is shrill. Her voice has the same pleasing qualities as nails on a chalk board, a straw being moved up and down in a plastic lid, or feedback when the drunk karaoke singer gets the mic too close to the speaker.
But is the term sexist? Obama wants to think that no man has been called shrill. Well, he’s wrong. A few have. Notably, James Madison was described by his peers as having a shrill, reedy voice. He still became President and is highly respected by history.
I find it odd that no one cries “Sexism!” when Trump is described as bellicose, bullying, or jingoist. These are all terms that I’ve never heard applied to a woman, but I guess selective outrage is all the rage in this day and age.
Shrill isn’t sexist. It is just that women are more likely to sound “high-pitched and piercing” (dictionary.com) and men are more likely to sound bellicose. This is the reason why one term is nearly exclusively applied to women and the other term is nearly exclusively applied to men.
Long Live the Constitution!