Women Candidates Are Still Judged Much More Harshly Than Men

Former senior Obama and Hillary staffer Jennifer Palmieri sees a big gender gap in how men and women politicians are covered.

“I was Hillary Clinton’s communications director and President Obama’s communications director,” she explained. “Since the beginning of human time, men have built the power systems. So it’s still an unusual thing to see women trying to do this, women running for president.”

Palmieri says, because of this discomfort with change, women candidates are scrutinized and magnified in a way that just doesn’t happen for men. This creates a sense that they have to be perfect at every turn for fear of being exposed as an imposter—something that resonates for women in any industry.

She fears that the standard that women have to be perfect keeps a lot of them out of politics.

“I think if we can let go of some of these expectations that we do have of women, if women can not be as hard on ourselves as we are, you’ll find that more women are going to be willing to get into politics,” she stated.

Palmieri says it’s great news that they are so many women running for president for 2020 and that they hopefully won’t be judged by the standard of perfection.

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