Citation: Wilz, Kelly. “Bernie Bros And Woman Cards: Rhetorics Of Sexism, Misogyny, And Constructed Masculinity In The 2016 Election.”Women’s Studies In Communication 39.4 (2016): 357-360. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
In this short article, Kelly Wilz addresses some of the distinctions between sexist and non-sexist critiques of female political figures. She touches on the “pornification” of women candidates who fail to conform to traditional gender norms and the “feminizing” of the Democratic party (and its candidates by proxy). She discusses the term “Bernie Bro” and the way it morphed into something of a catch-all. Wilz even devotes a paragraph (just one) to Donald Trump, specifically to his criticism of Hillary Clinton for “playing the woman card.”
I think this article has a few things going for it, not the least of which are its recency and its brevity (I promise — it’s less than 3 pages.) But in spite of its brevity, I thought it raised a handful of worthwhile questions. To what extent might Wilz’s assessment of Sanders supporters’ sexism differ from our assessment of Trump supporters’ sexism (and racism)? Have liberals replaced legitimate critiques of right-wing sexism and racism with straw men? Or does the abundance of evidence for Trump’s sexism and racism make that question ludicrous?
And from our post-election vantage point, how might we describe the charges and counter-charges of sexism and racism in the 2016 election? Can we tie them to the three rhetorical appeals? What made them rhetorically effective or ineffective?