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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton accepts her party's nomination on the fourth day of the DNC, July 28, 2016. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Balancing Act

Research says Clinton is right when she says it’s ‘tricky’ for women to be serious yet likable

By WITW Staff on September 20, 2016

On Monday night, Hillary Clinton appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show and was asked about the difference between “happy” and “badass” Hillary, and how she strikes that balance. “It’s especially tricky for women,” Clinton answered “It just is. Because there are a lot of serious things. The other night, I was on a show and being asked about ISIS and Iran and I was serious. These are important issues that the country needs to talk about. And the Republicans were saying: ‘Oh, she looks so serious,'” she said, referring to the Commander-in-Chief Forum on September 7, after which RNC chair Reince Priebus accused her of not smiling enough. “Well, you don’t talk about ISIS with a big grin on your face. They’re a barbaric, evil group that we have to defeat and wipe out. But it is a constant balancing act. How do you keep the energy and positive spirit while taking seriously what you need to?” she explained to Fallon.

The Washington Post points out that there is actually scientific evidence behind her claims — as research has shown that being “likable” is valued by voters much more in female politicians than it is in their male counterparts. And that has proven true for Clinton. Her current likability ratings are among the lowest of her career. According to a poll by The Washington Post/ABC News, she is seen unfavorably by the majority of candidates, equalling the numbers of Donald Trump — the least-liked major party candidate in modern history. The fact that her likeability is influenced negatively by the fact that she’s a woman seems undeniable, and was even acknowledged by President Obama in a speech this weekend, where he said that it’s clear that America is not yet comfortable with women in leadership roles.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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