So a group called “HRC Super Volunteers” has put the press on notice that they will not tolerate the use of certain words that they consider sexist. @amychozick tweeted that she received a message not to use the following words and phrases: polarizing, calculating, disingenuous, insincere, ambitious, inevitable, entitled, over confident, secretive, will do anything to win.
There definitely are words that are kind of “code” words, and if used to describe a female political figure, could pretty much be immediately chalked up as sexist. I would include bossy, aggressive, bitchy (obviously), whiny, pouty, and anything that diminishes or sexualizes, like comparing her to a kitten. Also descriptions of her clothing, hair, and makeup, and anything more than a passing mention of her family. (Ted Cruz’s wife just resigned from Goldman Sachs, and the social media reaction is that he’s hypocritical for signing up for Obamacare. WTF??!!??) So there is a lot that they did not include on their list. And I think that what they did include is not really objectionable, for the most part.
Polarizing: this word is often used about Barack Obama. That may be why they included it, because another word that is often used against blacks is also used against women: uppity. But while I find uppity to be supremely objectionable, not so much with polarizing. It’s used to describe lots of public figures, and unless it is used in a context that explicitly or implicitly includes reference to her femaleness, then it’s not sexist.
Calculating, Entitled. If either is used with “woman” as the object of the adjective, then, clearly yes. Otherwise, meh, not really.
Disingenuous and Insincere. Huh? How could that be sexist?
Ambitious, Over Confident. Again, these are context dependent. If the implication is that she is *too* ambitious, then, I can see how that might be sexist. But in general, I think candidates for president possess these qualities pretty much by definition.
Inevitable. This must be only for Hillary. There aren’t any other female candidates who press would use this word about. Don’t see how this is sexist at all.
Secretive. LOL. Not sexist. But I’m sure her supporters would prefer that reporters not use this term in reference to HRC.
Will do anything to win. Only sexist if the implied “anything” is sex. Or housework. Or something else inherently sexist. Otherwise, yeah, pretty sure that’s more of an accurate depiction than a sexist smear.