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Kamala Harris and the ‘Double Bind’ of Racism and Sexism

“She’ll bulldoze her aged, sentimental boss,” Mr. Carlson, the Fox Information host, mentioned Wednesday. “So tonight we’ll be airing the vice-presidential debate, however what we’ll really be is Kamala Harris’s audition for the presidency. That’s the workplace she’s working for, it doesn’t matter what they let you know.”

The assaults on Ms. Harris as “unlikable,” which Mr. Trump pushed on Thursday, additionally play right into a double customary. Voters usually tend to see likability as obligatory for girls than for malesanalysis exhibits, and specialists say Black ladies are sometimes judged much more harshly.

It’s one thing of a tightrope: Stereotypically female habits can lead voters to see ladies working for workplace as extra likable however much less of a frontrunnerwhereas stereotypically masculine habits could make voters see them as extra of a frontrunner however much less likable.

That is “the traditional double bind,” mentioned Amanda Clayton, a political scientist at Vanderbilt College. “Girls can both be seen as leaders or they are often seen as female, and the 2 don’t go collectively.”

These caricatures and double requirements have been accompanied by sexualization, frequent towards ladies of all races however particularly those that are Black. That is one other racist trope, the promiscuous, hypersexual “Jezebel.”

After Mr. Biden selected Ms. Harris, the right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh instructed falsely, quoting from a conservative web site, that she had “slept her approach up.” T-shirts with the slogan “Joe and the Hoe” have been briefly obtainable on Amazon. The mayor of Luray, Va., known as her “Aunt Jemima,” a nod to yet one more stereotype, the “Mammy.”

“These are distinctly misogynoir techniques,” Dr. Brown mentioned, referring to the mixture of racism and sexism that Black ladies face. “We might not see these stereotypes or these type of threats used towards her if she weren’t a Black girl.”

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