The 2020 presidential election coverage has amassed news headlines and spawned television programs across the country. As candidates prepare to begin their national campaign, late media coverage has taken a liking to recently joined candidate, and current Democratic Minnesota Senator, Amy Klobuchar. Klobuchar has come under criticism after former aides began speaking out about the “demanding and often dehumanizing” work environment that has since been deemed volatile and marked with distrust. These aides discuss how Klobuchar is notorious for throwing various office objects in the their direction and lower-level employees were reduced to demeaning duties such as cleaning her dirty dishes. Statistically, Klobuchar is known for having the highest employee-turnover rate in all of the Senate, with employees rarely lasting more than a few years. Her recent presidential bid has resulted in the growing publicity of her former and current treatment of aides, thus leading to great criticism and detestation.
The recent publication of Klobuchar’s treatment towards her aides highlights the sexism that continues to reside within America. While treating workers as inferior is inexcusable, the surrounding media attention regarding Klobuchar’s actions in hypocritical compared to that of many male counterparts. If the media was as concerned with how presidential candidates treated their workers as they are surrounding Klobuchar, then the current president would not have been elected. Klobuchar’s actions should not go unnoticed, however it is concerning to know that if she were a man, the media would not be covering this topic as heavily, or possibly not at all. There has always been a harder power struggle for woman to gain authority. It is a never ending tug-of-war in which a woman does not want to come off as too authoritative and be seen as aggressive, however showing a more empathetic side creates an idea that she is vulnerable and will always be walked over. America’s double-standard for women is one of the greatest obstacles to conquer in order to complete equality between the sexes. Women have broken countless glass ceilings, from being granted suffrage to sitting on the bench of the Supreme Court. Yet, with every historical barrier being broken down, there is another one that is created by retrogressive men and their insecure masculinity. The idea of a woman being President, or even merely holding an influential position, instills an ignorant sense of fear in individuals who would rather live in an early 1900s mindset than accept that women are capable of being educated and impactful.
As a feminist, I believe that this is partly a sexist attack against a powerful woman. However, as an educated voter, I believe that being an effective and productive leader does not mean that one has to sacrifice being kind and compassionate. The struggle for a woman to find a productive balance between empathy and efficiency is much greater in such a public position, but it is not impossible.
Klobuchar’s campaign promise of feminism and a progressive society stands in stark contrast to her treatment of her aides. Feminism is the concept of equality between the sexes, yet her attitude towards her aides as inferior is ironically harsh. Having a woman as President would not only be historically groundbreaking, it would also be a major progression for gender equality that was once only dreamed of. However, it is not okay to vote for a woman simply because of their sex. One should choose to vote for individuals because of their platforms and beliefs. Klobuchar may not be the forerunner for President, but it is not because of gender or lack of qualification. Rather, it is having empathy for workers and granting everyone kindness that has been lost in the current presidential administration. Although the future of America may not be Klobuchar, there is an undeniable progression of female influence and equality that is no longer hindered by retrogressive male insecurity.