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Marianne Williamson Is Apparently a Big Meanie

Last week, Politico had a big scoop, namely that (pseudo-) presidential candidate Marianne Williamson is not nice to her staffers. The exact characterization, coming from a dozen people who used to work for her, is that the candidate is verbally and emotionally abusive. This runs rather contrary to her carefully cultivated Earth mother image.

Since Williamson has no chance of becoming president, this story has little relevance to the 2024 race for the White House. So, let us instead ask this question: How come these kinds of stories almost always seem to be about women politicians? It's true, we do occasionally hear about John Bolton throwing staplers or Donald Trump throwing bottles of ketchup. But exposés about how "[Woman Politician X] is abusive with her staff" are practically a cottage industry. We seen stories like this about, among others, Kamala Harris, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN), Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), Susan Rice and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ).

Maybe we are guilty of selection bias, but we don't think so. And assuming that we are correct about the pattern, then what is going on? Do women politicians have to be meaner for some reason, like maybe because that is what it takes to be taken seriously? Or is abusive behavior by male politicians not noticed/commented upon, since it's deemed to be normal behavior? Something else? We don't know. (Z)

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