TIME‘s Hillary Clinton Cover Is A Lazy Mess Of Stock Photos And Misogyny

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 06: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks after being presented the 2013 Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize December 6, 2013 in Washington, DC. Clinton received the award for her work in the areas of women's rights and internet freedom. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Whether or not you like Hillary Clinton, it’s impossible to deny that she is one of the largest figures in politics today. In a country where so many decisions are made by men who don’t understand the issues of which they are in control, it is significant that finally, women are beginning to have more political say. Nevertheless, female politicians are still treated horribly in the media and by other politicians who often take them less seriously, which brings me to my point: TIME‘s Hillary Clinton cover sucks.

The Hillary Clinton cover of TIME Magazine is sexist.

One of the most frustratingly sexist stereotypes about women in the workplace is that the successful ones are ruthless, arrogant, ball-crushing bitches who stomp on the sad rich white guys who are just trying to make an honest living in a world where most things are biased in their favor. Poor men. On behalf of women everywhere, we’re so sorry for, you know, having jobs. :( No, but really–is it possible to cover a story on female politicians without perpetuating negative, antiquated and sexist notions?

Additionally, it is just plain lazy (I feel like I’m using that word a lot lately, so perhaps these were all stupid hump day decisions people made). I find it remarkable that the only way they could think to illustrate Hillary Clinton’s rise to political power and unstoppable force was a stock photo depicting a man desperately hanging onto a woman’s high heel. It’s like they didn’t even try, so a 16-year-old intern was all, “I’m gonna make my mark with this cover! They’ll love this! It’s so deep and metaphorical!”

I would be angry but unsurprised if a rightwing magazine did this. I think my frustration has been upped because I know a magazine like TIME can do better. To be fair, just about anybody could do better than this, but such a long-running publication certainly should be holding themselves to higher standards.

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    • karen

      nI think the author of this post is only interpreting this cover in a completely negative light which is pretty narrowed minded. I didnt interpret this as TIME saying Hillary’s a bitch. I interpreted as saying that Hillary is at the top of her game, unstoppable and strong enough to be an intimidating presidential race candidate. I see it as a compliment.

      • adamfox

        Take another look before labeling the writer narrow minded. The cover is definitely ‘saying’ what you’re suggesting, but goes about doing so in a very specific way. Read this post on Slate which elaborates on this writers opinion and the two sides of this argument. Her views are not out the blue but in line with a well researched and discussed issue: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/01/16/time_s_hillary_clinton_cover_will_our_next_president_be_a_pointy_heel_trampling.html

      • Karen

        I was too rash in saying the author is narrow minded, (Sorry Samantha!) but that is actually a really excellent article and helps illustrate what I was trying to say which is, although the author’s point of view is valid, there are *also* potentially positive interpretations of the cover photo like Clinton being a formidable candidate. To me, the heels depicts an image that says I can crush my (mostly male) colleagues at work, and still maintain my femininity. That’s just my take.

    • JT Shroyer

      Republicans didn’t care when Bush lied about WMDs, nor did they express outrage over 9/11/2001, the Iraq War, or the 13 embassy attacks with 50+ dead under Bush. Their outrage over Benghazi is phony and they are essentially spitting on the graves of those lost in Benghazi for political gain. If Republicans cared so much about embassy security, why did they cut funding for it by millions of dollars? Why didn’t they express outrage over the 13 embassy/consulate attacks under Bush?

      Here are some FACTS for those that attack Hillary Clinton on Benghazi:

      1. The nonpartisan Accountability Review Board did not find Hillary Rodham Clinton responsible for the Benghazi attacks. Hillary never received the cables requesting more security from Benghazi.

      2. Republicans cut millions and millions of dollars in “embassy security.” Cuts that Hillary Clinton called “detrimental” to our security overseas.

      3. Over 50 people died from 13 embassy/consulate attacks under George Bush’s Presidency.

      4. The Obama Administration did not “cover-up” the Benghazi attacks. Counterterrorism Director Matthew Olsen told Senator Joe Lieberman that Benghazi was a “terrorist attack”. This was only a few days after Susan Rice went on the Sunday morning talk-shows. Therefore, this would have to be the shortest “cover-up” in history.

      Senator Joe Lieberman: “Let me begin by asking you whether you would say that Ambassador Stevens and the three other Americans died as a result of a terrorist attack.”

      Counterterrorism Director Matthew Olsen: “Certainly on that particular question I would say, yes. They were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy.”

      5. Hillary’s quote, “What difference, at this point, does it make” has been taken out of context. Hillary was referring to the Republican’s obsession with what Susan Rice said, not Benghazi itself. We now know the intelligence communities talking points that Susan Rice presented were incorrect. But to accuse the Administration of intentionally lying (when Counterterrorism Director Matthew Olsen called it a “terrorist attack” only a few days after Susan Rice went on the Sunday morning talk shows) is dishonest.

      6. The reason the YouTube video was cited as a possible reason for Benghazi is because violent protests had been erupting throughout the Middle East when Benghazi took place. Some of the protests had to do with the YouTube video, which is why it was originally thought Benghazi was also related to the YouTube video.

      Embassy attacks are an unfortunate reality in the world and have occurred under every administration in modern times. Security overseas is always risky business, and those who take jobs in dangerous places know the risks. Unfortunately, Republicans cut millions and millions of dollars from embassy security.

    • Andi

      Maybe it would help the issue of sexism in the media if The Gloss’ similar stories didn’t include “Hillary Clinton Shocks The World With A Set Of Great New Bangs”. Really? SHOCKS?? It’s hypocritical as a publication to point out Time’s cover photo (which portrays Hillary as strong and powerful, even if in a stereotypical negative way) when the top suggested story is about her looks.

      • Samantha Escobar

        I get what you’re saying, but this is in the first paragraph of that title (which was intended to be sarcastic):

        Thanks in part to a long, long political career, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knows a lot about the importance of image. Her clothes, shoes, and makeup have all been national news at one point or another, but nothing creates a media flurry like when she gets a new haircut. Her hair has inexplicably been a major part of the national political discourse since she wore a headband in the early 90s and everyone flipped the hell out.

        Read more: http://www.thegloss.com/2014/01/03/beauty/hair-beauty/hillary-clinton-bangs-1314/#ixzz2qboO8DXw

    • I Like Pizza

      Girl, that ain’t nothin’ but a kitten heel!

    • gilbertcishahayo

      I respect much You HILLARY and You BILL CLINTON, I send my best salutations with respects to You, I will be Your son-in-Law, me GILBERT CISHAHAYO BLYTHE.
      To you dear my near future wife CHELSEA CLINTON, Aka bisou ko ku munwa.I will marry you.I love you, you love me.You will be my wife, I will be your husband, me GILBERT CISHAHAYO BLYTHE. From: Me Yours, GILBERT CISHAHAYO BLYTHE, BUJUMBURA-BURUNDI.

    • Mark

      Dear Samantha,
      Respectfully, if we want to eliminate sexism and bigotry then we don’t do it by replacing one form with another (an example being the first paragraph in this article which states: “Poor men. On behalf of all women everywhere, we’re so sorry for you, you know, having jobs.” An inappropriate thing to imply given how many millions of people. a lot of them men, remain out of work).

      Second, you and I would probably find ourselves in agreement when I say I would much rather criticism of Clinton rested on her policies and politics; in fact, if she were more like Angela Merkel or Margaret Thatcher then most people could and would. Unfortunately, since Clinton’s stock in trade is to play the gender card every chance she gets then it is unsurprising and absolutely legitimate that people criticise her for using it to advance herself. That’s not misogyny.

      Third, and in my opinion, it is not a stereotype to say nasty women rise to the top for the simple reason that those at the top – be they male or female – do tend to be nasty. From your average politician to business leaders who treat people as expendable commodities, I am hard pressed to find any one of them that I could label as truly decent.

      Finally, and to your point about the photo, I agree, that this too, is lazy. The picture is reminiscent of the cringe-worthy adverts beloved by the print and televised media who wanted to (and still do) reach out to women by belittling men (as this picture so clearly demonstrates).

      Personally, I think we should pay less attention to the perceived woes of an extremely wealthy woman who wants more power, than in the millions of men and women who barely survive in low paid jobs or who have no jobs at all, and who can’t count on dinner.

      No-one in the media bothers to regularly speak up for them.
      Perhaps it’s time someone did.