I'm really trying to finish up this big project, so not a lot of time for posting this week. But, can I just say? I'm so tired of seeing HRC with that "Oh yes you did!" smile on her face and finger point to someone in the audience. That picture was on the front page of the NY Times this morning. But what's curious is it's not on the online version of the article. There, the much smaller image is of Hillary smiling through confetti and clapping while looking up into the crowd. Like the pictures you see of most male politicians.
So, what I wonder is if photo editors choose those finger pointing pictures of HRC because there's always one just like it, or because those pictures show her relating to someone and women are all about relationships. You know what I mean?
Throughout the primary I saw plenty of male candidates pointing fingers and giving the thumbs up to audience members, but I don't remember the images of the male finger pointing as being so ubiquitous. Granted, I'm relying on my gendered memory, but I'm pretty convinced at this moment that I'm right.
So, does it matter? Does it matter that HRC, in my non-scientific memory data, is shown more often finger pointing and male candidates are not? In so far as it reinforces the idea that women relate and connect in their victories and men relish and lead the celebration of theirs, I think it does. The photos chosen by editors -- consciously or unconsciously -- reinforce stereotypical notions of leadership style, and the purported relational style of a woman could be perceived as less effective. (In a man, it's a plus, of course, but that's a different story.)
I don't think this photo thing on its own is a big deal, but it is part and parcel of the package of gender stereotypes that candidates and leaders who are women must confront. Which is to say, maybe Hillary should stop pointing fingers.