en(gender)ed podcast: Episode 120: Susan Bordo on sex and femininity in politics and its intersection with sexism and misogyny


On this episode of the en(gender)ed podcast, our guest is Susan Bordo, cultural historian, professor emeritus, feminist, and author of the books, The Destruction of Hillary Clinton and Imagine Bernie Sanders as a Woman. We speak with Susan today about her work to deconstruct woman as a cultural category, its role in the 2016 election, and what it means to be a woman today in public life. Our conversation explores the ways in which the same behaviors exhibited or embodied by men are treated differently by the media when we observe them in women, how society is complicit in reinforcing these cultural norms, double-binds, double-standards, and what it communicates to the girls (and boys) we raise.

During our conversation, Susan and I referenced the following resources and topics:

  • The documentary–The Brainwashing of My Dad and our interview with film maker, Jen Senko about it
  • The “cookies and tea” controversy that the media created about Hillary Clinton
  • Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan of 1993
  • How sexism and misogyny is the gateway to white supremacy
  • How feminists differ in whether they want to prevent harm or reduce harm, as exemplified in the debate about prostitution
  • How “purity politics” is harming progressivism

Hear the Podcast here