For Female Political Candidates, Sometimes the Biggest Threat Isn’t Losing an Election

Christine Jahnke, a political communication expert who has advised former First Lady Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, has seen some head-spinning stuff while working with Democrats and progressive groups. The author of The Well-Spoken Woman, Jahnke recalls an incident in Indiana, where a candidate she advised arrived to campaign at a veterans’ hall and “some old guy comes up to her, looks her in the eye, and says, ‘Are you the stripper?'”

The best thing a woman can do, according to Jahnke, is have a coolheaded, practiced response ready to go when someone does take that cheap shot: “What you don’t want to do [is] lash out in a way that will be perceived as ‘angry’ or out of control,” she said—and that’s not always easy, because attacks rooted in gender can be distracting and distressing.

Read the full story here.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons