Gillibrand: Society Has ‘A Lot of Gender Bias and Misogyny’

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) in a recent interview said society at large has "a lot of gender bias and misogyny" and called the media's attention to white male Democratic candidates "problematic."

Profiled by Politico about her struggling 2020 presidential campaign, Gillibrand responded to correspondent Tim Alberta's question about whether it was "problematic" for white male candidates like Beto O'Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders to soak up the media spotlight.

"Yeah, I think it's problematic," she said. "We have amazing women candidates, amazing candidates of color, and hopefully through this process we will lift our voices up and be heard."

Despite Gillibrand's complaints, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has enjoyed a surge in polling and positive press over her well-received litany of policy proposals. Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) is also consistently in the top five of polling, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) has joined Warren and Harris in meeting both of the Democratic National Committee's thresholds for the first debates next month.

In spite of her lofty perch, Gillibrand has not yet secured 65,000 unique donors—although she has surpassed the polling threshold—and Politico‘s "Off Message" podcast described her as "desperate" in hunting down $1 donations.

Gillibrand told Alberta she was annoyed by getting questions from the press about her "male colleagues."

"Who cares? I’m running for president," she said. "I want to tell you what my vision is, why I'm running, and why I'm going to win. I think reporters like yourself, who are super smart and super careful, will always ask me what I think about the male colleagues. Are you asking the male colleagues what they think about us? Probably not."

She's previously said "people are generally biased against women," and the media's double standards were something she had to overcome through perseverance.

"It's not unfamiliar. There's a lot of gender bias and misogyny in society at large, across the board," she said, telling a story of how she got complimented as a young lawyer on her haircut after putting in hard work on a case.

"I'm like, ‘Oh my God, is he literally talking about my hair, when he's supposed to be talking about my work?'" Gillibrand said.

"Was it a new haircut?" Alberta asked.

"It was, and it did look fine," Gillibrand said.