In less than a week, the presidential race will, god willing, be over. The election cycle will be remembered for many things—it arguably brought us more WTF moments than any other in American history—but its resounding legacy may be the flagrant sexism it revealed on the part of its candidates, commentators, and too many voters.
And so, in an optimistic attempt to prevent this sh*t from happening in future elections, we’ve gathered 39 of the race’s most sexist moments, assembled in chronological order. The list offers a stark reminder that we have a lot more work to do to reach true gender equality.
1. Bill O’Reilly debated the downside to having a female president
Knowing Hillary Clinton was likely to run in the 2016 election, Bill O’Reilly postulated on his Fox News show in 2014: “There’s got to be some downside to having a woman president, right? Something—something that may not fit with that office, correct?”
2. Sean Hannity mocked Clinton as an out-of-touch grandma whose only skill is changing diapers
In April 2015, Sean Hannity made fun of Clinton for being a grandmother. “What, are we going to call the president of the United States ‘Grandma’?” he asked, adding, “It’s nice she can change diapers, feed the baby … it doesn’t exactly qualify someone to have her finger on the nuclear button.”
3. Pundits suggested Clinton is only successful because marriage
In April 2015, conservative pundits argued Clinton’s entire career could be credited to marrying Bill Clinton. “If she hadn’t married the guy, you wouldn’t know who she is today,” said Rush Limbaugh.
4. Donald Trump implied Fox’s Megyn Kelly was PMS-ing on live TV
During the first Republican primary debate in August 2015, Trump got flustered when Kelly asked a couple of tough questions. The next day, he told CNN, “She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions, and you know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
5. Ben Carson said there’s no war on women, then described the war on women
During a campaign event in Little Rock, Arkansas in August 2015, Carson tried to deny that women’s reproductive rights and freedoms were under attack, “There is no war on women,” he said, before adding, “there may be a war on what’s inside of women, but there is no war on women in this country.”
6. GOP candidates couldn’t name any admirable women outside their family
When GOP candidates were asked during a September 2015 primary debate which woman they would put on the $10 bill, many were unable to name of any qualified female leaders. Mike Huckabee named his wife, Carson named his mom, Trump named his daughter (Ivanka, not Tiffany), and Carly Fiorina said she wouldn’t put a woman on the bill at all.
7. Trump insulted Fiorina’s face
During a Rolling Stone interview, Trump insulted Fiorina’s looks, saying “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!” Adding, “I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”
8. Marco Rubio mansplained student debt to women
In a October 2015 tweet, Rubio implied women were financially ignorant and inherently jealous while mansplaining student debt loans.
9. Trump suggested the gender pay gap exists because women aren’t as worthy as men
During a Trump campaign event in October 2015, a woman asked the then-candidate, “If you become president, will a woman make the same as a man?” Trump shot back, “You’re gonna make the same if you do as good a job.”
10. Huckabee made a pun about nagging wives. It wasn’t funny.
During a Republican primary debate in November 2015, Huckabee was asked whether he would keep Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in her current role. His response: “My wife’s name is Janet. And when you say ‘Janet yellin’,’ I’m very familiar with what you mean.” LOLz right?
11. The View hosts tore apart Fiorina’s looks
In November 2015, View co-host Michelle Collins said Fiorina’s face “looked demented” whenever she smiled. Joy Behar added, “I wish it was a Halloween mask, I’d love that.” To which Collins responded, “Smiling Fiorina? Can you imagine? It’d give me nightmares.”
12. Trump (and pundits) decided a woman using the bathroom was “disgusting”
During a December 2015 Democratic primary debate, Clinton used the break time to use the restroom. Trump responded, “I know where she went—it’s disgusting, I don’t want to talk about it … it’s too disgusting. Don’t say it, it’s disgusting.” Limbaugh chimed in, “Why not wear a diaper? If you can’t hold it for two hours get a Depends.”
13. Conservatives constantly speculated Clinton is too sickly to be president
Throughout the past two years, conservatives have obsessed over Clinton’s health, arguing that, as an older woman (who is younger than Trump btw), she isn’t fit for the presidency. Breitbart said she had a “slowness” about her. Limbaugh said, “She’s still out there coughing up phlegm, she’s still looking like Miss Havisham. Well, a chubby Miss Havisham.” The Drudge Report spread rumors about “choking fits” and thyroid problems.
14. Fox News compared Clinton to a horse “on her way to the glue factory”
In early January 2016, a group of Fox News hosts debated why Clinton is sooooo unlikeable. That’s when former host Andrea Tantaros chimed in that Clinton is like a “thoroughbred horse” who is “on her way to the glue factory.” Even her colleagues booed the remark.
15. John Kasich said he wins elections when women leave their kitchens to vote
During a campaign rally in February 2016, John Kasich told a crowd of supporters he won his 1978 election because of the “many women” who “left their kitchens to go out and to go door-to-door and to put up yard signs for me.” A woman from the crowd snapped back, “I’ll come out to support you but I won’t be coming out the kitchen.”
16. Susan Sarandon suggested women vote with their vaginas
In February 2016, Susan Sarandon wanted everyone to know she’s not a Clinton supporter by saying, “I don’t vote with my vagina“—implying that any woman who does vote for Clinton is only doing so because of their shared gender.
17. Men discussed why they hate Clinton’s voice so much
On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, journalist Bob Woodward and host Joe Scarborough used an entire segment to discuss their distaste for Hillary Clinton’s voice. “She shouts,” said Woodward. “There’s something unrelaxed about the way she has communicated.” Scarborough added, “Has nobody told her the microphone works?”
18. Pundits painted Clinton as an angry, shrieking bitch
Commenting on Clinton’s Democratic primary debate performance in February 2016, Hannity said the then-candidate “looked angry” and “sounded angry.” One of his guests, walking mustache Geraldo Rivera, added “Why are you screaming like that? … When you shriek that way it’s such an unpleasant [sound].”
19. Seriously, men just could not get over her voice
During a Fox News segment, Chris Plante, a conservative talk radio host, commented, “I find Hillary Clinton’s voice to be shrill. It sounds like a cat being dragged across a blackboard.” (The male candidates, he said, simply speak “aggressively.”) Fox News’ Brit Hume said Clinton’s speaking style is that of a “hard lecturing tone,” like “you’ve been called into the principal’s office.” Adding, she has a “radiant smile” but a “not so attractive voice.”
20. Of course, when she’s not shrill, Clinton is too robotic
Clinton just can’t win. If she speaks with enthusiasm and emotion, she’s shrill and angry. But when she tones it down, she’s called “robotic.” The robot critique has become so pervasive, Trump made an attack ad out of it.
21. Clinton got a haircut, so naturally, her entire character was called into question
22. Trump said Clinton has zero appeal aside from being a woman
In April 2016, Trump said, “I think the only card she has is the woman’s card. She’s got nothing else going … if Hillary Clinton were a man I don’t think she’d get 5% of the vote.”
23. Bernie Bros
Throughout the campaign, many of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders’ young, white male supporters—dubbed Bernie Bros—continually revealed that their support for the candidate was rooted as much in a misogynistic desire to topple Hillary Clinton as it was in a belief his political platform. And their sexism extended to other women, too: Unhappy with Nevada state Democratic convention rules, Sanders supporters posted state Democratic Chairwoman Roberta Lange’s phone number online and attacked her with messages including, “You fucking stupid bitch! What the hell are you doing? You’re a fucking corrupt bitch!”, “You’re a cunt,” “You will regret your actions shameful CUNT!”, and “Answer the phone you pussy.” Nice.
24. All the sexist-as-hell campaign slogans
Trump supporters’ slogans include “Hillary sucks but not like Monica,” “Trump that bitch,” and “2 fat thighs, 2 small breasts, 1 left wing.” Really great stuff. Meanwhile, Sanders supporters took up equally misogynistic chants during the primaries, referring to Clinton as Killary and Shrillary.
25. All the times Clinton was told to smile more
News flash: Clinton is running for president, not Miss America. But that didn’t stop Reince Priebus, Republican Party chairman, from criticizing Clinton for not smiling more during NBC News’ Commander-in-Chief Forum.
26. All the times Hillary Clinton was told to smile less
When men aren’t telling her to smile more, men are telling Clinton to smile less. Sorry, guys, no amount of smiling will change the fact that she’s a woman.
27. Trump said Clinton doesn’t look “presidential”
In September 2016, Trump told ABC’s David Muir, “Well, I just don’t think she [Clinton] has a presidential look, and you need a presidential look.” So, um, either Trump’s implying Clinton doesn’t look presidential because she’s not a man, or because he doesn’t deem her attractive enough. Either way, just shoot me now.
28. All the times Trump questioned Clinton’s “stamina”
Over and over again Trump claimed Clinton “doesn’t have the stamina” to be president. “To be president of this country, you need tremendous stamina,” he said during the first presidential debate in September 2016. By “stamina” does he mean “penis”?