Woman's work

I don't mean to suggest, when I say that sexism is a bigger handicap for a presidential candidate than racism, that Hillary Clinton is losing simply because she's a woman. Many people I know think that the Clinton campaign has had only one main problem, but unfortunately that problem is named William Jefferson Clinton. And Ms. Clinton is not a charmer like her husband; her strength is ideas, not charisma. This would, I think, be true if she were a man with all the same genes except the second x chromosome. Indeed, she'd probably never have been a politician in the first place.

But I do think that sexism is a deeper and subtler handicap than racism is when it comes to leadership roles. She might not have won if she was a man. But as a woman, it was harder still.

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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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