February 19, 2020 - Warren Faces Gendered Criticism of Her Bloomberg Take-Down

Reacting to Warren’s attacks on Bloomberg at the ninth Democratic presidential debate, some commentators – like Boston Globe columnist Scott Lehigh – suggest that Warren might be “too aggressive.” Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin tweets, “Mean and angry Warren is not a good look.” Both characterizations tap into gender stereotypes that expect women to be “nice” and punish perceived aggression in women while it is assumed and often praised for men, especially those seeking executive leadership roles. This criticism yields a response from many women, including U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY, and a Sanders supporter), who tweets: “Warren was not mean, nor angry. She was effective. And by the way, we are allowed to be angry about racial profiling. You’re allowed to be angry about sexual harassment. Or at big banks committing fraud against single parents. Anger at injustice is quite appropriate.”