MSNBC "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough was recently criticized on Twitter for telling Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to smile after her wins in the most recent round of primaries.
It's the most recent comment about Clinton that's being called sexist, the most notable being Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward saying (on Scarborough's show) that Clinton unnecessarily shouted during her speeches — a comment many argued would never have been applied to a male candidate.
In a Washington Post opinion piece defending his comments, Scarborough stated plainly that his comments were made in the spirit of critical analysis of Clinton's demeanor — something no presidential candidate, male or female, is immune from.
"No man should say ‘smile’ to a woman walking down the street,” Scarborough wrote. “But Clinton is not a pedestrian on her way to work. She is the most experienced politician on the national stage today who wants to be the next president of the United States."
It is true that no candidate in the 2016 race has escaped mocking, joking and criticism. Popular YouTube channel "Bad Lip Reading" devoted an entire entry to Ted Cruz campaign videos, where everything from Cruz's marriage to his relationship with his daughters to his way of speaking was mocked.
The Washington Post wrote an article and made an accompanying video about the look on former candidate Chris Christie's face before and during his endorsement of former competitor Donald Trump, which they dubbed Christie's "wordless screaming."
These critiques serve little purpose, just, arguably, as Scarborough's "smile" comment does little to speak to Clinton's qualifications. But many argue that the nature of Scarborough's comments differ from criticisms of other candidates.
"(Women) are forced to navigate a professional atmosphere that demands we be aggressive but personable, tough but soft, and steadfast but nurturing in order to get ahead," The Huffington Post reported. "When you tell a woman to smile, it sends a very particular message: Her face is for public consumption. Her face should be pleasing to you, for your benefit."
"The people who called out (Scarborough's) and others' remarks weren't saying Clinton is weak or needs to be coddled," Vox reported. "They were saying she deserves to be treated with respect, and that comments like these play into disrespectful sexist stereotypes that don't deserve public airtime."