Tonight, David Frum, a former George W. Bush speechwriter and now Atlantic senior editor, did what we all hoped men of the internet would avoid: he tweeted about Hillary Clinton’s smile.
But instead of saying she should smile more—like many men before him have done—he asked, “Who told Hillary Clinton to keep smiling like she’s at her granddaughter’s birthday party?”
And if that wasn’t enough, he took it a step further.
Unsurprisingly, Twitter wasn’t happy about it.
And Frum noticed.
Quite problematic. Throughout the campaign, Clinton has taken flak from pundits for not smiling enough, most notably after she won the primaries in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio in March, when MSNBC host Joe Scarborough told her to “smile more” because she just “had a big night.” As recently as just a few weeks ago, Reince Priebus joined the long list of men who think Clinton should smile more.
“It’s subversively sexist,” Sophia Tesfaye wrote at Salon in response to Scarborough’s tweet in March. “Call it casual sexism, call it every day sexism, call whatever you’d like, but it’s flippant, cavalier and annoying at best.”
So tonight at the first debate, yeah—she smiled. But now people seem to think she’s smiling too much. What’s the first female candidate to be nominated for president by either major party to do?
Meanwhile, the republican candidate, who spent much of the debate interrupting Clinton, dismissing moderator Lester Holt, and bragging about his temperament, also got some criticism on his appearance from the women of the internet.