Alicia Menendez – “The Likeability Trap” and the Challenges Female Politicians Face | The Daily Show


This book, I feel,
speaks perfectly to what we are
subconsciously dealing with in every single debate,
the likeability trap. How do you become likeable
as a candidate, whilst, at the same time, still
being yourself as a person? Why is that so difficult
to achieve? It’s difficult to achieve
across the board because likeability is
so wildly subjective. But it’s particularly
challenging for women. If you are a woman
who strives to lead, you are told one of two things. You’re either told
you’re too much, too assertive, too aggressive,
you need to tone it down. Or you’re told
you’re not enough, you don’t take up enough space,
you don’t take up enough oxygen, -you don’t have
what it takes to lead. -Right. So women are told
they can either be likeable or they can be a leader,
but there’s almost no way for them to be both. And when you talk
about women candidates, what makes that so complicated is that voters will vote
for a man candidate even if they don’t like him, -so long as they think
he’s competent. -Right. For women candidates,
they have to clear both hurdles. Voters have to like them and they have to believe
that they’re competent. It’s interesting, because,
in this race specifically, a lot of media coverage
has been geared towards discussing
Elizabeth Warren’s likeability. You know? Whereas people before, like, let’s say when Trump
was running, they-they said, “Well, you know,
I don’t like him, but I think
he can get the job done.” And that was a common thread
that went through the election. Um, in the book, you say something
that’s really interesting. -You talk about Hillary Clinton
in particular, -Mm-hmm. …where, you know,
you talk about something that I didn’t really
pay attention to, and that was, when she was just doing it
for the country. She was secretary of state. -When she was secretary
of state, people liked her. -Mm. Independents liked her,
Republicans liked her, Democrats liked her. And then,
immediately when she ran, people perceived it as now
she was doing it for herself, and her likeability dropped. Why do you think that is? Well, with men, we presume
that it’s in men’s nature to want power
and to grab for power. When women do that, it violates
this expectation we have of women that they are communal,
that they’ll act communal. I mean, there’s an irony
in that, right? Which is,
most women run for office because they want
to do something -that benefits their community
at large. -Mm-hmm. But they’re seen as…
as it being a power grab, right? Because it’s their name
at the top of the ticket, and so it’s seen
as this singular act. And so, just the act of saying,
“I am a woman, and I believe that I am worthy of power,” immediately makes
a woman less likeable. Chris Quinn, who’d run for the
mayor of New York, said to me, “The day you declare,
you have a new negative.” That’s an interesting place to be in, um,
as a woman who is a candidate, because you’re in a race where people are looking
at your likeability, but then they’re also locking
at your-your track record, which, as you’ve seen, you know, people spoke about
on the debate tonight. Amy Klobuchar said,
“Look, I think “there is a double standard
for how much you have to have achieved
as a woman to be on the stage.” Whereas the men can just
come in with like, “I have a few good ideas, and this is why I think
I should be here.” When you look at the trap, how do you think
people can escape the trap? How-how can a woman be likeable
if that is something that someone needs
to strive towards, but then still achieve
or be the best or be the leader, etcetera? You are doing such a good job of articulating
how complicated this is. And women have been given
two paths, right? We have either been told we can do this gender-correcting
performance where we, like, sit
in our chairs and are cautious about how we use our hands
and how we use our voice, -or we can just let it go.
-Mm-hmm. We can just choose not to care
about likeability. I don’t think either
of those paths work, right? Because if you do the first one, then you put the responsibility
of likeability back on women. -Mm-hmm. -If you do the later,
you don’t… you’re not being honest
about how important likeability really is. And what I think we need to do
is push back on likeability as what it really is–
a cover for bias– and say, “Enough with it”
once and for all. (cheers and applause) It’s a powerful stand to make. And you make a good case
for it in the book. Thank you so much
for joining us on the show. A really fascinating look
into the world of likeability. The Likeability Trap
is available now. Alicia Menendez, everybody.

Maurice Vega

100 Responses

  1. What a terrible premise. People didn't like Hillary Clinton because her policies were terrible. If her policies were good, people would support her.

  2. California build homes for homeless. But we hears this to often wife kicked me out. What even gives her that authority.
    Why It failed reduce homelessness.

    New Jersey was't even try to help the home . A seemly unrealated issue . They Ended life time alimony and Now the Republican state is rated number 1 in ending Chronic homelessness.

    Doesn't this show who really is to Blame. And it sure as he ain't the Billionaires.

    Do really expect Those. Homeless men on street paying Alimony Childsuport .an actual gender pay gap that actually affects standards of living . Do really expect them to believe they Privalaged and entitled.
    When reality the average women has vast more power than the average. Divorce Court family court. Free legal aid.
    The right to believed 60%longer prisons sentences across all Race . Males 70% more likely more likely to charged by politice across all races.
    Affirmative action . Quota systems.

    Are there any laws telling women what do with Life.
    She always give baby up adoption. No is forcing her to a mother at only for 9 months. And that's if doesn't have the legal rights to go out of her way to kill it.

    And fetuscide survivors after 30 weeks alive today weakened by saline solution prove its a medically unnecessary procedure.
    So less then 9months as appose to 18 years and
    It doesn't matter he wants s Dad personally. At he has weekends. If not married but married put on for alimony.
    And it is much common for a man in street paying Alimony and Childsuport to andanger the life the man then pregnancy and childbirth to endanger the health and life of women.

    As women do do you to avoid False accusions.
    And site source's that say it's rare.

    After being told Privalaged and entitled when nothing could farther from Truth.
    Told you have least claim to victimhood.
    Woman politicians should .have scrutiny from make voters.ot were not insecure about losing power but in hindsight should have.

    . Women are enimey

  3. Men vast power over Women LIER! Free legal aid family court the right be believed. And day it's extremely rare when accusions are extremely hard disprove is circler reasoning.
    And sight the source's and crediblity of who say that.
    .
    Men have economic advantage over women LIAR! How come 80%of the homeless are Privileged entitled men.
    What about Childsuport&Alimony.
    .
    Historically women were believed LIAR ! Mike Tyson Emmett Till the Central Park 5 Brian Banks Malik ST Hilair. And now feminism is affecting none black men. Wiam Allen. William Maccafray . Tyler Kost.
    The majority of country believed Anita Hill..
    The Senate gaining two seat for doing the right according two evidence .and investigation would Ford look even more discusting things rational people's said about the Cosby Accusers liars emotional manipulors because that's what they are why judge Steven O'Neal bared so many Witnesses and information on Bill Cosby's Accussers to protect their crediblity. If there was more investigation on Ford vs Kavanagh it would in fact the investigation that did make Ford look worse. You should be glad investigation was cut short if don't want call more of discusting things after found out.
    .
    And it's patryarchy why men can't talk about their problems or share their feelings . oh God STOP! F!!!!! LYING!.
    Men's Called a hate group for calling hate redirect or using fare debate. In refict. Point double standards and legal advantages. And inequalities.
    They get vilified as entitled Privalaged men who just want their power threatened.
    Or when your all out of arguments call them incels.
    Only it has anything to with issues practical admit all I say is 100,% males well real men put with it just get😘 and you say women face social backlash for coming for speaking up about their abuse.
    What is with them and lying and progecting .

    It's kill the messager . because. Awareness and critical thinking is a threat to The powder of those who get it through manipulation.
    . Look it's nothing you do . It's just being a woman makes you enimey

  4. sigh she says what bw have said for centuries and yet it is posited as a revelation. repackaging double jeopardy is cute. tired of this. kamala said she faced this and everyone scoffs. amy says this and its profound and true. blah

  5. You don't have to like a woman to vote for her but if she's hot, she's got 50% of the vote from the start. If men could put the Dallas cowgirls in Congress, they would. And CSPAN would be the most popular network on cable.

  6. I'm a man, and I agree totally with this, it's very hard for women to overcome this bs, we should all combine our powers to end this, I come from Turkey, and it's the same bs there if not worse, women are considered holly because of their motherhood, but it's extremely hard for them to be excepted when it comes to be in power😒

  7. How do you explain all of the Elizabeth Warren supporters who didn't want Hillary if it really has nothing to do with with anything about Hillary's policies and personality and everything to do with her being a woman?

  8. Boycott MSNBC. They're corrupt like Trump. She is so fake. She is talking something new like it is the 90's. This is so old fashion speak. Alternative Nation on MTV is obsolete. We know Kennedy (the VJ) is a Republican.

  9. This is too simplistic… it's not an either/or proposition: too tough/too weak. It's a continuum. You need hard AND soft in the proper proportions and those proportions are adjusted for each situation.

  10. Yep. Total double standard. Hillary, lots of people didn't like her, she didn't become president. Trump, lots of people didn't like him. He became president.
    Had he been a woman it would have been interesting to see who would have won. The woman with less competence who people don't like, or the woman with more competence who people don't like. I'd be genuinely interested to know.

  11. This didn't resonate with me all that much. I'll probably vote for Senator Warren, and don't see these issues reflected in my choice. I DO choose based on some level of likability, for example I very much dislike Donald's portrayal. I'd never vote for him because his aggressiveness and dismissal of his character flaws within himself that directly affects his ability to do his job of inspiration and decision making. That holds true of all leaders I'd elect to lead me into my future. A boss, a mentor, ect. We look at our leaders and say "how much do I like this person." There is nothing wrong with that. Charisma is part of the job. As for women standing up and having some grit, there is a difference between somebody who screams and disrespects and gives inappropriate attitude than somebody who has a louder, more captivating and more admirable message than others. If a woman can't figure out how to separate the two, they are no better than Trump, and will never be elected to the more emotional and morally responsible Democratic Party.

  12. The only question I have is whether this is an evolutionary instinct or if it is just cultural? If evolution is driving this role it may be difficult to use volitional will power to fight against it. This comes from a 'covert hypnotic' perspective. This question goes to asking if it is practical? How did things operate in matriarchal societies way back in the day?

  13. Also, just a question came to mind: if there are multiple genders in society, can we observe gradations in the ability of specific genders in terms of what criteria and values must satisfied for them to be elected to positions of power? The underlying idea is that if we can observe this phenomenon across more genders, it may give a higher resolution image for the underlying causes and possibly more insight overall on how to fix it.

  14. Whether you choose to accept it or not, people's perception of you is going to be influenced by your likeability. This is equally true for both men and women. If you're running for office and voters don't like you, it doesn't matter how good your policy proposals may be, they're not going to vote for you. Not just because they personally find you to be unlikeable, either. Think about this: America's president essentially becomes the face of the country on the global stage. If the person running comes off as unlikeable, then it's generally assumed they're going to be perceived that way by other nations' leaders as well, which thereby makes it that much more difficult to engage in foreign relations, international trade, etc. That's not the only instance where likeability plays a role in politician's duties, but you get my point. When your job requires other people to like you, being unlikeable objectively makes you less qualified for that job.

    I would like to clarify that this was not the case with Trump/Clinton. Trump's whole campaign revolved around not giving a shit if other countries liked him, as he intended to do what needed to be done for the American public, regardless of what the rest of the world thought. If anything Hillary was more likeable than Trump on a superficial level, but unfortunately for her, when you get exposed for sabotaging a party-rival's campaign and basically rigging the primaries it tends to alienate a large portion of the people that would have otherwise voted for you. That's why she lost, not because people don't like women.

    Beyond that, the people that tend to cling to these kinds of excuses are doing just that, making up excuses for their failures or shortcomings in life, rather than engaging in a little self-reflection and taking responsibility for their actions and how they may have affected the final outcome. Blaming your personal failures on sexism in [current year] is nothing more than a sign of arrogance, and shows that you probably weren't ready to succeed in the first place. Obviously there will be occasional exceptions to this statement, but in absence of clear and objective proof to support your claim, this is generally going to be the case.

  15. That whole thing about women being perceived as less likable when they seek power is soooo true. I bet you the same people who said they would vote for Elizabeth Warren when Hillary was running have come up with a million excuses not to vote for her since now she’s actually in the running.

  16. The problem is democracy asks incompetent people to decide without information. The search for a better system seems like a more rational path than blaming the population for the criteria they use when bereft of other data.

  17. Yeah, no. Likeability is a scourge for everyone but those given a pass because of some meaningless flavor of the month detail or set dog whistles that extend far, far beyond sex biases and simplistic narratives like this pandering bullshit. Sex bias is just a drop in the bucket. Drumpf didn't win purely because it has a tiny mushroom-like penis. He resonated with people of even greater stupidity than his own because he made them feel like their idiocy and wallowing in it rather than thinking critically for themselves was a good thing. Wise move to use the same tactics combined with better hair and makeup. Way to live the message.

  18. Literally everything about this also explains why there's a double standard for captain marvel as a super hero, and the back lash Brie Larsson faces for even being proud of playing that role.

  19. She immediately pointed out to women, without even speaking about the concept itself (which is nothing new…a charm that is how I would call it). She is just introducing a problem, where it doesn't exist at all. Are we still live in a society where women and men are not equal regarding a leadership (speaking about developed world, doesn't make sense to compare this with undeveloped). Everything she did was introduction of some stereotypes, and some women will certainly identify themselves with those stereotypes. Just consider the example of Anglea Merkel, how did she managed to become such a great (woman)leader, those stereotypes didn't apply on her. The part when she started talking about power, at least to me, it seem like she is talking about her dreams she didn't manage to achieve. Also, if the power is the most important thing the candidates are competing for on the elections, then elections are pointless, since no matter whom we chose, he/she will just work on exercising of that power they got.

  20. The fact I have to be careful on what I say and re-edit my comment several times on this thread is a counter point to her argument. I have no filter when commenting and arguing against the other extreme. I don't think what she said are true in most of the cases.

  21. Bullshit boring interviews are uploaded. We want jokes, not this hogwash interviews.

    I subscribed to watch Trevor Noah crack jokes, I've got nothing against this lovely lady. What I don't like is the daily show shit.

  22. Really don’t know what’s the point of this talk. There are all kinds of biases related to all kinds of things, Let’s get our girls educated, give them ambition from a young age, and then you’ll see where it goes

  23. This is such an important point. Great interview. Did you know that Hillary Clinton was the most popular woman in the world in politics until she ran for president, when she became hated. You may or may not have liked her campaign, that is beside the point. I am just stating a fact. "Clinton Most Admired Woman for Record 20th Time" December 2015, Gallup website: https://news.gallup.com/poll/187922/clinton-admired-woman-record-20th-time.aspx

  24. What's up with the "3" on her forehead? Am I seeing things? Is that a birthmark? Is she the chosen one of a secret society enamored by the number 3?

  25. The one thing he has wrong is that he said people liked Hillary when she was SOS. No, they did not. They started disliking HC when Clinton was pres and she was instrumental is drafting & presenting the first health care proposal. The general public has NEVER liked her. Fair or not, that's not the point. Her "likeability" was never great…

  26. I now understand your role in my life….I get to "snort laugh" at our day to day stress is in 2019! I send such gratitude for your ability to offer a laughing alternative!!

  27. Likeable female politicians, AOC, Ilhan Omar, Warren, its easy to like female politicians who aren't corrupt or just fake af like klobuchar, harris and hillary

  28. "Woman candidate"

    …female candidate.

    "Man Candidate"

    …male candidate.

    "Women candidates"

    Stop trashing the English Language.

  29. Bernie = "Ideas" but no accomplishments, and the bros fawn over him. Women have ideas, plans, accomplishments, and it's not enough. Elect smart women!

  30. This is true any time women step into what had formerly been perceived as a man's job. Women are judged by totally different and much more stringent standards than men are.

  31. “One should use information and logic as a drunkard would use a lamp post, only for support, not for illumination.”
    ―     Jaggi Vasudev,   Mind is your Business

  32. "Most women run for office because they want to do something that benefits their community…". No, most people run for office because they're narcissistic, powerloving egotists.

  33. Trevor, you never seem to check your guests when they say something odd, but just give them a platform to speak. There need to be more women in US politics, but this isn't the way. If there's an "unlikeable woman" in this discussion, it's this one. This entire interview is a surprise complaint about sexism against women, while trying to be a comprehensive analysis on all politics. She was the one who introduced the women's issues topic, and fails to stray from it. The literal first thing she says is, "this topic is subjective," followed by "particularly difficult for women." Really? So all women (50% of the population) also hate female candidates? Is Warren really less liked than Sanders, or are they simply political rivals for an election cycle? Menendez then proceeds to generalise the place of all women in democratic politics around the world, ignoring that most other democracies have more women in politics than in the US. Even if sexism against women is rife in the US, that is an irresponsible generalisation to make about all politics. Menendez bases her points on false dichotomies and strawmen arguments, which she has created herself to represent her own position and imagined opposition. This is not taking an objective look at informed research, this is pushing an opinion to like-minded individuals for book sales. The final point in this interview actually came down to "we need to do away with likeability, because it is a form of bias" which is absolutely absurd; Is Menendez saying Trump should not be viewed in a lens of likeability, either, and just on policies, or does this only apply to women running for office? What if you don't "like" the policies?

  34. This piece of shit mother fucker racist cocksucker should be fucking pissed on in public piece of shit mother fucker you racist fuck.. these are the most racist motherfuckers on earth the peoe line him along with most liberal retards

  35. Why does she makes it a sexist issue? Most male candidates this year are unlikeable, the issue is faced by both genders.

  36. All of this discussion is just fuzz around the stupid factor. The stupid factor that is a chain around the neck of our country.
    Likeability is always going to be a factor so pushing back on it is a fools errand.
    The stupid factor is what needs to be highlighted which this discussion touches on but in a distracting way.
    I would elucidate further on this but I have to work a lot to survive in this F up country. Maybe someday, maybe not.

  37. Alicia is wrong about why Hillery became unpopular when she ran for president – She was not less likable because she was running for power! She was portraid as corrupt be the most corrupt people in the world. The Russian party as well as the republican party. The disinformation was successful because both the republicans and Russia knew that they could control people if they could get them to hate. Hate is a drug and most people are susceptible to it's influences. To say it's about her likability is a mistake. It was about hate and that's still the preferred method of mind control being used by Rump, the republican party and evangelicals…. and of course Nazis, white supremacists etc. They make hate seem fashionable.

  38. Honestly her points make no sense.

    Hillary had plenty of haters before she became president, and there were also plentyyyy of people who voted for her just because they didn’t want Trump. Like ffs, the Dem establishment essentially screwed Bernie over just so she could get the nomination.

    As far as everything else, lmao who the hell really thinks bullshit like woman wanting more power makes them less likable? Besides your hardcore Trumptard or something? Even if they do, that way of thought typically goes for anybody, not just women. Same for liking them and them being competent. Is there any hard and objective evidence for what she’s saying? If there is, please enlighten me.

    Regardless, I already know someone’s going to say I’m a misogynist or think women have been treated completely fairly, or some other silly assumption. But the points she gives to counter fallacies like that really are weak.

  39. Woman acting communally is something completely absent from modern society. Woman from my experience are completely shallow. You could exterminate the human species, but so long as you bring them brightly colored objects, they are happy. I don't rate most males much higher, but it is less uncomfortable to tell them about themselves, as males can handle truth, and can be beaten down if they get that bent up about it.

  40. nonsense! Yet another attempt by Trevor and his friends to turn women into victims and make men look like the worst. Such a shame that we have to accept that people like you guys always try to create and/or catalyze tension between men vs women, black vs white, muslim vs non muslim, police vs afro, etc just to get a few more views or votes. Your responsibility im today’s broken social and political discourse is enormous and history will remember. Shame on you

  41. To be clear, black men have this hurdle, too. I agree with the overall premise of the argument, but we should make the distinction between white men and men of color. Obama had to be charming, effusive, and brilliant and half the country called him the antichrist.

  42. @ 2:12 Anyone saying "I'm worthy of power" will automatically be disliked. And Hillary was disliked when she ran because her supporters said "she deserved it". No one deserves the presidency, they have to earn it. Hillary did not. If any man said "I deserve to be president" his support would immediately drop.
    Also women in power are not criticized any more than anyone else in power. Ever heard of "The Man!". No one likes "The Man". No one likes people in power. Men are used to being torn down for being in power, but unfortunately, the feminist movement has not noticed this and "expects powerful women to be celebrated" by everyone. Sure, the supporters will celebrate, but not the opposition. Was Obama celebrated by the opposition? When people gain power others always tear them down by words and actions that will affect them most. For Obama his name and race, for women their femininity, for Catholics their religion, and so on. All this complaining about women in power being disrespected more than men in power is inaccurate in 2019. And makes women look bad. All people in power are disrespected, because power also makes you a target for blame, whether valid or not.

  43. It's not just women. Does anyone remember Bush vs Gore? 2000 election, Bush was very likeable but incompetent Gore had the personality of a rock but was competent. Do you remember who won? Bush by 535 votes in Florida. For as long as I can remember the elections have been nothing but a likeability contest. The more likeable you are the more likely you are to be elected. I'm not saying women don't have it harder but in general that's how you win elections.

  44. Totally agree with her.. defined gonna read this one. And it's so cool to see Trevor in conversation with her and not being judgemental or defensive for men. ✌️💯 #TreverNoah #TheDailyShow

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