Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hers to Lose

Hers to Lose (documentary via link) 

"Christine C. Quinn, the longtime front-runner in the New York mayoral race, lost in the Democratic primary. A behind-the-scenes film captures the final month of her campaign."

A dynamic look into the status of gender and sexual orientation in modern politics...



  1. At first, I found it extremely odd that the New York Times would release a documentary about Quinn's "collapse" so soon after she lost. I even thought it was disrespectful. But then I learned that Quinn had given the NYT the rights to her campaign documentary, expecting that she would win. I watched the documentary and thought it did a very good job of pointing out her struggles as a woman and as a member of the LGBT community. Not only did some religious folks shame her sexuality, but plenty of people criticized the way she laughed, dressed, spoke, etc. - something that women politicians struggle with everywhere.

    The NYT did a really good job showing Quinn's strength and resilience throughout the campaign. Even though she lost, I think her campaign is very unique and historically significant. I'm from New York City and it was wonderful to see a woman's face in the race. Hopefully she has encouraged other women leaders to follow their dreams!

    - Jessica Peña

  2. I agree with Jessica's assessment of the documentary. Despite being from New York City and spending the summer there, I never realized how much hostility Quinn faced during her campaign. I think one criticism of the documentary could be that the NYT did not fully explain many of Quinn's controversial political decisions. While this is true, I believe the film wasn't made to delve into her past. On the contrary, it was an opportunity to demonstrate the difficulties and the nastiness that Quinn faced during the campaign.

    I think the film is very relevant to the discussion we had on the first day of class about the stereotypes of women in politics. Why are people judgmental of Christine Quinn for being a strong and passionate politician (which critics label as being "aggressive")? I think her character is unjustly attacked because she is a woman--which shows how much work we still have to do in our country to fight sexism. I also find it remarkable and horrible that Anthony Weiner had another sex scandal during the campaign and still did not receive enough hostility to feel he had to resign. If Quinn received complaints over the outfits she wore, can you imagine what would happen if she were in a similar situation to Weiner? It all goes back to what we said the first day--that male politicians get away with a lot more than their female counterparts.

  3. I was going to post this documentary but Claire beat me to it! I'm really glad she did, I think it's a great documentary and a really fascinating campaign. I agree completely with Daniel. This summer I was an intern for Bill de Blasio's campaign, Christine Quinn's opponent so I got to witness the race from up close. Anthony Weiner, in addition to his sex scandals, is also known for being incredibly abrasive and rude to his staff. The communications director of de Blasio's campaign was Weiner's "body man" during his time in office and described to us Weiner's constant yelling and impatience. In fact, an intern for his campaign wrote a piece about her negative experience working on the campaign and was called, by a female aide one the Weiner campaign, a "slutbag." If a male intern had written that piece, I don't think the sexual nature of the intern would be discussed and I don't believe that a word as strong as that one would have been used.

    It's baffling to me how a man with such a tarnished reputation who is most likely ten times as "harsh" or "cold" as Christine Quinn can run an entire campaign with no mention of his abrasiveness. Only when it is a woman is it brought to our attention.

    I'd also like to mention the discussion in the film about Christine Quinn's clothing. It was really interesting to watch her discuss what she would wear to her appearances. I remember watching the first televised debate between the candidates and criticizing Quinn for wearing a pink pantsuit. I thought it sent the message that she was trying to be feminine, and I didn't think she had to make an effort to seem more delicate or kind. I realize now that I'm just as bad as those criticizing her for being to "harsh," drawing connections between what she wears and her politics. I didn't take notice of any of the other candidates' suits or ties.