A spike in searches for Senator Kamala Harris, as well as “nude,” “bathing suit,” and “bikini.”
On Wednesday, Harris debated Vice President Mike Pence for 90 minutes at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
Following the fight, Americans searched for “Kamala Harris bathing suit,” “Kamala Harris nude,” and “Kamala Harris bikini,” according to Google Trends, a tool run by the search engine that tracks global search trends.
From 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. ET, Google Trends identified these as “growing relevant questions” for “Kamala Harris.” Before 7 a.m. ET, people searching for “Kamala Harris” also used the terms “bathing suit,” “nude,” and “bikini.”
The phrase “rising” suggests that throughout that four-hour period, search terms pertaining to Kamala Harris increased the highest.
Pence’s associated queries were “x guys,” “net worth 2020,” and “HIV.”
Assuming the X-Men and HIV references are accurate, the former is referring to a joke comparing him to the comic book villain Stryker.
The vice presidential debated President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
When Pence kept interrupting Harris, she said, “I’m speaking,” sparking a meme and merchandise.
The searches tend to reflect sexist attitudes towards female politicians.
Female politicians receive less media coverage than male politicians, according to a recent study in the Journal of Communication, but when they are featured, greater attention is made to their looks and personal life.
Objectification, according to study, can affect how people are perceived.
Objectifying Sarah Palin by focusing on her beauty made her appear less competent and “truly human” to 133 participants in a Journal of Experimental Social Psychology research.
Volunteers also voted fewer for McCain-Palin in 2008.
This finding was confirmed by a 2016 study published in Communication Studies that used Facebook to evaluate the effects of reducing a female political candidate to her physical attributes.
The researchers created two channels to debate a female candidate. Both streams emphasised her policy credentials, but one also included comments about her looks.
The team discovered that objectifying the lady influenced evaluations of her credibility and aptitude for government.
“I am not aware of the search content, but obviously women in politics are objectified and sexualized,” said Jamie Goldenberg, co-author of the Palin study, via email.
Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton were recently objectified, or assessed only on their physical beauty.
On Saturday Night Live, I believe Kamala Harris was referred to as ‘The Hot Vice President In Charge,’ whereas Clinton was regularly criticized for not being feminine enough (remember the pantsuit).
According to Suraya Garikipati, an associate professor of economics at the University of Liverpool in the UK, women in politics have “tremendous” hurdles in terms of acceptance and likeability.
By email, he told Newsweek that the idea of leadership is still “heavily masculinized.”
“The difficulty of society accepting a woman only for her professional accomplishment,” Garikipati noted. A successful wife and mother makes us like her more.
She is everything we want in a lady. To which women are held to high standards.
Google searches highlight a problem that goes beyond individual sexual impulses, says Jennifer Piscopo of Occidental College.
She claims that many of the online sexualized photographs of female politicians are fake, created by designers using photoshopped nudity images.
“Spreading these photographs is a regular sort of political deceit that targets women,” Piscopo says.
“Objectified and sexualized photographs of female politicians circulate online constantly,” she continued.
To convey that politics isn’t for them, the ‘content providers’ disparage and condemn individual women.
Statista prepared a graphic that summarizes the Democratic vice presidential candidate.