In fairness, Priebus’s reasoning is motivated — it’s not like he wouldn’t have tweeted something critical of his party’s opponent. At the same time, he was just voicing a criticism that plenty of people (mostly men) have had of Clinton for her entire presidential campaign, and her entire political career. He was simply springing a trap that’s been set for any woman who dares to lead: She has to have gravitas, but she can’t be a bitch. She has to be a leader, but she can’t come across as overly threatening or pushy.
She has to meet two sets of expectations that are often diametrically opposed. This isn’t just a double standard — it’s a metaphysical impossibility.
That’s never been clearer than it is this cycle. In Donald Trump, Clinton faces an opponent who also struggles to meet the expectations of “statesmanship” — and occasionally even gets called out on them. But while Trump gets held to about half a standard, Clinton continues to be held to two. Both are asked to prove their leadership, but only one is asked to prove her humanity.