Field Guide

How to Attack a Female Candidate

Elise Amendola / AP Photo

Elizabeth Warren at a debate among Massachusetts' Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate on Oct. 4.

The knives are out for Massachusetts' liberal Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren, and that means the perennial conversation about how to run against a strong female candidate. Slate's Libby Copeland takes the opportunity to examine the seven most common lines of attack: "nutty," "power-mad bitch," "wicked witch," "frivolous," "uppity," "deviant," and finally just outright sexism. "As John Edwards and his expensive haircut will recall, male candidates are particularly vulnerable to seeming less than entirely masculine. Women, meanwhile, are especially vulnerable to being portrayed as insufficiently warm and feminine."