ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.

Constant interruption. A condescending tone. Eye-rolling.

For many women, the presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was a case study in deja vu. For more than 90 minutes on a national stage, they said Tuesday, Trump subjected the first female presidential candidate from a major party to indignities they experience from men daily, in the workplace and beyond.

Tweeted Chicago-based writer Britt Julious: “Thoughts & prayers to every woman watching the #debates & getting painful flashbacks to dudes talking over them at work, school, home, etc.”

“The sad thing,” said Christina Emery, an author from Swansea, Illinois, “is that I’m so used to men interrupting women — especially when they want to change the subject — that I didn’t pay much attention to Trump’s behavior. I was focused on Clinton and how she handled herself.”

In the course of the debate, Trump interrupted Clinton 51 times, while she interrupted him 17 times.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a professor of communication who is director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, said Trump’s frequent interruptions of Clinton conformed with research concluding that men in group meetings interrupt women more than vice versa.

“The question for the audience — did they interpret that as an attempt of a male candidate to disadvantage a female candidate,” said Jamieson. “If so, that hurts Donald Trump.”

Speaking on her campaign plane, Clinton said Trump’s “demeanor, his temperament, his behavior on the stage could be seen by everybody and people could draw their own conclusions.”

Asked about the interruptions and whether Trump might change his style in the next debate, his spokeswoman Hope Hicks praised his showing.

“Mr. Trump gave a stellar performance and showed a comprehensive understanding of the issues voters are most interested in including trade, economic development, and job creation,” she wrote in an email.

The exchanges between the candidates underscored how different they are. Unlike previous presidential debates, where there has been a thin veneer of respectful discourse between two men, this was a stark conversational divide.

And, some said, a gender divide, one that’s all too familiar to women.



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