Okay, so I know this blog has kind of gone all-Hillary, all the time (which is especially funny considering that I don't even intend to vote for her in the primaries), but beyond being an Obama supporter, I'm a woman, and some shit just pisses me off.
Seriously, I am not a violent person, but any individual, male or female, who intends to come up on me and pinch my cheek like you're my grandmother (and, for the record, none of my elders have ever pinched my cheek, because they all recognize how incredibly demeaning it is) will end up with your wrist in a cast, and it's justifiable, because you touched me first. Why Chris Matthews would think it's appropriate to tweak the cheek of a full-grown adult, sitting Senator, and presidential candidate is beyond me, but I do suspect it has something to do with her matched set of X chromosomes.
It's easy to cry sexism when you've got a candidate who is being attacked and also happens to be a woman; you run into correlation vs. causation issues if you make that call too early. Certainly, not every criticism made about her policies or candidacy is motivated by the fact that she's a woman. But when you see her criticized for something like showing emotion when she's feeling particularly impassioned about the future of her country (for which a comparable man would be lauded as strong, determined, devoted) or treated like someone's adorable niece in a cupcake dress and ruffled diaper cover, I can't ignore the fact that she is being treated differently because of her gender -- and I welcome examples of times when she's made an issue of her gender herself, because I haven't really noticed any, although I'll confess that I haven't been looking.
I'm with Megan Carpenter there. I dee-double-dog dare Chris Matthews to tweak the cheek of every candidate he interviews until the general election. John McCain, I think, has particularly pinchable cheeks, and I know you could get a good handful of Fred Thompson's jowls. But doing that'll be proof to me that you're not actually a patronizing, sexist asshole but merely an smarmy, unprofessional asshole with serious boundary issues.