Learning from the Hillary Clinton Campaign

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A new organization has formed to track the sexist statements and foci on women political candidates.  Regardless of whether one supported Hillary Clinton, it was very difficult to escape the barrage of sexist “white noise” generated by media, political commentators and other candidates.  So, this new organization is a welcome development and will perhaps track these tactics in a more scientific way.  That data will be used to confront and change the culture of permissiveness of attacks on women candidates, according to the post.  One one hand, I applaud the organization and will watch it with interest.  Perhaps a concerted effort is what is required because during the Hillary campaign, the regular and vociferous objections to sexism that were made seemed to fall on deaf ears.  Like the article says, the statements “keep coming.”

From the article in the Washington Post:

The effort to track sexist comments and put pressure on advertisers who help bankroll the media figures responsible for some of the remarks comes as women campaign in several high-profile races this year, including competitive Senate seats and governorships in South Carolina and California.

(Complete political coverage on PostPolitics)

The Women’s Campaign Forum, Women’s Media Center and Political Parity plan to spend $250,000 on research and outreach for the initiative, which they have dubbed NameItChangeIt. The idea is to call out a range of issues – everything from what the groups see as an unfair focus on women’s clothes and family responsibilities to profane name-calling.

The money will pay for an online advertising campaign, including a website, spoofy videos and the development of a smart phone application that allows users to report sexist comments in the media.

Their list so far, which goes back several years, includes a comment by conservative radio host G. Gordon Liddy about Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor: “Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something, or just before she’s going to menstruate,” Liddy said on his show. “That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then.”

The women’s groups also point to a quote in a Wall Street Journal story about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s run for vice president where a liberal voter asks, “Who’s watching the baby? And what kind of nurturing is going on in that 17-year-old’s life if she’s pregnant?”

The comments were only lightly condemned, said Jehmu Greene, president of the Women’s Media Center, and they keep coming.

Read the rest here.

–Cyra Akila Choudhury


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