Saturday, October 16, 2010

Why Do They Think Gender Will Fix The Country?

At the risk of being labeled “sexist,” I will begin this post with a statement of “I don’t care what someone’s gender is that is running for office. I care whether or not they will do the job needed.”

You might wonder why I would even mention such a thing in today’s day and age, but it seems the numbers game is what is important to some people over electing people with the best ability to govern properly and turn the economy back around.

I might also add that partisan affiliation is secondary to me as well, although the current batch of Democrat politicians have performed even worse than the previous Republican batch they began replacing in 2006.

What brought this thought on was an email I received this morning from Kristin at MomsRising.org, a leftist group that grew out of Moveon.org and claims to be about “bringing together millions of people who share a common concern about the need to build a more family-friendly America” since 2006, the very year that Democrats were swept into dictatorial control of the American Congress.

Moveon.org, if you recall, was formed late in the Clinton administration largely to encourage the country to just “move on” from the scandals he was embroiled in, particularly the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

I was a bit surprised reading the email this morning as it seemed to be in defense of a Republican woman, something we haven’t seen a lot of coming out of any pro-Democratic group so far. They are fired up apparently, over comments made by WRKO talk-jock duo Tom Finneran and Todd Feinburg in Boston, Massachusetts September 20, 2010 about Republican Treasurer Candidate Karyn Polito.

The email, titled ‘Banging little body.’ Must women running for office put up with this? begins with, “Wonder why we’ll likely have fewer women in Congress after the November elections than we’ve had in the last three decades?” In the body of the email we find, “Cover real issues, not body parts. Stop focusing on the physical attributes of female candidates and ignoring issues that impact families every day like fair pay for women, jobs, access to healthcare and childcare, family leave, and other family economic security policies.”

Pure left-leaning Democrat ideology.

Researching just who Karyn Polito is, since I live some 3,000 miles away in the Pacific Northwest, I was really surprised to discover a comment by Christina Knowles, Bay State director of the National Organization for Women, “That is one of the most sexist, outrageous things I have ever heard in my life,” in regards to the jocks comment of “I think she’s hot. She’s tiny, she’s short. She’s got a banging little body on her. Facial wise, I give her about a seven. Body wise, I give her about an eight-and-a-half. Tight little butt. I endorse Karyn Polito.”

Inappropriate and not something I would use, it is entertainment radio that constantly says all sorts of outrageous remarks about all, politicians especially.

Can we forget James Carville, campaign strategist for Bill Clinton and his snarky comment against Paula Jones of her being “trailer park trash?”

Can we forget demeaning and outrageous comments made about Sarah Palin and her family in the 2008 campaign and since?

I could go on and on but these 2 examples and the silence from groups like MomsRising, Movenon.org and the National Organization for Women has been deafening, until now.

What’s changed?

I believe the answer is found in the first comment from the email quoted above, , “Wonder why we’ll likely have fewer women in Congress after the November elections than we’ve had in the last three decades?” and MomsRising crediting a group, “Name It. Change It” with “leading efforts to stop sexism in the media” and their Top 50 Most Sexist Quotes From The Campaign Trail and claim of “The number of renegade attacks on women politicians is alarming.

From the list we find quotes like,

“Many senators are known for many things .... We in the Senate refer to Sen. Gillibrand as the hottest member.” ~ Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

“I hope Barack Obama puts another woman on the Supreme Court. And this time, I hope it’s a woman with kids.” ~ Peter Beinart (The Daily Beast)

“God, what is that hair? So yesterday.” ~ Carly Fiorina about Barbara Boxer

“I'm going to treat you like a lady ... now act like one.” ~ Sen. Arlen Specter to Rep. Michele Bachmann

“That’s not change. That’s just calling something the same thing something different. You know you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig...” ~ Barack Obama about Sarah Palin

“Jan Brewer has the cojones that our President does not have to look out for all Americans in this desire of ours to secure our borders and allow legal immigration to help build this country as was the purpose of immigration law.” ~ Sarah Palin

“She’s running around talking about how this is an insult to sportsmen, how she VALUES the Second Amendment -- she’s talkin’ like she’s Annie Oakley.” ~ Barack Obama about Hillary Clinton

“You’re likable enough, Hillary.” ~ Barack Obama

“Will Women Pols Clean House?” ~ Headline in Newsday during the campaign of 1992

“At her victory party, Hillary was like the heroine of a Lifetime movie, a woman in peril who manages to triumph.” ~ Maureen Dowd

Admittedly I cherry picked some quotes from the list and primarily from Democrats. But, these are considered “sexist?” I see extreme political correctness at work here basically saying you cannot vote against a female candidate and if you do, you’re sexist.

Isn’t that the tactic used against opposition to Barack Obama, that if you don’t support him and his agenda, you’re a racist?

Is this what the country has come down to, selecting elected representatives based upon gender over their ability to perform in the office they seek?

Will we castigate an effective male representative and oust him from office should he compliment a female by saying she looks nice today?

And, why is there no concern about what should also be perceived as “sexist quotes” against males? Did not women ooh and awe over the photo of Barack Obama shirtless? Did they not do the same over a similar photo of Vladimir Putin?

And what of Hillary Clinton saying words to the effect of women are just drawn to her husband because he is such a good looking man when she was defending him against allegations of sexual impropriety while president?

If the quotes given above are sexist, are not similar comments made about men?

This is nothing more than extreme political correctness and regulation of speech in my estimation. No one’s gender has anything to do with their ability to govern or represent.

We have poked fun at and made off color remarks about our elected officials since the country began. But now, some groups wishing to further the leftist agenda will silence words that few even hear and feign outrage in order to elect those sympathetic to their agenda.

Males and females have looked at each other since the dawn of time and will continue to.

Barbs will be shot back and forth between political candidates and should not be lifted out of context to justify smearing an opponent with false charges of “Sexism.”

If a woman loses an election, maybe it isn’t sexism as much as she did not campaign effectively or voters disagreed with her stance on matters of importance to them.

Looking at the current slate of females in power, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Sheila Jackson Lee, Maxine Waters, Dianne Feinstein, Patty Murray and more has not made the country any better, in spite of their holding very powerful seats.

Let’s stop this nonsense. If someone makes a real sexist comment or act, let’s deal with it. But, let’s make sure it’s really sexist and not a ploy to gain votes over a better qualified candidate, male or female.

Let’s judge by their abilities shown to handle the office and not their gender.

In closing, while Republican women have been included in the defense above, pardon me if I don’t hold my breath waiting on these same feminist groups to actually encourage anyone to vote for the Republican woman and most likely to actively oppose them.

Wouldn’t that also be “sexist” of the feminist groups?

UPDATE: Almost as if on cue, Maureen Dowd filed a story with the New York Times with no other intent than bashing women, Republican women!

Playing All the Angles

6 comments:

Storm'n Norm'n said...

Great post Lew!

Lew Waters said...

Thanks Norm. Someday, I hope people wake up to this nonsense and see all of this for what is, BS.

Jill said...

I was searching on "momsrising" and came across your post. I'm working on an op-ed about how Sarah Palin's aide, Michael Goldfarb, is quoted in a Politico article as excusing some of Sarah's behavior because she is a mother of five kids.

Do you think that women in politics should be cut slack because they are mothers?

I am a left of center person who is in an elected office (small city's council) and have kids all under 18. My opinion is that he has thrown motherhood under the bus.

And in reading what you've written, you state at least twice that you think that we should only look at how someone does their job, and not look at their gender.

I would think, to be consistent with those assertions, you'd have to agree that motherhood should not be used as an excuse for why a political figure isn't performing to expectations the way other political figures do-and that gender should have no role in our assessment of that performance.

Please, without snark or usual name-calling, I am genuinely interested to know what you think.

Here's what I wrote about this:

http://womenandpolitics.org/archives/palin-aide-throws-motherhood-under-the-bus/3915

Thanks.

Lew Waters said...

Jill, you present a very good question. For the benefit of others who stop in read our exchange, the Politico story she mentions is Sarah Palin is wreaking havoc on the campaign trail, GOP sources say and Jill's post is at Palin Aide Throws Motherhood Under The Bus.

Now, to your question. As one who leans a bit towards old fashioned ideas, I feel raising our children and caring for our families should be first in our lives. That goes for fathers as much as mothers. Entering a field like politics, or any public spotlight venue, your family is placed out in the public eye too.

Politicians especially, love to parade their families in front of the public to show what great parents and providers they are. Sometimes they are. Often they are not.

In this particular incidence, Goldfarb excuses Mrs. Palin’s “offering little notice about her availability, refusing to do certain events, obsessive about press coverage and sometimes backing out with as little lead time as she gave” due to being a mother of 5.

In my view, inappropriate.

That I recall, much was said about how her husband Todd took over many of the “mother responsibilities” before when leaving family behind to campaign for Senator McCain in 2008. And now, she misses and runs such a schedule because she has family matters to attend to?

But, as you say, it does show the double standard that women with children have to overcome in that they have traditionally been considered the nurturers of a family while the man was the provider.

In a nutshell, I think it is just as wrong to excuse her scheduling inconsistencies today due to being the mother of 5 as it was to condemn her in 2008 for campaigning instead of staying home and caring for her family.

RosieP said...

Of course gender won't fix a country. But that is not a good reason for this country to avoid voting for someone into public office, because that person happens to be a woman.

I dislike Sarah Palin for her politics, not her gender.

Lew Waters said...

Rosie, there is absolutely nothing wrong with opposing, even disliking someone due to differences on positions.

I'm not positive Sarah Palin is presidential myself and I like her.

Likewise, many of us oppose Obama because of his politics and even some female congresswomen. Yet, we are accused of racism and sexism for disagreeing with them.

People have legitimate differences and neither race or gender is a why.