[Guest post by DRJ]
Polls show a marked shift in how likely women voters view the Presidential candidates after Sarah Palin was named McCain’s VP, especially among independents. Some women may have been energized by Palin’s gender, some by her beliefs and speeches, and some by the way the media and bloggers treated her. I doubt all these women will remain McCain-Palin supporters over the next 2 months but I think both the media and bloggers failed to consider how women would react to their treatment of Sarah Palin.
Here’s one example that might surprise them:
The National Organization of Women (NOW) website includes this column by NOW PAC Chair Kim Gandy. Gandy is very unhappy with the GOP platform “on issues like reproductive rights, economic justice and equal marriage” and has pledged to work against it and the McCain-Palin ticket. She is also indignant at the media treatment of Sarah Palin:
“Which brings us back to Sarah Palin, who, as I write this, has been McCain’s VP choice for less than one week, and already has faced an onslaught of double standards and condescension. The sexism aimed at Palin might not look exactly the same as the sexism directed Clinton, but it originates from the same biased place nonetheless.
I feel for Palin, and for all women struggling to be taken seriously in a man’s realm; the desire to have people discuss your policies, not your hair or hemlines; the conviction that you have every right to raise your family as you see fit, including taking on a demanding job outside the home; the entirely reasonable expectation that you are the peer of your male colleagues and deserve the same treatment and opportunities that they receive.”
Gandy concludes by asking media viewers, readers, and listeners to join together to stop the media slurs because “A woman slurred, regardless of her party or stances, is a woman slurred.”
I hope the media and bloggers can set aside their political agendas long enough to think about what Gandy has written, as well as these words from NOW’s 1966 Statement of Purpose:
“Enormous changes taking place in our society make it both possible and urgently necessary to advance the unfinished revolution of women toward true equality, now. With a life span lengthened to nearly 75 years it is no longer either necessary or possible for women to devote the greater part of their lives to child-rearing; yet childbearing and rearing which continues to be a most important part of most women’s lives — still is used to justify barring women from equal professional and economic participation and advance.”
We’ve come a long way in America: We will have our first minority President or our first female Vice President. Things have already changed in America. It’s time for the media and bloggers to get on board.