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Vogue on Kirsten Gillibrand: Just Plain Sexist

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/25/2010

The first three-quarters of Jonathan Van Meter’s recent Vogue profile of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is a mostly substantive look into her rise as a politician. Then, Van Meter delves into a 500 word report on what he says “the readers of Vogue will want to know:” How much weight did she lose? Read more »

Really Damn Sexist: Arpaio’s Pink Underwear for Palin

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/25/2010

After meeting Sarah Palin in Arizona on Friday, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio took to his Twitter to comment on his choice of welcoming gift. "I just got done welcoming Sarah Palin to our County," he wrote. "Had a nice chat and gave her a pair of pink underwear." Arpaio, a controversial figure known for his hard-lined approach to law enforcement, has used the "pink underwear" stunt for public relations in the past. After requiring inmates to don the pink boxer shorts - seemingly in an attempt at emasculation and humiliation - Arpaio began to sell the underwear, branded with the Maricopa County Sheriff's logo, and expanded his branded merchandise to include pink handcuffs. Arpaio's use of pink underwear is offensive and highly problematic in and of itself, but his use of a national female politician to delploy sexism as a publicity stunt is deplorable. Read more »

Sexism has no place in political mudslinging

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/22/2010

Malicious attack ads have become an unfortunate staple of our political environment, and with the election only 11 days away the mudslinging now appears to be inescapable. In North Carolina's District 19 State Senate Race, this negative campaigning went a step too far when challenger Wesley Meredith's campaign issued a sexist attack ad against current State Senator Margaret Dickson. It is one thing to attack a candidate on her political views or records in public office, but quite another to berate a candidate with superficial artifacts of femininity; sexism has no place in political mudslinging.  Read more »

The Trope of Gender Conformity: Finding a way out from between a rock and a hard place

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/20/2010

In "She’s a great candidate…for a makeover!" the critique on Jill Stein appears to be about more than just fashion. As fashion designer Michael De Paulo implores the candidate to "embrace a bit of elegance," stylist Joseph Gordon Cleveland criticizes her for falling "into the female politician wardrobe" by "dressing a man’s part." These comments hint at the complex trope of gender conformity that women face while vying for public office. Women candidates often find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to gender: on the one hand they are criticized for not conforming to conventional femininity, and on the other hand their "feminine characteristics" are often measured against a male-dominated political environment. Whether they are critiqued in terms of their appearance or demeanor, women candidates and political leaders are depicted as either "too masculine" to appeal to an American public invested in prescribed gender roles or "too feminine" to survive in tough politics.  Read more »

12 out of 40 of Time’s “40 Under 40” list of rising political stars are women

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/19/2010

Time Magazine just released their list of "40 under 40," a list of the leaders they consider "rising stars of American Politics." Out of these, 12 profiles are women, including Republicans Sarah Huckabee and Nikki Haley but also leaving out such inspirational young women such as Virginia Congressional candidate Krystal Ball, who has turned a smear into a national platform to address sexsim against women candidates. Read more »

On growing ‘cojones’: How sexist attacks on male candidates hurt women

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/19/2010

We've written a lot about sexist attacks made against female political candidates, but what happens when women launch sexist attacks against male candidates? Amanda Hess interviewed WCF President/CEO Siobhan "Sam" Bennett on how sexist attacks on male candidates hurt women. Read the full story here. Read more »

Puerto Rican Legislator Caught Groping ABC Student Journalist

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/19/2010

Originally posted on Huffington Post: A Puerto Rican legislator was caught groping and kissing an ABC News student journalist on camera during an ABC investigation into corrupt and unsavory behavior by state legislators.During the investigation, ABC sent cameras to a party in Louisville sponsored by corporate lobbyists for a national convention of state legislators. They caught rowdy scenes of drinking and dancing -- including footage of Jorge Navarro Suarez, a lawmaker from the Puerto Rican House of Representatives, kissing and groping an unnamed female graduate school journalist working for ABC. In the footage, the woman can be seen pushing Suarez away. Suarez seems to acknowledge the woman's disinterest before moving in again. Read more »

Seattle Weekly Cover Illustration of Senator Patty Murray: REALLY DAMN SEXIST

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/18/2010

Senator Patty Murray graces the latest cover of Seattle Weekly—in an illustration that portrays her naked with meat strewn over her. While Seattle Weekly maintains that the image is simply a humorous political cartoon, Name It. Change It. believes that this is a denigrating image that only feeds into sexist stereotypes. In order to shed damaging stereotypes and to create an equitable political environment for female political candidates, media outlets must be held accountable for the sexist images they disseminate to the American public. The Name It. Change It. campaign hopes that Seattle Weekly will join us in changing this problematic coverage by apologizing to Patty Murray and signing our Equality Pledge.  Read more »

Tom Jacobs: Accusations of Sexism Spur Greater Sensitivity

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/15/2010

Confronting a man about his sexist language can change his behavior in a positive way, new research suggests. A woman who bristles when a male friend or colleague uses sexist language has to make a quick decision: Call him on it, or not? Although she might be personally offended, she may be reluctant to speak up, anticipating his response will be dismissive or defensive. Research just published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggests such fears may be overblown. It describes a carefully structured study in which college-age males are confronted over the use of sexist language — and respond with heightened sensitivity regarding gender issues.  Read more »

Esquire’s Tom Junod on DC as Hollywood for Semi-Attractive People: SEVERE MISOGYNY

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/14/2010

Tom Junod’s article “How DC Became Hollywood for Semi-Attractive People,” in Esquire magazine is severely misogynistic for citing sex appeal as the reason behind changes in public support of both political parties. The deeply-flawed article likens Delaware Senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell to a “ninny,” claims that female Democratic candidates are “old or unattractive,” and asserts that President Obama should have a "wall-banging affair" with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to make things more dramatic and interesting. Are these the guidelines for success in politics?  Read more »

“Just drop the tease”: Why we need to Name It and Change It

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/14/2010

Sexist language is deeply ingrained in modern public discourse. Words such as “flirt” and “tease” roll off of our tongues with incredible ease, and rarely do we stop to recognize the impact that these words have. Why is it that the sexist rhetoric is so pervasive and yet simultaneously so overlooked? This is the question that popped into my head while watching the first episode of CNN’s new show, Parker Spitzer. During the show’s “Opening Remarks” segment, Kathleen Parker argued that Palin should announce her decision on a presidential run in 2012: "I have to confess, I never thought Sarah would grow the legs she has -- no, guys, not those. The legs to keep building momentum…She has something that obviously appeals to lots of people. She has 'It,' big time. But she's also maddening to many others, especially women. She flirts, she's a tease…  Read more »

Hardball’s Chris Matthews’ on Christine O’Donnell: REALLY DAMN SEXIST

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/13/2010

Last Friday, MSNBC's Chris Matthews insulted Delaware senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell's intelligence while simulaneously complimenting her appearance on Hardball. Matthews characterized O’Donnell as the “irresistibly cute” and “attractive as hell” candidate whose “claim to fame is ‘I don’t know nuthin.’” Name It. Change It. is reaching out to MSNBC, asking them to consider how reducing a candidate to her looks while simultaneously insulting her intelligence impacts all women candidates negatively. We'll be working proactively with their staff to raise awareness of the impact such remarks have on the overall landscape in which women run for office.  Read more »

WCF President Sam Bennett on C-SPAN

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/12/2010

WCF President/CEO Sam Bennett appeared on C-SPAN's The Washington Journal with Robb Harrleston to discuss the Name It. Change It. Campaign and the 2010 mid-term elections.  Read more »

Krystal Ball: The Next Glass Ceiling

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/12/2010

When I was fifteen-years-old, I watched Hillary Clinton during the difficult times she faced when her private life and President Clinton's private life became public. Nevermind that the people conducting the impeachment hearings were having multiple affairs and oozed hypocrisy. Nevermind that they wanted to know every voyeuristic detail of the President's sex life under the guise of righteousness. What I remember thinking as a young woman was watching Hillary Clinton's expression after she had to face the entire country with her private life exposed for the world to see. I admired her so much. I thought she had this toughness and grit, style and pain, all at the same time. She must have been such a jumble of emotions inside, but she persisted. But what must that first time facing the public be like, knowing that everyone knows about your private life? Knowing that your political opponents did this in order to hurt you?  Read more »

Jerry Brown Campaign on Meg Whitman

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/08/2010

The Name It. Change It. Campaign denounces the sexist statement made in a private conversation that was accidentally recorded between Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown and his advisers, about Republican opponent Meg Whitman. During the conversation, Brown or one of his associates called Meg Whitman a “whore.” Although not made by a media outlet, this comment highlights the prevalence of sexist speech used in our current political environment. The Name It. Change It. campaign urges everyone to avoid sexist and demeaning language in discussing women candidates. Such misogynistic remarks continue to show that sexism is a cultural norm in the midterm election's political landscape, and it causes serious harm to both candidates.  Read more »

Name It. Change It. Urges Media to Focus on Krystal Ball’s Campaign Platform

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/06/2010

The Name It. Change It. campaign praises Virginia District 1 Democratic Congressional Candidate Krystal Ball for confronting a violation of her privacy and for calling out outlets who don’t respectfully cover candidates based on their issues and platforms. We urge all media reporting on this story to focus on the real issues that Ball’s campaign addresses, rather than rely on exploitative and detrimental coverage. We echo the call for all photographs to be pulled down. Further, we commend Ball for her bravery in addressing this issue publicly, paving the way for other women who have been deterred from running due to a hostile media landscape. Read more »

ACTION ALERT: Email and Call WRKO in response to sexist comments on air

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/05/2010

On September 20, WRKO-AM "endorsed" Republican State Treasurer candidate Karyn E. Polito-not for her policies or her qualifications--but for her "banging little body" and "tight little butt." We need you to contact WRKO and tell them that sexism against women candidates has no place on their airwaves. Will you email, call, and tweet WRKO today and help us take a step forward in eliminating sexism in the media? Read more »

Top 50 Most Sexist Quotes on the Campaign Trail

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/05/2010

Crossposted from The Stir By Kim Conte It happens all the time to female politicians regardless of their political party -- being called a "she-devil," "beauty queen," "mean girl," or whatever misogynistic label the media, pundits, bloggers, and other politicians use to describe them. And, with so many women campaigning for office in the upcoming mid-term elections, sexist coverage is at an all-time high.The number of renegade attacks on women politicians is alarming, especially in light of a new study showing that sexist comments actually hurt women in the polls. Don't we want more women in positions of power in the government? You wouldn't know it after reading through the top 50 most sexist quotes on the campaign trail. Read more »

Not funny, Leno! Oral Sex Jokes about Christine O’Donnell: SEVERE MISOGYNY

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/04/2010

On Friday, The Tonight Show host Jay Leno made severely misogynistic jokes about Christine O’Donnell giving oral sex during an interview with Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. Leno asked, "...you said you would enjoy having sexual relations with this woman?" MacFarlane responded, "You know, that was a little joke...I think the second she opened her mouth, it would probably ruin everything." Leno then replied, "Really? Or make it really good." The Name It. Change It. Campaign is reaching out to The Tonight Show and asking that Jay Leno offer an apology to Christine O'Donnell. Read more »

Human Events on “Babes of the DNC Calendar”: SEVERE MISOGYNY

Posted by Kate McCarthy on 10/01/2010

It's no coincidence that this incredibly misogynistic "ad" for the "Babes of the DNC" calendar from the conservative Human Events site is running just weeks away from the Midterm Elections. However, what this highly offensive parody misses, is that these types of insults to women also hurt Republican women, whom the author explains "are despised JUST because they are HOT. And let’s face it: liberal women tend to be a bunch of hideous chuds." Name It. Change It. is demanding an apology and that the parody be pulled down immediately. Read more »

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