Lowell Sun Columnist Calls Elizabeth Warren “Princess”
Peter Lucas, a local columnist for The Sun newspaper in Lowell, Massachusetts doesn’t seem to like Elizabeth Warren. That’s fine. But what’s not okay is that in his May 8 column titled “Taking note of Warren's primary foe with Dems” he calls Warren “the blue-eyed Cherokee warrior princess.” Later in the column he says she put herself in academic directory “like in an online dating service.”
Lucas, who has been given a twice-weekly column, should not use his valuable newsprint space to push sexism. The Name It. Change It. project has submitted a letter to the Lowell Sun about Lucas’ column. If you agree calling a woman candidate a “princess” crosses a line, why not email Lucas and The Sun’s editor James Campanini and tell them why you think media sexism is wrong?
491 Dutton Street
Lowell, MA 01854
To the Editor,
Peter Lucas’ May 8 column “Taking note of Warren's primary foe with Dems” opened with an incredibly sexist description of Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, calling her “the blue-eyed Cherokee warrior princess.” It’s understandable that Lucas wished to write about Warren’s recent controversy but calling the 63-year-old Senate candidate a “warrior princess” was sexist and demeaning, not just to her, but to any woman who runs for office.
Not only did Lucas call Elizabeth Warren “princess” he also said that her explanation for listing herself in an academic directory was “like in an online dating service.” The comparison was a sexist put-down that crosses the line.
Unfortunately, sexism like Lucas’ column hurts all women. A study conducted by Lake Research Partners reveals that sexism, even in its mildest form, has a damaging effect on the political standing of female candidates and politicians. Sexist media coverage has a proven negative impact on voters’ likelihood to vote for women candidates, and it further perpetuates a hostile political environment experienced by women.
Name It. Change It. is a collaborative project of the Women’s Media Center and She Should Run. Name It. Change It. monitors media coverage of women candidates from both parties and unfortunately we find coverage of women far too often crosses the line from fair criticism to sexist commentary. This is an issue that goes beyond party labels. Apparently it’s easier to put down women candidates for their gender instead of writing non-sexist critiques. And such sexism hurts all women who may someday weigh a decision to run for office.
Lucas should apologize not only to Elizabeth Warren but also to all of the Lowell Sun’s female readers.
The Name It. Change It. partners:
Julie Burton Siobhan "Sam" Bennett
CEO & President CEO & President
Women’s Media Center She Should Run