Why do Only Women Whine?

There are certain negative words that are too often associated with women, especially political women, in the media. One of those words is whining and it is just plain sexist. In a blog post for the Boston Herald, columnist and blogger Holly Robichaud criticized potential Democratic nominee for the Massachusetts Senate Elizabeth Warren and her campaign thus far.

Robichaud starts off the post by asking: “Are you already sick of Warren’s whining?” Right off the bat Robichaud is painting Warren as a self-important woman with a faulty political platform. While, it is clear that the author’s opinions clash with Warren’s on the contraception debate – it might have been fairer to ask if people also disagreed with her stance on the issue, not simply insulting her character right off the bat. Whining implies an immature and annoying approach to a very serious issue, which devalues Warren’s authority and capability as a politician.

The author is, of course, free to disagree with Warren and dislike her policies – but she should use terms that are gender-neutral, or at least not sexist as a bare minimum. A male politician would not be described as “whining” but maybe “harping” or “being persistent.” By stating that determined women are “whiners” their opinions instantly lose credibility in a distinctly sexist way. Disagree with her ideas; do not patronize her tactics because she is a woman.


Published by Kate McCarthy on 02/29/2012

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