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Sexism in politics

Kandahar

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Democrats portrayed Sarah Palin as an idiot in 2008. I always thought this was a bit unfair; she certainly didn't do herself any favors in her media appearances, but I thought that she was never really given a chance. Republicans did the same thing to Hillary Clinton from 1992 all the way up until today. She wasn't branded as an idiot; she was branded as a conniving bitch, or some variant thereof.

Nancy Pelosi has long been regarded by Republicans as an extremist. Not to be outdone, Democrats did the same thing to Sharron Angle in Nevada this year. And for some reason, everyone was obsessed with the bizarre musings of Christine O'Donnell, who lost her election by 16 points and never deserved national attention in the first place.

What do these people have in common? They're all women. I'm certainly not suggesting that the opposing party wouldn't try to portray a man with Nancy Pelosi or Sharron Angle's opinions as out-of-touch...but I don't think the label would stick in the voters' mind nearly as successfully.

This seems horribly unfair to female politicians, and quite a sad commentary on our politics. Ask yourself this: How many female politicians of national stature are NOT widely regarded as extreme, crazy, dopey, or bitchy by the opposition? I can't think of a single one.
 
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spud_meister

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How many politicians are not demonised in one way or another? I don't think sexism exists in the characterisation by the opposition.
 

Kandahar

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How many politicians are not demonised in one way or another? I don't think sexism exists in the characterisation by the opposition.
I can think of many male politicians of national stature who, if not exactly RESPECTED by the opposition, are at least not treated as out-of-their-mind lunatics. Examples: Mitt Romney, Chris Christie, Bill Clinton, John Kerry. (President Obama and VP Biden would fall into this category as well, if not for the fact that their offices practically necessitate demonization by the opposition.)

Demonization of the opposition certainly exists, but it's almost always more effective against female politicians IMO. That's why there aren't any of national stature who are treated as decent people with opposing viewpoints...at least none that I can think of.
 
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AARON.KEN

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Yet the average person is too busy fighting over health care or some other inane issue. While we lose freedom to those who don't have any care for the word or the principles behind it.
 

Zyphlin

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Fox during their coverage actually talked about this in the segment with Ferrara and Palin. Ferrara pointed out apparently some Democrat that was running who had old partying pictures from her college days released. Palin pointed out Angle being called a "Bitch" or Whitman being called a "Whore".

The amazing thing with the last two as well is that women were the ones calling it. We hear all this about womens empowerment, respect of women, don't degrade women, and then all that was left out for the grand slam was for someone to call O'Donnel a **** and Nikki Haley a slut.

They both pointed out the type of questions women get that men just don't. You don't see men getting questioned if they'll be able to handle being out of the home with a political office, or questioning their skills or care as a parent for running for office. How a slip of the tongue or a misstatement may be written off for men but suddenly a female is a ditz or an airhead.

I do think there's a bit inherent in politics, but I also think it'll begin to go away as we see more and more prominent women politicians and the younger generation get more and more into prime voter age.
 

cpwill

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Democrats portrayed Sarah Palin as an idiot in 2008. I always thought this was a bit unfair; she certainly didn't do herself any favors in her media appearances, but I thought that she was never really given a chance. Republicans did the same thing to Hillary Clinton from 1992 all the way up until today. She wasn't branded as an idiot; she was branded as a conniving bitch, or some variant thereof.

Nancy Pelosi has long been regarded by Republicans as an extremist. Not to be outdone, Democrats did the same thing to Sharron Angle in Nevada this year. And for some reason, everyone was obsessed with the bizarre musings of Christine O'Donnell, who lost her election by 16 points and never deserved national attention in the first place.

What do these people have in common? They're all women. I'm certainly not suggesting that the opposing party wouldn't try to portray a man with Nancy Pelosi or Sharron Angle's opinions as out-of-touch...but I don't think the label would stick in the voters' mind nearly as successfully.

This seems horribly unfair to female politicians, and quite a sad commentary on our politics. Ask yourself this: How many female politicians of national stature are NOT widely regarded as extreme, crazy, dopey, or bitchy by the opposition? I can't think of a single one.
i've noted this too; however, i've also noted that often their cruelest attackers are women.
 

Kandahar

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Very true. Misogyny is not limited to men.
 

cpwill

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i think it's because women tend to approach life (including politics) more emotionally than men. when men really don't like you, they really don't like you. women are more likely to make their dislike personal to themselves. high school cliques and emotional bullying, but in grown-up land.
 

TurtleDude

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RightinNYC

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Gawker ran an article putting Christine O'Donnell on blast for the fact that she allegedly got drunk and spent the night with some guy she had never met (despite the fact that they didn't even bang).

I don't think there's ever been a single male politician who was criticized for getting drunk and (not) hooking up with a single female.
 

Vincent

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i've noted this too; however, i've also noted that often their cruelest attackers are women.
Agreed. It's like what they say about rape cases in court--if you're the prosecutor, pack the jury with men. They'll look at the victim and think of their wife-girlfriend-daughter-mother and feel very sympathetic and defensive of her. If you're the defense attorney, pack it with women. They'll be critical of the victim, think she was a slut, ect.
 

Kali

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i think it's because women tend to approach life (including politics) more emotionally than men. when men really don't like you, they really don't like you. women are more likely to make their dislike personal to themselves. high school cliques and emotional bullying, but in grown-up land.

What a sexist post:(
 

Hoplite

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Democrats portrayed Sarah Palin as an idiot in 2008.
Shocker.

I always thought this was a bit unfair; she certainly didn't do herself any favors in her media appearances, but I thought that she was never really given a chance. Republicans did the same thing to Hillary Clinton from 1992 all the way up until today. She wasn't branded as an idiot; she was branded as a conniving bitch, or some variant thereof.

Nancy Pelosi has long been regarded by Republicans as an extremist. Not to be outdone, Democrats did the same thing to Sharron Angle in Nevada this year. And for some reason, everyone was obsessed with the bizarre musings of Christine O'Donnell, who lost her election by 16 points and never deserved national attention in the first place.

What do these people have in common? They're all women. I'm certainly not suggesting that the opposing party wouldn't try to portray a man with Nancy Pelosi or Sharron Angle's opinions as out-of-touch...but I don't think the label would stick in the voters' mind nearly as successfully.

This seems horribly unfair to female politicians, and quite a sad commentary on our politics. Ask yourself this: How many female politicians of national stature are NOT widely regarded as extreme, crazy, dopey, or bitchy by the opposition? I can't think of a single one.
Politics is like any schoolyard brawl, it starts with namecalling and people reach for the low-hanging fruit first.
 

cpwill

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What a sexist post:(
:roll: please. i'm not going to ignore reality in order to be PC. women approach life more emotionally than men, of course it is going to color how they approach political brawls.
 

Catz Part Deux

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Democrats portrayed Sarah Palin as an idiot in 2008. I always thought this was a bit unfair; she certainly didn't do herself any favors in her media appearances, but I thought that she was never really given a chance. Republicans did the same thing to Hillary Clinton from 1992 all the way up until today. She wasn't branded as an idiot; she was branded as a conniving bitch, or some variant thereof.
I gave Sarah Palin total benefit of the doubt until she opened her mouth often enough to prove to me at least that she was a certified moron. I concluded that Hillary Clinton was an evil conniving bitch when I watched her rolling her eyes during George W. Bush's speech on 9/12/01, after several thousand of her constituents had just died a horrible death and many more thousand were missing.

These things have zero to do with gender. I can think of a ton of female politicians that I like:

Susana Martinez, Olympia Snowe, Claire McCaskill, Jeanne Shaheen, Maria Cantwell, Anise Parker....

I think that what you're really seeing is women being held to the same standard as men...if they act like a dumb bitch, they're being treated that way.
 

Redress

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Democrats portrayed Sarah Palin as an idiot in 2008. I always thought this was a bit unfair; she certainly didn't do herself any favors in her media appearances, but I thought that she was never really given a chance. Republicans did the same thing to Hillary Clinton from 1992 all the way up until today. She wasn't branded as an idiot; she was branded as a conniving bitch, or some variant thereof.

Nancy Pelosi has long been regarded by Republicans as an extremist. Not to be outdone, Democrats did the same thing to Sharron Angle in Nevada this year. And for some reason, everyone was obsessed with the bizarre musings of Christine O'Donnell, who lost her election by 16 points and never deserved national attention in the first place.

What do these people have in common? They're all women. I'm certainly not suggesting that the opposing party wouldn't try to portray a man with Nancy Pelosi or Sharron Angle's opinions as out-of-touch...but I don't think the label would stick in the voters' mind nearly as successfully.

This seems horribly unfair to female politicians, and quite a sad commentary on our politics. Ask yourself this: How many female politicians of national stature are NOT widely regarded as extreme, crazy, dopey, or bitchy by the opposition? I can't think of a single one.
The problem with this is that in most of these cases the portrayal is not because they are women. Palin got portrayed as an idiot not because she was a woman, but because she opened her mouth and proved to be less than intelligent in the areas she needed to be intelligent in. Clinton is portrayed as power hungry, but so was her husband. Pelosi and Angle are seen as extremist not due to being women, but to those of the other party, they are extremist. O'Donnel was portrayed as a nut because she was, well, pretty nutty.

This is not to say that sexism in politics does not exist. Some people do think that women are less suited to politics due to them being "emotional" or whatever screwy idea they have. There are frequent attacks on, and comments on women politicians and their appearance(see the Palin breast implant poll, or comments on Pelosi's lack of attractiveness) which mostly do not get made of male politicians(except of course Beohner's tan). Overall though I don't think it is a big problem. It's there, but it's a small thing that really does not much hold women back.
 

Thorgasm

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I heard that this is the fewest amount of female members in Congress in 30 years. Maybe America is sexist.
 

cpwill

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I heard that this is the fewest amount of female members in Congress in 30 years. Maybe America is sexist.
doubtful. this election in particular saw a surge of female republican candidates; signs indicate that for the first time in history a woman will be a serious presidential contender in 2012. we just had a speaker of the house who was female and hated; and yet no one attacked her on her gender.
 

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Women on the whole still face marginalization. Feminism is a work in progress. Naturally that is going to speak to politics as well.

Sarah Palin had it coming though... she wasn't portrayed as an idiot because of being a woman, but as someone who clearly doesn't know very much about a lot of things that a prospective VP should know.
 
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cpwill

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:roll:


From the Wall Street Journal:


The former Alaskan Governor showed sound political and economic instincts by inveighing forcefully against the Federal Reserve's latest round of quantitative easing. According to the prepared text of remarks that she released to National Review online, Mrs. Palin also exhibited a more sophisticated knowledge of monetary policy than any major Republican this side of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan.

Stressing the risks of Fed "pump priming," Mrs. Palin zeroed in on the connection between a "weak dollar—a direct result of the Fed's decision to dump more dollars onto the market"—and rising oil and food prices. She also noted the rising world alarm about the Fed's actions, which by now includes blunt comments by Germany, Brazil, China and most of Asia, among many others.

"We don't want temporary, artificial economic growth brought at the expense of permanently higher inflation which will erode the value of our incomes and our savings," the former GOP Vice Presidential nominee said. "We want a stable dollar combined with real economic reform. It's the only way we can get our economy back on the right track."

Mrs. Palin's remarks may have the beneficial effect of bringing the dollar back to the center of the American political debate, not to mention of the GOP economic platform. Republican economic reformers of the 1970s and 1980s—especially Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp—understood the importance of stable money to U.S. prosperity.

On the other hand, the Bush Administration was clueless. Its succession of Treasury Secretaries promoted dollar devaluation little different from that of the current Administration, while the White House ignored or applauded an over-easy Fed policy that created the credit boom and housing bubble that led to financial panic.

Misguided monetary policy can ruin an Administration as thoroughly as higher taxes and destructive regulation, and the new GOP majority in the House and especially the next GOP President need to be alert to the dangers. Mrs. Palin is way ahead of her potential Presidential competitors on this policy point, and she shows a talent for putting a technical subject in language that average Americans can understand....
 

Thorgasm

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doubtful. this election in particular saw a surge of female republican candidates; signs indicate that for the first time in history a woman will be a serious presidential contender in 2012. we just had a speaker of the house who was female and hated; and yet no one attacked her on her gender.
How did those women do in their elections though?
 

Fiddytree

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Women on the whole still face marginalization. Feminism is a work in progress. Naturally that is going to speak to politics as well.

Sarah Palin had it coming though... she wasn't portrayed as an idiot because of being a woman, but as someone who clearly doesn't know very much about a lot of things that a prospective VP should know.
Except that took time to develop. What happened with Palin was ridiculous from the start, and only much later did it become clear that she was far from ready from at the very least a PR standpoint. The media grabbed onto the woman and trashed her before we knew much about her. It is only now that to some extent we can look back on it and have many say "well, I don't think she is ever going to be ready". It was still inexcusable. I don't know if it was a woman issue per se, but you have to recall what people said going into 2008 with Hillary Clinton receiving bad treatment "because she is a woman". At that point in time, I was not entirely interested on the liberal spectrum and concentrated on what was going on in the conservative spectrum. So it is entirely possible that I have just now reignited that heated camp-hate fest between Obama and Clinton.
 
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Grant

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:roll:


From the Wall Street Journal:


The former Alaskan Governor showed sound political and economic instincts by inveighing forcefully against the Federal Reserve's latest round of quantitative easing. According to the prepared text of remarks that she released to National Review online, Mrs. Palin also exhibited a more sophisticated knowledge of monetary policy than any major Republican this side of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan.

Stressing the risks of Fed "pump priming," Mrs. Palin zeroed in on the connection between a "weak dollar—a direct result of the Fed's decision to dump more dollars onto the market"—and rising oil and food prices. She also noted the rising world alarm about the Fed's actions, which by now includes blunt comments by Germany, Brazil, China and most of Asia, among many others.

"We don't want temporary, artificial economic growth brought at the expense of permanently higher inflation which will erode the value of our incomes and our savings," the former GOP Vice Presidential nominee said. "We want a stable dollar combined with real economic reform. It's the only way we can get our economy back on the right track."

Mrs. Palin's remarks may have the beneficial effect of bringing the dollar back to the center of the American political debate, not to mention of the GOP economic platform. Republican economic reformers of the 1970s and 1980s—especially Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp—understood the importance of stable money to U.S. prosperity.

On the other hand, the Bush Administration was clueless. Its succession of Treasury Secretaries promoted dollar devaluation little different from that of the current Administration, while the White House ignored or applauded an over-easy Fed policy that created the credit boom and housing bubble that led to financial panic.

Misguided monetary policy can ruin an Administration as thoroughly as higher taxes and destructive regulation, and the new GOP majority in the House and especially the next GOP President need to be alert to the dangers. Mrs. Palin is way ahead of her potential Presidential competitors on this policy point, and she shows a talent for putting a technical subject in language that average Americans can understand....
Palin is a very bright woman and scares the hell out of the Left, which is why they speak of her in such adolescent terms. Of course being a perpetual adolescent is all a part of being a Leftwinger.
 
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