Top 10 Sexist Moments in Politics (and the problem at large)
There is no difference between being sexist, and being a dumbshit. Fact.
That is not to downplay the seriousness of an incident of sexism, verbal or otherwise – absolutely not. Sexist attitudes – and attitudes that seriously demean the worth of women, human beings, in general – have very serious and dangerous consequences for communities, even in supposedly “enlightened” Western nations. The piece linked at the end of this post is about just that.
I point out there is no difference between being sexist, and being a dumbshit, not to downplay the seriousness of an incident of sexism. Only to say that, if a person has problems with seeing or dealing with a woman, any woman, without commenting on or framing that experience – and/or that woman’s inherent worth – in terms of her level of physical or sexual appeal to them, her conformity (or lack thereof) to what they see as appropriate gender roles or traits, or how masculine (or emasculated) they feel because of the characteristics she possesses, they have an embarrassing deficiency at the moment.
The good news: it is CURABLE! With a little courageous self-reflection and neuroplastic training, they can overcome. None of us have to wallow in stupidity… there is hope. We can grow up. We can evolve.
With this in mind, and as a reminder of what not to do, I present here the Top 10 Sexist Moments in politics, as compiled by Emine Saner for The Guardian – we can read her full piece online HERE.
Below, I’ve listed them in terms of offending comments (although to fully appreciate the level of idiocy and offensiveness involved in these specific incidences, you need to read the full piece and context of each. And remember: these are comments about actual Public Officials, who happen to be female, made mostly by other Public Officials or influential commentators who are male). Behold:
- “Calm down. dear”
- “You are more beautiful than intelligent”
- “[she is] a nobody, a tea girl”
- she wore that dress “so we wouldn’t listen to what she was saying”
- “A good wife doesn’t disagree with her master in public and a good little girl doesn’t lie about why she quit politics.”
- “I am so happy to answer a question by a beauty queen”
- “she has no femininity” … “venomous swish of the skirt”
- “When a lady says no, she means maybe, when she says maybe, she means yes, and if she says yes, she’s not a lady.”
- “Will this country want to watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?”
- “Anyone who has chosen to remain deliberately barren … they’ve got no idea about what life’s about”
Re: number 10 – someone really needs to tell that to Oprah.
Out of the mouths of world LEADERS, yo. Chew on that for a bit.
Then take a moment to ponder what might be some of the real world consequences of collective attitudes towards women, and, in particular, the markers we (consciously or not) use to decide whether or not a person, or group of people, are of equal (or greater) worth, and deserving of our great concern (or just plain empathy). If someone we don’t really value, for whatever reason, does not receive equal justice within our “justice” system, that won’t ever really affect us, right?
Hmmm. Consider this: