Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Women in politics deserve to be judged for their politics not their gender...

Congrats to the National Organization for Women for coming out against Newsweek in regards to their cover photo of Michelle Bachmann! While I do not support Bachmann, I do question Newsweek's statement that the photo is the most flattering they could find for their "Queen of Rage" cover. There are a thousand photos of Michele Bachmann out there, why choose the one that seems to enhance the chosen caption? Obviously there is an agenda.
It is the news media's job to present the facts without bias. In publishing a news story about Michele Bachmann, Newsweek (as with every other news outlet) is duty-bound to avoid taking sides. If they are targeting her politics then it should be based on her political views not her physical appearance or gender.
Over the years I've caught on to the disparaging remarks made about political women like Geraldine Ferraro, Ann Richards, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Janet Reno, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Sarah Palin, and Michele Bachmann, just to name a few. Their physical appearance and gender-related issues were used in an attempt to discredit their politics yet their male counterparts never suffered the same fate.  I've never heard the media attempt to use gender to discredit the politics of male politicians. Why is it different for women? Why do we expect women to conform to a different set of standards? Why are men and women in politics treated differently?
Men and women are obviously different for a number of reasons but when they are doing the same job they should be treated in the same manner. Sadly, women are just easy targets because as women, they are expected to conform to a certain set of standards. There is a lot of pressure for women to maintain a certain appearance suited for their gender and if they do not, they are easy targets. The flip side of that is that if women do maintain that certain appearance they are still targets. Essentially being a woman is used against them. This does not happen to men. 
How do we expect honest, intelligent and capable women to run for public office if they have to constantly worry about being targeted not for their politics but for their gender?

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