Sonia, Sarah and Why I'm Sick of Gender Bashing

June 15, 2009

When will we stop passively accepting -- and laughing at -- stereotypical gender bashing?  As I listen to the most recent round of pathetic, personal attacks on Governor Palin and Judge Sotomayor, I'm thinking, Here We Go Again!

 Talk show host David Letterman derides a U.S. Governor for what he called her, "slutty airline stewardess look." And radio host G. Gordon Liddy, talking about Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor, tells his listeners, "Let's hope that the key conferences aren't when she's menstruating or something, or just before she's going to menstruate.  That would really be bad.  Lord knows what we would get then."

I've never been a fan of Palin's politics.  And I only know Sotomayor from reading her sterling resume.   Questioning their credentials and personal biases are all fair game.  But a drumbeat of relentless, character smears based on gender are unacceptable.  Just as unacceptable as racial attacks.  Over the years I watched African Americans do a much better job of recgonizing racism, in all its forms, than women do of calling out insidious sexism. 

Years ago, trailblazing women who were elbowing their way into professional arenas and economic independence were often accused of "having no sense of humor" about the never-ending diet of snide remarks and alleged "jokes" they were force fed.  Now, here we go again.  This time, it's women who dare to aspire to the highest levels of leadership who are the butt of the jokes. 

I'm not laughing.  Hope you're not either.


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