Leave sexism out of political critique

By Breanne Williams, Opinion Editor
On March 7, 2017

SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

When politicians mess up they need to be held accountable. When they break the law, spread lies and support unethical actions of their peers, they need to be reprimanded.

However, it seems our “oh-so-modern” society is intent on continuing to lace every attack and jab at a female politician with current of sexist undertones.

When Hillary Clinton ran for office liberals were outraged at the fact that her pant suits and hair was brought up on every broadcast coverage of her campaign. When her temperament and femininity was used as an excuse as to why she was unqualified for the position millions of eyes rolled at the ridiculous argument.

Yet we know that part of the reason Clinton lost was because she is in fact a woman. That didn’t singlehandedly keep her from the White House, but it did play a role in her defeat.

That same hateful, ignorant rhetoric is now being lobbed at a new victim: Kellyanne Conway. And disturbingly enough, many of the sexists rants are being spearheaded by liberals, the very liberals who had a coronary when those arguments were lobbed at Clinton.

Her inauguration day outfit was ridiculed across social media, her hairstyle is constantly compared to that of a morning following a bender, she’s compared to the Wicked Witch of the East from the Wizard of Oz and lately has been on the receiving end of comments equating her to a meth addict due to her thin features.

Then the country collectively lost its mind on Feb. 27 when she had the audacity to kneel on a couch in the Oval Office.

The picture went viral and within minutes people began retweeting it with sexual innuendos, outright vulgar references to her “submissive” pose and even rants on her lack of class due to the way she was sitting.

The jokes became so repulsive, even Chelsea Clinton stepped in to defend her, an action that in and of itself highlights the idiocy of the comments.

Conway is in no way an innocent victim of society’s bullying. She’s in line to become one of the worst members of a presidential administration in decades. But she should not have to face the obscene, sexist criticism being lobbed at her from all sides of the political spectrum.

When she blatantly dances around the truth on CNN she should be called out for refusing to answer questions, not made fun of because her hair wasn’t perfectly coifed. When she breaks the law and promotes Ivanka Trump’s merchandise she should be torn to shreds for her unethical actions, not given a pardon while quietly scoffed at because “the little lady didn’t know any better.”

She should be heavily criticized and held accountable when she completely fabricates terrorist attacks. But the fact that she is a woman should not be part of the conversation.

This is 2017, not the 1920’s. There is no excuse for equating one’s ability to lead and successfully do their job with one’s gender.

Those who spend hours online bashing the physical attributes of politicians are obviously not intelligent enough to comprehend the realistic implications of the policy decisions they are making. Until women are taken as seriously as their male counterparts they are going to continue to face the double standards that in turn impede their ability to do their jobs.

Conway is by no means a good Counselor to the President. However, she should not have to defend her womanhood along with her irrational political choices.

 

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