Sexism in the Media

I have been reading the novel “The Other Boleyn Girl.” In the novel, the author does a fabulous job of showing the oppression of women by their husbands and family without preaching. I always close the book for the night thankful that I have it so good and that I am so free. Upsetting then, to be sent this video link by my good friend Kim Simmons. If you can stomach it, watch this montage of sexism in the media. I do not watch network news so this was a lot to take in all at once and incredibly upsetting as I think of the 500, yes FIVE HUNDRED years that have passed since the novel’s setting. Surely we should have come farther by now.

Growing up in Washington, DC, I marched for the ERA and for pay equity and then to save Roe v. Wade. Here in Maine, I worked with NOW and ran for public office (myself a victim of a smear campaign) I am sick when I think of how Senator Clinton has been treated during this campaign. Where are journalists Peter Jennings, and Walter Cronkite when you need them? The teasing, belly laughing, thigh slapping boys club that is FOX “news” and MSNBC is disgusting and a far cry from journalism. But it seems to me that it is not just sexism at work. In addition to the sexism, there is also rampant disrespect of those in public office and authority. I support the media’s search for truth and to question authority. However, even the smallest things, calling Senator Clinton, Hilary, or Senator O’bama, Barack, is illustrative of our general disrespect for those in positions of authority. Oppose or support who you want but address them properly, argue your case thoughtfully, and use good vocabulary!

It is not just public office. This is true of how parents and students address teachers, and how children address the parents of their friends. I’m certainly not suggesting that we revert to the 1950’s or that we become obsequious in our use of titles. But a little common courtesy and goes a long way.

We will have a new president come January. (Whew.) But then there will be another election and another. And there will be a candidate who will stand with grace and dignity and represent my opinions about policy in this country. And I will vote for her. For now, I’m voting for Senator O’bama. I hope you will too.

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