Sexism from the media: While right-wing media is known for its sexist coverage, mainstream outlets also portray women candidates as more emotional, more prone to lying, or as less capable of leadership. Women’s organizations recently wrote a letter to the media with advice on how to overcome these biases. Unfortunately, while these efforts are laudable (and a welcome correction to what happened in 2016), they will still be ignored by many. (See: L.A. Times’ cringe-worthy Bachelor headline.) One way in which this has played out is the recent framing of Harris as devious (“She had no remorse”) in her questioning of Biden on his busing record, when all she was doing was asking a legitimate question — and playing politics, as might be expected of a politician. In contrast, Rep. Karen Bass, who was recently rumored to be a top VP option, was framed as a “non-threatening” “worker bee” who wouldn’t cause trouble for Biden. These characterizations aren’t just untrue, they’re also damaging. Reportedly, the Biden campaign is trying to get ahead of the sexist coverage and “defend” the nominee, but it remains to see how this plays out. Additionally, the idea of “protecting” a woman nominee takes on an unmistakably patriarchal tone.
Natalie Gontcharova Read More