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Presidential Coverage Takes A Turn For The Sexist

Presidential Coverage Takes A Turn For The Sexist


One thing I wondered as soon as news that Texas Governor Rick Perry might consider entering the presidential race started circulating was what it would mean for the Michele Bachmann candidacy.  Bachmann and Perry appeal in a large part to the same constituency — the “take back America, values voters, one country under a Christian God” faction of the Republican party.  The more Perry began to appear as a viable, electable option, the more you would begin to see subtle dog whistles to the evangelical community that would signal one key question standing between her and a GOP nomination.

Do you really want a woman to lead you?

It’s a realistic question to ask, when you belong to a movement that believes that the wife should be led by the husband, and it has been plaguing Bachmann in the background of the race to the point where she was even asked directly during the latest debate.

In the beginning of Bachmann’s national political career, and continuing into the start of this presidential campaign, the conservative movement was busy making it clear that sexist coverage of Bachmann was not to be tolerated.  Although she could tout her dozens of children and foster children as part of her “mother” package, and play up the “photogenic” parts of her campaign, the pundits on the right made sure to call out any instance of implying her errors or gaffes were airheadedness as sexist, gendered attacks on the candidate.

Then something changed.  Right about when Perry started hinting he would enter the race, the “migraine” story hit, and few Republican politicians or pundits called it out for what it was — an obvious attempt to show her as too “weak” and frail to handle the stresses of commander in chief.  As Perry’s pre-candidacy gained steam, the infamous Newsweek cover appeared, and although the right discussed the obvious biases of a liberal media, they ignored the sexist ramifications of the media attempting to derail a female politician’s candidacy by manipulating the public perception via photos.

Now that Perry is officially in, the episodes are escalating, with Republicans no longer willing to call the media on its gender double standards and some conservatives adding fuel to the fire themselves.  Suddenly, the “female candidate puts something phallic in her mouth” inevitable photo, in this case Bachmann eating a corndog in Iowa, is making the rounds on the internet.  Reports are coming out that she didn’t glad hand enough at the Sunday GOP fundraiser, that she arrived late and allegedly asked for a lighting change, all implying a “diva” status that only applies to irrational, hard to work with women.  According to one editorial in the Washington Post, Perry “actually looks like a president”, hence, conversely, Bachmann does not.

Because despite everything, “looking” like a president still means male, and for the most part white.

Until Perry came along, these were memes that the Republicans would push back on to protect their most viable social conservative candidate.  Now that they have a back up, and one who “looks” better, they’re not only willing to let these attacks go, but instigate a few themselves.

And once more, it’s the women who will suffer for it.


Related Stories:

Bachmann Asked If She Is A “Submissive Wife”

Is the Bachmann “Crazy Eyes” Newsweek Cover Sexist?

Bachmann’s “Headaches”: A “Debilitating” Rumor To “Debilitate” A Candidacy

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Photo credit: fibonacciblue

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11:23AM PDT on Sep 1, 2011


10:00PM PDT on Aug 25, 2011

A politician is a dead one

2:44PM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

Oh yes, Elizabeth. Sandy is just a troll. They create these accounts and make all sorts of false accusations onto the progressives and work as tools for the misguided and thieving CONservatives. Hey, kinda like Faux "News" (Fox News)!

2:42PM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

But you know what Bachmann (and those other loonies she associates with) fosters this kind of discriminatory views. Bachmann herself is sexist. Trying to take a step back for womyn everywhere. Bottom line is Perry, Bachmann, and those other CONservatives create and perpetuate such discrimination. They don't need a vote into government, they all need mental evaluations. Xp

1:37PM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

I think Sandy really believes that Obama started Bush's wars.

unfortunately that is the intellectual level of many of the people who vote for president, they really should have to take a test.

1:35PM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

@ Sandy E.

You aren't serious when saying Obama gave us the 3 wars, right?

Because that would by stupidity beyond measure!

Though I would give you some credit if you said he has been pandering to right wing hawks, helping to attack Ghadafi (sp?), increasing troop numbers in Afghanistan and not taking a stronger stance on getting us out of Iraq sooner.

But then again, imagine what the hate rhetoric about his presidency would sound like had he truly supported his right wing base and gone against conservative and right wing war makers by withdrawing all the troops that were deployed at the beginning of his presidency.

Even when Obama joins the conservatives he loses. Hate is all they know.

The Bush administration and conservative hawk war makers backed by patriotic, flag flying, good vs. evil, Islamic stereotyping, hate mongering zealots began the financial sink holes of war, all of which they vastly under estimated and most of which they never included in our Nation's budget projections.

12:17PM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

The classic example of 'chutzpah' is someone who - having murdered his/her parents - claims leniency as an orphan. Ms. Bachmann accuses Mr. Obama of arrogance, but she's a much better example - so full of herself she can't even bother to pronounce 'chutzpah' properly.

Is she 'farshnicker'? She can 'kis m'in toukhes'!

8:57AM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

How poor people's memories are. It kind of amuses me when I read all these comments online, of people blaming Obama for things that have been going on before his presidency. It's one thing to disagree with his work as a president, quite another to blame him for the problems faced by Americans. Of course, hardly is there a sense of fairness in politics...

7:58AM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

Let's get real. Any country subjected to THREE wars at the same time is going to have MAJOR money problems! Obama did this for us. Can the counrty really survive another FOUR years of this idiot?

7:50AM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

I can't wait until the first time Perry uses the Texas term, "NOW, HOLD IT RIGHT THERE,
LITTLE LADY." Then we will all get to see what really causes those HEADACHES.

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