There are more women running for high office in next week’s midterm elections than ever before. This is according to the the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. There are 10 women running for governor and 14 running for U.S. Senate. Regardless of what party you vote for, this is an incredible time for American women.
Unfortunately, as if politics weren’t dirty enough, sexism has reared it’s ugly head into many of these campaigns. Some men running for office against these women have used terms like “ice queen,” “mean girl,” and yes, even “whore” to describe their opponents.
And then there is this TV ad, out of District 19 in North Carolina.
Republican Wesley Meredith attacks incumbent State Senator Margaret Dickson, implying that she is a prostitute. The ad says that Dickson used her political office for her own gain and profits. It’s one thing to say she did that. Almost all politicians do that and then have it haunt them during election season. But adding the shots of a woman applying lipstick, mascara and carrying roll of money – like whores do – is taking it too far. Think of it this way: if she were a man, could the prostitute reference be made?
It is being called the most sexist ad of the 2010 elections. Yeah, it’s pretty bad, but I’m sure there have been worse. Sexism is just being highlighted so much during these elections because of the high number of women running.
I hope this election leads to more women in Congress or running state governments. Then hopefully the boys will learn that it takes more than name calling to win elections.