Sexism in Media: Name It, Change It

I’m headed down to Charlotte and the DNC in the morning to write about  the day long women’s think tank, Unconventional Women, organized by Political Parity.

Former Ambassador to Austria and philanthropist Swanee Hunt is the Chair of PP and Massachusetts Lt Governor Kerry Healey(R) is Co-Chair of this bi-partisan effort to get more women elected. They expect 100 Democratic leaders (they convened the same event at the Republican convention) to discuss sexism, polls, why women don’t run for higher office as often…and coursing through all of these topics is the role of media.

We certainly have had a go at a “war against women” this year-Republicans Rush Limbaugh and Todd Akin offered up some beyond-the-pale attacks–and just plain outrageousness, reinforcing a current gender gap in President Obama’s favor.

Mainstream media has let slip some sexist observations of its own–some aimed at the most watched women’s campaign this election year, that of Democrat Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, running for the Senate against  Republican Senator Scott Brown.

The Women’s Media Center has reported on The Boston Herald’s persistent and poisonous sexist/ageist comments:

What began as columnist Howie Carr’s coinage of the derogatory nickname “Granny” to refer to Warren—a witticism with which Carr is so self-pleased, he’s used it another fifteen times since—has now spread to multiple columnists, and even the news pages. Michelle Kinsey Bruns , WMC.

In cases like this, it’s important to know about the campaign Name It, Change It–a partnership between The Women’s Media Center, She Should Run and Political Parity–with major sponsorship from the Embrey Foundation and the Barbara Lee Foundation. Its mission is to track and respond to instances of media sexism aimed a women political candidates. Take a look at the guide to recognizing, and doing something about damaging verbal assaults to candidates.

For women candidates: Name It. Change It. Just Released

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