Why We Continue to be Our Own Worst Enemy

Sun, August 24, 2008

Moms & Politics


While there are no statistics to prove this, it feels like there are a record number of events for political women at the Democratic National Convention. That’s a really exciting thing in terms of where political women go from here when the 2008 election is done in November.

NOW’s EqualiTEA, the Unconventional Women forum being put on by a variety of organizations, including The White House Project and the Women’s Campaign Forum, and the EMILY’s List reception, just to name a few, are places for progressive, activist women to gather and start planning the next phase of their political lives and agendas.

The Women’s Media Center is also presenting their report called, “From Soundbites to Solutions: Bias, Punditry and the Press in the 2008 Election,” and apparently we need it, and not just for the guys who insisted on giving Hillary Clinton short shrift during the presidential campaign.

In an article called Hillary Clinton Fans Tough to Woo, Christy Hoppe of the Dallas-Morning News wrote about the increased number of women’s gatherings in Denver, referring to them as an “estrogen-fest.”

An estrogen-fest.

Is that supposed to make us think about hundreds of hormonal women creating a ruckus like a bunch of sorority girls? Because I hardly think it’s the right turn of a phrase to describe gatherings with the likes of Senator Hillary Clinton, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the scores of other high-profile Democratic women, especially when one Clinton almost became the party’s presidential nominee.

Just out of curiosity, when was the last time you read anything written about a political event populated by men called a “testosterone-fest?”

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

The fact that the media, women members included, continue to write about gatherings presented and attended by women — especially political women — in derogatory and dismissive terms like this one never ceases to amaze me. I guess that’s my problem. I should be used to it by now.

But if we can’t even get other women to stop describing serious women and serious events with a vocabulary that can only diminish and mock us, how will we ever get the likes of Chris Matthews, Tucker Carlson, or the whole team at Fox News to stop referring to us as “bitchy” and “castrating?”

If any of you run into Christy Hoppe at the DNC, let her know I’d like to have a word with her. I just hope that she doesn’t run into Gloria Steinem or Nancy Pelosi first. That just won’t be pretty.

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5 Responses to “Why We Continue to be Our Own Worst Enemy”

  1. Shonda Little Says:

    Suck it, Christy Hoppe. Estrogen feast? Seriously? Who needs enemies, right!

  2. daphne Says:

    what not harpy fest? will they call McCain supporters a geezer fest? Obama supporters a fest that is not speakable?

  3. Sharon Says:

    The democratic party would be out of business without women. This afternoon I was at the grand opening of a democratic office in a town that hasn’t had an office in years – and women made it happen. Women volunteers! We cleaned the place and we will volunteer our time so the place will be staffed. There is no fest involved, just elbow grease and hours of time. Besides which, I’m all out of estrogen. The media needs to stop with the labels – we are democrats, plain and simple.

  4. anniegirl1138 Says:

    The word “testosterone” is one that means power to most people (who actually know what the words means). Estrogen plays into the idea that women don’t think as much as they (over)react.

    We need to get away from the idea that women think via their wombs and that thought patterns are governed by the phases of the moon.

    In Ms. Hoope’s case it might have helped to have an editor who could remind her not to play into the stereotype.

    People who use words for a living should be more careful.

  5. Virginia Harris Says:

    I’m thrilled that Senator Clinton is addressing the Dem Convention on the anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment.

    It is a great way to honor her candidacy, AND the extraordinary courage of the suffragettes.

    It will inspire her supporters to stand by her — by supporting the candidate she endorses.

    Thanks to the success of the suffragettes, women now have voices and choices!

    And great candidates like Senator Clinton!

    But most people are totally in the dark about HOW the suffragettes won, and what life was REALLY like for women before they did.

    Now readers can discover the shocking truth, and it’s as easy as opening their e-mail.

    “The Privilege of Voting” is a new free e-mail series that follows eight great women from 1912 – 1920 to reveal ALL that happened to set the stage for women to win the vote.

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    Two beautiful and extremely powerful suffragettes — Alice Paul and Emmeline Pankhurst are featured, along with Edith Wharton, Isadora Duncan, Alice Roosevelt and two gorgeous presidential mistresses.

    There are tons of heartache for these heroines on the rocky road to the ballot box, but in the end, they WIN!

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