September 8 2008
The Female Factor #3: NOW Needs to Move Beyond Stereotyping
One of the central missions of the National Organization for Women (NOW) is to eradicate sexism. NOW President Kim Gandy even rushed to the defense of vice presidential nomination Governor Sarah Palin when she was unfairly treated and dismissed by much of the media. Even though Gandy disagrees with most of Governor Palin's policy positions, Gandy wrote in a recent column: "We also will monitor the media and call them out for their sexism directed at Palin. A woman slurred, regardless of her party or stances, is a woman slurred."
Yet according to Politico, a NOW spokeswoman engaged in her own bit of sexism and stereotyping when describing Gov. Palin: "She's more a conservative man than she is a woman on women's issues. Very disappointing."
"It's that sentiment that's disappointing. Does NOW really think that a woman somehow loses her identity as a woman if she holds conservative beliefs? To claim someone sounds like a man because of their point of view is demeaning to women and men alike," said IWF vice president for policy and economics Carrie Lukas. "We need to move beyond this kind of stereotyping and judge individuals on their merits instead of as part of a group."
"I'm glad NOW president Kim Gandy agrees that Governor Palin deserves a fair hearing and to be judged on her merits," added IWF's Allison Kasic. "I only wish that she would also recognize that it is inappropriate to try to demonize women who hold conservative views as betraying their sex."
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