We Heart: WMC’s Plan to End Sexism Against Women Candidates

Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits. Michelle Obama’s shorts. Elena Kagan’s hair. Is any of this relevant to the politics of these women?

Absolutely not, says the Women’s Media Center.

Today, the WMC, alongside the Women’s Campaign Forum Foundation and Political Parity, launched their ‘Name It. Change It’ campaign to shine a bright light on sexist coverage of women running for office, and lobby media outlets to focus on what’s important in politics: politics.

WMC President Jehmu Greene says:

Not only will we monitor and hold outlets accountable for problematic coverage, we’ll work proactively with media professionals and outlets to provide resources for balanced local and national coverage of the elections, and give them the opportunity to take the equality pledge not to engage in pervasive sexist attacks – because we know that sexism and equality simply don’t mix.

Sexist attacks on women candidates detract from their political platforms, reduce their credibility and police their gender performances. The ‘Name It. Change It’ campaign aims to eliminate these commonplace attacks and create an environment in which political platforms can be fairly assessed.

Starting with the 2010 midterm elections, the campaign’s organizers have developed a “rapid response network” that will highlight misogyny and sexism in the mainstream media quickly. Their objective is to remove what is one of the most serious barriers to women’s political success.

Way to go, WMC!

Photo of Hillary Clinton in wax from Flickr user cliff1066 under Creative Commons 2.o.


  1. I'm glad to see this new WMC plan to end sexism against women candidates. I was appalled to see this article in the NYT earlier this week by a female reporter: "Blazing Campaign Trail in a Certain 3 Inch Heel" http://nyti.ms/b3iV0Q The article attacked Congressional candidate Reshma Saujani for the shoes she wears! Reshma is a lifelong human rights activist, whose family immigrated to the US from Uganda during Idi Amin's reign. Reshma has well prepared policy positions based on thoughtful analysis, volunteer and work experience, and deep engagement with voters. SHOES?! An entire NYT article about her shoes?! Are you kidding me?!

  2. Barbara Gravelle says:

    Well over due! The sexist comments of male politicians comes even from the highest places – "and she did it in high Heels." and " You have lipstick on your teeth Michele," Does anybody know who said that? Well good for MS
    cut these so called modern thin king men no slack

  3. Jonathan Pelikan says:

    Encouraging news, to be sure. I remember me and my mom having endless sport about the media's fixation with Hillary Clinton's cleavage. If even an effort to stop this sort of base idiocy is happening, then I'm behind it one hundred percent. Let's worry about a politician's politics and not her damn heels.

  4. With the midterm elections a week behind us, did the name it, shame it campaign achieve its goal(s)? Tell us more, please, and thank you!

  5. constance kosuda says:

    never heard of this campaign – what did it actually do? accomplish?

    they need to be much more public.

  6. What about Sarah Palin? If we are concerned about these sexist comments, we need to think about both sides of the house. Sarah Palin is still beat down by unkind words. Open your arms to both sides.

  7. This would have been a much more effective post had you actually used pic of Hilary Clinton, and not an impersonator in a bad knock-off pants suit. If Ms.’s web editors can’t tell the difference then…we’re in big trouble.

  8. Oh wait, that’s her Madame Tussaud’s wax statue…which is even weirder. C’mon Ms. you’re better than that.

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