Women and Politics

A blog from WCF about the state of women and politics

Put Rep. Betty Sutton back in the kitchen?!

This post was submitted by Caitlin O’Brien, WCF Fellow.

Women have come a long way, it’s true. Sure, we now make up 46% of the labor force, as compared with 34% in 1950—but we still only make 77 cents to every dollar that a man makes. And despite turning out to vote in higher numbers than men in every election since 1964, women still only make up 17% of Congress. For every mile we walk, there is still a marathon to run.

Picture courtesy of MADELINE

Picture courtesy of MADELINE

U.S. Representative Betty Sutton (D-OH) has done more than enough in her career to have earned the respect of the political world—which means both parties. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case. In a recent flier sent out by The Republican Review, the GOP urged voters to “take Betty Sutton out of the House and put her back in the kitchen!”

Yep, you heard right folks: PUT HER BACK IN THE KITCHEN.

Needless to say, this kind of comment isn’t just offensive, it’s also archaic. It implies that women not only have no place in politics, but are only suited to stay at home—as far from the workplace as possible. First of all, choosing to stay home and raise a family is a tough and admirable job no matter what your gender. But this outrageous callback to the days when women weren’t seen as anything more than housewives is wildly disrespectful and disregards all of the hard work women have had to do to come as far as we have.

I understand not liking someone’s politics, but why do the attacks against women always end up being about their gender? Because sexism is still deeply ingrained in our culture.

Misogynist comments like this not only insult the person they target, but also belittle over 50% of the population. It’s this nasty behavior that so many women internalize—making them hesitant to do things like run for office.

And what’s the most infuriating part of the whole thing? The mailer was actually paid for, in part, by Rep. Sutton’s challenger in her upcoming election, Republican Tom Ganley. So, in response to The Republican Review’s short sighted-view of who deserves to hold political office, Rep. Sutton is attempting to collect 15,000 signatures, calling on Ganley to denounce the comment immediately.

Click here to add your signature to the list and give women in politics the support they need and deserve.

Socially-engrained sexism is perhaps the biggest roadblock to women’s political leadership. We must continue to call out both blatant and “covert” anti-woman rhetoric as soon as it happens.

Rep. Sutton faces a primary election on May 4 – let’s make sure she isn’t thrown back into the kitchen – but kept in the House.

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