While working Saturday I received a news release regarding Democratic state Senate District candidate Joy Silver.
I barely finished the first sentence and was a couple of words into the second when I found myself cringing, screaming aloud to no one in particular, “Seriously? You have got to be kidding me.”
Frankly, I was pissed.
Read the first two sentences of the news release and see if you share my sentiment?
“A year ago, Joy Silver was a new political name for most of us in this area. Suddenly, this petite, attractive woman was announcing her run for the State Senate seat currently occupied by Jeff Stone.”
It sounded like an intro for a Miss America Pageant contestant.
Democratic U.S. Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz has, to my knowledge, has never been described as the muscular, handsome man. It would be wholly inappropriate.
So, why was it OK to describe a woman as petite and attractive?
Haven’t we moved beyond this point?
I do not know Joy Silver. I have never met her. I have heard her speak and watched her in motion. I’ve spoken with many of those who have unconditionally endorsed her in her election bid, including Ruiz and former Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer.
They describe her as spunky, tireless, determined, committed, devoted, passionate, thoughtful and smart.
Not once did anyone mention her height, God forbid her weight, or her looks. Nor should they have. It does not matter if she is a Little Person with Witch-of-the-Wizard-of-Oz looks or Princess Diana. What matters is whether she can be an effective lawmaker.
I have no doubt the person who wrote the statement was well-meaning and well-intentioned. Has the entire #MeToo movement already lost its punch and fallen on deaf ears? Thousands of women have told harrowing accounts of being sexually objectified, sexually harassed and sexually assaulted. To continue to refer to female politicians – or any other woman — by their looks is not acceptable. They are so much more than a good hairdo and a nice shade of lip gloss.
They have brains and ideas and a desire to get things done.
From all I have heard and know about Joy Silver, she doesn’t need me to go to bat for her.
But to stand by silently and say nothing, in my mind, would be to endorse and condone the sexist language.
I simply could not do it.