The media isn’t always wrong. Across the board, both parties are horrible at bringing out the women base, unless of course it’s through hot button issues like birth control and abortion. We often times use men to be the talking heads of these issues (when it should be women – both conservative and liberal) and then keep women in the back row on every other issue. Women bring more value to the conversation than just religious rants and pro-life marches.
It’s no secret: we are really bad at letting women play in the political arena. It’s not specific to the GOP, but we are definitely batting at the amateur level, mainly on an internal level.
So naturally, I’ve compiled a list of how we label our ladies who play ball for the GOP. I won’t name names, because that wouldn’t be appropriate, but I would imagine it won’t be difficult for anyone paying attention to politics on any level to pin point who’s who.
The Woman in the Boxy Jacket: This woman is, generally speaking, very smart, eloquent and well-versed on the issues but they’ve been forced into a boxy jacket because men are intimidated by them. The boxy jacket represents a strong personality that can match up against anyone without question, but we quickly label her
as ‘wicked’ and ‘ferocious’. This woman can’t be direct without being called ‘unstable’ and can’t call out a wrong without being ‘bitter’. We don’t support her publicly but then wonder why she can’t get elected.
The Attractive & Spunky Politico
This woman is usually vibrant and cheery both in personality and physical features, but her upward mobility is limited because men in politics have reservations about hiring her for fear of rumors of sexual impropriety. The majority of her accomplishments will likely also be tainted by the same stigma. If she would just pipe down and put on a boxy jacket, she could get somewhere. Or that’s what we tell her. We like her, but she’s dangerous.
The Quiet Frumpy Girl Who Doesn’t Have A Lot To Say
This girl will get offered all the jobs but she’ll lack the zeal because she’s too malleable. We can tell her who to support and what issues to champion, but it isn’t pure. She won’t be able to match up head to head with a liberal or recruit folks to the party because she doesn’t know why she’s doing it. For some reason, these are the people we put on our front lines.
The Judgmental Old Lady With 8 Pins on Her Tweed Jacket.
This lady knows everything. She’s been around long enough to watch the cycles of every election since FDR but that’s not enough. She knows what we had and what we need, but she’s just a little off her rocker. Bless her heart, she’s lost it a little in her old age. We still let her hang around, begrudgingly.
The Work Horse Soccer Mom. This woman is invaluable to any party in which she participates, and while that value will be acknowledged, it will stop there. There’s not much time for an opinion or feedback. Just stuff the envelopes and make those calls, please. We’ve got the rest handled.
You see, we’re hurting our own. This fight will never be about feminism, as the left would like to claim, so please don’t be mistaken. But we squash the ones that can be successful in helping our brand- and judging by the stereotype list- that’s A LOT of them. This is about the boxes we lock women into in the political realm. We’re all guilty of being judgmental, but the perpetuation of the rumors, stigmas and stereotypes is breaking our brand.
I’ve always said, politics or not, women are the harshest critics of other women. But at some point, both men AND women have to draw the line in the sand for when we stop stereotyping and start recognizing the value of the individual. After all, that is what we stand for – the individual. This isn’t just affecting the ‘image’ of our party or causing tension among activists. It bleeds into elections and engagement and outreach. It stunts growth and it halts volunteers. It affects the involved and the un-involved. It brings our numbers to a screeching halt.