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Women in politics. Let's make HERstory!

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For the past 100 years, women's political participation has been growing.
Yet the stats are still very limited.
What are the barriers to women's political engagement?
How can we better balance the voice of power?
Which initiatives exist around the world?

Published in: Government & Nonprofit

Women in politics. Let's make HERstory!

  1. 1. Let’s make HERstory!
  2. 2. We are the children of greek democracy
  3. 3. And women had to wait for the XIXth century to start being considered full citizens
  4. 4. Women progressively gained the right to vote
  5. 5. http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/interactive/2011/jul/06/un-women-vote-timeline-interactive
  6. 6. And the last country in 2015!
  7. 7. From voter to politician Women’s representation is still limited
  8. 8. #MoreWomen
  9. 9. #MoreWomen
  10. 10. #MoreWomen
  11. 11. #MoreWomen
  12. 12. #MoreWomen
  13. 13. #MoreWomen
  14. 14. #MoreWomen
  15. 15. #MoreWomen
  16. 16. More and more women are leading countries around the world
  17. 17. India – 1966: Indira Gandhi Argentina – 1974: Maria Estela Isabel Martinez de Peron became Argentina’s first female president Israel – 1969: Golda Meir- first female prime minister. In 1960, Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the prime minister of of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and the first woman in the world to be elected head of government. There have been over 70 female prime ministers and presidents in the world since 1960
  18. 18. 1988: Benazir Bhutto became the prime minister of Pakistan in December of 1988, at the age of 35. Bhutto holds the distinction of being the first female prime minister of a Muslim-majority nation. Liberia – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (President since 2006 and the world’s first elected black female president and Africa’s first elected female head of state)
  19. 19. Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil Geun-hyePark, President of South Korea Joyce Banda, President of Malawi Cristina Fernandez, President of Argentina
  20. 20. Atifete Jahjaga, President of Kosovo President since 2011, the first female Head of State in the Balkans and the youngest one Laura Chinchilla, Costa Rica Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Mauritius
  21. 21. For The First Time In 29 Years, TIME's Person Of The Year in 2015 was A Woman
  22. 22. Yet, there is still a long way to go… Source: UN Women
  23. 23. Source: UN Women
  24. 24. 2 | Lawless and Fox nents factor into the total number of women who hold seats in any nation’s legislature, but more than 50 democratic countries rank higher than the United States in women’s representation. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that women’s under-representation in American politics raises grave concerns regarding democratic legitimacy and fundamental issues of political represen- tation. Electing more women increases the likelihood that policy debates and deliberations include women’s views and experiences. Further, political theorists and practitioners alike often ascribe symbolic or role model benefits to a more diverse body of elected officials (see Appendix A for current research on the substantive and symbolic benefits female candidates and elected officials bring to the Table 2 Worldwide Rankings of Women in the National Legislature Rank and Country Percent Women 1. Rwanda 56.3 2. Andorra 53.6 3. Sweden 45.0 4. South Africa 44.5 5. Cuba 43.2 6. Iceland 42.9 7. Finland 42.5 8. Norway 39.6 9. Belgium 39.3 Netherlands 39.3 11.Mozambique 39.2 12. Angola 38.6 Costa Rica 38.6 14. Argentina 38.5 15.Denmark 38.0 16.Spain 36.6 17. Tanzania 36.0 18.Uganda 34.9 19.New Zealand 33.6 20.Nepal 33.2 91.United States of America 16.9 International Average 19.3 Source: Inter-Parliamentary Union, “Women in National Parliaments,” as of August 31, 2011. Rwanda has the highest number of women parliamentarians worldwide
  25. 25. The European Parliament is slowly progressing
  26. 26. And France is lagging behind…
  27. 27. US actually ranks behind Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Nepal
  28. 28. Men RuleThe Continued Under-Representation of Women in U.S. Politics Jennifer L. Lawless American University Richard L. Fox Loyola Marymount University WOMEN & POLITICS INSTITUTE SCHOOL of PUBLIC AFFAIRS
  29. 29. In France, our political world is still dominated by white male over 50 who represent only 15% of our population
  30. 30. With roughly 10 percent of countries of the world run by women, it is mainly male voices making policies
  31. 31. WHY?
  32. 32. Jennifer L. Lawless American University Richard L. Fox Loyola Marymount University Girls Just Wanna Not Run The Gender Gap in Young Americans’ Political Ambition
  33. 33. Girls Just Wanna Not Run The Gender Gap in Young Americans’ Political Ambition What Hinders Young Women’s Political Ambition?
  34. 34. Young men are more likely than young women to be socialized by their parents to think about politics as a career path. to think about politics as a possible career path. Political socialization in the family is the premier agent in the development of young people’s political attitudes and behavior.6 Indeed, early political experiences can instill in many individuals the belief that they have the power to take part in the democratic process, whether by voting, engaging in other forms of political participation, or ultimately running for office. Thus, it is important to recognize that the women and men in our sample were exposed to similar patterns of general political socialization. The data presented in the top half of Table 3 indicate that, with one exception, female and male col- lege students were equally likely to grow up in households where news was consumed and political conversations ensued. Table 3 A Politicized Home Environment, by Sex Men Women Presence of Politics in the Household When Growing Up The news is often on. 48% 49% We often talk about politics at meal times. 24 * 19 My parents often talk about politics with friends and family. 21 22 My parents sometimes yell at the TV because they are 14 17 mad about politics. Political Activity with Parents Followed the 2012 election with parents. 48 * 54 Watched election coverage with parents. 36 38 Discussed same-sex marriage with parents. 27 * 42 Discussed the environment and global warming with parents. 29 30 Discussed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with parents. 35 35 Shared a story on email, Facebook, or a social networking 18 * 24 site with parents. Sample Size 1,020 1,097 Notes: Entries indicate percentage of respondents who answered each question affirmatively or engaged in each political activity. * indicates that the gender gap is statistically significant at p < .05. Girls Just Wanna Not Run The Gender Gap in Young Americans’ Political Ambition
  35. 35. Girls are less encouraged by their parents to run for office Girls Just Wanna Not Run The Gender Gap in Young Americans’ Political Ambition
  36. 36. From their school experiences to their peer associationsto their media habits, young women tend to be exposed to less political information and discussion than do young men. do young men. School, peers, and the media are the key agents of political socialization beyond the family. It is no surprise, therefore, that a primary contributor to the gender gap in political ambition is the political context into which college students immerse themselves. Regardless of whether we focus on academ- ics, extracurricular activities, peer relationships, or media habits, female respondents were less likely than male respondents to be surrounded by political discussion and information. Beginning with class selection, men were more likely than women to gain exposure to politics and current events. More specifically, the comparisons presented in Table 4 reveal that men were 10 percent more likely than women to have taken a political science or government class, and almost 20 percent more likely to report discussing politics and current events in their classes. These gender gaps also emerge outside of formal educational experiences. Men were approxi- mately two-thirds more likely than women to belong to either the College Democrats or College Republi- cans. And men were significantly more likely than women to have run for and held student government positions in college. This gender gap in student government marks a contrast with respondents’ experi- ences in high school; women and men were equally likely to have participated in student government prior to college. We also found substantial gender differences in the content of the college students’ peer relation- ships. When we asked respondents about the topics of discussion in which they engaged with their friends, predictable gender differences emerged. Young men were more likely than women to report talking about sports; young women were more likely than men to converse about fashion, dating, and Table 4 Political Context at School and with Peers, by Sex Men Women Exposure to Politics in College Has taken a political science or government class 72% * 66% Frequently discusses politics and current events 35 * 30 in college classes Political Activity in College Participated in College Democrats or Republicans 16 * 9 Ran for student government position 12 * 8 Held student government position 8 * 5 Politics with Peer Groups Frequently discusses politics with friends 27 * 20 Frequently discusses current events with friends 48 * 42 Sample Size 996 1,080 Notes: Entries indicate percentage of respondents who answered each question affirmatively or engaged in each political activity. * indicates that the gender gap is statistically significant at p < .05. Girls Just Wanna Not Run The Gender Gap in Young Americans’ Political Ambition
  37. 37. Less girls watch political shows Girls Just Wanna Not Run The Gender Gap in Young Americans’ Political Ambition
  38. 38. Girls Just Wanna Not Run The Gender Gap in Young Americans’ Political Ambition | 9 school. But as the data in the bottom of Table 4 reveal, men were also significantly more likely than women to discuss politics and current events with their friends. A similar pattern emerges when we turn to news gathering habits. Women and men were equally likely to watch cable news and read a newspaper. But we uncovered significant gender differences for three other political news sources. Men were two-thirds more likely than women to watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart or The Colbert Report (see Table 5). And they were significantly more likely than women to access political news and political blogs on the internet. Our survey results provide compelling evidence that, at school, with their peers, and through media, women are less likely than men to surround themselves with politics or devote time to gathering infor- mation and news about politics and current events. In fact, when asked about their overall levels of general political interest, 26 percent of men, but only 15 percent of women, described themselves as “very interested in politics and current events” (gender gap significant at p < .05). These gender differences carry clear implications for the gender gap in political ambition because peo- ple who are immersed in politics are more likely than those who are not to express interest in running for office. Figure 5 presents data that demonstrate the relationships between some of our key measures of a political environment and interest in running for office in the future. The figure compares respondents who possessed key ingredients associated with political ambition to those who did not. All of the measures of political context presented in Figure 5 perform similarly. Those who had taken a political science class were more than twice as likely as those who had not to have plans to run for Table 5 Sources of Political Information, by Sex Men Women Engaged in each activity over the course of the last few days Watched cable news (such as Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC) 40% 40% Read a hard copy newspaper 19 19 Visited news websites 65 * 53 Visited political websites / blogs 45 * 32 Watched The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and/or The Colbert Report 25 * 15 Sample Size 1,009 1,083 Notes: Entries indicate percentage of respondents who answered each question affirmatively. * indicates that the gender gap is statistically significant at p < .05. Girls Just Wanna Not Run The Gender Gap in Young Americans’ Political Ambition
  39. 39. Young men are more likely than young women to have played organized sports and care about winning. Girls Just Wanna Not Run The Gender Gap in Young Americans’ Political Ambition | 11 Overall, our results suggest that playing organized sports either provides an opportunity to develop, or reinforces the propensity toward, a competitive spirit. These characteristics relate to running for elec- tive office later in life, and this effect is evident in both female and male college students. Because men are still substantially more likely than women to play sports and to exude competitive traits, however, they are also far more likely to find themselves in a position to direct that competitive drive into politics. Table 6 Participation in Organized Sports and Attitudes toward Competition, by Sex Men Women Organized sports in college Plays a varsity or junior varsity sport 38% * 26% Plays an intramural sport 36 * 15 When you were younger, did you play on any sports teams? No, I never played on any sports teams. 13 * 28 Yes, I played sports, but they were never very important to me. 14 * 18 Yes, I played sports and enjoyed them, but they were only one activity. 36 33 Yes, I played sports and they were very important to me. 37 * 21 When playing sports, how competitive are you? Not competitive. As long as it’s fun, I don’t care if I win. 11 * 16 Somewhat competitive and I prefer to win. 44 * 52 Very competitive. It is very important to me that I win. 44 * 32 Sample Size 1,014 1,089 Notes: For levels of competitiveness when playing sports, the sample is restricted to respondents who play or have played on any sports teams. * indicates that the gender gap is statistically significant at p < .05. Girls Just Wanna Not Run The Gender Gap in Young Americans’ Political Ambition
  40. 40. Young women are less likely than young men to receive encouragement to run for office – from anyone. seek elective office as an adult. Consequently, we examined whether respondents received encourage- ment to run for student government, as well as for political office in the future. The first two columns in Table 7 provide comparisons between female and male respondents on the question of whether various people in their lives ever encouraged them to run for student government (either in high school or college). We found virtually no gender differences. Women and men were equally likely to report receiving encouragement to run for student government from their parents, teachers, and friends. They were also just as likely to receive encouragement from multiple sources; roughly one in five respondents was encouraged to seek a student government position by at least three sources. When we turn to encouragement to run for public office later in life, however, gender equity gives way to patterns that favor male respondents. The comparisons presented in the right-hand columns of Table 7 reveal striking and significant gender gaps in every case about which we asked. Men were 27 36 35 49 19 26 29 39 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Party Official Elected Official Political Activist Any Political Actor Men Women Table 7 Gender Differences in Encouragement to Run for Office Encouraged to Run Encouraged to Run for Student Government for Office Later in Life Men Women Men Women Parent 24% 25% 40% * 29% Grandparent 9 7 14 * 9 Aunt / Uncle 9 6 10 * 7 Sibling 8 9 10 * 7 Teacher 19 18 19 * 12 Coach 5 * 3 7 * 4 Religious Leader 4 4 7 * 4 Friend 22 22 26 * 17 Received suggestion from 20 19 19 * 13 three or more sources Sample Size 1,020 1,097 1,020 1,097 Notes: Entries indicate percentage of respondents who ever received encouragement or the suggestion to run for office from each source. * indicates that the gender gap is statistically significant at p < .05. Girls Just Wanna Not Run The Gender Gap in Young Americans’ Political Ambition
  41. 41. Young women are less likely than young men to think they will be qualified to run for office, even once they are established in their careers Girls Just Wanna Not Run The Gender Gap in Young Americans’ Political Ambition
  42. 42. To promote change, women prefer to work for charity than run for office Girls Just Wanna Not Run The Gender Gap in Young Americans’ Political Ambition
  43. 43. How to close the gap? • Early parental support for a political career, therefore, is a vital ingredient for closing the gender gap in political ambition. • Encouraging young women to play sports from an early age might generate a greater sense of competition and, ultimately, political ambition among young women. • Exposing young women to female candidates and elected of cials and providing examples of how pursuing electoral of ce can bring about societal change cannot be underestimated in closing the gap. These activities can also go a long way in combating women’s tendency to self-assess as unquali ed to run for office. Girls Just Wanna Not Run The Gender Gap in Young Americans’ Political Ambition
  44. 44. Claire Guichet octobre 2015 Les forces vives au féminin LESÉTUDESDUCONSEILÉCONOMIQUE,SOCIALETENVIRONNEMENTAL
  45. 45. Un des moteurs essentiels de la prise de responsabilité et de l’accès à des postes dirigeants est la parole • Le pouvoir se prendrait ainsi par les mots, ce qui défavoriserait les femmes. • « La faible présence des femmes aux postes de responsabilité limite les possibilités pour celles- ci, en général, d’avoir des modèles auxquels se référer et par conséquent leur sentiment de légitimité. Il importe donc à un moment de briser la tendance et de mettre en place des dispositifs incitant à la prise de responsabilité par les femmes». Claire Guichet octobre 2015 Les forces vives au féminin LESÉTUDESDUCONSEILÉCONOMIQUE,SOCIALETENVIRONNEMENTAL
  46. 46. Les freins « imaginaires » que se posent les femmes • Un sentiment de légitimité et de compétence moindre chez les femmes – Les femmes n’osent pas y aller et attendent qu’on les sollicite, que des dispositifs paritaires les poussent, voire que personne d’autre ne soit sur les rangs. – Les femmes ont souvent le sentiment de ne pas être prêtes, de ne pas être assez formées. • Un déficit de confiance en soi qui se traduit pour les femmes par une difficulté à prendre la parole et les conduit à faire souvent plus que les hommes – Au moment où elles interviennent, la salle écoute moins et il arrive encore trop souvent que les plaisanteries fusent, comme pour con rmer un manque supposé de légitimité et/ou de compétence. L’indulgence est bien moindre lorsqu’une femme fait une erreur, même minime, alors que cela reste souvent banal et sans conséquence pour un homme. Craignant de se confronter ou/et de ne pas être prises au sérieux, les femmes ont alors parfois du mal à prendre la parole, d’autant plus si elles doutent elles-mêmes de leurs compétences. • Le sentiment de culpabilité – Du fait de l’inégale répartition des tâches ménagères et familiales, les femmes militantes expriment plus souvent que les hommes militants leur culpabilité à l’égard d’un investissement lorsqu’il déborde largement sur la vie familiale. Claire Guichet octobre 2015 Les forces vives au féminin LESÉTUDESDUCONSEILÉCONOMIQUE,SOCIALETENVIRONNEMENTAL
  47. 47. L’autocensure féminine ne saurait, en aucun cas, être perçue comme étant une responsabilité individuelle ou un phénomène lié au sexe biologique. • C’est bien dans la construction des rôles sociaux que les femmes acquièrent une propension plus forte à se questionner sur leurs compétences et leurs capacités à prendre de nouvelles responsabilités. • Les arguments selon lesquels il n’y aurait pas de femmes compétentes et/ ou intéressées pour tel ou tel poste, l’inexistence de vivier ou la non- reconnaissance d’obstacles les empêchant objectivement d’y candidater sont trop souvent utilisés pour nier l’existence d’un problème de représentation des femmes. Claire Guichet octobre 2015 Les forces vives au féminin LESÉTUDESDUCONSEILÉCONOMIQUE,SOCIALETENVIRONNEMENTAL
  48. 48. A perceived or real difference in female candidates’ treatment. Women fear the widespread bias experienced by women’s candidates
  49. 49. erage by all members of the press—from bloggers to radio hosts to television pundits. Our goal, to quote Katie Couric, is to “make sexism as repugnant as racism.” Widespread sexism in the media is one of the top problems facing women. Our groundbreaking research from Lake Research Partners shows that sexist media cov- erage results in a drastic decrease of voter confidence in women candidates. This is similar to studies of bullying, in which people are less likely to identify with those negatively treated in public, due to the conscious or unconscious fear that such bul- lying or negative public characterization will then include them as bystanders and supporters. The ever-changing media landscape creates an unmonitored and often not fact-checked echo chamber, habitually allowing damaging comments to influ- ence opinion without accountability. Name It. Change It. was launched to hold media outlets accountable for their role in our government’s gender disparity; women make up only 17 percent of Congress and 23 percent of state legislatures. Name It. Change It. identifies and publicizes sexist media coverage of women candidates and political leaders of all races. This project is also race-conscious in its understanding of ste- reotyping as it is used against various groups of women. The Name It. Change It. project exists to reduce the inci- dence of sexist media references and replace the usual silence that follows such media offenses toward women candidates and public leaders with proactive and re- sponsive tactics. We want to help members of the media identify sexism and stories biased against women so that sexism doesn’t remain a barrier for women elected to office. We want to be a positive resource for members of the media who are seeking fair and accurate alternatives. With our groundbreaking research, our case studies, our style guide of gender-neu- tral terms, and, finally, our Media Pledge of Gender Neutrality, we hope to reveal and reduce the problem that sexism creates for women in this country, whether they are seeking office or seeking representation, and that penalizes men by shrinking the pool of talented leaders. We believe cultural change is possible. There is no doubt that the past few decades have shown an enormous amount of improvement in the standing of women in this country. But the goal of equality has not been achieved, and America’s ratio of women representation lags behind that of many other countries. In fact, the U.S. ranks a shameful 78th in the world for representation of women in its national legis- lature. By addressing sexism in the political media, we believe we can improve all women’s lives, from candidates to voters. DUCTION Widespread sexism in the media is one of the top problems facing women. ; A good test of whether or not you as a reporter are taking sexism seriously is whether you would cite race, class, ethnicity, or religion in the same context.” — Gloria Steinem, Journalist and Co-Founder of the Women’s Media Center Name It. Change It. was launched to hold media outlets accountable for their role in our government’s gender disparity
  50. 50. Sexism in politics “Un mâle dominant”
  51. 51. Australian PM Gilliard video went viral • The video of genuinely furious Gilliard who denounced various catcalls she had experienced became viral as a harrowing testimony that exist treatment concerns women of all levels. • It became one of the most popular political speeches of 2012 hitting millions of viewers. • Her famous speech electrified the debate about misogyny in the workplace.
  52. 52. The effect on policies
  53. 53. Countries with a larger number of women as ministers or in parliament tend to have lower levels of inequality, more confidence in government and higher spending on health. • More women decision-makers and influencers in our public sectors means a more balanced perspective in designing and implementing new rules and laws, and a more inclusive approach to policymaking and service delivery.
  54. 54. More women in power could lead to more women running for office • Simply having more local female politicians can boost aspirations and educational achievement among young women, according to a landmark study co-authored by MIT economist Esther Duflo and published in Science. • “We think this is due to a role-model effect: Seeing women in charge persuaded parents and teens that women can run things, and increased their ambitions,” said Duflo in a press release.
  55. 55. Better people representation In policy, evidence suggests that politicians who reflect the people they serve better represent their needs.
  56. 56. More efficient policy making • Research also suggests that female legislators are incredibly effective: On average, they bring 9 percent more federal spending to their home district, and sponsor three more bills per Congress, compared to their male colleagues. • Research on panchayats (local councils) in India discovered that the number of drinking water projects in areas with female-led councils was 62 per cent higher than in those with male-led councils. • In Norway, a direct causal relationship between the presence of women in municipal councils and childcare coverage was found.
  57. 57. Improved Policy Outcomes • On average, women sponsor and co-sponsor more bills than do men and are able to enlist more co-sponsors. • Across parties, women are, on average, 31 percent more effective at advancing legislation and see continued success farther into the legislative process. • Congresswomen deliver 9 percent – or roughly $49 million – more per year in federal programs to their home districts than do congressmen. • Women across the political spectrum are more likely than their male counterparts – of either party – to prioritize issues affecting women, families, and children on their legislative agendas. • Regardless of party affiliation, women have voted more consistently in favor of environmental protections and policies than men have over the past 25 years in both the House and Senate.
  58. 58. A New Style of Leadership • Women, as a group, are more partial to non- hierarchical collaboration, consensus building, and inclusion than men, as a group, and they bring that style to politics. • Female legislators gather policy information from different sources than men and rely on different types of information in making key decisions. • Unlike their male colleagues, women in legislative and executive posts are motivated most often by policy goals, not power or prestige, in running for office and serving. • Female lawmakers open the legislative agenda to new perspectives and issues.
  59. 59. Overall, countries with any typeof gender quota havehigherproportionsof seats held by women in lower or single houses of parliament
  60. 60. Solutions
  61. 61. Things are changing but there is still a long way to go London mayor Rome mayor Paris mayor POTUS
  62. 62. Around the world, different organizations foster women’s political participation
  63. 63. Consolidated Response Best Practices Used by Political Parties to Promote Women in Politics Consolidated Response Best Practices Used by Political Parties to Promote Women in Politics International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics
  64. 64. Erin Vilardi: Ask women to nominate others
  65. 65. Foreign policy interrupted
  66. 66. Fair Agenda is a community of 35,000 Australians campaigning for a fair and equal future for women.
  67. 67. How to get more women in Tunisian politics
  68. 68. Or in Lebanon
  69. 69. Be mindful about how you conduct interviews PARALLELISM: WHEN EVERYTHING ISN’T EQUAL Another type of sexism in media coverage is Parallelism. If a reporter is wondering whether it’s offensive or inaccurate to say something about a group or person who may be subject to stereotyping, it’s often helpful to make a parallel with another per- son or group who is less subject to stereotyping. It changes the context just enough to see the fairness or unfairness. Some examples of the effect come in word choice. For example, men have “brown hair,” but women are “brunettes.” Women in power are sometimes called “motherly,” but men in power aren’t “fatherly.” But other examples go beyond word choice to the very premise of a question posed to a candidate. For example: If Sarah Palin had been a male vice presidential candidate, she prob- ably wouldn’t have been asked whether or not she could fulfill the job when she had CHILD CARE SINGLENESS EYE COLOR HAIR CUT MAKE-UP LACK OF CHILDREN GUIDINGRULESFORGENDERNEUTRALITY The Women’s Media Center’s Media Guide to Gender Neutral Coverage of Women Candidates + Politicians By Rachel Joy Larris and Rosalie Maggio
  70. 70. WMC Guide to Gender Neutral Coverage of Women Candidates + Politicians 3 Steinem, Journalist and Co-Founder of the Women’s Media Center Reversibility means abandon- ing or evaluating terms or story frames of women candidates that wouldn’t be written about men. It means not citing sex with less seriousness or logical relation to content than you would cite race, class, ethnic- ity, or religion. At the simplest level, do you use “Mr. Smith” on first refer- ence, then “Smith” after that? Do you cite “Ms.,” “Mrs.,” or “Miss Smith” throughout? If you answered yes to both, you are granting Mr. Smith autonomy, but continuing to describe Ms. Smith by her marital status. If terms are almost singularly applied to women but not to men, you probably shouldn’t be using them. Sexism can also refer to the type of cover- age, often about personality, appearance, or family, that is given to women politicians but not male politicians. See the chart for some examples. Please refer to the Glossary of Terms listed from the Unspin- ning the Spin: The Women’s Media Center’s Guide to Fair & Accurate Language for more examples. Said to Women Said to Men Cunt NONE Girl / Woman Whore NONE Man Whore Bitch NONE Slut NONE Prostitute Player / Pimp Man-Eater / Aggressive Driven / Motivated High-Strung / Temperamental Powerful Too Emotional Sensitive / Caring Mean Girl / Bully Powerful / Decisive Ice Queen / Cold Hardworking / Commanding Nagging / Shrill Determined Opinionated / Uppity Knowledgeable / Passionate Hot / Sexy / MILF Handsome / Attractive Ugly / Mannish / Dyke / Lesbian NO ATTENTION GIVEN Varicose Veins / Cankles / Wrinkled Distinguished / Seasoned General Menstruation Jokes: Moody / PMSing Angry General Comments on Appearance: Plunging Neckline / Short Skirt / Oh, look, he’s wearing a red/blue High Heels / Hairstyle tie “and an American flag pin” CHART OF REVERSIBILITY FORGENDERNEUTRALITY
  71. 71. GRULESFORGENDERNEUTRALITY Write about a woman candidate’s clothing or physical appearance (hair, makeup, eyes) … UNLESS your outlet has published similar articles about male candidates. Use gendered terms such as “feisty,” “spirited,” “opinionated” … UNLESS your outlet would use them on a male candidate. Talk about a female candidate as a mother … UNLESS the candidate brings it up first. Write about clothing (for either sex) that is symbolically important. Ask a male candidate about his role as a father if he touts “fatherhood” as a job qualifier. Ask a male candidate about sexist language he uses. DON’Ts DO’sMEDIA PLEDGE OF GENDER NEUTRALITY SIGN THE PLEDGE! We invite members of the media to sign the Name It. Change It. Media Pledge of Gender Neu- trality. By signing it, you pledge to use gender-neutral language (i.e., not sexist) when writing and/or speaking about women candidates and politicians. We encourage news reporters, columnists, pundits, bloggers, radio and television hosts, and Twitter users to sign the pledge. Refraining from sexist language is as important as refraining from racist language, and improves the media culture for all women. MEDIAPLEDGEOFGENDER You can sign the pledge online at www.nameitchangeit.org/page/s/equality-pledge Text of Media Pledge of Gender Neutrality I promise to adhere to fair journalistic standards that

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