Another gap in our teeth

16 Dec

Hilary Clinton. Sarah Palin. And yes, Christine O’Donnell.

You know these ladies. You’ve grown up with them, laughing at and/or voting for a certain combination of them. And your attention has not been in vain; these ladies have been household names and SNL go-tos for quite some time now.

And it’s been great – great to have role models on both sides of the aisle, and great to give Tina Fey another reason to be funny.

But! (You knew this was coming.) But. Even with this trifecta, the stats on women in politics remain ugly.  And uglier still are the double standards we continue to see in the media, as they report on ladies and gentlemen who are more politically inclined than the rest of us.

Gail Collins called foul on her own team today in a column on the crying gap, which was recently moved to the forefront of national debate by Orangeman and soon-to-be speaker of the house John Boehner.

“He is known to cry,” the outgoing speaker, Nancy Pelosi, told Deborah Solomon in The Times Magazine. “He cries sometimes when we’re having a debate on bills.”

Pelosi, of course, does not cry in public. We will stop here briefly to contemplate what would happen if she, or any female lawmaker, broke into loud, nose-running sobs while discussing Iraq troop funding or giving a TV interview.

There’s a lot more to be said on this issue. If you’re interested, start first with Name it. Change it. — an organization that calls out the media and empowers women to fight sexism.

In the meantime, let’s recap. Not only do ladyfolk have to deal with the pay gap. Thanks to age-old stereotypes and the tried-and-true double standard, we’re also not supposed to cry in public. Even when we’ve heard one too many “John Boehner is orange” jokes.

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