Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Back to Boiler Rooms and Bedrooms

Headlines are blaring today about the Ben-Hur of Massachusetts, a tea party electoral victory, and the message voters are sending to Washington.

To put these descriptive terms into the context of the third millennium, let us all remember that:

Ben-Hur became a slave to his Roman masters.

The Boston tea party was staged at a time when women were owned by men.

The message broadcasts clearly that women must get back to the bedroom and the boiler room and forget about political leadership.

Here is what is being said about the most recent female casualty:

Martha Coakley’s election loss came about because she did not work hard enough; she took a vacation between the primary and the general elections; she does not know enough about baseball; she is not liked; she is too tough; she is too calm; her campaign was poorly run.

The most catastrophic distortion of all is that Coakley reportedly refused to stand in the cold at Fenway Park and ask for “the peasants” votes because she already had the election won.

How did this parody of what she actually said become truth? There is no doubt she was using sarcasm about her opponent’s standing in the cold to campaign at Fenway and then using it in a campaign ad. The parody became truth because of petty local politics and even pettier people.

The same perverted twisting of the truth has been displayed about two other prominent women candidates recently.

Hillary Clinton’s delightful laugh has become a “cackle,” a word that conjures up the witch hunts of the Middle Ages when hundreds of thousands of women were burned at the stake.

Sarah Palin’s penchant for “winking” has been warped into a visible sign of promiscuous behavior in a world where women are seen as either harlots or madonnas. (The only madonnas are those who stay home and keep quiet.)

It is absolutely astounding today that after 234 years of male rule, 90 years after women finally were granted the right to vote, almost two years after Hillary Clinton fought for the Democratic nomination for president and Sarah Palin became the Republican vice-presidential nominee, and almost four years after Nancy Pelosi became Speaker, women are continuing to be disdained as leadership material.

It will behoove both political parties and the tea party group to actively seek out women to run for office. If the world had been meant to be all male, women would not be here.