Sexism on the Campaign Trail?

Here’s a story to go nicely with NJmom’s fun elections prediction thread.

If any news story kicked Steve Jobs off the front page, it was this one about an exchange between Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts and his opponent Elizabeth Warren.

Brown was responding to a quip Warren made at a Democratic debate Tuesday.  Asked how she had paid for college – compared with Brown, who once posed partially nude for Cosmopolitan – Warren said: “I kept my clothes on.”

Brown fired back during an interview on Boston radio station WZLX: “Thank God!”

The jab went over well with the host, who laughed, then tried to stoke the flames.

“That’s what I said,” the host responded. “I said, look, can you blame a good looking guy for, you know, for wanting to…”

First of all, I love Elizabeth Warren for her economic populism and hope she beats the crap out of Brown in the voting booth. In many of my online women circles, Brown’s comment is being received with disgust as he came off as sexist. The “feminists-are-ugly” meme is so tired and juvenile. Can we retire it already?

Also, an acquaintance made a good point: she actually didn’t like the “I didn’t take my clothes off” line by Warren because sadly some low-income and working class women do take it off to go to college. Not everyone is as brilliant and/or has the connections to get scholarships, not to mention, jobs that actually pay the price of college tuition today.

Which leads me to my other point: if a woman posed for Cosmo like Brown did would she be as easily elected? I don’t think so. Yet, Brown managed to score laughs from it, and probably some political points — at least among other Republicans.

What do you all say about this flap?

Again, I want to reiterate that I do think college students in Massachusetts will have a better shot at paying the bills with Warren at the helm. You go, girl!


Midday Coffee Break – Pink Leather Shorts Edition

Pink leather shorts. That’s what newly elected Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown wore on his first date with his now wife, Gail.

Pink. Leather. Shorts.

Let me see…

  1. Size of wrist? Check.
  1. Big 80’s hair? Check.
  1. Pink leather shorts? Check.

Yeah. That would be enough for me to say, “You know what? This is totally not my thing…”

What about you? What is an automatic turn-off for you? Where do you draw the line?

Of course, this is an open thread and you are free to discuss whatever you wish. What’s going on with you?


Late Night Liberty: ¬†Massachusetts’ New Senator

Here he is, in (all?) his glory. Scott Brown posed nude for Cosmo magazine in 1982. Jezebel has an interesting discussion on whether a female candidate would have gotten as far had she posed nude for Cosmo and had a law practice that “consisted mainly of real estate closings”.

Hmmm…interesting question.

Here’s my take on this photo – if your wrist is big (or small) enough to cover your junk, you have NO BUSINESS smiling. I’m just sayin’.

What do you think?


Special Election Open Thread

I am off to a memorial service for a friend’s mother so I am posting this early today.

I admit, I have not gotten involved in the Massachusetts race at all. I didn’t make calls or donate any money. In light of the healthcare fiasco and all the uncertainty around that issue, which is dear to my heart, I am afraid I am suffering from a bout of outrage fatigue and need to check out of politics for a while. I actually hung up on the Democratic National Committee today when they called to ask for money. Once again, I told them I would donate to and to please remove me from their list.

I am just so upset at how little the Democrats have accomplished with super majorities in the house and senate. If the tables were turned, the Republicans would have passed so much (bad) legislation just because they could. We were so focused on bipartisanship and pleasing a small group of so-called moderates that we got nothing done. It’s time to challenge some of these Dems in the primaries and start over with a clean slate of candidates.

Okay, I am getting of my soapbox now and letting you all debate tonight’s senatorial election in Massachusetts amongst yourselves. Here is a Boston Globe article on the record turnout for this special election. The polls close at 8 p.m. ET.

Of course, if you are suffering from outrage fatigue, too, you can discuss other stuff. Enjoy!


Midday Coffee Break

What’s up?

Do you remember the work I did around legislation to rid baby products of toxic flame retardants? AlterNet did a feature on our fight and the pioneering scientist, Arlene Blum, I had the pleasure of working with.

The Boston Globe ran a good story on the course of action Democrats can pursue to pass healthcare reform if Republican senatorial candidate Scott Brown wins today’s election.

Laurie Puhn over at the Expecting Words blog listed weird factoids surrounding pregnancy.

Sorry for the paltry post but today is the day I volunteer in Ari’s classroom. How are you?