February 5, 2016

The US of A elected a black man for president. Amazing. Wonderful. And, honestly, I’m very proud. (Although I don’t believe this is a post racial society. I believe we are still a racist country. And it’s sad that we have to have another movement to end racism, Black Lives Matter. But I’m glad that some people continue the fight against racism.)

The US of A has the chance to elect a woman president. Amazing. Wonderful. And, honestly, I’d be very proud. But the sexism – obvious and apparent sexism and blind and unaware sexism – are as rampant as racism. (Maybe more rampant. Shirley Chisholm thought sexism was deeper than racism. She said: “As a black person, I am no stranger to race prejudice. But the truth is that in the political world I have been far oftener discriminated against because I am a woman than because I am black.”

I’m a big fan of Michael Moore and his work. Amazing. Wonderful. But honestly, I’m disappointed. Check out this insightful article about Moore and the way he talks about supporting Bernie Sanders. Michael Moore…justice activist…political lefty. Yippee – and I mean that honestly. But I’m very concerned – very very very concerned – about his “casual chauvinism.”

Read the entire article. Just to give you a taste, a couple statements from the article:

  • “I wouldn’t expect Moore to back Clinton or even say anything particularly nice about her. But he can’t even acknowledge to female readers that this great progressive sees that having a woman president would be on its own terms a salutary thing?”
  • “I obviously have no idea whether Moore contemplated such a sentence and rejected it or it just never occurred to him. Either way, it tells us something. To a lot of men, even men of the left, the woman-president thing just isn’t important.”

Even progressive men don’t seem to think the woman-president thing is that important. What an indictment. And I fear it’s true. Mr. Moore, how could you not mention the importance of electing a woman president in this country? You can still endorse Bernie. But you could recognize and acknowledge the gender bias in this country and mention “the first black man” and “the first woman” as equally important.

Let’s not be naive. Sexism is alive and well worldwide. And YES, in the US of A, too. Just like racism is. Research proves it. The UN documents it. And the references below are just the tip of a very big gender bias iceberg in the US of A.

And the sexism is so institutionalized in the US of A that women running for any office are at a disadvantage. Media bias against women. Societal bias against women. Yes. All true. And the references below are just the tip of a that same big iceberg.

So back to the beginning of this morning’s rant…. I want Michael Moore – a progressive – to recognize that electing a woman president is just as important as electing a black president. And more important than electing a Catholic president or a divorced president or….

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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