As much as we dread the possibility that Joe Biden can sneak his good-ol-boy routine past the American people, appeal to our collective desire for…well, a less dramatic president, and actually win the 2020 election, Biden’s nomination would at least spare us from a general election in which everything anyone says about the nominee is declared “sexist” by the media. We’ve already been down that road, and it was an unpleasant one. To repeat it again with Elizabeth Warren is not really in our high-priority wish list.
And it will happen, mark our words. Indeed, it’s already happening. In an article defending Warren against charges that she lied about being fired from a teaching position because she was pregnant – a “fact” for which there is no evidence and is in fact contradicted by the evidence, including Warren’s own words – CNN analyst Brandon Tensley informed readers that it was just another case of Sexist America.
“Over the past few days, conservative news sites and mainstream outlets either have sought to directly refute Warren’s account or have disputed it in such a way that it seems as if there’s some reason to doubt that a school in the early 1970s would fire a pregnant woman,” Tensley wrote. “But that kind of discrimination continues today.”
This would like us writing: “Liberal news outlets have sought to refute Donald Trump’s claim of business acumen, as if there’s some reason to doubt that the dude is rich as hell.” We don’t recall CNN writing anything along those lines, because…why would they? Why would anyone? If a specific story is not true, it doesn’t matter if it COULD be true. It doesn’t matter if it has been true in other, similar instances. We’re sure that at some point in time in this country, a lifeguard has confronted a knife-wielding gangbanger. It doesn’t mean that Joe Biden ever did.
“Warren’s story, however, fits into a much larger pattern, one that will indeed be familiar to many women: It’s the tradition of sexism in the guise of scrutiny,” Tensley continued. Noting other instances in which female politicians have been scrutinized by the press, he writes: “Each of these examples is, in its own way, a distillation of age-old policing mechanisms and double standards. Each also shines a light on the inveterate sexism — women as unreliable narrators, women as answerable for their husbands’ professional lives, women as weak — that still, today, takes up so much space in the narrative.”
Someone explain to Tensley that male candidates and politicians are under just as much scrutiny as the women. Someone sit him down and remind him of all the crap CNN has slung at Donald Trump. The only difference is that no one comes out of the woodwork to suggest that it’s somehow bigoted to raise doubts about male candidates. Only the women enjoy this little shield of special protection. Well, women and (liberal) men of color.
We’re so tired of this double-standard that says we’re supposed to give women a pass because they’re women and to do otherwise is sexist. Warren, by any reasonable metric, appears to have lied about why she left the teaching profession. So unless “lying with impunity” is just some special privilege you get when you’re a woman running for office, let’s can it with the sexism nonsense.