Media Sexism: Name It and Change it

“Name It. Change It.” works to end sexist and misogynistic coverage of women candidates by all members of the press—from bloggers to radio hosts to television pundits. 

by Siobhan “Sam” Bennett, President/CEO of She Should Run and

The Pyramid of Egregiousness from

Media sexism is one of the top problems facing women when they run for office and a major deterrent to women considering running. The advice from campaign strategists has typically been to ignore the sexism. That advice is wrong.

Today, I am proud to introduce a new resource: the Name It. Change It. Candidate Guide to Sexist Media Coverage.  This guide encourages women to run for leadership positions and helps them navigate the difficult path to the top in ” a highly toxic media environment, which often negatively affecting their campaigns.”

Just one sexist remark can damage a woman’s campaign. The Name It. Change It. candidate guide aims to equip women candidates, campaign managers, political consultants, and communications staff with the tools to succeed despite sexist comments from media.

As the 2012 election season begins, we have our work cut out for us. Name It. Change It. will not stand by as pundits, radio hosts, bloggers, and journalists damage women’s political futures with misogynistic remarks.

To do your part in identifying and ending sexist media, check out the Name It. Change It. candidate guide and become familiar with the ways the media is sexist so you can spread the world and stop it.  Name It. Change It. identifies three levels of sexism: “just plain sexism,” “really damn sexist,” and “severe sexism.”  The words become more derogatory as they change from knocking down her wardrobe and attitude to using hateful words like “slut,” “prostitute,” or “fascist feminist.”

Can you think of anyone who likes to call women “sluts” or “whores” in the media and is clearly a media sexist?

To learn more about Name It. Change It. visit : a non-partisan project of WCF Foundation, Women’s Media Center, and Political Parity, in conjunction with She Should Run, which can be accessed here.


Em Spangler - co-partner

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