Name it. Change It.
Sexism & Equality Don’t Mix!
Name It. Change It. is a non-partisan project of She Should Run and Women’s Media Center. We are founded with the support of Political Parity, the Embrey Foundation, and the Barbara Lee Family Foundation.
Together, we work to end sexist and misogynistic coverage of women candidates by all members of the press—from bloggers to radio hosts to television pundits.
Widespread sexism in the media is one of the top problems facing women. A highly toxic media environment persists for women candidates, often negatively affecting their campaigns. The ever-changing media landscape creates an unmonitored echo chamber, often allowing damaging comments to exist without accountability.
We must erase the pervasiveness of sexism against all women candidates — irrespective of political party or level of office — across all media platforms in order to position women to achieve equality in public office. We will not stand by when media damage women’s political futures with misogynistic remarks. When you attack one woman, you attack all women.
The Reversibility Test
“The most workable definition of equality for journalists is reversibility. Don’t mention her young children unless you would also mention his, or describe her clothes unless you would describe his, or say she’s shrill or attractive unless the same adjectives would be applied to a man. Don’t say she’s had facial surgery unless you say he dyes his hair or has hair plugs. Don’t say she’s just out of graduate school but he’s a rising star. Don’t say she has no professional training but he worked his way up. Don’t ask her if she’s running as a women’s candidate unless you ask him if he’s running as a men’s candidate; ask both about the gender gap, the women’s vote. By extension, don’t say someone is a Muslim unless you also identify Christians and Jews, or identify only some people by race, ethnicity or sexuality and not others. However, this does NOT mean being even-handedly positive or negative when only one person or side has done something positive or negative. Equality allows accuracy.”
We believe cultural change is possible. There is no doubt that the past few decades have shown an enormous amount of improvement in the standing of women in this country. But the goal of equality has not been achieved.