This is just a short rant. The midterm elections are over, but those last few days leading up to the election were filled with editorial content encouraging people to vote for women candidates based on the following logic: “She’s not perfect, but the person running against her is awful” or “She’s not perfect, but no one is.” The following is one example, from a profanity-laced River Front Times column that I’m not linking:
“Maybe you don’t really like Claire McCaskill. That’s fine. Is she perfect? Nope, she isn’t. And sometimes she’s downright infuriating, too.”
This rhetorical move is annoying and sexist. I haven’t seen a single story about how we should vote for a man even thought he “isn’t perfect.” Perfection is an impossible standard. We have historically held women to impossible standards, but it’s time to stop making the standards different for men and women. So, I’m committing to never ever describing a woman candidate for any political office as “not perfect.” “Not perfect” is too often code for, “I know you’d rather she were in the kitchen, but … .” No. I’m not making these sorts of concessions. If I’ve got something to say, I’ll voice my specific concern. Beyond that, no empty commentary on the perfection or lack thereof of female candidates. Starting now.