You know that ol’ bumper sticker that says: “A Woman’s Place is in the House….And in the Senate?” The one that turns an old stereotype (“women are not fit for public office”) on its antiquated head?
Well, it appears the Ohio GOP believes that it should read: “A Woman’s Place is in the kitchen, not in the Congress.” I make this assumption because, as reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Medina, Ohio GOP sent out a mailer that urges voters to “take Betty Sutton out of the House and put her back in the kitchen.” In those words.
The person in question is current Cong. Betty Sutton (OH-13).
The brochure goes on to articulate the “real values” of “real Americans.”
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Let’s join together to change the direction of this great nation. Let’s return to the values that keep us strong and free. Limited government, strong defense, fiscal discipline, free enterprise, personal responsibility and family values. [Emphasis added].
So let’s just spin this one out a bit. Keeping us “strong and free,” must mean men, of course, because women who are socially expected and mandated to be “in the kitchen” are not free in any sense of the word.
And what about those “family values?” The vision inherent in the “family values” on which this call to voters is based is one of a society in which women know their place and maintain the “family space” while men are off doing those important things men do. In this scenario, women’s role is to enable the work of men, not do it.
It is blatantly sexist.
And to some extent, I am glad it is so blatant. Because the more directly that these folks expose themselves for who they are, the more we can root out the sometimes obscured cancers of sexism, misogyny, racism, and other prejudices that are at the heart of so much of the ultra-right’s agenda.