The Conservative Strategy To Defeat Wendy Davis: Sexism

Erickson Doubles Down on "Abortion Barbie"

Blog ››› ››› ARI RABIN-HAVT

Erick Erickson doubled down on his sexist attack on Texas State Senator Wendy Davis as "Abortion Barbie," writing on RedState that the moniker "fits perfectly" and recommending it be used on the campaign trail. Erickson writes:

Abortion Barbie fits perfectly and I hope that moniker haunts [Wendy Davis] on the campaign trail. She is, after all, intent on building a national name for herself through abortion and pink shoes. I'm sure MSNBC will send her tampon earrings to go with the other accessories.

Let me quickly explain this to Erick. Applying the moniker "Barbie" to Wendy Davis in that context specifically demeans her based on physical attributes. Erickson also connotes the stereotype of "Barbie" representing a shallow and empty headedness. This is inherently sexist.

Anytime a female politician is singled out simply based on looks -- including certain attacks on Sarah Palin -- it's incredibly problematic.

Furthermore as the punch line of his joke, Erickson tosses in a shot at MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry wearing tampon earrings to protest women having their menstrual products taken from them as they entered the Texas State Capital. For Erickson the state aggressively attempting to control women's reproductive health is a joke.

In the world of Erickson his sexist remarks are fine because Davis "is ignorant of the horrors of Kermit Gosnell." Never mind that according to experts the Gosnell case has "nothing to do with the way in which the standard of care and later abortion procedures are performed in the United States." Any excuse to make a sexist attack. 

For Erickson, whose history includes both odd sexist remarks and a defense of indefensible remarks by Todd Akin, recommending a sexist messaging assault as an electoral strategy belies just how the conservative media views the recommendations of the Growth and Opportunity project - the report written by the Republican National Committee after the 2012 elections on how to improve their electoral standing. Its findings are clearly being ignored.  

Wendy DavisAccording to the RNC report, "The RNC should implement training programs for messaging, communications, and recruiting that address the best ways to communicate with women."

Additionally "Republicans need to make a better effort at listening to female voters, directing their policy proposals at what they learn from women, and communicating that they understand what a woman who is balancing many responsibilities is going through."

Attacking a single mother, who has built a career in politics and a national reputation, as a "Barbie," according to Erickson, is exactly how the RNC will prove they are "listening to female voters."

Ultimately, showing an extreme disrespect for more than half of the voting population is electoral suicide. The RNC knows sexism cost them several Senate seats in 2012, and it seems Erickson wants encore performances of that failure in election cycles to come.

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Erick Erickson
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