Objectification of Women and the Distortion of Truths
I'm sure by now the latest viral meme which refers to a quote taken from Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his mention of 'women in binders' has crossed your dashboard several times today. The phrase came from part of his answer to this audience question at the second Presidential debate last night:
"In what new ways to you intend to rectify inequality in the workplace specifically regarding how women earn 72% of what their male counterparts earn?"
In his answer to the question Governor Romney referred to the process of putting his state cabinet together. He said he questioned his staff as to why there were no female applicants then shared his staffs reply which was: "those were the people with qualifications."
Romney then proceeded to tell the audience how hiring women to his cabinet required the concerted effort of reaching out to women's groups who then sent him binders full of women.
The fact he avoided the question and gave that response makes his chauvinistic attitude toward women quite clear. But the most alarming consequence of this thoughtless statement is how it trivializes women into objects. Women are more than just names on a list. Women are the intelligent relied-upon leaders of our communities and competent contributors to this nation. The United States of America's strength comes from its diversity.
What's wrong with the objectification of women?
Objectification immediately takes away the power of your target. It takes away a woman's voice, thoughts, feelings and identity. These are the instances where the basic human rights of autonomy and self determination are disregarded. Women cease to be human beings and are treated as objects to gratify the needs of others.
Objectification is dangerous. It is demeaning, subjugating, and creates blatant inequality. It requires zero emotional attachment when you speak of objects. This contributes to a climate in which violence and exploitation of women is accepted and In conclusion not only was his statement sexist but also allegedly false. It is now being contested by MassGAP, a bi-partisan coalition of women’s groups whose purpose is to increase the number of women appointed by the new governor to senior-level cabinet positions, agency heads and selected authorities and commissions. The group says they compiled the names of female applicants before Romney came to office and offered them to both Romney and his Democratic opponent Shannon O'Brien.
While Romney needs help finding qualified women we see women leaders everywhere. Just a short time ago we compiled a fantastic list right here on the Latino Rebels: Latinas We Admire. Maybe Romney should get his head out his binders and open his eyes some more.