National Press Club

Women in Politics Too Easily Stereotyped, Author Says

January 26, 2010 | By Eleanor Herman | elherman@aol.com

Leslie Sanchez, second from left,: with Janet Murguia, CEO, National Council of La Raza; author Rosalind Wiseman; and Patti Solis Doyle, campaign manager for Hillary Clinton

Leslie Sanchez, second from left,: with Janet Murguia, CEO, National Council of La Raza; author Rosalind Wiseman; and Patti Solis Doyle, campaign manager for Hillary Clinton

Photo/Image: Noel St. John

“Let’s have a conversation about the adventures of women in politics, how they are seen, portrayed and objectified in the media, and the legacy that we are leaving to our daughters,” said Leslie Sanchez, political pundit and television commentator at the Club Jan. 25.

Her latest book, “You’ve Come a Long Way, Maybe: Sarah, Michelle, Hillary, and the Shaping of the New American Woman,” examines how far women have come in American politics, and how far they still need to go.

Sanchez said that unlike men, women in politics easily fall into stereotypes.

For instance,the 2008 election saw “the convergence of three very powerful, dynamic and diverse women who were characterized as the Ditz (Sarah Palin), the Witch (Hillary Clinton), and the Media Darling (Michelle Obama).”

Sanchez gave several examples of chauvinistic remarks made by leading political commentators about the three women during the campaign. While racism has become intolerable in the media, Sanchez said, sexism remains alive and well.

Sanchez’s talk was followed by a question-and-answer session with Patti Solis Doyle, former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton; author Rosalind Wiseman; and Janet Murguia, CEO of the National Council of La Raza.

Book and Author Committee member Barbara Bird introduced the event.