Would N.O.W. call First Lady Obama a political ‘whore’?

By Michael Vass | October 15, 2010

The National Organization for Women (NOW) states that it’s purpose,

“NOW’s goal has been to take action to bring about equality for all women. NOW works to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure abortion, birth control and reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism and homophobia; and promote equality and justice in our society.”

It is a great purpose. There is no question that the stated goal is worthy and admirable.

But then there is the reality of action. The difference from strong words on paper, and the political steps the organization takes in the real world. Nothing highlights this difference better than perhaps the actions of NOW in regard to Meg Whitman and the upcoming mid-term elections.

It is well known that the Jerry Brown campaign called Meg Whitman a ‘whore’. Brown apologized for this, in a meandering and backtracking manner, and all is right with the world yes? Not quite.

NOW realeased a press statement that said in part

“…California chapter’s Political Action Committee voted to endorse Brown on the basis of his support for women’s rights, the National Organization for Women clearly and unequivocally condemns calling Meg Whitman, or any woman, a whore. This term is hate speech that carries with it negative connotations associated with women, and it has no place in contemporary society.

NOW calls on Brown, from this point forward, to fire any member of his staff who uses this word or any hate speech against women.”

Let’s stop there for a moment. Remember, “NOW works to eliminate discrimination and harassment”, and “unequivocally condemns calling Meg Whitman, or any woman, a whore.” It was hate speech that “has no place in contemporary society.”

It would seem that by purpose and by written statement NOW has a problem with Brown. That they are up in arms over the statement. That this is exactly the kind of thing that they created the organization to fight.

Then again

“Meg Whitman could be described as ‘a political whore.’ Yes, that’s an accurate statement.” – California NOW President Parry Bellasalma

Really? So not only is NOW supporting Brown – which clearly seems to be a violation of their purpose and stated anger – but in California the organization is ALSO calling Mrs. Whitman a ‘whore’ and defending Brown for sayng so in the first place.

What do you think the chances of Parry Bellasalma being fired are? How serious do you think NOW is about their stated anger?

Let’s look at this from another direction.

Meg Whitman is a successful businesswoman. She is a self-made millionaire, attempting to enter the world of politics. Both arenas are heavily male dominated. Mrs. Whitman is popular, educated, and may win. But she is a Republican and according to NOW a ‘whore’.

Hmmm… Michelle Obama is a successful self-made woman. She is involved in the world of politics. In fact so much so that she has been accused of breaching electoral law by campaigning inside a polling station (which is unlikely to be procecuted under Eric Holder). First Lady Michelle Obama is popular, educated, and actively urging the support of her husband, the President, and several Democrats in danger of losing the mid-term elections. She is a Democrat.

According to Parry Bellasalma’s reasoning, how is the First Lady NOT as much of a “political whore” as Meg Whitman?

If NOW cannot, will not, stand up and treat it’s own personnel in the same manner as they want employees of politicians to be treated how much of an impact do they expect politicians to give to their requests?

If NOW will not stand up for a woman that exemplifies their ultimate goals of success and respect for women, because of her political choice, how can women believe they truly are seeking the best for them?

If NOW will support, and actively reinforce, negative stereotypes about any 1 woman, how do they expect any other woman not to have to suffer the same treatment – even if they are of the political affiliation that NOW prefers?

Perhaps I just don’t get it because I am a man. Perhaps I am not imbued with the ability to see a persons political affiliation as they walk down the street. But I would think that women, and any organization that purports to defend the Rights of women, would want to be consistent in what they stand for and who they will support. Because throwing some women to the wolves based on their political outlook seems like the very same thing that NOW is supposed to prevent.

Of course if anyone at NOW would like to go on the record and explain why some women can be called ‘whores’ and other not, to explain where there is a line on a hate speech term that they oppose the use of as they use it, I’m all ears. And if NOW is wondering, even in California this is not the equivalent of Clayton Bigsby – that was a comedy skit, this is the real world.

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5 Responses to “Would N.O.W. call First Lady Obama a political ‘whore’?”

  1. Michael Vass Says:
    October 15th, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    As found on Facebook

    Odell Isaac – One might argue that the phrase “political whore” is redundant. I say that with all due respect to the First Lady, of whom I am a fan.

  2. C.M Peters Says:
    October 17th, 2010 at 10:45 am

    I wrote to the National website, the California website and the NY website of NOW requesting that she be fired for her remarks and the answer I received from the NY website was a terse reply from Marcia stating that Parry was elected and could not be fired.

    I wrote back that they missed the point of the note and have not heard from them. If anyone is whores it is the leaders of NOW – they can be bought and sold by a political agenda and they will use hate speech to throw someone they deem not a “good women for their cause” under the bus by marginalizing her and denigrating her.

    Why not sanction Jerry Brown’s coarse vindictive wife? No they demonize Meg just like a rape victim gets marginalized for her outfit or for being out late.

  3. Chris Rock and Jason Mattera – liberal bias yes, but there is more | VASS political blog Says:
    March 15th, 2012 at 1:59 am

    [...] to intervene in a political race (Brown – Dem vs Whitman – Repub) but they themselves degraded a successful, independent, leader of business and woman. Don’t even bother to question about [...]

  4. Chris Rock and Jason Mattera – liberal bias yes, but there is more | Black Entertainment USA Says:
    March 15th, 2012 at 2:01 am

    [...] to intervene in a political race (Brown – Dem vs Whitman – Repub) but they themselves degraded a successful, independent, leader of business and woman. Don’t even bother to question about [...]

  5. And then there was one | VASS political blog Says:
    April 25th, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    [...] Gov. Nikki Haley is a longshot. The same is true for Meg Whitman, especially considering how N.O.W. directly violated its mission statement and the news media didn’t even blink. Gov. Chris Christie has potential, but is too abrasive [...]

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