by Jennifer Siebel Newsom
As you’ve probably heard, Michelle Bachmann announced on Monday that she would be running for the office of President in 2012. Bachmann is now the first 2012 female candidate to announce her candidacy, but there may very well be more in the coming months. This is a crucial moment in our history to change the way media represents women. Regardless of our politics, in the coming year there will be an onslaught of coverage of Bachmann’s campaign and it will become increasingly important to hold the news media accountable for their reporting. Just last week, even before she made her run official, The Telegraph published an article with the headline “Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann head for 2012 ‘cat fight.'” I immediately heard echoes of the 2008 election, when Hillary Clinton and Palin were regularly described in public discourse in hugely sexist and demeaning terms. In what should have been a momentous year for women in leadership positions, the 2008 election instead became a reminder of the incredible amount of work still needed to not only empower women and girls in our country but to inspire them to be leaders. Now is the time to do that work. Join the MissRepresentation.org campaign on Facebook, Twitter and at the MissRepresentation.org website. Let’s make sure the media doesn’t continue to play sexist games in politics. Instead, let’s ask that they focus on the immensely important policy issues at stake in the coming election.