Left-wing feminist groups such as Planned Parenthood, NARAL, Times Up, and Emily’s List have sent urgent notices to media outlets, warning them that Joe Biden’s female running mate is likely to be subjected to “sexist” and “racist” attacks.
“A woman VP candidate, possibly a Black or Brown woman candidate, requires the same kind of internal consideration about systemic inequality as you undertook earlier this year,” the abortion rights supporters wrote to media heads, as NBC News reported.
The coalition leaders include Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, NARAL President Ilyse Hogue, Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson, Former Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, who now heads Supermajority, and Democrat strategist Hilary Rosen.
The media have a responsibility to shift the racist and sexist narratives that dehumanize us. Honored to sign this with @MelanieRNewman @FGossGraves @ilyseh @ValerieJarrett @TinaTchen @DebraLNess @CecileRichards @JessLivMo @hilaryr @Schriock1 @creynoldsnc!! #WeHaveHerBack pic.twitter.com/cz4txY7sHz
— Alexis McGill Johnson (@alexismcgill) August 7, 2020
“Anything less than full engagement in this thoughtful oversight would be a huge step backwards for the progress you have pledged to make to expand diversity of thought and opportunity in your newsrooms and in your coverage,” they added.
“If past is prologue,” Johnson said, according to NBC News, “once the candidate is named, [we know] the kinds of attacks that will be unleashed. And so, it’s getting in front of it.”
Feminist group Ultraviolet published a style guide, titled “Reporting in an Era of Disinformation: Fairness Guide for Covering Women and People of Color in Politics.” A team of five staffers at Times Up will also reportedly serve as a watchdog for “sexist” and “racist” attacks during the political campaigns.
— UltraViolet (@UltraViolet) August 8, 2020
The feminists wrote that women are subjected to “stereotypes and tropes” that are often “amplified and weaponized for Black and Brown women.”
“We are certain that if you pursue thoughtful conversation internally, you will find even more examples of how these stereotypes can seep into coverage, and thereby seep into the public consciousness,” they added. “We believe it is your job to, not just pay attention to these stereotypes, but to actively work to be anti-racist and anti-sexist in your coverage.”
The feminist groups warned the media outlets to “wisely” use their “great power,” and, to that end, have offered to “help” them “with this challenge.”
“We would be happy to meet and continue to engage on these issues,” they invited. “We intend to collectively and individually monitor coverage and we will call out those we believe take our country backwards with sexist and/or racist coverage.”