Women, We're Our Own Worst Enemies

Women need to demand better of all those who are in the public sphere.

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Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke perform onstage during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on Aug. 25, 2013, in New York City.

I am hoping that 2016 will be the year of the woman. I am hoping beyond hope that former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton will run for and win the presidency. But often things happen that make me question that possibility for America. Today, we are a little more than two years away from that date, and sadly, women still struggle with negative stereotypes and sexism.

In this week alone, Martin Bashir handed in his resignation in at MSNBC after suggesting that Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska, deserved to have someone defecate in her mouth. And also this week, Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" poll shows Miley Cyrus leading, a young woman who has recently become famous (again) for appearing half naked on national television and bending over as if she were being sodomized.

Have we really, as the Virginia Slims ad once suggested, "come a long way baby?"

I think not.

[See a collection of political cartoons on women in combat.]

I am a liberal, a Democrat, a progressive; but I am also a woman. And as I have often said, I am a woman first.

I honestly don't know what disgusts me more: The fact that male broadcasters continue to act like misogynistic idiots or the fact that the American public is idiotic enough to feel that Miley Cyrus has "influenced" the world, the criteria for being chosen as Time Magazine's "Person of the Year."

As both a broadcaster and a woman, it bothers me that those on the left defend Bashir. It also bothers me that those on the right called for Bashir's termination, but remained silent when Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a slut, said Chelsea Clinton was the 'White House Dog" when she was just 13, said Hilary Clinton is a "testicle lockbox" and made negative comments about First Lady Michele Obama's weight ... just to name a few.

When Ed Shultz, a fellow progressive, called Laura Ingraham a slut and was suspended by MSNBC, I applauded that decision. When The Roots, Jimmy Fallon's band, played "Lyin' Ass Bitch" as Rep. Michele Bachmann came on the show, I spoke of my outrage and felt they too, should have been suspended and made to apologize.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Democratic Party.]

The actions and words of these men, and the lack of outrage by women (on both the left and the right), only prove that our society thinks of women as second-class citizens and that sexist remarks such as these (which are prejudicial in nature) are acceptable.

This is why a half naked, gyrating young woman resorts to such antics: because America and the world still consider women to be about their bodies and what their bodies can offer men.

Notice the insults of those male hosts. What do they have in common? Our bodies, or what we do or don't do with our bodies. If we have sex, we are sluts. If we gain weight, we're fat. Yet if a man has sex, he's a player. If he gains weight, it's ignored. Aren't these the same issues women faced 10, 20, even 30 years ago?

Miley Cyrus, in my opinion, is a poor misguided soul who is using the only thing she believes society puts worth in when viewing a woman: her body, her ability to appeal to the opposite sex. And I do not just fault the men for this.

[ See a collection of political cartoons on Sarah Palin.]

Women make up the majority of both the population of this nation, as well as the world. Why do we only hold 11 percent of CEO positions in this nation? Why do men utter such disgusting remarks, knowing full well they might get a slap on the hand but most certainly won't lose their jobs? Because we let them.

I get the nastiest emails when I am on television on Fox News Channel each week. Many of them are from men who say the most disgusting things; but there are many from women as well.

We women are our own worst enemy. We are are own obstacle. We attack rather than support each other. And we should help to mentor young women like Miley Cyrus, providing role models that show our brains are more important than our boobs, and calling out men who attack any woman, whether on the left or on the right.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Republican Party.]

For if we do that, we will truly be able to say this is the year of the woman. And that dream I have, and many of you women do, of holding your daughter's hand, tears streaming down your face, as you hear it announced that the United States of America has finally elected the first woman president.

That can only happen when we put our politics and political differences aside and embrace the power and pure numbers of our gender.

Ladies, the time has come to do just that. We can change the course of history by nominating and electing a woman, but we need to start changing history's course by fighting against the sexism that still exists in this nation and by showing men that we're much more than our cup size.

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