A feminist outpost in the desert.
Yes, you read that headline correctly. The editor-in-chief, the Big Boss, at the Las Vegas Review Journal (the largest daily newspaper in Nevada) thinks women should no longer have the right to vote. And no, this is not hyperbole or exaggeration on my part, read it for yourself on his very own newspaper-owned blog!
I don’t even know where to begin, but I’ll try.
Mitchell’s central point is that only unbiased people should be allowed to vote.
People and candidates for public office should be judged on the basis of their ideas, stance on the issues, character, experience and integrity, not on the basis of age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion or disability.
This sounds good until you get to the end-point of his so-called logic: “Men are consistent. Women are fickle and biased.”
His basis for this “logic”? Two polls printed in his very own newspaper!
Now, let’s set aside for a second that the RJ pays for those polls and therefore dictates the parameters of those polls (e.g. what questions are asked; the wording of the questions asked; etc.).
Let’s set aside that it is of dubious measure to use data from your own house to prop up a theory. For instance, when I was a reporter working at Stephens Media Group, which owns the RJ, I could not have used my own opinions or data from my own life as facts to back up a news story. So, I couldn’t write a story about life in Alaska and only use my own experiences growing up there as the basis of the story.
Now, I know that people place some importance on polling in newspapers. But the fact is most polls are crap. (And yes, I have polls here at The Siren from time to time. But I don’t use them as scientific fact to base anything on.) It’s all based on how they are done; who they catch home and is willing to give their opinion; what kind of agenda creeps into the questions used; what’s left out of the poll; who’s paying for it; and on and on. Polls just aren’t that reliable or scientific. They are based on less facts than predicting the weather. Take it from someone who used to help write the CityLife best-of issue every year. You can’t rely on the rare few who are willing to voice their opinion. And you can’t truly, with any real authority, extrapolate from that what voters or a community actually thinks about anything.
So, getting back to Mitchell’s theory … His opinion is that the 19th Amendment should be repealed because women are inconsistent, biased and “fickle.” As opposed to men, who are always straight-shooting, mustachioed cowboys (Because that’s how you know they are macho, real men! And that’s how you know a person is not part of the “liberal elite media.”) who never waiver or, you know, flip-flop. (Didn’t the RJ change their endorsement in the last presidential election? I can’t remember. But if someone does, please e-mail that info to me.)
His facty-fact infallible polls were regarding Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid’s race and how men and women might vote if the choices where only Reid (D) or opponent Sue Lowden (R):
Men favored the attractive former beauty queen Sue Lowden over the graying Harry Reid by 22 points, while women shunned their gender mate, choosing Reid by a 2-point margin. Which proves women favor Democrats.
Hmm … even though Mitchell is trying to sell us on the flighty, inconsistencies of women, I sure get the impression that he’s sort of selling that men favored Lowden NOT because she’s a qualified candidate and NOT because men are more prone to being Republican (which I assume from the RJ’s grossly conservative leanings, Mitchell favors or considers “right”) but because she’s a sexy former beauty queen and Reid is all gray and grody and a dude. (Dudes don’t like dudes, duh!)
But I digress, surely what Mitchell really meant here is that women should only like other women (because women liking women is hot, not gross). Especially sexy-sexy women like Sue Lowden. Screw unbiased consideration of … wait what was it? Oh yeah, a candidate’s “ideas, stances on issues, character, experience and integrity.” I’m confused. If voters are supposed to consider a candidate’s ideas, character and integrity (et al), then why should gender matter? Isn’t that one of the things Mitchell says we should ignore? So, why would women in this poll saying they don’t want to vote for Lowden prove anything? I mean, surely Mitchell isn’t saying that only men should disavow the gender of a candidate in their considerations. Surely he isn’t saying that men should be unbiased and blind in their judgments but women should just vote for other women otherwise that would be, you know, weird.
Oh, but Mitchell has more than one poll to base his theory on. Thank goodness! This should clear it all up:
But change the Republican option from Lowden to former basketball star Danny Tarkanian and it is a different tale. Men still favored the Republican by 16 points and doubled their support by [Tea Party candidate Scott] Ashjian to 15 points. Women, on the other hand, chose Reid by 16 points, proving they’d rather vote for a woman than a male Republican.
Uh, sorry. I’m scratching my head here. So, women in this poll chose Reid by an even higher margin and somehow that proves that women only want to vote for women? Oh maybe he’s trying to say that Reid is a woman? No, we already established that Reid is a “graying” old dude. And, apparently, they hate former basketball stars. (Gosh, the Republican candidates are all so glitzy!) I’m sorry, on this one, I really don’t see Mitchell’s train of thought at all. Maybe I’m too blinded by his macho mustache.
But somehow all this adds up to the undeniable truth that women are “fickle” and biased and only like to vote for other women, except when they only like to vote for Democrats, except when they don’t like voting for dreamy former basketball stars. Gosh, what would he make of the fact I supported Obama in the presidential election and not Hillary?
Geez, what do women want anyway? It couldn’t be that women are, in fact, using the very litmus test that Mitchell so sternly suggests. It couldn’t be that women want to pick the candidate that is right on the issues, has experience, has integrity and spells out his/her ideas openly and clearly. It couldn’t be that after evaluating these criteria, women have just logically decided that they want to vote for one candidate over another and in this case that candidate happens to not be the one Mitchell likes (well, she is very sexy).
And all that aside, this blog post of Mitchell’s is very disturbing to me on a whole other level. This is the man who steers the editorial and news content of Nevada’s largest daily newspaper! He hires and fires the reporters. He sets the agenda for the entire staff! How would you feel if you were a woman working as a reporter for the RJ? How do you feel as a reader knowing how Mitchell feels about women?
You can tell Mitchell exactly how you feel by clicking this link (via ProgressNow Nevada). You can call Mitchell at 383-0261. You can send a letter to the editor to TMitchell@reviewjournal.com or send it in snail mail style to 1111 W. Bonanza Road, Las Vegas, NV 89101.
As for me, I think you can tell where I stand. And I would add that this blog post and what it says about the RJ is an embarrassment for our community and it is embarrassing for me to admit that I used to work at the same company as him. (In fact, he interviewed me for my first job there, which I got. So, no, this isn’t about sour grapes.)
This is all so embarrassing. And I’m not going to change my mind about that.