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A Governor's Sexist Remark

Friday, June 12, 2009

The problems facing women running for office were vividly, if unintentionally, highlighted in Dan Balz's June 7 The Take column, "Close Races in Virginia, New Jersey May Be Indicators for 2010," in which Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer was quoted as praising Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terence R. McAuliffe as someone who, "when there's a bump in the road, he's not going to cry like a girl and quit."

First, the comment has to make you wonder how well Mr. Schweitzer, as head of the Democratic Governors Association, will encourage or work for female candidates. Then you have to wonder about Mr. Balz reporting on Mr. Schweitzer's remark without any comment. Would such a comment about a minority group be treated as a perfectly understandable description of what one does not wish to be? It is hard to believe that a year ago, Hillary Rodham Clinton was being pilloried for overcoming bumps in the road and continuing to fight in the presidential race. The last thing I wonder is whether The Post will publish any commentary on this latest piece of practical sexism.

JILL BRANTLEY

Silver Spring

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