Target: Wayne Slater
Goal: Criticize journalist Wayne Slater for his sexist claims against Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis.
Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for Texas governor, has recently seen an intense, sexist backlash against her by Republicans and the American media. Despite the fact that she has done an incredible job standing up for the rights of Texas women, she is consistently called out for things no male politician would ever have to face.
Wayne Slater of The Dallas Morning News published an article that attempted to discredit Davis by pointing out discrepancies in facts she has provided about her past. In the article, Slater points to several of Davis’s shortcomings as a mother, and suggests she used her ex husband for his money to get her through school. While these may seem like minor accusations, they perpetuate long-standing stereotypes that characterize women as bad mothers and gold diggers. Further, this article ignited a backlash of sexist criticism towards Davis.
When a woman in the public eye is judged not on her merit but on her appearance and personality, it perpetuates longstanding double standards between men and women. The way women in politics are presented in the media is a serious problem, and only by addressing it will we begin to change sexist attitudes.
By signing the petition below you will inform Wayne Slater how ill-advised his article was, and help push him to commit to gender-neutral reporting in the future.
Dear Wayne Slater,
You published an article in The Dallas Morning News that criticized Wendy Davis for providing incorrect facts about her past. In that article you imply that she was a negligent mother for leaving her children with their father, and criticize her for the fact that her then husband helped her pay for school.
While these accusations may seem harmless, they are a perfect example of the kinds of double standards women in politics face. Seldom if ever would a male politician be criticized for his parenting, or looked down upon for a partner assisting them financially on the way to success.
It is vital that we begin to get rid of these double standards, and as a journalist you are in a perfect position to do so. I urge you to consider the kinds of sexist stereotypes you perpetuate in your writing, however subtle they may seem. I request that you commit to gender-neutral reporting in your future articles, with the hopes that one day women in the public eye will no longer face such sexist scrutiny.
[Your Name Here]