Target: Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association
Goal: Publicly condemn misogynistic comments made in an NRA publication.
A female State Department official is nothing but a “spokesperson barbie [sic]” according to Chuck Holton, a correspondent for the NRA’s America’s 1st Freedom magazine. This kind blatantly sexist commentary has no place in a modern political discourse. Demand that the NRA publicly denounce Holton’s remarks.
State Department spokesperson Marie Harf gained national attention several months ago for correctly arguing on a popular national news program that poor economic conditions and lack of opportunity in the Middle East contribute to terrorism. Holton apparently did not agree with this assessment. In a column called “WarriorWire” published recently in the NRA’s monthly magazine, he criticized Harf as a “Barbie” and a “clueless, poorly accessorized mouthpiece” whose “post-moralistic diplomat-speak is a product of a college education that spends more time on women’s studies and environmental justice than on things like, say, history and logic.”
Holton’s language relies on misogynistic tropes of women as irrational and on sexist characterizations. Sign the petition below to demand that Wayne LaPierre, the most prominent mouthpiece for the NRA, publicly denounce these sexist comments against Harf and clarify that his organization does not support Holton’s remarks.
Dear Executive Vice President LaPierre,
I am writing you today to express concern for comments recently made by Chuck Holton in the April 28th edition of the WarriorWire column. His comments were tinged with sexism and were shamelessly misogynistic—I’d like to ask if they are reflective of the values of your organization.
In his intellectual disagreement with a particular analysis of Middle East terrorism espoused by State Department spokesperson Marie Harf, Holton unfortunately made a number of disparaging personal insults that both crossed any respectful line of dialogue and relied on sexist tropes. According to Holton, Harf is nothing more than an irrational “spokesman barbie [sic]”—a “clueless, poorly accessorized mouthpiece” for, the implication is, a liberalized, soft State Department unable to face the cold, hard truths of the world with “history and logic.”
I am sure you will agree that Holton’s comments were entirely out of line. Disagree with a person’s ideas all you want, but it is wrong to disparage a person’s character, especially with classically misogynistic tropes and coded language. Holton is a correspondent employed by the NRA, so it falls to you, as the most well-known figurehead of the organization, to denounce his offensive comments. Is this kind of sexist commentary reflective of the opinions or values of the NRA? It seems to be.
No matter one’s politics or one’s opinions on gun control, we can all agree that misogynistic and sexist language has no place in our modern political landscape. I demand that you publicly condemn Holton’s remarks at once and clarify that they do not reflect the values of the NRA.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons