Target: Maine Governor Paul LePage
Goal: Apologize for saying public campaign financing is like “giving my wife my checkbook.”
The leader of an entire state made a misogynistic statement about a bill he opposes that could have come straight out of the 1950s. Maine Governor Paul LePage said that a public campaign financing law would be like “like giving my wife my checkbook. I’m telling you, it’s giving your wife your checkbook,” implying that women are irresponsible with money and that they don’t have their own checkbooks.
This kind of sexist attitude has long been utterly unacceptable for any of our nation’s leaders. If LePage is stuck decades in the past, how is he qualified to lead an entire state of people and have influence over modern laws?
Interestingly, the law that LePage was discussing, known as the Clean Elections Act, is designed to give political candidates with less money than their wealthy opponents the ability to complete by petitioning for additional public financing. Considering the fact that there’s a significant wealth gap between men and women in the U.S., due in no small part to institutionalized sexism, this bill that LePage is opposing would help more women get elected.
LePage not only has a lot of power over laws like this, he has a tremendous amount of influence over the common people. He needs to set a positive example rather than spewing sexist nonsense during town hall meetings. Demand that the governor retract his statement and issue a public apology acknowledging the misogynistic nature of what he said.
Dear Governor LePage,
Your recent comments about Maine’s Clean Elections Act comparing it to “giving my wife my checkbook” were incredibly sexist and absolutely unacceptable for any modern U.S. political leader. It’s not the 1950s anymore–women have their own checkbooks and are just as responsible with money as men are, and misogyny can no longer be used in political debates without consequences.
You are the public face of an entire state. Your words have influence over not just the laws that affect all of your citizens, but of the attitudes of the common people. The last thing we need in a nation where we still have both a severe lack of parity in politics and a significant gendered wealth gap is someone like you spreading ancient misogynistic attitudes.
You have a responsibility to keep bigotry out of your office, and that means keeping it from coming out of your mouth. Immediately issue a retraction and an apology for your sexist statement and commit to being a better role model in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: DonkeyHotey