Nancy Pelosi is Not a Witch—And It’s Just Plain Sexist to Call Her One

Even after the election and Nancy Pelosi's loss of her position as Speaker of the House, the sexist "witch" taunts continue. Declaring "Bye Bye Pelosi," Rush Limbaugh played "Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead" to celebrate the GOP takeover of the House.  As Name It. Change It. noted when Mike Gallagher made a similar joke, this trope of Nancy Pelosi as a "witch" is a misogynistic smear that demonizes the existence of powerful women, rather than criticize the policies of Pelosi.

The two radio hosts are playing into a larger sexist narrative around Pelosi. Her Republican opponent, John Dennis, ran a Wizard-of-Oz-themed ad, which depicted Pelosi as the Wicked Witch of the West. That ad, meanwhile, was discussed in a Washington Post Halloween quiz on the midterm elections, which the newspaper advertised on its homepage with this illustration:

Washington Post homepage advertises a Halloween-themed political quiz with an illustration of Nancy Pelosi as a witch

It's amazing that, in 2010, we still undermine a woman's power by declaring her a witch. Some misogyny never changes.

Published by Kate McCarthy on 11/03/2010

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