Nancy’s Not Outdated, Your Questions Are

Earlier today, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi announced that she will keep her position as House Minority Leader in the new Congress.

NBC reporter Luke Russert wasted no time serving up the ageism with a side of sexism, asking Pelosi if she thought the House Democratic Leadership is too old. She firmly responded, “The answer is no.” And the fact she did so sans eye-rolling is a feat all on its own.

Just as men are not asked how they will raise their kids while in office or who designed what they’re wearing on the campaign trail—men are rarely asked how their age will affect their job. Will this reporter tell Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that his biological clock is ticking, too? Of course not, because McConnell’s a man, and older male politicians are A-OK.

But no one has to tell Nancy Pelosi all this. She came back at Russert with quite the rebuttal, saying, “Let’s, for the moment, honor [this] as a legitimate question, although it’s quite offensive,” and proceeded to inform him that she’s spent the last decade electing young women into Congress.

Listen up, reporters. We at Name It. Change It. are working pretty tirelessly to put a stop to sexist coverage of women in politics. It would be really great of you to not add ageism to your ever-lengthening list of offences.

There are more than 30 male House members who are Nancy’s age or older. So, unless you’re planning on asking all of them about their retirement plans, which you’re not, knock it off.


Published by Kate McCarthy on 11/14/2012

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