CO Senate Candidate Running on the Not-a-Woman Platform
July 22, 2010[caption id="attachment_9312" align="alignnone" width="349" caption="Courtesy of Shansov.net"][/caption] Imagine you were Ken Buck, candidate for the Colorado Republican Senate primary, responding to a voter’s most basic question: “Why should we vote for you?” “Because I do not wear high heels,” I’m guessing, would not be at the top of your list of answers. Rather than explaining his policy ideas, or even attacking opponent Jane Norton’s record, Buck decided that his gender was his best selling point. He continued, “She has questioned my manhood. I think it’s fair to respond.” In case anyone was still confused about his manliness, he clarified: “I have cowboy boots. They have real bulls*** on them.” Buck spokesman Owen Loftus defended the videotaped comment to Politico by blaming Norton for first introducing gender into the campaign. According to Loftus, Buck’s “comment was made in jest after Jane questioned Ken's 'manhood' in her new ad. The Norton campaign has routinely commented about her being a good choice because she is a woman, and [on] her choice of shoes.” Norton, the former lieutenant governor and GOP establishment candidate, is no advocate of women’s rights – she, like Buck, opposes abortion, health-care reform, and same-sex marriage, according to TIME’s rundown on the candidates. Ironically, the Norton ad that allegedly provoked the comment accused Buck of not being “man enough” to attack her directly. Clearly, there is no lack of stereotypical and sexist tropes being tossed around in this campaign, and a serious neglect of substantive discussion on issues affecting women. Nevertheless, Norton’s response to Buck’s sexist comment – transforming his video clip into her new campaign ad – sent a promising message: sexism is the perfect reason to reject a candidate.