The following is the draft of a letter I will be sending to the editorial staff of Alternet.
To Whom It May Concern:
As a regular reader of Alternet, I find myself insulted by the blatant sexist subtext of Lakshmi Chaudhry’s essay, “What John Kerry Needs: The Estrogen Factor.” I am not sure what I find more outrageous: the insinuation that the woman who pasted her head over Mrs. Edward’s picture is in any way “typical” of female voters; the description of women as “those creatures with breasts”; or pointing out that “the fact that Edwards ‘looks seriously hot’ while he’s making his pitch doesn’t hurt either.” Even John Edwards should be insulted by this message of “He’s more than just a pretty face.”
If your point is that Senator Edwards is able to effectively deliver a message of importance to female voters, please make that point and move on. Frankly, this article smacks of “Oh yes! Kerry should run with Edwards because he’s so dreeeeeamy!”
Don’t get me wrong, being charismatic is a huge asset to someone running for office. Dennis Kucinich can attest to this. He has great ideas but, well, looks so unpresidential. Senator Kerry would be wise to get some of Kucinich’s ideas on board, and perhaps even get the man himself on board helping make policy. However, if the Presidential race comes down to looks and charisma, perhaps we should completely sell out and consider Brad Pitt. Or maybe Harrison Ford — he has at least played the President in a movie. Don’t you think that would spice up the Vice-Presidential debates this fall?
If Senator Kerry wants women’s votes this fall, the key is not his Vice-Presidential candidate, but the issues. Talk to us about things that matter to us. Strangely enough, most of the things the female half of our population cares about effect the rest of the country too.
For example, everybody needs healthcare. And at this point, I think we can all agree it is expensive. Furthermore, I think anybody who has honestly looked at the issues understands that nothing President Bush has done has improved things.
Don’t forget education. Education is a critical issue not only to moms, but to anybody who has employees, and anybody who wants to make sure America has a stable, productive economy in the future.
Oh, and don’t forget the price of oil and gas. Frankly, it is vitally important to everyone. It’s important to everyone who uses a vehicle to get to work or school. It’s important to small businesses. It’s important to big businesses. It’s important to the economy. It’s important to global security.
This is to say nothing of civil liberties (which we all have), the environment (which we all live in), inflation (it’s back!), and even the 40 hour work week (which still might be in danger).
John Edwards may well be the right man to be John Kerry’s running mate. However, it that is the case it is because of his stance on the issues, not “The Estrogen Factor.”