She’s mellllllllting … and she’s the Speaker of the House. Nancy Pelosi is the cackling Wicked Witch of the West in a new “Wizard of Oz”-themed campaign commercial by Republican Congressional candidate John Dennis. An actress playing Pelosi flies in on a jet, jabbing Dorothy, Toto and pals with the end of her broom and shrieking that her flying monkey henchmen, the IRS, will come after them. That is, until John Dennis throws a bucket of water in her face. It’s an attention-grabbing commercial, to be sure. Clever even. But depicting someone as a “witch” is also contributing to the stereotype lobbed against female candidates as unpleasantly powerful women. (See Hillary Clinton‘s entire career for more examples, including then-candidate Obama’s own snotty comment to her during a debate, “You’re likable enough.”) It doesn’t get any more literal than portraying Pelosi as the Wicked Witch of the West!
While John Dennis may not have intended to jump on the stereotype bandwagon, he did and that’s a problem. As long as female candidates have an uphill battle against sexist stereotypes, it’s best to refrain from anything that calls them a witch, a shrew, a ballbuster or any of those other lovely names we smart girls run up against. [YouTube]