Monday, March 3, 2014

The Gender Card

Mary Bonney, a candidate in tomorrow's municipal election (District 2 City Council)  is making an unusual last-minute appeal for votes:

She's arguing you should vote for her because of the natural moral superiority of women.

A mailer from the Bonney campaign, received by District 2 households over the weekend, makes the following argument why you should vote for her.

When women are elected they:
1) Are more actively involved and advocate more in gender-salient issues: women's health, reproductive rights, child care and the economy (yes, that's a women's issue too.) 
2) Are more responsive to constituents 
3) Are more focused on cooperation, less on hierarchy 
4) Are committed to improving the future for children 
5) They have proven to be more honorable and ethical

The mailer even quotes the late former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher: "If you want something said, as a man; If you want something done, ask a woman."

The District 2 resident who showed me the mailer -- a male, though I still trust him -- said he thought Bonney was taking a chance of offending about 50 percent of the voters.

I doubt they will be offended, because being men, they're probably just watching sports on TV or going to strip bars or doing something dishonorable and unethical. So they won't have time to pay attention to this mailer. And even if it does offend male constituents and they decide to vote for another candidate, they'll have to decide among four male candidates running in that district.

On the flip side of the mailer, Bonney identifies two of her opponents -- Joe Maestas and Rad Acton -- as "Bad Boys"  She blasts Maestas' performance as mayor of Espanola and claims Acton, as co-chair of a task force, cost Santa Fe Public Schools over $1 million by suggesting changes for the Atalaya School project -- which Acton, in an email hotly disputed, saying the changes eventually adopted were cost neutral.

You think this is fun, just wait for the state elections.