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The Republican Governor’s Association has launched a new attack ad against Creigh Deeds, the Democratic candidate for Governor of Virginia. The ad catches Deeds fending off a female reporter’s line of questioning about proposed tax increases by telling her, “I think I’ve made myself clear, young lady.”
“Did you catch that?” a female voice for the GOP’s ad asks, incredulously. “Young lady?” The ad then rewinds the tape to replay the money quote: “I think I’ve made myself clear, young lady.”
I don’t know the age of this particular reporter, who has not been identified, but she’s clearly a fully grown woman and not some spunky cub reporter grilling Creigh Deeds on tax reform for class credit. That’s unimportant—-dismissing a reporter as “young lady” is offensive, regardless of the age of the woman behind the microphone. Deeds obviously fucked up here. Interestingly, the people calling him out on it are supporters of Bob McDonnell, the Republican candidate. McDonnell has voiced some pretty fucked up ideas about women himself, ideas which have translated to a seriously dangerous voting record.
After playing “I think I’ve made myself clear, young lady” a second time, the ad’s incredulous female voice chuckles softly and promises: “It gets worse.” As proof, the ad points to DeedsUncut.com—-not an uncircumcised porn site, promise!—-which reveals Deed’s entire back-and-forth on the tax issue.
But it doesn’t get worse. It’s just more footage of Creigh Deeds explaining to a group of reporters if and when he would raise taxes in the state of Virginia—-no more sexist dismissals, verbal slip-ups, or misogynistic attitudes on display. Because to Republicans, taxes are worse than sexism!
The “young lady” line was bad. Also bad: when politicians with bad track records on women’s rights use sexism as bait to try to get people outraged over raised taxes. To the Republican Governor’s Association, sexism is only an issue when it’s somehow involved with the only issue they really care about: that if Creigh Deeds becomes governor, rich white dudes may have to pay more taxes. Did you catch that?