October 13, 2010
Last night at the California gubernatorial debate, Jerry Brown apologized for a member of his campaign staff suggesting Meg Whitman, his opponent in the race, be called a "whore." This overdue apology was a necessary step; however, it was accompanied by an assertion that these sorts of comments are part and parcel of what happens inside political campaigns. If so, that needs to change.
While our California chapter's Political Action Committee voted to endorse Brown on the basis of his support for women's rights, the National Organization for Women clearly and unequivocally condemns calling Meg Whitman, or any woman, a whore. This term is hate speech that carries with it negative connotations associated with women, and it has no place in contemporary society.
NOW calls on Brown, from this point forward, to fire any member of his staff who uses this word or any hate speech against women.
###Update: NOW clarified this statement with the addition of "from this point forward" to the final paragraph.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mai Shiozaki w. 202-628-8669, ext. 116, c. 202-595-4473