Posted by: sweeneyblog | October 5, 2011

Mitt Romney and Feminism

This was a small moment in what is shaping up to be truly a long and grueling campaign season, so I will keep this brief.

First, the video.

Notice anything wrong here? Like the fact Mitt Romney asks the husband for permission to touch his wife? He didn’t ask her, and to be fair, she didn’t look like she was unhappy about it, but little things like this always rub me the wrong way. Haven’t we moved past the whole women equal property thing? The Daily Kos caught this tidbit and add the point,

Too bad her father wasn’t around so Mitt could get his permission too.

Things like this are not huge gaffes, and should be treated as such, but they do bother me. My wife and I have an amusing game we play whenever we buy groceries. When I pay, the clerk always hands me the receipt. When Bryna pays, the clerk almost always hands me the receipt. It isn’t a conscious decision, but rather vestiges of antiquated thinking (“the man is the head of the household and of course he is the one taking care of the money”). This is something often called male privilege.

It is worth it to take a moment and examine the little things that we do, so that we can leave this sort of thoughtlessness in the past where it belongs.



  1. In the 90’s there was no YouTube around to see what kinds of things Bill Clinton may have asked permission about.

  2. Good catch, Riley. I’m glad that you tie this to problems that go deeper than Romney or the right wing (though obviously, they are a proud bastion of this stuff.) It is male privilege, and it’s so normalized I’m not sure I would have noticed it. That’s what makes it so insidious.

  3. […] final note, as a feminist, I am simply delighted to have two women as very strong candidates for judge, and three very strong […]

  4. Maybe he was just concerned that her huband would be offeneded if he had put his arm around her. In any picture you would expect the person you are taking a picture with to put their arm around you, and if you didn’t want them to, you would say so. I think this is all a misunderstanding but, I could be wrong.

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