Dark money, sexism and civility
Letter to the Editor
May 12, 2022, The Daily Journal
On Mother’s Day, voters received the California Apartment Association and California Association of Realtors attack ad against Assembly candidate and Redwood City Mayor Giselle Hale. It was meant to offend, but this sexist cheap shot backfired and drove support to Hale.
CAA and CAR used a distorted image of Mayor Hale to demean her, a way of calling her “ugly” and “monstrous.” This kind of sexist campaign attack is meant to devalue and undermine Hale’s credibility and prejudice the voters against her, but many San Mateans found the ugliness of the ad itself disturbing.
The attack was shockingly tone-deaf, mean-spirited, and poorly timed on Mother’s Day following the leaked SCOTUS opinion. Beauty bias and appearance-based discrimination disproportionally affect women’s professional advancement and economic mobility. CAA and CAR took us back to the Trump days when we were regularly subjected to verbal assaults targeting “fat,” “ugly” and “unhinged” women. We must call out sexism when we see it and demand CAA and CAR rise to a higher standard of civil discourse.
The real story isn’t sexism, it’s big oil, pharma, and over half a million dollars in special interest PAC money spent in this race to push a conservative agenda in our blue county. This is not the San Mateo way.
San Mateans we deserve a leader with moral courage, who is running an ethical campaign and will govern with integrity. Giselle Hale has run a grassroots, 100% positive, and issues-based campaign — endorsed by California Teachers Association, California Environmental Voters, and the California Democratic Legislative Women's Caucus.
Let’s send a message to big oil and special interests that our assembly seat is not for sale. Respect women.
The letter writer is a member of the San Mateo City Council.