A New York Times Sunday editorial trivialized the National Organization for Women and the National Women’s Political Caucus for endorsing Carol Moseley Braun for President. The editorial, entitled “NOW’s Woman Problem,” labeled Moseley Braun’s candidacy a “vanity affair” and called the NOW and NWPC endorsement “silly.” This is despite the fact that she has a stronger public service record than some of the other candidates and is consistently polling in the middle of the pack of Democratic candidates.
NOW President Kim Gandy blasted the editorial. “One of the reasons women had to struggle so long to win the vote-and why we continue to fight for full equality-is the trivializing of women and our concerns. It smacks of sexism when the endorsement of two major women’s organizations is demeaned as ‘silly’,” she wrote. “And it smacks of more than that when a qualified African-American woman is disparaged not for her experience or platform but for her presumed ‘vanity’.”
Carol Moseley Braun is an extremely qualified candidate with a 30-year history in public service and a strong record on issues important to women. NOW is an organization with a 37-year history of fighting for women’s rights and political leadership, and the NWPC has a 32-year history of supporting women’s candidacies. “NOW and NWPC have been there for women and women’s candidacies when no one else would. Because of their willingness to go to bat for women, there are more women in public office today,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority and former president of NOW. “Too bad the New York Times doesn’t recognize their historically important role for breaking the glass ceiling. But what can you expect from the “old gray lady” that would not editorially allow the use of the courtesy title “Ms.” until 1986, long after most of the US did.”