Politics And Policy

Biden's ladies first comms team choice proves ideology is queen

If identity were the leading factor, then any success from members marginalized identity groups would be praised, instead it's only those who have the right ideology and the right identity.

Nicole Russell Texas, US
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Joe Biden's incoming administration wants you to know they promote women, equality, feminism, and well, did I mention women? On Nov. 29, Biden announced he would appoint an all-female communications team to work in his administration. Feminism, for liberals, is about ideology not equality.

In a statement, Biden said:

"I am proud to announce today the first senior White House communications team comprised entirely of women. These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better."

His team will include, among others, Jen Psaki as White House press secretary, Symone Sanders as chief spokesperson for the Biden campaign, and Kate Bedingfield, as the White House communications director.

As usual, the mainstream media couldn't be more excited. With unusual fervor, Business Insider proclaimed "Trump waged a 4-year war with the media. Now Biden has hit the reset button with a historic all-female White House communications team." The only problem was it just wasn't true.

Trump's senior White House press team is all women, too, as White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted in clarification about the claim that Biden's team is the first all-female senior communications team to work at the White House.

Newsweek fact-checked McEnany's statement and found "[T]he vice president's press secretary is Devin O'Malley, who took over the role in May after Katie Miller was promoted to communications director."

Whether or not Trump has always employed an all-female senior or junior-level communications team matters little: Trump has employed multiple women in senior positions in the four years he occupied the Office of the President. He also employed minorities and members of the gay community.

Despite this he was rarely praised for his diversity—at least not by members of the mainstream media. In fact, his appointments, particularly Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kaleigh McEnany, were subject to tirades of online abuse and unusually mean articles.

"Good riddance, Sarah Sanders: Washington's worst communicator," read one article in The Guardian. A writer at the LA Times once said, "By comparison, Sanders looks more like a slightly chunky soccer mom who organizes snacks for the kids' games." Imagine making history only to find it isn't acknowledged and in fact it's mocked because you don't believe the correct ideology.

Ideology, when it comes to politics, is queen for public relations and media representation. If identity were the leading factor, then any success from members marginalized identity groups would be praised, instead it's only those who have the right ideology and the right identity.

If Sarah Huckabee Sanders were a leftist feminist, she'd have been praised for her dogged determination doing communications.

If Kayleigh McEnany were a liberal elitist, Harvard, her alma mater, would have invited her back to give a speech on making it big in politics.

If Hope Hicks had been a progressive policy wonk, she would have been on every cover of Vogue, alongside the gorgeous First Lady, Melania, given their beauty and brains.

But nevertheless: She persisted, not because she was female, but because she was a female conservative. Ideology has always mattered more to progressives than equality—that is the true litmus test of feminist success.

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