When I picked up The Augusta Chronicle on Dec. 11, I was appalled by what I read in the letter to the editor from Sam Arrington of Louisville (“We need a man for the job”). The title really says it all. Arrington implies that the work of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state has been unsatisfactory because she is a woman. She is not capable of defending herself against the “sexist Muslim men” of the Middle East.
In reality, Clinton faces equal if not more sexism in her own country. I cannot even count the number of instances in which she has experienced unnecessary and irrelevant criticism purely because she is female. Americans are afraid of powerful women and therefore afraid of Hillary Clinton. She has done an outstanding job as secretary of state, a demanding and difficult role.
Next, Arrington says that “Muslim men look down on women as the inferior sex; someone to cook, clean and raise children.” He is living with his head in the sand if he fails to recognize that women are viewed in exactly the same way by much of the Western world. In just a few sentences, he manages to demonstrate prejudice against Muslims while simultaneously ignoring the worldwide oppression of women. He goes on to describe the “perfect secretary of state,” who of course would have to be tall, muscular and, most of all, masculine.
Could he be more blatantly sexist? Perhaps the most humorous line is where he writes that women are treated poorly only in the Middle East – by the rest of the world, they are “respected.” This statement effectively marginalizes the experiences of women worldwide. Arrington displays undeniable ignorance and prejudice in his letter, and I am embarrassed to see it published in the newspaper of my hometown.