Biden campaign, women’s groups working to blunt sexist attacks on VP pick

One Facebook image aimed at former Obama administration national security adviser Susan E. Rice plays on her last name and puts her photo on an altered box of Uncle Ben’s Rice — labeled “Uncle Bama’s Dirty Rice.” The tagline reads: “Subversively Delicious, Every Time!”

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Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) is being maligned online for a past relationship, a theme that was also floated on right-wing sites in her unsuccessful presidential campaign. Memes of Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) circulating on Facebook suggest she’s a “liar,” a radical and a closeted communist, offering no evidence other than past travel to Cuba and a warm quote about former leader Fidel Castro.

The posture by Biden’s campaign and women’s groups is meant to be far more aggressive than the way gender attacks were dealt with in 2016, when Hillary Clinton, the first female presidential nominee of a major political party, often tried to downplay or ignore such gibes and was not taken seriously on occasions when her team did point to sexism. It’s also a reflection of the changed environment since then, as women expanded their political power with nationwide marches and the #MeToo movement ushered in fights against sexism in business, the media and politics.

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