TIME politics

GOP Senate Candidate Declares War on Sexism: ‘Our Country Has a Problem’

Conservative women fight back

A Republican Senate candidate from South Dakota has a message for the people calling her vulgar names on the Internet: conservative women fight back. Annette Bosworth, a current state Representative and medical doctor, held a press conference Tuesday openly condemning the misogyny she says she’s encountered throughout her campaign for the U.S. Senate, largely at the hands of “supposedly tolerant liberals.” Bosworth’s passionate diatribe hit a nerve at a moment when much of the country is turning its attention to misogyny in the wake of a mass killing in California, where a young man stabbed and shot his way through a college town, driven by his sexist views.

“Good morning, and welcome to the state of political discourse in 2014, “ Bosworth said while standing in a profane graffiti-covered room. She called the exhibit a representation of what’s facing women who “dare to challenge the status quo.”

“What you see around you are the words which have been written about me on blogs, on the Internet throughout this campaign,” Bosworth said. “They are hateful, they are hurtful and no person should have to endure it. It is its own form of abuse.”

Bosworth, who is challenging former Gov. Mike Rounds in the upcoming June primary, said she asked local artists to Google her and “pick a name. Spell it just as it’s spelled on the Internet and represent that on my campaign signs.”

“The Democrats talk about a war on women, but much of what you see is written by the supposedly tolerant liberals. Their message is clear: conservative women are fair game. If you are a female and a Republican, anything goes. Look at these signs. Look at the messages sent by our country. We have a problem, and it’s not being talked about.”

She called attention to the Santa Barbara massacre:

“I would like you to try and find a word that correlates to that in a man with the same connotation and the same disrespect that when their children Google it, it makes them cry. The misogyny is real. Go to the shootings in California. Look around. South Dakota is not unique. Our country has a problem.”

She may be considered a “long-shot” as a Senate candidate, but her powerful stance against the vulgarity sends a much needed, powerful message to hatemongers: enough is enough.

Watch the full video at Talking Points Memo.

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