Bob McDonnell, Featured News, Governor

Mason Women: McDonnell Thesis Hurtful

By Mason Votes Staff Writer Ethan Vaughan

George Mason University women have reacted negatively to Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell penning a 1989 thesis in which he criticized feminists and homosexuals and said that women who worked outside the home were “detrimental to society.”

McDonnell has dismissed the thesis as an “academic paper” and said that his views have changed, but not everyone is buying it.

“As a scholar of comparative social policy, his prescriptions regarding women and the workplace are just dreadful,” said Mariely Lopez-Santana, a professor with the George Mason University Public and International Affairs Department. “He argues that he has changed positions, but letting your wife work and having women in your staff is, in my opinion, not a change—he is just reacting to the needs of our times and to his political ambitions.”

Others agreed.

“I feel that this thesis is very detrimental to all women,” said senior Katherine Papadopoulos. “Particularly the statement that complained about women working outside the home. Women who need to work in order to provide for their households should be commended for their work ethic and commitment to their families.”

Freshman Marlene Meza expressed confusion at McDonnell’s ideas.

“I don’t understand how that makes sense,” she said. “It’s the 21st century and we have equal gender rights. Calling women who have multiple roles ‘detrimental to society’ goes against American values.”

Both Meza and Papadopoulos said that, though they disagreed with the thesis, it was dated and would not affect their decision with regard to the election.

Lopez-Santana thought that the scandal would have an impact on the election.

“For those who did not have any information about him or who weren’t going to vote, this controversy will lead them to the polls—whether to vote for him or against him,” she said. “This is certainly relevant if we take into account the fact that voter turnout tends to be lower at the state level than in federal elections.”  

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