Beating Back Mansplaining and Other Acts of Sexism in Politics and Organizing

Beating Back Mansplaining and Other Acts of Sexism in Politics and Organizing

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Thursday, Jun. 20 5:45 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Thursday, Jun. 20 5:45 PM (Eastern)

Earlier this year, Sen. Ron Johnson infamously mansplained to newly elected Sen. Tammy Baldwin how the federal budget works even though she was in the House of Representatives for 14 years. Mansplaining, excluding women from positions of power, opposing policies like VAWA or fair pay and other insidious acts of sexism occur every day in Congressional offices, newsrooms, or (gasp!) even in our own progressive community. Panelists will discuss the realities of sexism, the progressive activist base’s reluctance to naming sexism and how to combat mansplaining and other sexist attitudes. We’ll talk about why we as progressives still have a long way to go in recognizing that many of the barriers women face in politics and organizing are rooted in sexism.



Duncan Black

Eschaton and Media Matters. Otherwise known as Atrios.

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Cheryl Contee


Cheryl Contee is Chief Executive Officer at The Impact Seat Foundation, which is working to create a world in which women can succeed as business leaders. She is also the award-winning Founder and Chair of Do Big Things, a digital agency that creates new narrative and new tech for a new era focused on causes and campaigns. Cheryl is the Amazon bestselling author of Mechanical Bull: How You Can Achieve Startup Success. Passionate about creating new tech and new narrative for a new era, Cheryl uses her vast experience in startup entrepreneurship and community engagement to lead our portfolio companies and funds to success, provide resources for underrepresented founders, and build the new economy. Previously, Cheryl was CEO of Fission Strategy, which brought Silicon Valley startup culture to the world’s leading causes and campaigns. She’s the co-founder of, the first tech startup with a black female founder to be acquired by a NASDAQ company, the National Board Chair for Netroots Nation, a Senior Advisor for Astia and the first portfolio company board member of New Media Ventures.

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Amanda Marcotte

Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist, author, and feminist gadfly. She blogs at and at Slate’s XX Factor, as well as writing for such diverse outlets such as the Guardian, Reuters, Alternet, and the American Prospect. She also loves multi-media, doing podcasts for RH Reality Check and on the Citizen Radio network, as well as a TV clip review show called The Orange Couch.

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Shaunna Thomas


Shaunna Thomas is co-founder and Executive Director of UltraViolet, an organization fighting for gender equity and justice, from politics and policy to media and pop culture. Shaunna has had a fifteen year career in progressive organizing, building progressive infrastructure projects and winning critical policy fights at the national level.