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U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert just might go down as one of the worst congressional representatives in the history of our nation. That doesn’t make her deserving of sexist attacks.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not offering Colorado’s worst representative any sympathy or excusing her bad behavior. She’s ignorant, hateful and corrupt. She deserves to be booted out of office as quickly as possible.

But why she’s hopefully booted out of Congress matters, and we shouldn’t give her even an ounce of excuse for it being because she’s a woman — especially when there are a million and one ways to aptly describe her deplorable state of existence that do not rely on tired gender stereotypes.

Off the top of mind, a few words that one can accurately levy at the Republican representative include: insurrectionist, traitor, seditionist, criminal, ineffective, obnoxious, entitled, ignorant, incompetent and embarrassing. The list goes on.

Critically, all those descriptions stick to the library stack of indecencies that Boebert has exhibited as a fundamentally abysmal human being and public servant. None of them target her for being a woman.

One look at the comments section on social media or news feeds and you’ll see what I’m talking about. The sexist responses are endless: “Hoebert,” “bitch,” “prostitute,” “slut,” “whore,” “bimbo” — you get the idea.

While I share the underlying disdain, to ignore the sexist attacks opponents so gleefully slap on Boebert would be to ignore the centuries of sexism that continue to hold all women back. So as horrid as Boebert is, and as much as it pains me to lend even a smidge of perception of injustice on her part, calling out the sexism she faces is mandatory and in the best interest of women everywhere. Without calling it what it is we risk condoning and perpetuating the same permissions for future generations.

This means that the next time Boebert finds herself splashed across the front page yet again for her latest version of Jerry Springer tryouts, the criticism must stick to why her behavior is unacceptable and why she’s failing as a U.S. representative, not on calling her gender-based smears or slut-shaming her because she chooses to wear a tight-fitting dress or go on a date as a soon-to-be-divorced woman. Those are all choices and rights modern women have, and they are not her offenses.

Drawing this distinction between Boebert’s crimes, literally and figuratively, is crucial to continuing to advance women’s equality. The problem isn’t that Boebert might have been a paid escort, that she had children as a teenager or that she insists on wearing unflattering shades of lipstick. The problem is her continued lack of respect for anyone or anything else except herself, and the mayhem and harm she causes along the way as a result.

This means that moving forward there can be no more snide comments about what she’s wearing. No more jabs at her sex life and no more mocking her for being a 38-year-old grandmother. None of these hold any bearing on her ability to hold office, and conflating these affronts wrongly suggests that behaving improperly as a woman is part of the problem. It’s not, and one only needs to look at the endless array of equally or more horrible men in power to prove her gender is positively not the root of her evil.

I cannot stress enough that defending women at large from ingrained sexist tropes is in no way giving Boebert a hall pass. I repeat: Boebert is a train wreck of a congressperson with zero excuses for her bad behavior and she should be removed from power immediately.

But Boebert isn’t a bad congressperson because she’s a woman. She’s a bad congressperson because she’s a selfish, power-hungry liar. And anyone who claims to support women — I’m especially looking at you, Democrats and progressives — should not engage in sexism toward her just because she’s a bad person. Two wrongs here don’t make a right.

That said, by all means, lambast her for being beyond incompetent and a danger to our nation. Go after her for her role in the Capitol attack on January 6th. Go after her pathetic record of zero bills passed on behalf of the people in Colorado despite being a second-term congresswoman. Go after her tiresome lies, conspiracy theories and her general role as a chaos agent.

Because when it comes to Boebert, there are many legitimate criticisms to choose from. Her gender just isn’t one of them.

The Colorado Sun is a nonpartisan news organization, and the opinions of columnists and editorial writers do not reflect the opinions of the newsroom. Read our ethics policy for more on The Sun’s opinion policy. Learn how to submit a column. Reach the opinion editor at [email protected].

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Kay Adams