Sexism alive and well … in U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has revealed what many folks knew already: the Senate is full of sexists.

The New York Democrat has written a book in which he chronicle how her male colleagues have said patently offensive things they’d never say to another male.

This is a kind of “Ball Four” moment, or at least I hope it is. “Ball Four” was a book written by former New York Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton that revealed to the world that Yankee great and baseball Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle was a drunk, carouser and womanizer. Who knew? I didn’t.

Perhaps Gillibrand’s book is likely to peel the hide off the Senate’s pretense of being this distinguished deliberative body full of noble statesman who take themselves oh, so very seriously.

Gillibrand’s memoir, “Off the Sidelines,” talks a bit about how senators would say things to her about her weight, her appearance, the weight she gained and lost during pregnancy. One senator told her how he likes his women “chubby.”

Is this the kind of thing a woman would say to a male colleague? I’m trying to imagine Gillibrand or any other female senator talking to an overweight male senator and telling him how she likes her men with meat on their bones.

Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, who’s been covering the Capitol for a lot of years, thinks there’s hope that change might be coming to Capitol Hill. She writes that “the older fanny pinchers are giving way to a new generation of male senators with more experience of women (including their often high-powered wives) in the workplace.”

The question has come out: Why not identify the senators? No need to do it. They know who they are, as do their colleagues, male and female. It’ll come out in due course and then public opinion will take over.

Good job, Sen. Gillibrand.




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