What a strange headline: “Cuomo accusations split Democrats between wanting an investigation or a resignation”. How about an investigation, which prompts a resignation? Why not have him resign, and follow through with an investigation? Or do both simultaneously? I don’t care. Andrew Cuomo is a rolling disaster. Stop him now.
It’s not just that he hid nursing home deaths and mismanaged the pandemic for the most vulnerable populations. It’s that he runs the state as a smug patriarch and fosters a patronizing culture of sexism. Totally familiar. This crap is everywhere, and no one ever seems to take any steps to bring the abusers back in line. Listen to this woman who worked with him.
I never thought the governor wanted to have sex with me. It wasn’t about sex. It was about power. He wanted me to know that I was powerless, that I was small and weak, that I did not deserve what relative power I had: a platform to hold him accountable for his words and actions. He wanted me to know that he could take my dignity away at any moment with an inappropriate comment or a hand on my waist. (The Cuomo administration has declined to comment.)
It’s not that Cuomo spares men in his orbit from his trademark bullying and demeaning behavior. But the way he bullies and demeans women is different. He uses touching and sexual innuendo to stoke fear in us. That is the textbook definition of sexual harassment.
The message is that as long as you don’t rape or molest a woman, you can get away with all kinds of demeaning behavior. Go ahead, let all the apparatchiks in your orbit sneer at women. No crime, no foul.
Unfortunately, though, it wasn’t just the culture of the Cuomo administration I had to survive in New York’s capital. If it wasn’t Cuomo putting his arm around me, it was a drunken state lawmaker propositioning me at a bar or a guard repeatedly denying me access to the Senate chambers or a male colleague in the press corps refusing to accept his own complicity in what was happening. Whether the governor resigns or finishes out his term or is reelected or runs for another office, his eventual departure alone will not end the legacy of sexual harassment in Albany. As a former colleague recently tweeted, it’s “as pervasive as air.”
I know, who cares? Isn’t that women’s role, to look pretty and be nice toys to touch?
I supported the eviction of Al Franken from congress for the same reason: nothing he did was criminal, but it was disrespectful and sent a message that women are appropriate targets for demeaning jokes. Sorry, Al, you did good work but are a necessary casualty of an important shift in our social environment. Meanwhile, Cuomo is a colossal arrogant asshole who bungled his way through the pandemic and has no redeeming characteristics to cause us any doubts. So why are we debating whether he ought to resign?