Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hillary Sexism Watch: Et tu, Steve Cohen?

Update: Congressman Cohen has apologized. Scroll down to see the apology.

Congressman Steve Cohen, Tennessee's liberal Congressman (we have one), has joined the rest of the good old boys with his snide and deadly sexist comment about the nation's first ever major female presidential candidate.

Never mind that millions of women and men are turning out in droves to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton. Steve Cohen wants the woman to quit. Well, that's too bad Congressman Cohen because Hillary is Not a quitter!

As if we really needed another reminder that when it comes to misogyny, liberal men can be just as rotten as conservative men. I doubt there has ever been a 'unity candidate' with so very many sexist followers. And I cross another 'good guy' off my list.

Jake Tapper at ABC News:

This week, Obama-backing Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., said on local television, when asked about Sen. Clinton, that "Glenn Close should have just stayed in the tub."

[He was] referring to Close playing the insane, deluded Alex Forrest -- the wronged "other woman" who refuses to accept her fate and just go away, and becomes suicidal and homicidal. . as the late great Pauline Kael wrote in The New Yorker at the time, the "film is about men seeing feminists as witches."

"Fatal Attraction," Kael wrote, "parrots the aggressively angry, self-righteous statements that have become commonplaces of feminist fiction, and they're so inappropriate to the circumstances that they're proof she's loco. They're also the director Adrian Lyne's and the screenwriter James Dearden's hostile version of feminism." . . I'd posit at the very least that it's not keeping with Obama's lofty campaign rhetoric to compare Clinton's tenacity to psychosis. And it will indubitably further alienate women voters whom Obama needs to bring to his side once the Democratic race.

Tell Congressman Steve Cohen sexism is unacceptable:

TalkLeft: More On Psycho Ex-Girlfriends -- Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), a Barack Obama supporter, trafficking in more sexism
No Silence Here: Did a U.S. congressman really say that about Clinton?
Memphis Blog: According to Cohen, the presidential race isn't too Close to call
Update - Wonkette: Some Congressman Wants Hillary To Drown, Forever

Update: Congressman Cohen came by and left the following apology in the comments of this thread. On both this blog and TalkLeft, his apology has not been well received. Frankly, there has just been too much sexism in this campaign for any of us to be in a forgiving mood. In fairness, I want to say that I've followed Steve Cohen's career for many years and his awful statement about Hillary Rodham Clinton seems completely out of character. But there is no doubt that sexism is in vogue these days. And if we hear so much of it in the public sphere, god only knows how much of it there is in the private sphere.

Congressman Cohen's apology:

I sincerely apologize for the comments I made about Senator Clinton's campaign. I have great respect for Senator Clinton as a US Senator. She has waged an historic campaign which has done much to break the glass ceiling. My comments obviously do not reflect the sentiments of Senator Obama or the Obama campaign. Nor do they reflect my opinion of Senator Clinton whom I have known for years and admire. My hope is that our party will come together to work to defeat John McCain.