Oh what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man is Republican New York State Senator Marty Golden. The Senator is so worried about his female constituents that he gifted them with a workshop on “Posture Deportment and the Feminine Presence.”
Clueless seems to be the kindest way to describe Senator Golden’s idea of what the women in his district really need. The senator represents the working class women of Brooklyn, women who have genuine concerns; concerns like, how even though she’s holding down two minimum wage jobs, she can’t afford heathcare insurance. Or concerns like, where the hell is she supposed to find all-night day care so she can take the opening on the midnight shift that pays a dollar an hour more. As their state senator, Golden might be able to help them, if he only had a clue as to what they really need. Instead he offered them tips on how to “sit, stand and walk like a model” and “walk up and down a stair elegantly”
With all due respect Senator, a woman trying to get a good paying a job making bicycle frames on a 200-ton press is not in need of makeup tips.
Republicans are always quick to object to the idea that there is a “war on women” happening across America. If I point to Senator Golden’s “Posture Deportment and the Feminine Presence” class as evidence of that insidious war, I bet they would be aghast at my conclusion. Men like Golden don’t see a class in posture and deportment as demeaning or paternalistic or downright insulting, but it is all of those things.
The good news is public ridicule seems to have been successful and the “Posture Deportment and the Feminine Presence” class has been cancelled. I don’t doubt Senator Golden’s heart was in the right place; it just got caught in a time warp. But the episode does leave me shaking my head, wondering how the “fiscally conservative” Republicans thought teaching a woman to balance a book on her head was a good use of taxpayer funds.
In this skirmish in the war on women, score one for the women who demanded to be recognized as serious grown-ups. Perhaps Senator Golden and his peer group will have cause to reconsider their attitude. In the future, if you want to play Barbie, buy your own doll.
Jean Ann Esselink is a straight friend to the gay community. Proud and loud Liberal. Closet writer of political fiction. Black sheep agnostic Democrat from a conservative Catholic family. Living in Northern Oakland County Michigan with Puck the Wonder Beagle. Find me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter at @uncucumbered.
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.