If the women at the feminist group The New Agenda do not hear an apology soon from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for his “sexist” comment, he will be facing more than just a few frowning fems.
At a New York fundraiser hosted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg earlier this week, Reid praised New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for being the “hottest member” in the Senate.
When Politico asked Reid’s office for a clarification, spokesman Jim Manley said, “What can I say, she made The Hill’s ‘Most Beautiful’ list. Of course, he also went on to praise her skill and tenacity and described her as an effective member of the New York delegation as well.”
Amy Siskind, president and co-founder of The New Agenda, told The Daily Caller that if Reid does not promptly voice regret, she and her group will be building a coalition against the senator and demanding a mea culpa.
“We believe Senator Harry Reid needs to issue an apology,” Siskind said. “He had a chance to clarify his comments and instead of clarifying it his spokesperson just said, ‘yeah, that’s basically what he meant,’ and in this day and age if that is the way he is going to refer to one of the seventeen women in the Senate, then you know he should just get back on his dinosaur and go back to Nevada and stay there.”
Mai Shiozaki, spokeswoman for the National Organization for Women (NOW), said that Reid’s comments were inappropriate, but that Republicans are more guilty of sexism.
“Senator Reid should not have said that,” Shiozaki wrote TheDC in an email. “It was inappropriate and sexist. However, to be fair, so was the comment Bruce Blakeman, who was Sen. Gillibrand’s then-Republican challenger, said in a debate when asked to say one nice thing about Gillibrand. Blakeman said she was, ‘an attractive, bright woman who I believe is a good mom.’ And, might I remind people about Bush’s ‘Massage-Gate’ back in 2006 when he infamously rubbed German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s shoulders. That was equally, if not, worse because that crossed the line of sexual harassment.”
Siskind is outraged that more liberals and feminists have not spoken out against Reid’s “sexist” comment. “That is what I find really disappointing. If this were a woman on the other side of the aisle, say for example what happened to O’Donnell last week…you had a barrage of conservative women defending her and it seems like if it happens on the Democratic side, there is such a high level of ingrained sexism that it is just allowed to occur without notice,” Siskind said.
“Bottom line,” wrote Shiozaki, “If half of Congress were women, I don’t think any of the above would have happened.”
“We know that he has made many racist comments and that got the media all up in arms, but it should be the same level of groups being enraged when this stuff comes up,” Siskind said.