Cuomo Advanced a Feminist Agenda. Was That Just Politics?
Cynthia Nixon, who challenged Mr Cuomo for the Democratic nomination in 2018, said: “Our campaign kept saying he was doing all this talk for women’s rights, but his alliance was still around. a quarter of an inch deep. It was always to give himself political cover and come across as a benevolent ally, which was far from the truth, of course.
As the MeToo movement swept across America, Mr. Cuomo became a bugle voice on the side of the victims. He surrounded himself with feminist celebrities and joined forces with the leaders of Time’s Up, the organization founded by Hollywood women to fight sexual abuse and promote gender equality. He denounced the Republicans for passing the nomination of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, calling on Mr. Kavanaugh to take a polygraph test. And he trumpeted New York’s sexual harassment legislation in 2019, saying it would “honor women who were brave enough to come forward and tell their stories.”
All the while, however, according to the state attorney general’s independent report, Mr. Cuomo was behaving privately in a way he publicly condemned.
“What has changed is that the law has caught up with everyone’s common understanding of sexual harassment,” said Rita Pasarell, co-founder of the Sexual Harassment Working Group, a group of former Albany law assistants. who lobbied for the legislation. “What hasn’t changed are the powerful people who think they are above the law. And I think that’s exactly the crux of what’s going on with Cuomo.
Of course, it was Mr. Cuomo’s selection of a female lieutenant governor that would lead Kathy Hochul to be sworn in to succeed him, becoming the first female governor of New York, after 56 men, and only the 45th female to occupy. the post of governor of a state. .
Ms Hochul, who has been largely ignored by Mr Cuomo, will take the reins of state government amid a resurgent pandemic and in the wake of a leader who has tightly controlled state government for over d ‘a decade.
This is not atypical, in politics or in business. After men quit over scandal, women leaders are often asked to clean up the mess left behind.
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