Welcome back Chaise Lounge readers and an especially warm welcome to our newest subscribers! You all are what makes this newsletter happen. A quick note to let you know that next week you will not receive a newsletter from me. I will be taking a trip to the Adirondacks to visit a long-lost relative and get some kayaking in.
In the meantime, this week you will hear my personal reaction to the independent investigation of Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York. Once I started reading the complaint, I couldn’t stop. His behavior was so inappropriate, but it seems like that was just business as usual. Thank goodness he is finally getting a reality check.
Germany announced its plan to block both Pornhub and XHamster sites due to their unwillingness to block children from their sites. At issue is the requirement that all users show age verification. Other European countries and Australia are considering the same move. You may recall that Chaise Lounge addressed this issue last year. Perhaps we can use this move to encourage our own government to follow suit?
The United Kingdom has joined countries in South and Central American, Asia, and Africa in approving over-the-counter dispensing of birth control pills. Previously, those needing the medication would need to visit a doctor and receive a prescription. By making contraception more easily available, the U.K. is likely to see a reduction of unplanned pregnancies. Groups supporting the change also made sure that the OTC pills would be covered by insurance, thus ensuring that the new ease of access to pills would not be hampered by increased costs.
Samia Suluhu Hassan, Tanzania’s first woman president, had herself photographed receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. This is newsworthy in that the previous president, John Magufuli, who died unexpectedly earlier this year, was an autocrat and COVID denier. With Hassan at the helm of the country, the messaging from the government has turned complete 180. Good news for Tanzanians!
Amazon is being sued by seven women for pregnancy discrimination, and Patty Hernandez’s story is emblematic of why. Last October, Ms. Hernandez presented her manager with a doctor’s note stating that she should not be regularly lifting heavy things. Her boss ignored the note and gave her no accommodation. He also constantly asked her why her bathroom breaks were frequent and long. The warehouse was so big, it took her six minutes just to walk to the bathroom. After she miscarried, she tried to get some family medical leave, but she was told she had not worked there long enough. She ended up quitting. Let’s hope this lawsuit is successful in getting pregnancy accommodations for future workers.
Melinda French Gates and MacKenzie Scott paired up to donate $40 million to the Equality Can’t Wait challenge. The challenge goals included “advocating for caregiving infrastructure; increasing pathways for the next generation of women to advance in key sectors like technology; and advancing economic empowerment for Indigenous womxn.” With the outsized impact that the pandemic had on women’s employment, the challenge is perfectly timed. You can visit the challenge’s website to read all about the winners.
Members of the U.S. Fencing team, Jake Hoyle, Curtis McDowald. and Yeisser Ramirez, made a bold statement by wearing pink masks to show their disagreement with the presence of Alen Hadzic on their team. Hadzic has been accused by three women of sexual misconduct. He was originally banned from the Olympics by SafeSport, but that decision was appealed and overturned. Clearly, his teammates were not comfortable with his presence and wanted everyone to know. A bold move!
At a fundraising event in Tennessee last week, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy mused that if he were to become the House Speaker, “I want you to watch Nancy Pelosi hand me that gavel. It will be hard not to hit her with it.” The bold claim that he would assault House Speaker Pelosi illustrates just how vitriolic politics are in Washington.
Andrew Cuomo: Gaslighter Extraordinaire
In looking at the independent investigation into Andrew Cuomo, it is clear that this man actually believes that he has done nothing wrong. He is a man who has been in powerful positions for so long and crossed boundaries so often, that he thinks that his offensive behavior is normal. He is used to keeping people off-kilter so that they will do his bidding. It is such a habit, that he does not understand why people are upset with him.
But perhaps I am being too kind. In reading the report, is it clear that the governor regularly looked for women whom he found attractive and then made sure that they were hired to work for him. He persistently asked female employees about their dating life or marital status. He noticed when one of his executive aides stopped wearing a wedding ring and upon finding out that she was separated, asked if she planned to “mingle”. He made lewd jokes, invited one woman to play strip poker, asked another about the size of his hands repeatedly, and the list goes on. The governor tested female employees constantly to see if they would report him. He even joked with some of them about what he would say if he was reported for sexual harassment. Fortunately, some of these women kept contemporaneous records of what he said and shared them with friends and family. He was so brazen about his behavior that many times there were multiple witnesses.
And now, he is trying to gaslight the world into believing that all of these women don’t know the difference between a platonic hug and an inappropriate one. Or between playful banter and sexual innuendo. But what the governor does not know is that every single woman in the world knows the difference. Even within our own social circles, we know whose husband will give the little finger caress up your side when hugging you or turn his cheek so that you end up kissing him on or close to his mouth upon greeting. We know who stares at our breasts. We know every single trick because we have been on the receiving end our whole lives.
So no, Governor Cuomo, any woman who reads even one page of the complaint will recognize you for the cad that you are. You can’t fool us.
Just for fun
This little girl watching the women’s weightlifting just warmed my heart. Click the link below the picture to see the video.