#MeWho? Former Cuomo aide’s tell-all of strip poker & unwanted kisses met with crickets, proving movement killed by partisanship
Lindsey Boylan, a former aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, has finally come forward with the details of her alleged harassment – only to be confronted by cricket chirps, as the #MeToo crusaders seem to have vanished.
Months after going public with the claim that she was harassed by Cuomo during her three-year stint working for the governor’s office, Boylan delivered the details of the governor’s alleged misconduct – from unwanted advances including a kiss and comments about her body, to an invitation to play strip poker on a private flight, to a claustrophobic interlude at the governor’s office that included a reference to the sexual improprieties of former president Bill Clinton. She was even referred to around the office by the name of the governor’s ex-girlfriend, whom she supposedly resembled.
And it was not just Boylan who was subjected to what she has repeatedly called a “toxic workplace culture” under Cuomo. In a Medium post published on Wednesday that detailed the harassment for the first time, she described the office-wide miasma of fear that had her concerned for her job should she complain about Cuomo’s behavior. The governor made inappropriate comments about other women as well, she said, creating a culture “where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected.”
Today I am telling my story. I never planned to share the details of my experience working in the Cuomo administration, but I am doing so now in hopes that it may make it easier for others to speak their own truth. https://t.co/n1Lcc6Ac66— Lindsey Boylan (@LindseyBoylan) February 24, 2021
Yet, far from the media uproar these revelations might have evoked a few years ago, when #MeToo was in full swing and men in both parties had to watch their backs, Boylan's claims merely set tumbleweeds rolling across the streets of Albany. Hollywood, too, seemed to have lost its taste for watching powerful men crash and burn, aside from actress-turned-activist Rose McGowan's demand for an investigation into the “monstrous” allegations. What happened to #MeToo?
Boylan has stressed – both after publishing the Medium piece and back in December when she first spoke up about Cuomo – that she harbors no ill will toward him politically. She still claims to have been “proud to work in the Cuomo administration.” She just doesn’t want to see him grab even more power without facing accountability for how he’s abused it in the past, she said.
Seeing his name floated as a potential candidate for US Attorney General – the highest law enforcement official in the land – set me off.
Cuomo is politically untouchable, to the point where his name was seriously considered as a Democratic presidential candidate before the party went with Biden – another candidate with sexual harassment problems. And while he won’t get the AG position, Cuomo has nevertheless been showered with praise, Emmy awards, book sales, and public adulation, credited by the media with singlehandedly slaying the coronavirus in New York – even as the dirty truth about who exactly was slain bubbles up from the storm drains.
One might ask what happened to the “believe all women” slogan that was the war cry of #MeToo during the Trump years – both against the president himself, against his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and against a handful of others. Networks literally suppressed discrediting evidence against the women now-incarcerated shyster Michael Avenatti dropped in their laps, with fraudulent declarations they were victims of increasingly lurid abuse by Kavanaugh. No questions were asked in the rush to get these women on TV. Yet any interviews with Biden accuser Tara Reade, another woman it has been seen as imprudent to “believe,” came off more like courtroom dramas as TV hosts tried to poke holes in her arguments, even going to the extent of removing clips from their archives in an apparent attempt to discredit her. Boylan hasn’t been interviewed at all, preferring – perhaps wisely – not to give the media vultures a chance to rip out her proverbial entrails.
And gone are the Hollywood actresses who would flock to the defense of any woman who claimed to have been victimized by someone powerful or wealthy in the last three years. Indeed, the movement seems to have split in two, with McGowan standing firm with the blanket call to “believe women,” while others like Alyssa Milano have publicly switched sides, embracing alleged predators like Biden – victims be damned, Orange Man Bad.Also on rt.com ‘You will be destroyed’: NY’s Cuomo threatens lawmaker over criticism of nursing home deaths, sends aide after harassment accuser
But #MeToo became a wildly successful campaign for a reason. Women being harassed by powerful men – especially in a workplace situation – don’t have a lot of places to turn, as even successfully bringing a case against their tormentors may end with them being ‘blacklisted’ from whatever industry they work in. The solidarity offered by #MeToo and its apparent sisterhood was viewed as a lifeline by many. Clearly, that’s not the case anymore.
And even if actresses can’t be expected to stand up for female politicians on the other side of the country, there’s a noticeable lack of support for Boylan among some of Washington’s most strident “feminist” voices. The former aide has called Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley some of her heroes, arguing they inspired her to consider taking on long-time incumbent Rep. Jerry Nadler in Congress. While that campaign did not materialize – she’s now considering a run for Manhattan borough president instead – neither AOC nor any other member of the “Squad” has come forward to express support for Boylan. Indeed, one can hear the crickets chirping in Washington when one asks about her. Cuomo’s vengefulness and spite are legendary, and no one wants to get on the wrong end of them. If that means sacrificing their morals, well, one rarely goes into politics because of deep-seated morality.
It’s not clear why the gatekeeping women of Hollywood and the Democratic Party insist on backing a Cuomo or a Biden, however. Neither politician is known for his progressive platform, his up-with-the-proletariat revolutionary cred, or really anything more than his ability to hold office for a long period of time. Perhaps that’s enough for the next wave of feminists – but if so, women are going to be screwed in more ways than one.
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