MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski baffled by Kirsten Gillibrand: Why won’t you ‘name names?’
Tuesday morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski asked Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) why she hasn’t been more forthcoming with regards to the identities of the Senate colleagues who harassed her and made sexist comments to her about her post-pregnancy weight gain.
“We’ve said this on the show,” Brzezinski said, “Why wouldn’t you name names here?”
Gillibrand — whose memoir Off the Sidelines contains the allegations that men in the Senate called her “chubby,” “porky,” and told her she was “pretty even when [she’s] fat” — replied that she wants to “elevate” the discussion rather than making it about the individual men she works with.
“It’s not about the insult of one specific person,” Gillibrand said, it’s about how women are treated in workplaces every day.
“But this is harassment,” Brzezinski said.
“Not for me,” Gillibrand replied. “They’re not my bosses.”
“But wouldn’t you elevate the debate by naming names?” pressed Brzezinski.
“No, because then it’s all about that individual,” Gillibrand said. “I want to talk about the bigger challenges, the fact that we don’t have equal pay in this country.”
Finally, she said, “Those instances [of harassment] were irrelevant to me. I was very far along in my career.”
“The instance that was far more undermining to me was when I was a young lawyer,” she said, “and I worked really hard on a case. And my boss had a celebratory dinner, basically spends half the time saying ‘Look at Kirsten’s great hair cut, look how great she looks.’ I wanted to hear, ‘She’s been working so hard, she’s given up her vacations, she’s really done a great job.”
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[image of Kirsten Gillibrand via Flickr, Creative Commons licensed]