Last month, former NY1 reporter Adele Sammarco lost a lawsuit which charged that references to her breasts had helped create a hostile work environment.
So if Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn) is feeling a little bit like Janet Jackson these days at her workplace, she might have to just grin and bear it.
At Roll Call, Emily Heil and Elizabeth Brotherton note in the paper’s “Heard on the Hill” gossip column, “Wardrobe malfunctions arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just for Super Bowl halftimes: Sen. Amy Klobuchar experienced one of her ‘most embarrassing moments’ when, while presiding over the Senate, a page handed her a note signed ‘Anonymous’ that read, ‘Pull up your shirt.’”
That anecdote is one of the more revealing (ba-dum-bum) in a new book, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Upper House: A Journey Behind the Closed Doors of the U.S. Senate,Ã¢â‚¬Â by journalist Terence Samuel.
According to SamuelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s book, the Minnesota DemocratÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s unintentional flesh-baring became a joke among some Senators, including Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and the next time Klobuchar presided over the chamber, she got a second anonymous note. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Your earrings donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t match,Ã¢â‚¬Â it read. Ã¢â‚¬Å“When she looked up, Tester was cracking up in the back row.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The book, which follows the Senate class of 2006, also exposes a dirty secret that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid harbors. His Ã¢â‚¬Å“major public indulgenceÃ¢â‚¬Â is catching Saturday afternoon movies when the Senate isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t in session. (Gasp!)
Klobuchar recently condemned what she perceived as sexism directed at President Obama’s Supreme Court Justice nominee Elena Kagan based on her looks. Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan had denied there was “any sexism in accusing Elena Kagan of not being ladylike when she sits in a chair and for wearing dowdy frocks.”
GivhanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s denial of sexism isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t likely to stop the chatter, which even made it to the Senate today when Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) took to Senate floor to criticize the attacks on KaganÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s looks. It was a picture of KaganÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s conversation with Klobuchar that sparked Givhan to say that while Klobuchar sat like a lady, Kagan did not.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have to say that I never thought I would be discussing this in this chamber,Ã¢â‚¬Â Klobuchar said in rehashing Dowdygate for the Senate, noting her role in the drama. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think such an article was ever written about Chief Justice Roberts,Ã¢â‚¬Â Klobuchar added, trying to imagine a similar Givhan expose on who was crossing their legs in a hypothetical conversation between Roberts and Sec. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).
Last summer, Klobuchar complained about sexism at Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing, as the Minnesota Independent reported:
Klobuchar said she had bristled at Ã¢â‚¬Å“mostly anonymous question[ing of] Judge SotomayorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s judicial temperamentÃ¢â‚¬Â and cited her own experience in Minnesota: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Where I come from, asking tough questions and showing very little patience for unprepared lawyers is the very definition of a judge.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Sexist standards implicit in such critiques Ã¢â‚¬Å“irritated me,Ã¢â‚¬Â Klobuchar said, adding that the country should Ã¢â‚¬Âappoint as many gruff, to-the-point female judges as gruff, to-the-point male judges.Ã¢â‚¬Â