The only state senator from Brooklyn to vote against marriage equality in New York is offering to teach women in his district how to act like a lady "in the 21st century," including lessons on how to "sit, stand and walk like a model" and "walk up and down a stair elegantly."
City & State first reported on Tuesday that Republican state Sen. Marty Golden's office was planning career-development classes for his "female constitutients," where participants will "‘refresh’ their knowledge of what’s new in 21st century business etiquette and social protocol."
"POSTURE, DEPORTMENT, AND THE FEMININE PRESENCE: walking with books on the head are outdated," part of the course description reads. "Women who walk from their power center. The art of feminine presence. Sit, stand and walk like a model. Walk up and down a stair elegantly……and much more."
"Tragically, this is Golden’s idea of the 21st Century woman," Chris McCreight, campaign manager for Golden's Democratic opponent, Andrew Gounardes, told Politicker. "This just goes to show that Marty Golden just doesn’t get it – either that or he lives in a cave and thinks Leave It to Beaver is a new reality show."
Democratic state Sen. Liz Krueger explained to City & State that the event was degrading to women.
"Rather than passing legislation such as the Fair Pay Act to assist women in the workplace, the Senate Republicans appear to be offering career advice on posture and how to act feminine," Krueger said. “Perhaps this would be appropriate on Mad Men, but not in New York in the 21st century."
Feministe blogger Jill Filipovic agreed that Golden should be focusing on fair pay legislation and child care costs instead of etiquette classes.
“The actual issues women face aren’t addressed by special classes on ‘the art of feminine presence’ and how to ‘walk up and down a stair elegantly,’” Filipovic pointed out. “Our political leaders should be focusing on necessary policy changes to make sure that all women are paid fairly and are able to succeed professionally, regardless of their ability to walk with a book on their head. A 1950s-style etiquette class focusing on feminine charms rather than actual business acumen is insulting, regressive and wasteful.”
Golden's office defended the event as important for young women looking for work.
"In these economic times, when so many people are out of work, and graduating with advanced degrees to set themselves apart in the workplace, events such as these are also important," spokesperson John Quaglione insisted.
Only 22.5 percent of the 2.5 million jobs gained during the U.S. economic recovery in the last three years went to female workers, according to the National Women's Law Center.
(h/t: Think Progress)