Was War Hero Daniel Inouye Also That Secret Sexist Senator? NYT Says Yes!
The New York Times is pretty sure it's outed the unidentified senior senator who grabbed Kirsten Gillibrand's waist after she'd lost some weight and chuckled, “Don’t lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby!” According to "people with knowledge of the incident," it was the late Daniel K. Inouye, who was a kickass war hero, civil-rights supporter and generally badass liberal in the Senate. And also, apparently, a bit on the harassy side. And no, we're not going to make a "he was a man of his era" excuse for him, because by the time Gillibrand was elected to the Senate in 2008, Inouye certainly had seen the sexual harassment training film once or twice. Gillibrand's office wouldn't comment on whether the senator in the book was Inouye, but we're going to assume -- risky, we know -- that the Times got it right.
More disturbing is the Times' mention of an Inouye backstory we were not aware of:
[In] an all but forgotten chapter of his career, the senator had been accused of sexual misconduct: In 1992, his hairdresser said that Mr. Inouye had forced her to have sex with him.
Her accusations exploded into a campaign issue that year, and one Hawaii state senator announced that she had heard from nine other women who said they had been sexually harassed by Mr. Inouye. But the women did not want to go forward with their claims.
Dammit, it sucks when you find out that someone you admired was also just plain not all that admirable in some very important aspects. We don't require our heroes to be flawless -- Yr. Dok Zoom doesn't mind admiring Charles Lindbergh as an aviator AND being disgusted by his fondness for Nazi Supermen -- but it's a disappointment all the same. And if Inouye actually was an out-and-out rapist, that's enough for us to consider retiring our Daniel Inouye jersey permanently. Can we trade it for a pizza at least?
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.