Oh, nice: class act, Senator.
Having used a broad anonymous brush to tar the entire group of male Senators as sexist pigs while being unwilling to risk the enmity and loss of trust by her colleagues by naming names (and wisely so), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) cravenly caved to media and pundit hectoring by naming a dead man. Yes, ancient Senator Daniel Inouye, Hawaian icon, relic of an earlier era (and its sexist norms), war hero, and conveniently in his grave so he can’t defend himself, was the one Gillibrand fingered today as the elder Democrat who told Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand not to “lose too much weight now” because “I like my girls chubby,” as she related in her book.
Sen. Gillibrand didn’t have the courage to explain to the old man, who undoubtedly thought he was being nice, that he needed to learn what collegial respect to women means in the 21st Century. That might have done him some good. That would have been kind. But no, she decided to mar his reputation and dignity to extract herself from a controversy of her own making, and get even with him for his clueless remark postmortem. Don’t worry, boys: I’m sure she won’t out any other Senate sexists until they are similarly helpless.
Senator Inouye was behind the times in his understanding of how to treat women in the workplace, but he was, by most accounts, a gentleman. Given the chance, he could have taught the junior New York Senator a lot about the ethical treatment of dead colleagues.