The latest shot in the supposed “war on women” has been fired and the shooter appears to be getting away with it.
At a February 20th appropriations committee hearing, Representative Ernest Hewett (D-New London) made an obscene sexual innuendo in response to a 17 year old intern’s proclamation of her fear of snakes. The comment was met with a disturbing laughter in the committee room.
The lewd remarks have seemingly fallen on deaf ears in Hartford. The only administrative actions taken so far have been the relief of Hewett’s duties as deputy speaker, and a reduction in pay grade.
Apparently, Hewett’s irreverence towards women does not begin with these comments. Three days ago Rep Mae Flexer (D-Danielson), who runs the Capitol’s internship program, had this to say regarding a longstanding rule prohibiting female interns from being assigned to Hewett’s desk:
“We know he has a history of bad behavior, and we made a choice not to expose young women to that behavior just like no young woman or any young woman should have to be exposed”.
Aside from being reprimanded for practicing workplace discrimination, one would think that the normal procedure in this circumstance would be the resignation of Hewett from office. A consensus of such calls has yet to be made.
The non- reaction from the Democrat controlled General Assembly further proves the double standard that Republicans and Democrats are held to when it comes to issues of this sort.
Where is the Permanent Commission for the Status of Women and other organizations, who claim to be the guardians of gender equality, on this issue? One would presume they’d come rushing to this poor seventeen –year- old girl’s defense.
If the tables were turned and it was a Republican that made such remarks, you could bet your bottom dollar that there would be protests calling for the offender’s immediate resignation and prosecution.
Mitt Romney was all but politically crucified for mentioning a binder of women’s resumes he looked through. Hewett makes remarks regarding his genitalia to a young teenager and the most he gets are some awkward stares and a slap on the wrist.
Ironically, Romney’s remarks were referring to an attempt to employ more women at the Massachusetts State House, while Hewett’s antics at the Connecticut State House have cost women certain employment opportunities.
This whole debacle shows the different standards of accountability that Republicans and Democrats are held to. Luckily for Mr. Hewett, his name has a “D” next to it, which puts him in some sort de facto protected class of public officials.