“You know, I’m just really tired of this world,” Senator Elizabeth Warren says to M.S.N.B.C. host Chris Matthews as he struggles to comprehend the legitimacy of pregnancy discrimination.
Senator Warren is tired because in 1971, she was fired because she was pregnant, and now she has to compete with a man, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has discriminated against women because they were pregnant. Matthews repeatedly questioned her as if she was the one who was alleging discrimination by Bloomberg. Matthews asked her why Bloomberg would refute the claim of “Why would he lie?” and was flabbergasted when Warren responded “Why would she lie?”
“I’m just really tired of this world” is said to the host who, before interviewing Hillary Clinton, joked that he should give her a “Bill Cosby pill.” Bill Cosby used pills to drug and rape women for years before being found guilty of assaulting one woman in 2018. It took more than 60 accusers and over 20 years for him to face consequences. Matthews thinks it's fine to joke about drugging and assaulting a former senator, Secretary of State, and presidential candidate. So do his bosses. It took four years for him to have to face any consequences.
“I’m just really tired of this world” was said on the network that killed the Harvey Weinstein story and protected Matt Lauer for years. Before going over to The New Yorker, Ronan Farrow worked on that story for nearly a year and had multiple women on the record. He also had a recording of Weinstein admitting to sexual assault. N.B.C. still killed the story. It took The New Yorker less than two months to run it when Farrow went to them. No one who killed the story has been fired or left N.B.C., but the people who fought to get the story out have.
It takes 80 women, independently verified, to be as credible as one man.
“I’m just really tired of this world” comes a week after Harvey Weinstein is finally found guilty of rape, on two counts. It took over 80 women to accuse him of sexual harassment or assault for him to be found guilty on two charges. Is that what it takes for accountability, to be allowed to commit crimes for decades until you amass enough victims? If it is just one woman, no one believes her. It takes 80 women, independently verified, to be as credible as one man.
Women are tired because the President of the United States is accused of assaulting over 40 women, and is being sued by two of them. In spite of a tape was released featuring him admitting to sexual assault, he still got elected. Women are tired because there have been more Supreme Court justices accused of sexual assault or misconduct than black women as Supreme Court justices. Women are tired because Brett Kavanaugh gets to sit on the Supreme Court, but Christine Blasey Ford could not go to her home for months because of the public stream of death threats. Women are tired because Clarence Thomas gets to sit on the Supreme Court, but Anita Hill still can’t get Joe Biden to call and apologize to her.
We are tired because, again, one of the most qualified and smart presidential candidates was just defeated by two septuagenarian white men. Sen. Warren was not a perfect candidate, nor did she run a perfect campaign. No one ever does. However, she arguably ran a better campaign than did Joe Biden and, possibly, Bernie Sanders. She had the most detailed plans, the strongest ground game, and the ability to unite the progressives and the moderates of the party. She still lost. It’s not all because of misogyny. Her campaign certainly made mistakes. But to ignore the role that sexism played in voters' opinion of her and the coverage she has received, is to be blind to the world in which we live.
“I’m just really tired of this world.” Same, Senator. Same.
Anna Hickey is a second-year C.L.E.G. major in the School of Public Affairs. She is the Chief Editorial Columnist for the Agora.
Artiwork by Sophie Rose