Home / United States / Mississippi Rep. Robert Foster's refusal to work with a journalist was sexist, but not for the reason that you believe

Mississippi Rep. Robert Foster's refusal to work with a journalist was sexist, but not for the reason that you believe

A The representative of the Republican State has just told a reporter that he will not let her go for a ride with him. Why? Because she is a woman and that would look bad.

Cue the anti-sexism fervor, with Roxane Gay and even the presidential candidate, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaking on Twitter.

"If your vision of women is so late in 2019, you can not be alone with a journalist doing his job," said Gillibrand. wrote, "What are you doing trying to be the governor of a whole state?"

The question in question started when Mississippi today Journalist Larrison Campbell, who had broken the story of State Representative Robert Foster's entry into the governorship race, asked Foster to observe him on a 15-hour campaign trip.

Foster's campaign director, Colton Robison, refused the request because Campbell is a woman.

"Perception is everything. We are so close to primary school. If (trackers) got an image and published a mail, we would not have time to challenge it. And that's why we have to be careful, "Robinson tell him Tuesday.

Robinson suggested that Campbell bring with her a male colleague, an unreasonable request that would weigh down a local newspaper such as Mississippi today. Needless to say, the trip did not take place.

After Campbell wrote an article about the incident, the case broke out in a national affair, criticizing Foster for sexism, and Foster in turn trying to turn the spotlight into an opportunity to collect money. funds.

"I am a pious and devoted man to my wife, and even though traveling with me would not be immoral in itself, the Bible teaches us to guard against the appearance of irregularity. That's what I did and I stick to my weapons, "he said. told Mississippi today Wednesday.

However, Foster's decision does not seem to simply aim to avoid "irregularity".

On the one hand, Campbell is a lesbian and she wrote in 2018 about his wife. Foster did not say that he personally had trouble meeting Campbell; he said that he was worried about his appearance.

The irony is that his refusal now seems pretty bad.

"If only men who used the Billy Graham rule in professional contexts were as concerned about the perception that they were discriminating against women as by the perception that they seduced or harassed us. " wrote Alyssa Rosenberg and Robert Gebelhoff for the Washington Post.

Theoretically, it is not necessary for men to choose to avoid individual business contacts with women, by applying the "Billy Graham Rules" and "Pence Rule" if they can do so without causing inconvenience. Foster could easily have suggested that he bring in a staff member from the campaign.

Instead, he chose to impose a burden on a journalist. In the #MeToo era, it makes sense that men pay attention to "refraining from any appearance of irregularity," but it is possible to do so without depriving women of opportunities or their impose an additional burden.

Foster has shown sexism not in his rules of association with women, but in his refusal to bear the burden of his reign and to impose on a woman a burden that it does not have. would never have imposed on a man.

The bottom line for Foster and numbers like this is the following: if you want to meet a restrictive standard, it's up to you to make it work.

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