Cuomo – “Eat the Whole Sausage” vs “Kiss [my Penis]”; Not All Sex Talk Constitutes Illegal Sexual Harassment
Cuomo Asks A Female Reporter To Eat The Whole Sausage
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 2, 2021) - The New York Post just posted a video showing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo challenging a female reporter at a dinner to "eat the whole sausage" in an article suggesting that his words constitute "sexual harassment," or at least support other allegations against him of sexual harassment.
Indeed, it includes a quote saying "it’s almost like he’s sexually harassing her in front of everybody," notes public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who has won over 100 legal cases of sex discrimination against women.
But Banzhaf - whose legal complaints forced the Cosmos Club to begin admitting women, The Citadel to admit its first female cadet, and the Congress to construct a restroom just off the House floor for female legislators - wonders of such conduct actually comes anywhere near meeting the legal definition of sexual harassment, especially in light of an earlier case likewise involving a governor.
Bill Clinton Had A Young Female State Employee Brought To His Room
In that case then-governor Bill Clinton allegedly had a young female state employee brought to a hotel room by a law enforcement officer. Then, according to the court opinion, in the private hotel room with no one else present, "he put his hand on her leg, started sliding it toward her pelvic area, and bent down to attempt to kiss her on the neck, all without her consent." Then he "lowered his trousers and underwear, exposed his penis (which was erect) and told [her] to 'kiss it.'"
Based upon these facts, the court held that Clinton's behavior did not constitute sexual assault, intentional infliction of severe emotional distress ["outrage"], or sexual harassment.
With regard to the sexual assault, it ruled:
"While the Court will certainly agree that plaintiff's allegations describe offensive conduct, the Court, as previously noted, has found that the Governor's alleged conduct does not constitute sexual assault. Rather, the conduct as alleged by plaintiff describes a mere sexual proposition or encounter, albeit an odious one, that was relatively brief in duration, did not involve any coercion or threats of reprisal, and was abandoned as soon as plaintiff made clear that the advance was not welcome. The Court is not aware of any authority holding that such a sexual encounter or proposition of the type alleged in this case, without more, gives rise to a claim of outrage."
With regard to the argument that Clinton's conduct at least amounted to sexual harassment, the female judge ruled:
"Plaintiff certainly has not shown under the totality of the circumstances that the alleged incident in the hotel and her additional encounters with Ferguson and the Governor were so severe or pervasive that it created an abusive working environment. . . . While the alleged incident in the hotel, if true, was certainly boorish and offensive, the Court has already found that the Governor's alleged conduct does not constitute sexual assault. This is thus not one of those exceptional cases in which a single incident of sexual harassment, such as an assault, was deemed sufficient to state a claim of hostile work environment sexual harassment. (supervisor called plaintiff a "dumb bitch" and "shoved her so hard that she fell backward and hit the floor, sustaining injuries from which she has yet to fully recover")."
Victim States That She Was Not "Harassed"
In stark contrast, the videotaped situation involving Cuomo involved a dinner sausage on a roll rather than an erect penis, the alleged victim was not an employee who could be fired or even demoted by Cuomo, the event occurred and was videotaped in a large public dining room in front of many guests, and, most remarkably, the alleged victim has stated publicly that she was not “harassed.”
While many people can have different opinions regarding the words and other conduct of New York's governor, and what if anything should be done under the circumstances, many in the media and others should take care in using the words "sexual harassment" - a legal term with a defined meaning - which does not always equate to what the judge in Clinton's case termed "odious" "boorish and offensive" behavior, suggests Banzhaf.