Sen Thielen: Hanabusa Women Silent in Face of Real Discrimination
News Release from Sen Laura Thielen, July 26, 2018
...What do I think about some women legislators claiming Gov. Ige's statement to Hanabusa that "Criticism isn't leadership" is sexist.
Here's what I think:
Women in Hawaii face real discrimination. But Governor Ige’s statement to Congresswomen Hanabusa saying “Criticism isn’t leadership” isn’t discrimination. It’s a fair statement for one candidate to make about another in a political race.
Several of the leaders stepping forward to accuse Ige of discrimination today were deafeningly silent several months ago, when a prominent legislator was accused of sexual harassment and ultimately resigned office. They did not demand action to protect women; they did not demand Legislative policies on harassment be changed to protect victims of harassment; they provided vapid excuses for silence and delay.
Several of these leaders were unwilling to take strong action to force the DOE to address years of failure to comply with Title IX and to provide girls with equal opportunities and facilities. Instead they point to a toothless bill which outlines aspirations, but is intentionally unenforceable.
Several of these leaders sat by as our signature bill to reduce domestic violence and protect women and girls from serious injury was killed in committee.
I have refrained from making any public statements about this Governor’s race. But I can’t refrain from saying how bitterly disappointed I am to see some of these leaders speaking out now in what appears to me to be purely a political agenda, given how they would not speak or act when it would have made a real difference for women and girls in our state.
I invite these leaders to use their voices now and next legislative session to end discrimination, harassment, and violence against women. Let’s get meaningful laws enacted to eliminate domestic violence, end gender pay inequity; have family leave; and punish sexual harassment, even in our own offices. And while we’re at it, let’s push the House Speaker, Senate President, and every candidate, to appoint more women to Boards and Commissions. We have a lot of work to do in our own chambers, because our Legislative appointment record is nothing to be proud of.