When Scott Stringer first ran for comptroller in 2013, consent and sexual harassment were not the ruling feminist issues in democratic politics. Prostitution was much higher on the list: less than a decade ago, you could still campaign for office in New York City as an advocate of women’s rights while denying the rights and sovereignty of sex workers – by using them to turn your rival in Embarrassing. Ex-Governor Eliot Spitzer. Endeavoring to upset the public over Spitzer’s lack of “integrity”, Stringer slapped his chest like he would have fired the former prosecutor: “He couldn’t work in my office. ”
He could never run that race today as the decriminalization of sex workers has come to the fore as a labor and human rights problem for the left.
After # MeToo, sexual misconduct – especially in the workplace – is now the metric the mayor is hopefully confronted with. After a woman publicly stated 20 years ago that she had been forcibly touched by Stringer while she was an unpaid volunteer in his public lawyer campaign, much of his institutional and coalition support was gone within 48 hours.
Aside from the merits of claiming, swapping the roles of sex work and consent as disqualifying issues seemingly made 2021 and 2013 mirror images of each other.
In those heady days now, ashamed personalities like Harvey Weinstein and fashion photographer Terry Richardson attacked women at work, called it a day, and easily showed up at political fundraisers. While Weinstein’s robbery was still largely an open secret within Hollywood with no major public record, Richardson’s was well documented. Even so, Stringer was happy to take money from and images with Richardson, his press secretary’s boyfriend at the time. What we knew about his Exploits At that time, it would be completely disqualifying if a politician were remotely associated with him today.
Back in 2009, a writer named Ana described her experience of being photographed by Richardson in a letter to Jezebel: “I felt a cock press into the side of my face. Terry Richardson’s semi-hard penis was dipped into the outside of my cheek and he poked it in my face. “That same year, a 19-year-old model discussed her experience of being forced to give Richardson a ‘violent’ handjob on set in an interview with now-famous labor rights activist and model Sara Ziff for her documentary Imagine that. A subsequent story from 2010 in the New York Post cited a model detailing Richardson’s MO: “[He] takes young girls, manipulates them to undress, and takes photos of them that they will be ashamed of. They’re too scared to say no because their agency booked them for the job and they’re too young to stand up for themselves. “
Which didn’t stop Richardson from taking part in a fundraiser for Stringer’s Comptroller Run, where Lena Dunham – who always wanted to distinguish herself as a feminist icon – preached to the glittering crowd, someone with “a record of respecting women. “More has come to light since then, and Richardson has been largely blacklisted by his industry. Stringer stayed a mom and hoped all the mess in the niches of our Twitter-length memories would go away.