By Julie Kushner
Recently it has been reported that state Sen. McLachlan worked behind-the-scenes to orchestrate the obstruction of Justice McDonald to the Chief Justice position on the court, and in those emails colorful language was used by his cousin and co-conspirator, Ian McLachlan, to describe state Rep. Livvy Floren as an “airhead.” This exchange is shocking.
I have agreed and disagreed with Representative Floren on a variety of issues, but I would never call her an “airhead” because I disagreed. Too often these types of attacks have been used to hold women back and to intimidate them into silence. This is not a partisan issue — it is an issue of right and wrong. Sen. McLachlan’s willingness to engage in this type of gratuitous attack on a distinguished woman in the legislature is appalling and is not acceptable in 2018.
Too many brave women have stepped forward as part of the #MeToo movement to allow for this type of boorish behavior to be used to advance an extreme political agenda.
I have spent a career making sure that women and men have protections from this type of abusive behavior and understand the importance for all of us to challenge it when we see or hear it. Silence is acquiescence. We deserve more from our legislators.
Sen. McLachlan owes an apology to Rep. Floren and to every woman who has ever been silenced, intimidated, or bullied for expressing an opinion that is different than men in power. A failure to do so is saying that it is ok.
Julie is a member of the Danbury Democratic Town Committee and is the Democratic candidate for State Senate in the 24th District.