Sexism is an increasing problem in American society. It’s been around since our nation’s founding but it seems to be getting more and more vicious. Conservatives, or course, are the ones waging a brutal war on women in an effort to strip them of their reproductive rights. Women who stand up against this effort have become targets for male conservatives. For example, in the wake of her outstanding filibuster of a Texas abortion bill, state Senator Wendy Davis has been the victim of many personal attacks from her male Republican colleagues and Governor Rick Perry. But sexism isn’t just coming from national and state politicians, it’s coming from local ones as well.
Lonnie Cline is the police chief of Maynard, Arkansas, a conservative state that has also made it’s mark in the war on women. While on duty, Cline is required to wear a clip-on camera everyday to record police activities. On March 18th, Cline attended an official meeting with Maynard Mayor Gary Hart to discuss a city council voting issue regarding the employment of part-time officers. According to KAIT, that’s when Cline’s official camera caught Hart making an outrageous sexist remark allegedly aimed at three female members of the city council.
“If it’s got tits, you got problems,” Hart appears to say apparently unaware that every word is being recorded. “You know what I’m saying? At my house, maybe not yours, but at my house, if you got tits, you got problems. (laughing).”
Here’s the video via KAIT. The alleged remarks are several minutes into the recording
Understandably incensed, the city council is now calling for Hart to resign, but he refuses to do so. On top of that, a former female officer who was fired is now filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after viewing the video. Connie Cline is the wife of police Chief Lonnie Cline, and she now believes she was terminated as an officer because she is a woman and because she was the lone female officer in Maynard.
When asked by KAIT for a response, Mayor Hart dubiously claimed that he said “If it’s got tires and wheels it’s got problems.” Clearly, either everyone who has heard the recording needs to get their ears checked, or the Mayor is flat out lying in an effort to cover his rear.
“We don’t need somebody with that attitude and that outlook in any office,” Chief Cline told KAIT. “It’s a situation that’s going to just keep growing and snowball if something is not done.”
It’s hard to disagree with a police chief and three members of the city council. All of them obviously heard what Mayor Hart said on camera and it shocked and angered them enough to call for his resignation. But this is yet another example of how sexism has become a disease within American government and politics. Apparently, Mayor Hart doesn’t think very highly of women being on the city council and it’s clear he doesn’t have much respect for women in general. To him, women are problems that he is forced to deal with. Fortunately, as more and more women exercise their right to vote and get involved in politics and governing, sexists like Mayor Hart will find it nearly impossible to get elected in future elections.