Mike the Mad Biologist

Are There Any Grownup Male Congressmen?

Nope. There must be something in the water in the mens’ bathroom in the House of Representatives:

Congressman Bill Young (R-FL), the second ranking Republican on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, is in Italy this week on a congressional delegation. A funny thing happened to the female Foreign Service Officer who organized Young’s entire trip, and was supposed to travel with him to two Italian cities (in addition to Rome). The “control officer,” as her job is called, got removed from her job handling the congressman’s trip. Why? Because, my source tells me, his wife doesn’t permit women to staff the congressman.

Actually, ‘staffing’ works the other way around, but Republicans have a tendency to get confused about things biological (drum roll, please). Seriously, I don’t get this. I have many female colleagues, and I don’t sit there in meetings thinking, “Ok, to solve this problem, we should…ZOMG!!! BOOBIES!!” It’s like they’re all twelve years old. There are also possible legal issues involved too:

This is America in 2011. We don’t get to yank women, especially government employees, off of their jobs because the guy they’re working with may be a perv (or because the wife may be unreasonable). That’s the guy’s problem, not the woman’s. (Would they do this to an African-American FSO if the wife didn’t like non-white people working with the husband?) And I’d submit that this might even be a violation of the executive branch’s EEO policy with regards to discrimination based on gender. They can’t remove a woman, who works for the executive branch, from a project because of her gender, her race, or any other protected category.

More and more, Caligula’s horse is looking like a pretty attractive option….

Comments

  1. #1 Katharine
    June 12, 2011

    We don’t have any grown-up Congresspeople.

    Frankly, we should get a supply of 535 diapers and mail them to Congress; one for each congressperson.

  2. #2 albanaeon
    June 12, 2011

    We should just rename it “Wonderland” and get it over with. At least then we’d know what to expect.

  3. #3 Vicki
    June 13, 2011

    The amount of fail there is impressive. In addition to the discrimination issues, which I think you’ve covered, if that Congressman’s wife thinks what she’s doing is going to stop him from cheating, she’s dreaming. They’re going to Italy, not an uninhabited island. And what does she think happens when he’s not traveling?

    A Congressman who wants to be monogamous will be. For the others, “don’t let him work with women” might reduce the risks of a sexual harassment suit, but it’s not going to make them monogamous.

    [As a meta note, there might be grown-up men in Congress, but how would we know? At some point we start assuming that there are the guilty, the ones who haven’t been caught yet, and maybe a few single, divorced, or widowed men who can’t be cheating. Though the problem in many of these cases isn’t that they’re “cheating,” it’s how they’re treating the women they aren’t partnered with.

  4. #4 Vicki
    June 13, 2011

    Oh, I put “cheating” in quotes because in a lot of these cases, monogamy in marriage really isn’t the issue, and because in a lot of cases we have no way of knowing whether it is. It’s pretty clear that this guy’s rules/expectations include “you will not have sex with other people” and probably also rule out flirting, but porn in the hotel room at night? Harms nobody, not my business, and I don’t know whether she’d be upset, or figure it kept him out of trouble, or just not care. (And in the Weiner case, if a man is harassing women, whether some other woman objects isn’t the point.)

  5. #5 jaxkayaker
    June 14, 2011

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m confident that the administrative branch’s EEO rules are irrelevant to the legislative branch.

  6. #6 Paul Murray
    June 14, 2011

    “A Congressman who wants to be monogamous will be.”

    Humans are not naturally monogamous. It;’s that simple. We instinctively want to spread our genes around. Men want to “staff” everything in a skirt. Women (who bear the burden of pregnancy) want to acquire a reliable provider and carer and then get themselves pregnant to a series of masculine bad-boys.

    Most people don’t live like this, but to do so is an instinctive urge. There’s nothing non-grownup or twelve-year-old about it.

  7. #7 Courtney Pike
    June 14, 2011

    “Most people don’t live like this, but to do so is an instinctive urge. There’s nothing non-grownup or twelve-year-old about it.”

    If one does wish to live like this, it’s rather simple to just not get married.