Cuomo’s “Apology”

     If you have not heard already, this past week there has been a developing story regarding the sexual harassment allegations against Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York state.  So far, three different women have bravely come forward to share their stories.  Not only do I wish to amplify the voices of said women, but I would also like to address Cuomo’s “apology” and how the rhetoric he used is exactly why survivors are hesitant to come forward, and how his words did not mean anything and showed no remorse.

    Cuomo’s ex-aide, Lindsey Boylan, has come forward and said that the governor kissed her on the lips without warning inside of his Manhattan office.  There was another instance while flying home on his jet from an event in western New York, he suggested to Boylan that they play strip poker.  These are just some of the many things he has said and done to her.  Unfortunately, he has created an uncomfortable and frightening work environment for her.  A health policy advisor and executive assistant to Cuomo, Charlotte Bennett, has reported that Cuomo asked her if she has ever been with an older man.  Bennett took this as Cuomo insinuating to sleep with her.  Cuomo also asked her many questions regarding her sexual life, and even relayed to her that the youngest he would be comfortable dating is twenty-two year olds.

    The governor’s reaction and response to these allegations is shameful.  The language he used shows that he does not fully understand the depth of his actions and that he only cares to protect his reputation.  He claimed that they were just “jokes” and he “never intended” to make these women feel uncomfortable.  His “apology” was basically “Sorry I made you feel that way,” which is the absolute worst type of “apology”.  Here is a statement made by Cuomo, and hopefully it will show you how much of a literal bully he is:

    “At work sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good natured way.”

     Note in this statement the use of the word “may”.  Another one of Cuomo’s responses was, “I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal.”  He is not addressing the full severity of his actions and statements by using this simple, little word.  Cuomo also stated that his advances were “misinterpreted as unwanted flirtation.”  How dare he say that his blatant acts of unprofessionalism were “misinterpreted”.  These are the tactics of abusers and manipulators.  Cuomo’s refusal to resign shows his hunger and need for power, which is exactly why he is unfit to be in this position of power.