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Hypocrite Watch: NOW’s Kim Gandy Opines about Misogyny

Kim Gandy

Kim Gandy

Of course it has nothing to do with Obama, Favreau, or the shocking media misogyny that went on during the 2008 election season, but still…it’s something. MTV asked the President of NOW, Kim Gandy to explain why so many people–even women–are blaming pop singer Rihanna for getting beaten up by her boyfriend, R&B star Chris Brown.

The New York Daily News reports that Rihanna told police that the recent incident was not the first time Brown had physically abused her. Some background:

…the shocking fight that landed Rihanna in the hospital ignited when Brown got a suggestive text message from another young woman following a pre-Grammy party Saturday night.

“He got a booty call. He got a text. Rihanna saw it and she got upset. They started to argue. She got out of the car. He wanted her to get back in, so he grabbed her,” the well-placed music industry source said.

“She pulled away. That’s when she’s told people he hit her,” the source said.

Rihanna, 20, had “visible injuries” when cops arrived, and she’s been cooperating with the investigation while freezing out Brown, the source said.

When Rihanna gave him the cold shoulder, Brown’s friends passed along signs of remorse, saying the 19-year-old R&B sensation “feels very bad.”

Brown, meanwhile, is due for another interview with investigators building a case against her boyfriend. He was booked on suspicion of making criminal threats Sunday night and released on $50,000 bail.

According to TMZ’s review of the police report, Rihanna took the keys out of the ignition of the couple’s rented Lamborghini and enraged Brown when she “faked a call” to someone during the fight, saying something like “he’s dropping me off,” and “make sure the cops are there.”

That’s when Brown spat out, “I’m going to kill you,” TMZ reports, citing the police report.

Rihanna

Rihanna

MTV turned to Kim Gandy for an explanation of comments like these:

“I don’t think Chris would just a hit a girl like that,” wrote reader Nika2hot. “She had to do something or say something out the way for him to really hurt her.”

“Despite what we think, there are three sides to a story: his side, her side, and the truth. I don’t know what that is, because I was not there,” said MizDIva34.

“I don’t wanna believe all this …. Chris wouldn’t be that type of guy,” wrote jb&weezyfan. “Well he doesn’t seem like that type of guy … this kinda reminds me of the Michael Jackson case … Chris’ career may be ruined forever … just like Michael’s … sooo sad. I love all his songs. Well I’m still gonna support him. I just don’t believe it … until he says it ….. cause Rihanna is a ***** .. well she looks like one anyways.”

Gandy responded:

“Blaming the victim has gone on as long as I can remember, both in sexual assault and domestic violence,” said Kim Gandy, the president of NOW, the National Organization For Women. “When I started working on domestic-violence issues in the 1970s, women would not come forward because they knew they would be blamed, no matter how blameless they knew they were. Maybe they hadn’t ironed his shirt right, or burned the toast, or ‘done something’ to justify being beaten.”

Gandy said progress has been made since then, but the cycle of violence has continued, and in fact, has been on the upswing among teens over the past decade. “You hear teenagers now saying, ‘He roughs her up when she gets out of line, but that’s how he shows her he loves her.’ ”

Kim, thank you for speaking up about this. Now how about letting President Obama know that it’s not cool having a speechwriter who enjoys mocking the female Secretary of State? And how about explaining to your cronies at NOW that just because Sarah Palin is a Republican, that doesn’t mean she has to be demeaned and attacked in a misogynistic frenzy for daring to run for VP?

Maybe if you thought about this for about five minutes, you might make the connection between misogyny in the media and the White House and young girls somehow getting the message that violence against women is either OK or the woman’s fault. Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t all have to go back to the way things were in the ’70s? I have faith in you, Kim. You can figure this out.

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71 Responses

  1. How about if we just tell her to stop acting as though she speaks for us?

  2. SOD,

    Have you heard that Sarah Palin is now getting thousands of “thank you notes” from Planned Parenthood because someone had a campaign for donations in her name? It might have been better if they did in name of all the women’s groups who endorsed the misogynist in chief.

  3. That’s funny boomer!

  4. I’m so sick of them acting as though women should be so grateful.

  5. I had lost interest in NOW a number of years ago as they were becoming more and more ineffective, but when they didn’t speak up about the sexism and endorsed O over Hillary, that clinched it for me. I keep getting solicitations from them to join – and each time I write them a clear explanation about why I have no desire to join.
    I also keep getting solitications for membership in Emily’s list – they too are on my S list, so they also get little missives from me in each of their pre-stamped response envelopes.

  6. A lot of comments are coming off as “well, maybe Rihanna set him off, Chris is such a sweetheart…” BULL. Chris brown beat his mom in a hotel room a few months ago and the hotel room was trashed – no files were charged.

    And Kim Gandy said the right thing. No woman deserves to be abused, EVER.

    But by the same token, Gandy abused us during the primaries. She kept us in line by deciding who to endorse for her own career gain. And I’ll never EVER forgive her for that.

  7. I was hoping maybe I could attract Regency and LittleIsis with this post. They haven’t been around here lately. Truthfully, I don’t know who Rihanna and Chris Brown are, except they must be singers.

  8. SM,

    Of course she said the right thing, but why can’t she understand that if NOW is silent when the President and his chief speechwriter are misogynists, young women are going to get a very different message than the one she gave to MTV?

  9. On a “I’m-going-to-hell-for-this” note:

    Doesn’t Kim Gandy look like Tom Hanks in drag, a la Bosom Buddies in that photo above – well, when Tom hanks had hair???

    (ok, bring on the flame torches)

  10. bostonboomer, on February 12th, 2009 at 8:57 pm Said:

    SM,

    Of course she said the right thing, but why can’t she understand that if NOW is silent when the President and his chief speechwriter are misogynists, young women are going to get a very different message than the one she gave to MTV?

    Absolutely. It’s the whole “It’s ok if we do it to Hillary or Palin they are fair game – as long as it’s a woman that’s not cool.”

  11. BB: They both are very successful and very very good – Chris Brown can sing & dance his ass off and Rihanna is just LOVELY in everything she does. Songs & image is very contemporary and unique. My daughter and I love them both – and when they started going out, we were like giddy schoolgirls because they made such a cute couple.

  12. Holy Cow, SM, you’re right! We could submit their photos to that “separated at birth” thing.

  13. sm77
    On a “I’m-going-to-hell-for-this” note:
    Doesn’t Kim Gandy look like Tom Hanks in drag, a la Bosom Buddies in that photo above – well, when Tom hanks had hair???—\
    ————————————-

    I never noticed that before. You’re right.

  14. SM,

    I’ll have to check Rihanna out on you tube. I don’t patronize artists who beat up women, so I’ll pass on Chris Brown.

  15. SM,

    I think Tom Hanks was slightly more attractive, but there is a resemblance. I know, I’m going to hell too…

  16. Is Gandy still hoping to be appointed to that post? Because this sounds like she’s using MTV to vogue for the “deciders” and drum up some support from the younger fauxfeminist crowd.

    I sort of stumbled over the “as long as I can remember” wording because — maybe this is too nitpicky — sorry Kim, society has been blaming the victim forever. Everywhere, everytime. It didn’t just suddenly become a social phenomenon only when you happened to notice it.

  17. Oops, sorry for all the ital in that last comment, forgot to close my tags.

  18. OMG! NPR has asked Juan Williams not to identify himself as an NPR contributor when he appears on Fox News.

    http://mediamatters.org/countyfair/200902120010?show=1

    Williams’ crime? He criticized Michelle Obama.

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200901270002?f=s_search

  19. BB: Here’s one of my fave Rihanna songs “Take a bow”:

  20. BB: I saw that earlier today. Our local NPR station has been having their pledge drive all week and I just shake my head at the radio. They’re not getting my money this year.

  21. Williams called Michelle Obama “Stokely Carmichael in a designer dress.”

  22. I ABSOLUTELY AGREE “sm77”.
    What Kim Gandy needs to learn is :
    “All women deserve our support”. That does not mean that we have to agree with them politically. However, if a woman is being attacked overtly or in-overtly she needs us to stand with her.
    The Riahanna episode is just another one that will not go away until we all lock arms around her. Sadly, we missed it with Hillary; but never again should we allow this to happen.

  23. OMG SM – you’re absolutely right – she does look like Tom.

    I didn’t know who Chris Brown was either BB – I’d heard of Rihanna but never heard her sing.

  24. BB:

    Juan Williams said that?????

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!

    Isn’t she Ms. Mom-In-chief?

    Actually, I’d like to see more of Michelle’s active/smart side, not this I bake cookies & cupcakes image the campaign-mode presidency is trying to sell.

  25. SM,

    Follow the link I posted and you can watch the video.

  26. I wonder when the human race will ask Ann Coulter to stop claiming she is a member.

  27. I kind of like “shut up and drive”.

  28. Prolix,

    Ann Coulter? What did she do?

  29. Heehee, it’s not nice to make fun of the first lady-ee

  30. sm77, on February 12th, 2009 at 9:02 pm Said:

    BB: They both are very successful and very very good – Chris Brown can sing & dance his ass off …
    *************
    Well he needs to be dancing his ass off in prison

  31. Thanks for the video, SM. I prefer rock ‘n roll or blues. She does have a lovely voice though.

  32. tpt/ny, on February 12th, 2009 at 9:17 pm Said:

    I ABSOLUTELY AGREE “sm77″.
    What Kim Gandy needs to learn is :
    “All women deserve our support”. That does not mean that we have to agree with them politically. However, if a woman is being attacked overtly or in-overtly she needs us to stand with her.
    The Riahanna episode is just another one that will not go away until we all lock arms around her. Sadly, we missed it with Hillary; but never again should we allow this to happen.

    Precisely. Kim Gandy betrayed her NOW mission – to empower and help the equality cause for women.

    She abandoned her commitment to women when she endorsed Obama over a woman with a HUGE track record on defending women’s rights since the early 1970s.

    And NARAL is guilty of the same crime.

  33. BB- This drives me crazy. I went and listened to the cuts you provided. Mary Catherine Ham, whoever the hell she is, says about MO’s role : if you want to be an unpleasant, heavy-handed First Lady you will end up like Hillary Clinton”

    Why is it that Media Matters does not object to that language? It is almost as if criticizing Hillary is so hard-wired that no one even hears it any more.

  34. SHV – oh yeah, Chris Brown is going to court on March 5th.

    What’s sad about this is that he talked about how he grew up witnessing his mom be abused by his stepdad and was totally against misogyny on the Tyra Banks show.

    So much for that.

    Rihanna is filing charges and GOOD FOR HER. This wasn’t just a slap on the face. He punched her several times and strangled her until she was unconscious. He could’ve killed her.

  35. Honora, on February 12th, 2009 at 9:32 pm Said:

    BB- This drives me crazy. I went and listened to the cuts you provided. Mary Catherine Ham, whoever the hell she is, says about MO’s role : if you want to be an unpleasant, heavy-handed First Lady you will end up like Hillary Clinton”

    Honora, don’t you know that FLOTUS’ are supposed wear pink and host tea parties all day?

    /snark

  36. “Thanks sm”

  37. I’m very glad to hear that Riahanna is filing charges.
    The days of “but he loves me” have to be over, although I agree with riverdaughter that Obama’s ascension fuels a new ring a ding ding, hipster, best and brightest Mad Men era.
    But that will not stand.

  38. Domestic abuse is a messed up thing and it does seem that among teens there has lately been a lot more acceptance of violence or the threat of violence against girls than what I remember (though I might just have a bad memory)

  39. Honora,

    I missed that. That’s disgusting. Media Matters definitely fell down on the job this year. They did report on some of the anti-Hillary stuff, but not consistently.

  40. Is Confluencian’s Say on tonight?

  41. I’m posting this again in case anyone missed it:

    OT — I created an easier to play Oscar Pool. Everyone on TC is invited. Please go here:

    http://funofficepools.com/joinpool.php?Pool_ID=oscar09

    Name of the pool is : The Confluence Oscar Pool
    Password is: oscar

    You will have to create an account. But this is a much, much easier one to play than the one on the official Oscar’s site. Pat J, Jadzia sign up & everyone else too!!

    Pat J — I signed you up & made your picks as specified — your user name & password are both Pat J so you can make changes.

  42. I don’t know, KB.

  43. Angie, thanks for reposting. I’ll join up (after the show if it’s on)

  44. FLOTUS’ are supposed wear pink and host tea parties all day?

    I don’t have a problem with a Presidential Spouse being active and involved in an administration.

    But if they’re gonna play in the game, they are open for criticism just like any other member of the team.

    Laura Bush stayed on the sidelines, Hillary didn’t.

  45. Kim Gandy’s answer as to this issue was fine EXCEPT that she forgot to add:

    “With what we saw happen during the primary to Hillary Clinton & Sarah Palin it is no wonder that people would have such f*cked up reactions to a man beating a women. After all, for more than a year the msm, Obama, the DNC and at least 52% of this country figuratively beat up those two women and were either silent or actively rejoicing in it and, ultimately endorsed it.”

  46. I have a problem with the presidential spouse being involved in the administration, the chief problem being that we didn’t elect him/her

  47. Katiebird – YES, please call in! I’m on hold

  48. As a Domestic Violence Victims advocate it is APPALLING how the media and general public:

    1. Believe the “its her fault” “she’s a scorned woman/ bunny boiler/ hell hath no fury” b.s. And they churn it out over & over. When I hear it – I know SOMEONE’S LYIN’

    2. Fall into the BLAME THE VICTIM crap (i see this every day when families blame their ‘loved ones’ for getting involved ‘with him in the first place’ – these people know NOTHING about trauma bonding, psychopathic luring, etc.
    http://www.feminist.com/resources/ourbodies/viol_blame.html

    Rihanna is 20, Brown is 19 – Rihanna is a bloody mess and Brown is saying ‘you will all know what she is soon.’

    HELLO???? I have had this done to me. I see controlling jealous men do it over & over & over.

    Remember BRUCE PARDO? He was like this.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/12/30/national/main4691275.shtml?source=mostpop_story

    PETER COOK. He was like this.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2008/10/07/2008-10-07_peter_cook_its_christie_brinkleys_fault_.html

    And BLAGOJEVICH and his “I am the real victim here
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090124/ap_on_re_us/illinois_governor

    It’s called BLAME SHIFTING & destructive narcissists do it ALL THE TIME to the point where most people ACTUALLY BELIEVE IT.

    A common bully tactic. It goes right along with changing the subject and making accusations. As long as he can somehow make you believe that it was all your fault, he’s off the hook and you’re either left wondering what just hit you or you’re falling over yourself (and him) to make it up to him. If you go for the latter option, there is a good chance that he will milk it for all it’s worth.

    It’s not always your fault though. It could be his boss, the clerk at the grocery store, the bank teller, the guy who cut him off on the freeway, a lack of sleep, a worrying situation … anyone or anything at all as long as it’s not him.

    Blame shifting is not always obvious because it is not always directly linked to the situation at hand. For example, you complain that he’s been touchy and short with you for over a week. A direct blame shift would be to say something like, “that’s because you didn’t fetch my suit from the cleaners last Tuesday”. You were the cause and you’re getting the consequence. It’s an inappropriately extended punishment, but at least there’s a straight line relationship between the two things.

    With an oblique response, he could have said something like, “well, I blew my job interview on Wednesday.” Now you are meant to take up the delightful task of extricating from him exactly why he believes he blew the interview, which at the end of a two hour session will come down to the fact that he felt uncomfortable because he could not wear his favourite suit …. Because you never fetched it from the cleaners.” If subtlety is his strength and he knows that it works on you, he would have stopped at the point of not being able to wear his favourite suit and left you to come to your own guilty conclusion as to whose fault that was.

    Either way he wins. If nobody in the situation is to blame, then there is no way to resolve the problem. If you are to blame, then you must fix it. As for him, he is just an innocent victim and utterly blameless, therefore unable to do anything at all to find a solution, but totally justified in being a sod.

    Chris Brown – I hope you land in jail.

  49. There is no excuse for anyone in a relationship to hit anyone ever. I’m glad that rihanna is leaving him and filing charges.

    As for Kim Gandy I could care less than less what she has to say. That’s what happens when you cherrypick which women deserve your support. I tune you out.

  50. Myiq said:

    I don’t have a problem with a Presidential Spouse being active and involved in an administration.

    But if they’re gonna play in the game, they are open for criticism just like any other member of the team.

    Laura Bush stayed on the sidelines, Hillary didn’t.

    It looks like Michelle is trying to have it both ways.

  51. Angienc — I did sign up.

    Topic? Kim Gandy and NOW can kiss my a**. Where the hell were they six months ago? Oh yeah, on Team B0.

  52. the chief problem being that we didn’t elect him/her

    We don’t elect Cabinet and staff either. But we know who the spouse is ahead of time and if we have a problem with that person being in the POTUS inner circle then we should vote accordingly.

  53. true we don’t elect the cabinet, but constitutionally at least there is a pseudo -check on them from Congress

  54. but constitutionally at least there is a pseudo -check on them from Congress

    When’s the last time Congress rejected a staff appointee?

  55. you’re right – they never do, which bugs me. The Congress of the United States has over and again given away their power to the Executive Branch

  56. SM, it was fun — wasn’t it?

  57. It’s always fun!

    I love to hear you & BB & RD & everyone who calls in.

  58. The only reason Gandy is speaking out about this is because it is public. How often every day in every city and state does this happen and she was silent.
    The music and video games and movies all teach the young it is ok to be violent to one another. Where is her voice about that.
    This election taught the young it is ok to be violent to one another. The caucasus, Obermann’s statements, the threat of blood in the streets if backtrack did not get elected.
    We are becoming a third world country where human life has little value. If we do not teach the young to respect and value themselves, who will?

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE, MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS, AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  59. Why am I in moderation?
    I don’t think I insulted spammy.

  60. bb: where are Regency & Little Isis? Did they leave for a reason or are they just occupied? I love the little ones!

  61. fif,

    I don’t think they have left. Regency has commented recently, in fact, she post in the latest thread. But I haven’t seen Little Isis for awhile. It’s almost midterms though.

  62. If Kim Gandy were a cook .. she would be the one preparing the romantic dinner of chocolate covered vegetables … she just doesn’t get it ..

  63. I never heard the name Gandy during the primaries when she allegedly endorsed Hillary. The first time I saw her name in print was when she tagged on to the discussion about sexism we PUMAs forced on the DNC when she said “We’ll have to remain alert because of Michelle”

  64. Barbara, I do advocacy work against workplace bullying. I have seen targets called bullies by their bullies. Blameshifting is right. Thank you for all you said.

    The Bush admin were overt bullies who looked like the thugs they were. Obama’s admin doesn’t look thuggish–narcissists like Obama charm. Then when they beat up someone, people say, “She deserved it.” We just saw David S. go off on a tantrum about Obama being great and how terrible Hillary would have been–as if the present failures of the admin are somehow still the fault of us Hillary hags. And you can bet if Obama doesn’t do well, he will shift the blame to someone. But he also likes to demean by stealth.

    Kim Gandy should recognize the signs of narcissistic abusers. They are always more dangerous than the brutes.

  65. ” I don’t know if Sarah Palin is or isn’t a feminist. I don’t feel much about her one way or another. I didn’t vote for her.

    I do know she’s a self made woman Gov. who, unlike so many successful male politicians, created her own successes through hard work, street smarts and a can do attitude.

    She’s mocked, not as a conservative or feminist, but as a woman of a certain class. The type of class the Masters of the Universe always look down upon. You see, she’s not the right kind of people. And she’s a woman. And so she’s targeted for on-going ridicule, even after she’s left the national stage.

    That sucks.”
    Gayle

    BTW –
    It must be horrible to be 20 years old and in the middle of an abusive relationship. I hope that Rihanna gets counselling.

  66. I agree, OG. I didn’t agree with many of Palin’s positions, but I still admired her as a strong, self-made, “can do” woman. Frankly, I think Hillary did too, in private. Hard to explain, really.

    BUT, I especially despised “cool” men like Bill Mahr (who likes to date Black Playboy centerfolds, with no interest in marriage or commitment) ridiculing Palin ……..for the very reason you described.

    Her CLASS.

    And Kim Gandy’s playing along with that meme from the Blogger Boyz made me even angrier.

    Good post. Thanks for getting to the point.

    Re Rihanna: I don’t know her, but I DO hope she gets a phone call/conversation from Tina Turner.

    He ain’t worth it, Rihanna.

  67. Mary “He ain’t worth it, Rihanna.”

    Damn skippy he ain’t worth it. His career is over anyway. We do not appreciate our divas being mistreated and disrespected.

  68. Did MS Gandy have anything to say about president precious’s choice of “I have 99 problems but the bit*h ain’t one” during a victory party? NO? Really, why not?
    What’s up with that MS Gandy?

  69. Bosom Budies, lol

  70. What happened to Rhianna is sick! Both the actual abuse from Chris Brown and the vile comments people have made about her deserving it!

    And I agree that at least Gandy is saying something … But, She needs to emphasize that violence is a LEARNED behavior, and Brown did not do this in a vacuum… he learned it… from his peers, relatives, the media, and society!

    She seems to have lost the big picture here and the opportunity to teach it. It’s a time to teach everyone that both women and men are the victims of a misogynist society. This was totally lost during the election of the Misogynist in Chief.

  71. “I don’t think Chris would just a hit a girl like that,” wrote reader Nika2hot. “She had to do something or say something out the way for him to really hurt her.”

    This stroy is starting to grade my nerves.

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