More men than women protested state Sen. Marty Golden’s panned “feminine presence” seminar on Tuesday — even though it had been cancelled weeks earlier — claiming that the five-term legislator has an antiquated outlook on gender roles.
Holding signs reading, “The Golden Rule: Discriminate” protestors outside of Golden’s Fifth Avenue office — 10 men and eight women according to our count — said that the legislator’s proposed taxpayer-funded seminar where women were invited to learn how to “sit, stand, and walk like a model” and “walk up the stairs elegantly” proves that he’s completely out of touch with his female constituents.
“If Marty Golden wanted to help women or anyone else in today’s economic climate, he should have organized a seminar to help with resume writing, networking or job interview training,” said Jeannie May, treasurer of the Bay Ridge Democrats Club. “Instead he wants to teach women how to walk and up down a staircase.”
Most said they were insulted by Golden’s tax-payer funded seminar, especially since Golden failed to pass the Fair Pay Act in Albany, a bill that would guarantee equal wages for male and female state employees.
Other protestors were simply showing support for the women in their lives.
“My girlfriend came out for the protest,” said Chris McCreight, campaign manager for Golden’s democratic opponent, Andrew Gounardes, who also made an appearance at the protest. “She’d kill me if I didn’t come.”
He closed his office for the day before the 6:30 pm rally, so neither the senator nor any of his staff saw any of the protestors.
Yet the Senator said he was happy that his opponents were focusing on what he considers a non-story.
“I hope they spend a whole lot of time on it,” Golden told Capital New York earlier this week, adding that his constituents cared more about issues like jobs, education, and transportation than his seminar gaffe.
Despite the protests, some thought the class would have helped Bay Ridge women become more ladylike.
“Nine times out of 10 young women are going to be interviewing in front of a male, and they need to know how to sit,” said Arlene Keating, executive secretary of he Bay Ridge Community Council. “What’s the big brouhaha about?”