Deanne Kloepfer: Criticizes Chelsea Kline for ‘self-serving stunt’

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Monday, June 04, 2018
Criticizes Chelsea Kline for ‘self-serving stunt’

Chelsea Kline, one of now six competitors for Stan Rosenberg’s vacated state Senate seat, did herself — but, most importantly, the #MeToo movement and well-meaning women and men everywhere — no favors when she turned a bad experience into a political stunt (“Senate hopeful calls out rival’s comments,” May 25).

It is not clear if Kline confronted David Murphy, the competitor she complains about, at the time and place of the inappropriate actions she describes. If she didn’t, she should have, telling him straight out, right then and there, that his comments and physical contact were unwelcome.

What is clear? Kline used social media to take a broad swipe at all males in the race when she blamed one of them for misbehaving and then did not name the culprit for several days. She said this was because the issue “is not about Murphy as an individual.” Instead, it is a “pervasive problem.”

It may well be a pervasive problem, but Kline is dead wrong in saying this isn’t about Murphy. It is. He is the person Kline says behaved badly. By not identifying him immediately in her social media posts, she aimed a scattergun blast calculated to demean and cast doubt on the integrity of all men in the race, who just happen to be the majority of the competitors. If that doesn’t aid the growing backlash against #MeToo and potentially hurt women candidates, I don’t know what does.

Kline said she didn’t mean to cast aspersions on the other competitors seeking the Senate seat she wants to claim as her own. If she means that, here’s a simple solution. She should post apologies to the other men in the race — on the same social media outlets she used to hint that all of them are capable of the behavior she finally accused Murphy of.

As a longtime supporter of female candidates in general, I am disappointed in Kline’s self-serving stunt. There is no excuse for it. In September, I hope voters remember what she did. I know I will.

Deanne Kloepfer