Los Angeles, CA- San Diego’s sexual scandal plagued mayor won’t be performing the “Filner dance” at the military awards ceremony next month. Mayor Bob Filner was scheduled to be a honored at a benefit for victims of sexual assault hosted by the National Women Veterans Association of America.
The Democrat served as a California Representative between 1993 and 2013 until he was elected Mayor of San Diego. While he was on Capitol Hill, Filner served as the chairman of the House’s Armed Services Committee for four years and advocated for women veterans. Because of his work on the committee, he was due to be receive a “lifetime of leadership awards,” but the women’s veteran group will no longer be giving him that honor.
Although he get an award, Finer will still deliver the keynote address at the event which will take place in late August. The event Filner will be speaking at event to bring attention to “military sexual assault, sexual harassment and violence against women and children.”
In a statement the group said, “Due to the recent events of allegations of sexual harassment, admission of inappropriate behavior by the Mayor and his personal cry for help, National Women Veterans Association of America has removed the mayor from being honored at the benefit gala to support the Military Sexual Assault Community.” Adding, “He is now the keynote speaker on these injustices,” the Huffington Post reported.
This is a head scratcher, a “Really?” moment, especially in light of the accusations he is facing.
Filner really loves the ladies a little too much and that is clear since the Mayor is accused of making repeated sexual advances towards his female staffers. These advances often escalated into groping and forcible kisses. Filner even once suggested to a member of his staff that women in City Hall would “work better with their panties off.”
His behavior was so pervasive women called the 70 year-old lawmaker a “dirty old man” and referred to his habit of cornering women as the “Filner dance” or the “Filner headlock.”
A group of three former supporters of Filner were so outraged by his behavior they called him out for the sexual harassment, and asked him to resign on the steps of City Hall. The saga continued this week when the supporters including prominent Democrat Donna Frye and attorney Mark Gonzalez released details of the Filner’s harassment.
Even though Filner, who is a self-professed “hugger,” admits to acting inappropriately with staff members, he refuses to resign, confident that an investigation will exonerate him.
Filner’s scandal is deliciously ironic, journalistic gold, and actually very sad when you take into consideration the problem the military has had with sexual assault and harassment. The military has been characterized as kind of obtuse when it comes to this issue.
The National Women Veteran Association president Tara Jones said, “We do not tolerate sexual discrimination at any level within our society.” Military brass says this as well and yet sexual assault and harassment among their ranks is rife and problematic. Perhaps, the women’s veteran group would be able to better prove their intolerance of inappropriate sexual conduct by finding a keynote speaker who is not accused that very behavior.