One of these two comments is not like the other one:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren didn’t wait long at Tuesday’s debate before challenging former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg on his history with women.
The senator told a story she’s told before — that at the age of 21, she lost her job after her boss discovered she was pregnant.
But this time, she added something else: “At least I didn’t have a boss who said to me, ‘Kill it,’ the way that Mayor Bloomberg is alleged to have said.”
She was talking about allegations by Sekiko Sakai Garrison, a former employee at Bloomberg’s company, Bloomberg LP. In a 1998 lawsuit, Garrison said that when she told Bloomberg she was pregnant, he told her to “kill it.”
When Garrison asked him to repeat himself, he said it again: “kill it.” Then, according to her suit, he mumbled, “Great! Number 16!” — a reference to the number of women at his company who were pregnant or on maternity leave.
Bloomberg has denied the allegation, and he denied it again Tuesday night, saying, “When I was accused of doing it, we couldn’t figure out what she was talking about.” But earlier this month, another former Bloomberg employee, David Zielenziger, told the Washington Post that he also heard the comment.
“I remember she had been telling some of her girlfriends that she was pregnant,” Zielenziger said. “And Mike came out and I remember he said, ‘Are you going to kill it?’ And that stopped everything. And I couldn’t believe it.”
The first comment is “You should – must perhaps – have an abortion.” The second comment is “Are you going to have an abortion?”
That second might be more than a little blunt but it’s not actually an illegal insistence nor even an unusual one. The same question will be answered by asking “When will you be wanting maternity leave?” for if the answer is “I won’t” then the question is answered, isn’t it?
It being worth noting that if a moveable event like maternity leave is to exist – as it should – then asking whether and when it will exist is an entirely legitimate, even necessary, question.