“You’re damned if you speak up, damned if you shut up.” Those are the words of Karen Hinton, author of “Penis Politics: A Memoir of Women, Men and Power” and the March 10, 2022, guest on MFP Live. She may not be a household name here in her home state, but in the political world of New York and Washington, D.C., she’s made quite a name for herself.
In her book, the former communications professional, for high-profile men like Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio, talks about the abusive and inappropriate language and treatment she witnessed from her front-row seat to male power in the United States.
“I wish that the women of a generation ago—my women friends and I—had found enough courage to believe in ourselves and speak up in a world in which we would be believed,” she writes. In the book, she tells specific stories of what she witnessed and heard.
Hinton, who grew up in the tiny Jones County town of Soso, will talk about her book and her experiences with Publisher Kimberly Griffin and Editor Donna Ladd on MFP Live on Thursday, March 10, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. central time on both Facebook and YouTube.
The Mississippi woman got her start in politics close to home, as press secretary on the congressional campaign of former Mississippi Congressman and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy. From there she went on to build a career that included serving in the Clinton administration as press secretary to Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo, and later as press secretary to New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio.
Along the way, Hinton learned first-hand how difficult the path to the top can be for a woman in a political culture traditionally dominated by men. More than once she saw her career derailed because of her refusal to stay silent about the bad behavior of powerful men.
The determination that caused her to speak up against abuses of power again served her well when, at the height of her career, a freak accident on a treadmill left her in a coma, fighting for her life. The traumatic brain injury that resulted from the accident incapacitated Hinton to the extent that she had to learn to walk and speak again.
To learn more about Karen Hinton and what she has to say about being a woman in the world of politics, tune in to MFP Live this Thursday, March 10, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. central on the Mississippi Free Press’ Facebook page or YouTube channel.
This MFP Voices essay does not necessarily represent the views of the Mississippi Free Press, its staff or board members. To submit an essay for the MFP Voices section, send up to 1,200 words and factcheck information to [email protected] We welcome a wide variety of viewpoints.