Alleged words target lesbians, female victims of sexual assault
NASHUA – “Here is a REAL woman, not one of those ‘I’m a victim’ feminist-lesbos who go to a man’s hotel room for an ‘interview,’ than (sic) file a phony sexual harassment lawsuit.”
That’s a direct post from Board of Aldermen candidate Fred Teeboom’s Facebook page, a page Teeboom on Friday acknowledged to The Telegraph is his, but says he does not remember making the post in question.
“Somebody else must have done that,” Teeboom said Friday afternoon. “Sounds like a fake post to me.”
He had not deleted the post as of presstime Friday night.
A screenshot of the post from Teeboom’s page was uploaded in reply to a comment on The Telegraph’s Facebook page in which a story about Teeboom and opponent Ben Clemons were profiled in their race for Nashua’s open Board of Alderman seat.
The Telegraph reached out to Teeboom to investigate the post’s validity. He acknowledged the post on his personal Facebook page dated Sept. 22 involved then Arizona U.S. Senate candidate Martha McSally, a Republican, who was at the time running for an open seat against Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. Teeboom appears to have shared a fundraising link for McSally, a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, and the slight appears to be against Sinema, who identifies as bisexual.
Sinema went on to narrowly defeat McSally in the contentious campaign, although McSally was subsequently appointed to Arizona’s other U.S. Senate seat due to the passing of longtime Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
Teeboom and Clemons also seek a seat vacated as the result of the passing of a longtime politician, after the death of Nashua Board of Alderman President Brian McCarthy. The race will be decided in a special election Tuesday. Both Teeboom and Clemons are previous aldermen, and they served together in that capacity from 2008-2010.
Since then, the city has enacted several measures to encourage nondiscrimination, and Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess expressed his outrage Friday at Teeboom’s comments.
“Women here have equal opportunity with men, and anyone like Mr. Teeboom who believes women shouldn’t have an equal opportunity to earn money, support their families and succeed in their career does not belong in city government, in my opinion,” Donchess said. “I don’t think it’s the kind of viewpoint we want in city government, to be blunt.”
This isn’t the first time Teeboom has come under fire for what some believe are sexist, homophobic remarks.
On Feb. 21, the League of Women Voters New Hampshire-Greater Nashua hosted a public meeting with both Teeboom and Clemons, at Nashua Public Library. During the event’s question-and-answer session, an unidentified man in the audience stood up, microphone in hand. He directed a question toward Teeboom, but not before reciting quotes from some of Teeboom’s past social media posts.
One of those quotes he read aloud was the “feminist-lesbos” remark. Teeboom did not deny the attribution.
This then set the stage for the man’s question, which was how Teeboom would define his existence as a “straight, good-looking male feminist.” Teeboom said he did not know what a feminist male was, while Clemons responded he was a male feminist, illustrating a difference in candidates’ perspectives.
On Friday, when asked, Clemons said Teeboom’s remark on Facebook is inappropriate and a shame.
“It’s unfortunate somebody as intelligent as Fred would say things like that because he has done some good things in our community, like for example the Holocaust Memorial,” Clemons said.
Teeboom grew up in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, and estimates he lost at least 75 members of his family during the Holocaust. However, he does not appear to apply the same point of understanding of the need for acceptance and safe existence for all, Clemons said, when it comes to women or those of a non-heterosexual orientation.
“But then you have such a hateful tone and rhetoric online, and other things – totally washes those good deeds away because people walk away with a bad taste in their mouth, and that stuff is never appropriate,” Clemons continued.
Donchess said the remark made on Teeboom’s Facebook page ridicules those who have been sexually harassed, both physically and verbally.
“As a lawyer who often represented sexual harassment victims, this is not the type of attitude that we need in city government,” Donchess said. “Sexual harassment is real, and many women have been subjected to it.”
He said the city does not discriminate based on sexual preference, and mentioned hosting the inaugural Pride Festival last summer.
Teeboom, meanwhile, said he “does not support that sort of celebration.” When asked about Nashua’s status as a Welcoming City and embracing initiatives such as the Pride Festival, Teeboom said he would advocate against them.
“You want to be gay, be gay,” Teeboom said. “You want to join the Army and now say that you’re gay in the Army, I’m against that.”
“Go to San Francisco and have a parade,” Teeboom added.
Donchess strongly disagrees, saying the Pride Festival was really good for Nashua and many participated, drawing people from inside and outside of the city. He said Teeboom’s attitude reflects a point of view that “should have been obsolete 50 to 100 years ago.”
Voting in the open alderman race will take place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at designated polling places in the city. The winner will fill the remainder of McCarthy’s unexpired term, which runs through Jan. 5, 2020.