(WND) While Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., is fighting for his political life following revelations that he and a wealthy donor are under FBI investigation for Dominican Republic trips the senator took on the eye doctor’s private plane as well as accusations he engaged in sex with under-age prostitutes while there, one prominent supporter has been conspicuously silent – his media-star daughter Alicia Menendez, a Democratic Party adviser.
Alicia Menendez is the former co-director of “The Vagina Monologues,” an episodic feminist play comprised of soliloquies read by women dealing with matters including sex, love, rape, menstruation, female genital mutilation, masturbation, birth, orgasm, the various common names for the vagina, or simply as a physical aspect of the body. She is a former Harvard gender studies major who is a host on “Huffpost Live” and a frequent guest on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.
Known for her outspokenness, even on matters involving her own prominent family, she once wrote that her “gringa” mother claimed to be Dominican in a past life.
Alicia Menendez’s mother, the former Jane Jacobsen, teaches sex education in the Union City school district. She and her former husband were divorced in 2005. The divorce documents are sealed.
Alicia Menendez came to fame for being a feminist. It was her 2005 senior thesis on gender studies that got her media attention; The New York Times and U.S. News and World Report gave her work mentions. The 87-page thesis, “To Whom Many Doors are Still Locked: Gender, Space, and Power, in Harvard Final Clubs,” decried a culture of male domination at the Ivy League school.
“Establishing yourself as a big man on campus is pretty formulaic, but there’s no such woman at Harvard who has done that to a positive capacity [sic],” Menendez told the student newspaper.
“The Harvard campus can be a very lonely place,” she explained. “And meeting beautiful, smart, socially adept women here is not an easy task.”
She was especially critical of Harvard’s men’s clubs, which she says relegated women to being “perpetually guests” on the campus social scene.
The thesis, obtained by WND through Harvard’s library, is focused on the injustice that the women’s clubs don’t have their own building.
“Tired of discussing the inequalities of ownership of space in private forums, it became my objective to examine the role of final club buildings and their implications for the men and women who are a part of the final club community,” she wrote in the introduction to her “ethnographic study.”
She added: “As a woman, as a feminist, as an ethnic minority … I recognize that I am not supposed to be a part of this supposed elitism, but I am,” she wrote.
As for her topic on “gendered power and social space,” she writes, “I did not choose this subject; it chose me.”
The feminist screed about the clubs includes buzzwords and phrases such as “male role models,” “homosocial legacies,” “male privilege,” “single-sex group identification,” “objectification,” and “Lolita fetishism.”
Alicia Menendez continued to write on gender issues after she graduated, ever quick to write on the latest political sex scandal. In 2008 she was fascinated by the prostitution story of former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
“As the updates streamed in, I got a good look at how the story was shaping,” she wrote at the time. “Eliot Spitzer did something very wrong but fairly ordinary: he hired a prostitute. It’s only so extraordinary because of who Eliot Spitzer is and what Eliot Spitzer purports to stand for.”
She remained fascinated by Spitzer’s sex scandal and others, even going so far as to write whimsical online advice for politicians going through them, titled “What to Do When Scandals Hit”:
“Admitting that you’ve done something wrong is the first step. If you’re there, that’s half the battle,” she wrote. After trying to find a true friend, she enumerated a few dos and don’ts. “Don’t give yourself room to lie (any more than you already have). Don’t rely on half truths. And please, please don’t over share.”
That post (and others like it) have been scrubbed from the website that she co-founded. Perhaps she’s trying to follow her own advice offered as a candidate’s daughter in 2008: “The cardinal rule for candidates’ children, whether they choose to hit the campaign trail or not, is the same: Don’t do anything stupid.”
Repeated attempts to reach Alicia Menendez by email and Twitter were unsuccessful.(MORE)