First Annual Bill Clinton Award for Feminist Achievement: Roberta Kaplan

Roberta Kaplan (Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Fortune)
December 28, 2021

For too long, the business of humiliating and undermining female victims of sexual misconduct was dominated by men. When attorney Roberta Kaplan and former Michelle Obama aide Tina Tchen founded Time's Up in 2018, many assumed its goal was to bolster the #MeToo movement, rather than destroy it. Few if any pundits believed the female-led group would eventually become the preeminent apologist for prominent Democrats accused of harassing and abusing women.

According to the New York attorney general's office, that's precisely what happened. Kaplan was one of the first people contacted by former governor Andrew Cuomo's (D., N.Y.) top aides after Lindsey Boylan, a former employee, accused the governor of sexual harassment in December 2020. Kaplan advised Cuomo's team regarding an op-ed the governor had written that, according to the attorney general's bombshell report, "denied the legitimacy of Ms. Boylan's allegations, impugned her credibility, and attacked her claims as politically motivated."

Cuomo, who was credibly accused of sexually harassing 11 women, resigned in disgrace on Aug. 10, 2021. Kaplan "reluctantly" resigned from Time's Up one day earlier, after a group of current and former staffers accused the group's leaders of "failing" sexual abuse survivors. Several weeks later, Tchen announced her resignation and, in effect, the end of the #MeToo movement as we know it.

More than five years have passed since Hillary Clinton's humiliating and hilarious defeat to Donald Trump. She (and all her supporters) had expected to win easily, which is why they chose a venue—the Javits Center in Manhattan—with an actual glass ceiling, and even planned to have confetti "shards" rain down on her after declaring victory.

Since then, the failed candidate has found comfort in blaming others as well as by insisting that her many failures have inspired other, more capable women to succeed in breaking glass ceilings of their own. For once in her life, Hillary might actually be onto something.

For shattering one of American society's most illusive glass ceilings and notching a momentous victory for gender equity, the Washington Free Beacon is honored to present Roberta Kaplan with the first annual Bill Clinton Award for Feminist Achievement.