US politician 'sexist' for refusing to work alone with female reporter

US politician 'sexist' for refusing to work alone with female reporter

A Republican candidate for governor of Mississippi, Robert Foster, has made a bizarre request by refusing to be interviewed by a female reporter unless there is a male chaperone present, the BBC reported.

The reporter, Larrison Campbell, had requested to "shadow" Foster on a 15-hour long campaign "ride-along" but was denied access unless she had a male colleague to accompany her.

CNN reported that the reason for this, Foster said, was because he was being attacked by the "liberal media" who had blackened his name during the campaign.

Foster also told the Associated Press he would not be alone with any other woman, other than his wife, in order to avoid any suspicion or accusation that he was not faithful in his marriage.

But what about women colleagues?

Foster and his wife run an agricultural tourism business in Mississippi, and had hired female staff, Time reported.

He said he would also hire women if he was elected as governor. Foster finds it unprofessional to work alone with a woman other than his wife.

The Guardian spoke to the female reporter who said she was "shocked" when Foster requested a male colleague to accompany them.

"It made me mad," she added.

"I'm showing up, I'm doing everything right, I'm trying to do my job, and you are sexualising me. How is that not sexist... That is sexism. We've got to talk about it."

Foster later spoke to the Guardian, saying "we just want it to be in an appropriate and professional setting that wouldn't provide opportunities for us to be alone".

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