New York Senate DebateJust when you didn't think anything could be more inappropriate than Pizza Hut trying to sneak an advertising gimmick into the presidential debate, America's Fifty Shades of Grey obsession has reared its ugly head. E.L. James' erotic novel cropped up during the New York Senate debate this week. You know, the debate between Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and her challenger, Wendy Long ... two women.

Apparently if you can't put 'em in a binder, you slap some handcuffs on women and throw 'em in a red room of pain.

The question came in the midst of a lighting round of questions for the two Senate candidates. Sadly for womankind, it even came courtesy of another woman, Liz Benjamin, the host of Capital Tonight on TV station YNN. Check it out:

Benjamin looks particularly uncomfortable asking the question, which makes me want to give her a pass ... it was obviously forced on her ...

But the fact is, it was still asked, during what should have been a debate about the important issues facing New Yorkers and the nation. Bringing E.L. James' novels into the room belittled both Long -- to whom the question was directed -- and Gillibrand. Meant to elicit absolutely zero information that can help a voter shape his or her opinion, the question was meaningless at best, sexist at worst.

Asking these women about Fifty Shades implies that A) Female candidates should be expected to waste their time on silly questions. B) Voters don't really want to hear about issues like natural gas drilling or the economy from female candidates. C) Female candidates' sex lives are appropriate fodder for public consumption.

Can you imagine that sort of question being lodged at a male candidate? At President Obama or Mitt Romney? Even at a male Senate candidate? 

Do you think this question was sexist or just plain stupid?

 

Image via PoliticsBuzz/YouTube