Penis Politics: A Memoir of Women, Men & Power

by Karen Hinton

Penis Politics: A Memoir of Women, Men & Power offers an insider’s view of what it’s like to be a woman in the newsroom, the halls of Congress and the highest reaches of American political power through the eyes of Karen Hinton, a colorful and outspoken former journalist, political operative and seasoned media professional.

Hinton writes of the toxic brew of ego, entitlement, power, testosterone and “bro culture” in politics that is especially difficult for women to negotiate. She spells out through compelling storytelling how powerful men in politics often create a public image as a champion of women’s rights and equality. Behind closed doors, they use gender domination to assert their power over women.

Hinton has created a rich story of women’s lives told through a lifetime of experience learning to navigate men and power in the classroom, the bedroom and the office. The book opens with a sexual trauma that affects a close-knit group of girlfriends in rural Mississippi in the 1970s and traces Hinton’s emergence as a journalist and an ambitious press secretary in Washington D.C. and New York. Hinton finds herself encountering men of enormous power and adolescent weakness: evading Bill Clinton’s humiliating pickup attempt, navigating a tumultuous relationship with Southern writer Willie Morris, dragging highly-acclaimed author Bill Styron dead drunk out of her VW bug, and ultimately her headline-grabbing confrontations with former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The book follows on the heels of Hinton’s widely read op-ed coining the term “penis politics” to describe how powerful men assert control over women in a vulnerable or subordinate position and the wide media attention Hinton received over her revelations of Andrew Cuomo’s sexual politics.

Though readers will encounter dark moments, Penis Politics also is infused with funny, laugh-out-loud moments involving sharply drawn depictions of vivid characters and public figures.

Throughout this vibrant memoir, Hinton shows how this culture shapes how girls and women view themselves and their options, as they build a trusted coterie of girls and women around themselves to thrive or simply to survive. “You’re damned if you speak up and damned if you shut up,” says Hinton, who chooses to speak up loud and clear in Penis Politics.

Penis Politics is published by Sartoris Literary Group and will be released in hardcover, softcover and ebook on December 1, 2021.

Follow on Twitter @karenhinton and on Instagram @jkarenhinton

Penis Politics is hard-hitting and unrelenting. Penis politics distorts every company, every organization, worldwide. Hinton shows that it’s time for a reset.”

Francis McInerney – leading global expert on corporate restructuring and author of six books on how to rebuild companies to compete on the fast-moving Information Cost-Velocity Curve,
the most powerful force in human history.