"It's About Power" - Congresswomen Discuss Being Sexually Harassed By Male Colleagues

Tyler Durden's picture

The national conversation surrounding sexual harassment in the workplace shows no signs of slowing down - if anything, it is spreading from beyond the media and entertainment industries, where the revelations about alleged serial predator Harvey Weinstein triggered a wave of accusations against him and many other powerful industry figures, including directors Brett Ratner and James Toback, as well as actor Kevin Spacey.

In a stunning report published earlier today, the Associated Press reports about four Congresswomen who shared their stories of harassment by male colleagues, some of which even unfolded openly on the floor of the House.

Three of the women have since left elected office, though one - California Rep. Linda Sanchez - continues to serve. The three who left are former California Senator Barbara Boxer, former California Rep. Mary Bono (who won the seat formerly held by her late husband, Sonny Bono, after his death) and former California Rep. Hilda Solis.

As reports flow almost daily of harassment or worse by men in entertainment, business and the media, one current and three former female lawmakers tell The Associated Press that they, too, have been harassed or subjected to hostile sexual comments — by fellow members of Congress.

 

The incidents occurred years or even decades ago, usually when the women were young newcomers to Congress. They range from isolated comments at one hearing, to repeated unwanted come-ons, to lewd remarks and even groping on the House floor. Coming amid an intensifying national focus on sexual harassment and gender hostility in the workplace, the revelations underscore that no woman is immune, even at the highest reaches of government.

 

“This is about power,” said former California Sen. Barbara Boxer, after describing an incident at a hearing in the 1980s where a male colleague made a sexually suggestive comment. The colleague, using the traditional congressional parlance, said he wanted to “associate” himself with her remarks — adding afterward that he also wanted to “associate with the gentle lady."

The women declined to name their harassers - but at least two of the men continue to serve in the House. And none of the women reported what happened, and some noted it was not clear where they would lodge such a complaint."

“When I was a very new member of Congress in my early 30s, there was a more senior member who outright propositioned me, who was married, and despite trying to laugh it off and brush it aside it, would repeat. And I would avoid that member,” said Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif.

 

She added that she would warn other new female members about the lawmaker in question, but she declined to identify him, while saying he remains in Congress.

 

“I just don’t think it would be helpful” to call the lawmaker out by name, Sanchez said. “The problem is, as a member there’s no HR department you can go to, there’s nobody you can turn to. Ultimately they’re employed by their constituents."

 

Sanchez also said that a different male colleague repeatedly ogled her, and at one point touched her inappropriately on the House floor, while trying to make it appear accidental. She declined to identify the lawmaker but said he was no longer in Congress. 

Bono said she chose not to report her harasser because he stopped his demeaning behavior after Bono confronted him about it.

Bono said she ultimately confronted her colleague on the House floor after he’d made repeated harassing comments.

 

Bono, who arrived in the House at age 36 to replace her husband Sonny Bono after he died in a skiing accident, said it seemed like the lawmaker didn’t know how to talk to a woman as an equal. “Instead of being ‘how’s the weather, how’s your career, how’s your bill,’ it was ‘I thought about you while I was in the shower.’ So it was a matter of saying to him ‘That’s not cool, that’s just not cool.’"

 

Bono declined to identify the lawmaker, saying the behavior stopped after she finally challenged him. He still serves in Congress, she said.

 

“It is a man’s world, it’s still a man’s world,” Bono said. “Not being a flirt and not being a bitch. That was my rule, to try to walk that fine line."

Another lawmaker, Rep. . Jackie Speier (also of California), said she was sexually assaulted by a male of chief of staff when she was an inexperienced staffer on the Hill.

Rep. Jackie Speier of California has recently gone public with an account of being sexually assaulted by a male chief of staff while she was a congressional staffer. She has criticized the vague rules in place on the issue and is preparing legislation to mandate sexual harassment training for congressional offices, among other changes. In a video posted to Twitter last week, she called Congress “a breeding ground for a hostile work environment” and encouraged others to come forward.

 

Yet when it comes to lawmakers themselves, Speier said: “I think the women in Congress are big girls. The equalizer that exists in Congress that doesn’t exist in other settings is that we all get paid the same amount and we all have a vote, the same vote. So if you have members that are demeaning you it’s because you’re letting them."

To be sure, lawmakers have certain advantages that the women say should limit the possible repercussions of taking a stand against harassment.

Yet when it comes to lawmakers themselves, Speier said: “I think the women in Congress are big girls. The equalizer that exists in Congress that doesn’t exist in other settings is that we all get paid the same amount and we all have a vote, the same vote. So if you have members that are demeaning you it’s because you’re letting them."

One former representative went even further, saying there is no harassment in Congress because female and male lawmakers have equal power. Though academics strenuously pushed back against this notion.

Former Rep. Ellen Tauscher of California flatly argued that harassment can’t take place between members of Congress. “Female members and male members are equals, they don’t sexually harass each other,” Tauscher said.

 

In fact, the law specifies that harassment can occur between equals, said Jennifer Drobac, a professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, who teaches a course in sexual harassment law.

 

“Formally, two members of Congress may have the same status. That doesn’t change the fact that sexual harassment can occur between peers,” Drobac said, noting that numerous other factors can come into play, including the difference in age and length of service between the members, and the mere fact that men have more power in society than women.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, accusations of sexual harassment by male lawmakers have exploded into a full-blown crisis involving dozens of MPs, something that's become a major problem for Theresa May's government as it struggles to reach an agreement on the terms of the UK's exit from the European Union.

Considering the political fallout in the UK, we imagine many male lawmakers on Capitol Hill are nervously tugging at their collars this morning as they worry that more lawmakers and staffers might come forward and start naming names. With Republicans' tax-reform push looking more tenuous by the day, another scandal is the last thing the White House and its partners in Congress need right now.

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Ghost of PartysOver's picture

Kind of difficult to have any sympathy for these women when most would rather live under Muslim/Shiria Law than a Trump Presidency.

Shitonya Serfs's picture

I've been raped by all the politicians for the last 30+ years.

svayambhu108's picture

The best thing about the latest jam is that no other can enter for now

The_Juggernaut's picture

Ugh.  SHut up and get us some coffee.

Chupacabra-322's picture

Want to see the Mecca & Center of Pedophilia, Child & human trafficking & sexual abuse?

Walk the halls of these Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopaths in CONgress.

Pure Flith.

All the Hollyweird sex abuse scandals breaking daily is low information, low hanging fruit to distract.

What these Pure Vile Evil Psychopaths wont reveal are themselves in Congress.

The Elite level Pedo

Creepy_Azz_Crackaah's picture

The Rules:
1) If the woman is interested in the man it is not harassment.
2) If the woman is NOT interested in the man it IS harassment.

The rules are easy. Men - real men - are normally the pursuers of women. Men are screwed with the above rules. Just the way the femanazis want it.

IH8OBAMA's picture

The Rules:
1) If the woman is interested in the man it is not harassment.
2) If the woman is NOT interested in the man it IS harassment.

You missed sub-rule 1a.

1a) If the relationship leads to sex then the man can be deemed guilty of rape at the woman's discretion at any time in the future.

The_Juggernaut's picture

This rule only applies to libtard women.  Attractive women are cool.

SixIsNinE's picture

the DEA and drug cops squads are full of rapists and abusers.

and by that i mean there are women who rape and abuse,  it's an equal opportunity to abuse the law, and abuse men -  when they have the badge on their side and the LEOs to cover for them.

Parallel Construction is a Friend for The Women Rapists

Your time is coming Female Rapists and Abusers and Terrrrrrrists

 

For REAL, BitChEZZZ

 

mpnut's picture

It's not about "Power".. All about the "Bone"..  Human Nature of course, what else could it be.  Married or not married, if your ass is his type he's goin' for it.

Lost My Shorts's picture

Yes, it's reached the point where hitting on a woman is harassment.  Even if you don't touch.  Even if you take no for an answer.  It represents total victory in the gender war -- criminalizing being male.  Almost every man hit on someone, somewhere, sometime in the past.  So almost every man can be ruined on a whim, career ended, put on the street, any time they want.

You might notice a paradox:  on one hand there is much gnashing of teeth over the decline of western civilization.  But at the same time, when you look at where western civilization as arrived, why should it survive?  How could it?  Would you even fight for this civilization, and why?  It will all be different when the Taliban take over (which they will, inevitably.)  So what.  Houellebecq is the prophet of our age.

wildbad's picture

herassment nothing to me..

it was her tits that drove me crazy

James T. Kirk's picture

The new McCarthyism...... instead of asking if you have ever been a commie, the new question is “have you ever been a man?”

oooBooo's picture

It has reached that point.

I was watching a reaction to a you tube video of a harrassment quiz. Everything from looked at her on up was a point of harrassment.

There's a jpg circulating on social media that men should be a like a trained dog and sit and wait for permission.

Trouble is, permission, explicit permission, never comes.

Women have attacked the most productive element of western society and ripped from it any reason to  be productive. Anything a man makes is to be taken to support women. Women have no obligations to men in relationships. All socialital obligations are on men, none are on women. Women have choices. Men have obligations.

And they wonder why men are killing themselves and becoming less productive while a few here and there on 'depression' drugs flip out in violent rampages. It's the guns they say. This society is done. It attacks and punishes the prudent and productive for being prudent and productive. That's what kills a society and pushes it into grinding proverty and keeps it there.

 

 

 

Lumberjack's picture

We all ate tired of being raped and pullaged.

On that note, DC interns must have stories to tell...

I bet Barney Frank is glad he retired.

Ajax-1's picture

And they didn't even have the common coutesty to give us a reach around.

Normalcy Bias's picture

You forgot to add Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein.

But seriously, the irony of prostitutes complaining about being sexually harassed isn't lost on most of us.

 

svayambhu108's picture

If a congreswoman is powerless what about the poor women traficked from south america, eastern europe, ets

Juggernaut x2's picture

because immoral whores like the Kardashians and Katy Perry serving as role models for young women is so much better than Sharia law?

Escrava Isaura's picture

Kardashians and Trump have a lot in common such as TV personalities and alarming capability of self-promoting.

Katy Perry is an artist. Kardashians and Trump are not artists, maybe con artists, but not artists.

Sharia law as a model?

Model for what?


jcaz's picture

Wow- just when it appeared you couldn't say anything more stupid.....  

Kudos for topping even yourself,  Beaner.

HRClinton's picture

I don't know what she said, cause her face bothered me too much.

Look at her face in 2 views:  Top half and Bottom half.

The Top half (above her cheeks) looks feminine.  The Bottom half (cheeks and jaw) look decidedly masculine.  NOT sexy.  If she has a similar 1/2 and 1/2 split inside, I can see why she's a real pistol to deal with.

Smart hetero guys will avoid women like this.  Nothing but trouble, while they're still dealing with their Daddy issues in their forties and fifties.

Rainman's picture

I'm tired of these pussy riot stories. Can we please move on ?

e_goldstein's picture

They're trying to cover up the fact that most of these dudes are pedo scumbags.

Look over here, something shiny.

 

Dig Deeper1's picture

You sure.  The amusement factor in this is running high.

"“When I was a very new member of Congress in my early 30s, there was a more senior member who outright propositioned me, who was married, and despite trying to laugh it off and brush it aside it, would repeat.And I would avoid that member...""

She was really avoiding that member's member.  Now all the "members" avoid her.  

vulcanraven's picture

"Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power."

-Oscar Wilde


Now just imagine how easy it is to control those in power who have a fetish for sex with children.

Hal n back's picture

I am concered with use of the word Ogled.

I look. If I don't look I might as well be dead.

I try not to be obnoxious.

HRClinton's picture

Oscar Wilde was a fag.  Literally.

Forgive me, if I don't live by his insight or aphorisms to wisdom.

HRClinton's picture

To men, Sex is about sex.

To women, Sex is about negotiating, to "Seal the Deal".  Until they've accomplished that.  Then they move to other motives.

shimmy's picture

Were they all dumbocrats? If so, you can be sure the men they say harrassed them that they refuse to name are also dumbocrats. No way they'd stay silent if the men are republicants.

Ex-Oligarch's picture

Jackie Speier, Linda Sanchez and of course Barbara Boxer are all Democrats.
(Though I think Boxer was flattering herself that the innocuous comment reported above was "sexual harassment.")

Mary Bono is a Republican.  You will note that she is the only one whose approach to the problem was to confront the man involved, which ended the behavior that made her uncomfortable.  The others apparently prefer to play the role of helpless victims, refusing to confront the men out of deference to seniority or to some nebulous social protocol, which of course allows them to claim that all of American society is permeated by sexism and exploitation in line with the dogma of their party. 

Juggernaut x2's picture

It's actually the lead story on all of the newscasts- it helps to stay abreast of the latest brainwashing for the sheep.

Giant Meteor's picture

Geez, it appears we have another epidemic ..

Well shit, never let a good crisis go to waste ..

GreatUncle's picture

Wait until the giant meteor finally hits ... humanity will not give a dam all crisised out. /S

techpriest's picture

I remember a particular lobbyist who told me that once he earned enough money, he was moving deep to the Appalachians and never talking to anyone in politics again.

The reality is, Washington is a meat rack, and in normal times a guy with enough power will have nearly every woman say yes to whatever he says. And, according to the above lobbyist these Congressmen think of it as having "arrived," or as a perk.

I guess the guy suddenly grew a conscience in his 30s, because he got out not long after telling me that.

Milton Keynes's picture

I have a good friend who was hill staff, said the same thing.

He said "Senior personnel offered him an assigned girlfriend, and when he passed, the next day

he was offered an assigned boyfriend"... He explained that he thought both were kind offers

but he was rather preferable to finding a partner on his own.

 

He left the hill a few years later and moved to Oklahoma and does IT now.

 

 

NoWayJose's picture

Congresswomen 'too afraid'? Slap the dude across the face or kick him in the balls. If you cannot take the heat - how are you gonna represent your voters?

BurningBetty's picture

What was supposed to be cases exposing pedophilia/child trafficking is now about every single person who may have been harassed at work in high places!? Yes, it may all be connected in some way but seriously, WTF?

As an adult you have options to express yourself! If you are afraid to lose your job because you are afraid to come out and tell the truth then that's your personal problem. I guarantee you that most places suffer from sexual harassement. I am not saying it isn't a problem but let's just focus on the Moby Fucking Dicks instead of these spermlooking tadpoles! Seriously!

 

Hikikomori's picture

"It's about power" is a liberal feminist myth, because the liberal feminists are afraid to honestly examine if it's not about power.

techpriest's picture

Look at it this way: ancient emperors always kept a harem, but ancient empresses did not. This is one of the key examples to understanding masculinity and femininity.

For women, sex is about love or power, or more specifically access to powerful men. For men, sex can be about love, simple enjoyment, and also about the accomplishment of being able to attract and bed a beautiful woman.

I haven't heard of a single long-term, highly sexual relationship between a man and woman where the man was using sex to control the woman. I have heard of plenty of marginally-sexual relationships where the woman was using sex to control the man. I think the feminazis are projecting on this one.

Juggernaut x2's picture

So where does Catherine the Great banging her horse figure into this?

Ex-Oligarch's picture

As the 18th century equivalent of the DNC's pissing hooker "dossier."

Milton Keynes's picture

 haven't heard of a single long-term, highly sexual relationship between a man and woman where the man was using sex to control the woman.

 

Pimps, Prisoners and lifestyle S/M couples do...

 


Miffed Microbiologist's picture

We all want the same. Truth, Forgiveness and Love. And to be with one who loves and appreciates us as we are.

A gorgeous woman can use her looks and find safety in a powerful man. She will never be happy or satisfied. A man can fuck 1000 beautiful woman and never be happy or satisfied. Hugh Hefner said in a sad interview he had never found his soulmate looking for love in the wrong places. We get sucked into the superficially of the fancy lifestyle and not see the pain underneath. What man would not say he wanted to lead a life as Hugh Hefner?

A quiet desperation to avoid dying alone unloved, gazing as the vultures consuming what few assets remain, to which we still cling.

Miffed

Giant Meteor's picture

As always, great insight and comment ..

Well done