Rep. Jackie Speier of California has testified before the House Administration Committee’s hearing on sexual harassment in Congress that at least two currently serving U.S. congressmen are known to be serial sexual harassers. One of them even grabbed a person’s genitals on the House floor, Speier said.
In the clip below, she speaks for the women who work on the Hill, describing at least two members of Congress (one Democrat and one Republican) who have sexually harassed staffers.
In fact, there are two members, of Congress, Republican and Democrat, right now who serve. Who have been subject to review or not have been subject to review but have engaged in sexual harassment.
These harasser propositions such as, “Are you going to be a good girl?” To perpetrators exposing their genitals, to victims having their private parts grabbed on the House floor.
All they ask in return, as staff members, is to be able to work in a hostile-free work environment. They want the system fixed and the perpetrators held accountable.
Honestly, regardless of party affiliation, these members of Congress should be named. Other women who may cross their paths deserve to know the truth. Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia detailed another instance of a member of Congress exposing his member to a female staffer:
“This member asked a staffer to bring them over some materials to their residence. And a young staffer ― it was a young woman ― went there and was greeted with a member in a towel. It was a male, who then invited her in. At that point, he decided to expose himself,” Comstock said. “She left, and then she quit her job.”
“What are we doing here for women right now,” she added, “who are dealing with someone like that?”
And right on cue, at least one Republican congressman thinks he has a solution to sexual harassment on the Hill: don’t hire women.
I’m just spitballing here, but another idea would be to simply act professional toward everyone who you work with? If you can’t stop yourself from exposing your genitals to the people who work for you and with you, perhaps you need to find another career path.
The harassment isn’t limited to Hill staffers. At least four female lawmakers reported to PBS Newshour that they too had been sexually harassed. Former Republican Congresswoman Mary Bono said she experienced repeated harassment:
For years, Republican Rep. Mary Bono endured the increasingly suggestive comments from a fellow lawmaker in the House. But when the congressman approached her on the House floor and told her he’d been thinking about her in the shower, she’d had enough.
She confronted the man, who she said still serves in Congress, telling him his comments were demeaning and wrong. And he backed off.
No more. Enough is enough.