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Coming forward

U.S. senators join #MeToo movement, share sexual harassment stories

By WITW Staff on October 23, 2017

In the wake of a New York Times report detailing sexual harassment accusations against mega-producer Harvey Weinstein, dozens of women have come forth with similar allegations against Weinstein and other men in Hollywood. On Twitter, a tide of women from all walks of life have shared their own sexual harassment stories using the hashtag #MeToo. And now, female senators are speaking out.

NBC’s “Meet the Press” asked all female U.S. senators to share personal stories of harassment, if they were comfortable doing so. At least four responded, including Senator Mazie Hirono, a Democrat from Hawaii.

“Pretty much every woman that I know, myself included, has a #MeToo story,” she wrote on Twitter.

Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri, said that in the early years of her career, she asked the speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives for advice on getting her first bill out of the committee.

“And he looked at me, and he paused, and he said, ‘Well, did you bring your knee pads?’” McCaskill told NBC.

Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren recalled being harassed by a more senior colleague when she was a young law professor. The colleague, who had made inappropriate jokes and comments on her appearance, once asked Warren to come to his office. When she got there, “he slammed the door and lunged for me,” Warren said. “It’s like a bad cartoon. He’s chasing me around the desk trying to get his hands on me. And I kept saying, ‘You don’t want to do this. You don’t want to do this. I have little children at home, please don’t do this.'”

She was ultimately able to break out of the office. “I just sat and shook and thought, what had I done to bring this on?” Warren told NBC. “And I told my best friend about it. Never said a word to anyone else, but for a long time, I wore a lot of brown.”

Read the full story at The Washington Post.