‘My dear honey’

GOP congressman in hot water over claims that sexual harassment law is ‘ridiculous’

U.S. Congressman Jason Lewis of Minnesota speaking at a Trump rally earlier this month. (Twitter)

Former radio host and current U.S. Representative Jason Lewis, a Republican from Minnesota, is in a tough re-election battle that is only growing more hotly contested after it was revealed that he had repeatedly used his radio show to rail against sexual harassment law as “ridiculous” and “unconstitutional.” During 2011 broadcast of The Jason Lewis Show dug up by CNN, Lewis mocked women who accused then-Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexually harassing them in the workplace during his time as president of the National Restaurant Association.

“I don’t want to be callous here, but how traumatizing was it? How many women at some point in their life have a man come on to them, place their hand on their shoulder or maybe even their thigh, kiss them, and they would rather not have it happen, but is that really something that’s going to be seared in your memory that you’ll need therapy for?” Lewis asked rhetorically.

“You’ll never get over? It was the most traumatizing experience?” he continued, using a bizarre mock imitation of a woman’s voice. “Come on! She wasn’t raped.”

In other comments, he complained that he wasn’t allowed to call women “sluts” — an argument he later justified by saying that he was paid to be controversial, and that he personally always tried to teach his daughters not to “behave in a way that people would look down upon you.” The embattled congressman has also taken heat for comments in which he bemoaned the fact that he wasn’t allowed to call women “honey, sweetheart, dear” in the office, despite the fact that he got away with it regularly on the radio. In an argument with an anarchist who called into his show, he called her “my dear honey” while issuing a rambling monologue about how sexual harassment laws governing speech were, in his opinion, a violation of the First Amendment.

According to Title Seven of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines workplace harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature” as well as “offensive comments about women in general.”

Listen to an excerpt of Lewis’ comments below.

Read the full story at CNN.

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