Women in Congress ‘given spot bonuses’ for their looks
THE US Congress is the latest body to be hit by sexual harassment allegations after claims male politicians gave spot bonuses to women they considered attractive and were lecherous in lifts.
Dozens of women have spoken anonymously to The New York Times and the broadcaster CNN about their experiences in America’s law-making body. One said she was told by her boss how “hot” she was looking, but when she complained about the comment no action was taken.
Another claimed she was made to “twirl” in a dress by a congressman and was later given an unexpected $1,250 (£950) bonus. A third described how a sitting senator – who was not named – stroked the inside of her hand in the politicians-only lifts in Congress just moments after meeting.
There were also allegations that a senior senate staff member tugged on a junior aide’s dress and asked why she was “holding out” at a bar. The two reports were based on conversations with dozens of women about their experiences inside Congress.
It adds to the firestorm of allegations sweeping through the worlds of acting, modelling, media and politics after claims of sexual abuse against Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul.
There is even said to be a “creep list” of allegations against US politicians and aides circulating that is similar to the MPS list shared around Westminster.
An open letter from 1,500 former congressional aides has called for mandatory harassment training and reform of the complaints procedure.
Paul Ryan, the most senior member of the House of Representatives, last night said that congressmen would be required to get training to prevent sexual harassment in future.