Surprise: California General Assembly A Hotbed of Sexual Harassment

Looks like the elected law-making branch, which mostly consists of Democrats, and is run by Democrats, and has been for a long time, has a problem practicing what they preach

Graphic allegations about California legislator show there are few protections for female lobbyists in the Capitol

As a blunt manifesto painting the state Capitol as rife with sexual harassment and misconduct ricocheted through Sacramento this week, state leaders have begun looking into an explosive allegation of a forced sexual encounter and grappling with legislative solutions to the apparently ubiquitous culture of abuse in California politics.

The story shared by one lobbyist, Pamela Lopez, of a legislator masturbating in front of her in a bar bathroom has sparked investigations by the state Senate and Assembly. Lopez refused to disclose the legislator’s identity. There are 93 male lawmakers currently serving in Sacramento.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon has vowed to back resignation or expulsion if the perpetrator is found to be one of his members.

Lopez’s tale underscores a systemic flaw in the state’s protections for women who work in — but are not employees of — the state Capitol. Female lobbyists say they feel there are few avenues to lodge workplace complaints against legislators, staff and lobbyists with different employers. The lack of options has attracted the attention of one state senator, who said she wants to address the problem in legislation next year.

But, um,

She has steadfastly declined to name the lawmaker.

“We’re not interested in taking punitive action,” she said of herself and others speaking out publicly. “We’re interested in a comprehensive look at the masculinized ethos of California politics — how we can all collectively do better in the future.”

This is apparently the “let’s punish everyone for what one person did” approach, which kinda makes one wonder if the GA is really such a hotbed to start with. Dramatic accusations require dramatic proof. And, despite snarking on Democrats, and despite “other lobbyists saying inappropriate touching and suggestive comments are commonplace in the job”, no one is naming names, no one is actually filing complaints. At the end of the day, people, even Democrats, are innocent till proven guilty.

Even the LA Times Editorial Board jumped in

Among those who added their voices and stories are more than 140 female legislators, lobbyists and political staffers in Sacramento who signed a letter this week saying that sexual harassment is pervasive in the state capital. “Each of us has endured, or witnessed or worked with women who have experienced some form of dehumanizing behavior by men with power in our workplaces,” the letter reads. “Men have groped and touched us without our consent, made inappropriate comments about our bodies and our abilities. Insults and sexual innuendo, frequently disguised as jokes, have undermined our professional positions and capabilities. Men have made promises, or threats, about our jobs in exchange for our compliance, or our silence. They have leveraged their power and positions to treat us however they would like.”

Again, the problem here is no one is named. This is just a blanket statement that looks to scapegoat all males.

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