Regarding the Feb. 28 Metro article “Women say Assembly no ‘frat house’ ”:
As a past legislative staffer, I felt both disappointed and betrayed while reading about the letter from female legislators of the Maryland General Assembly pushing back on a recent report on sexual harassment in Annapolis. In five short paragraphs, these women I so admire managed to draw a clear divide between themselves and those affected by sexual harassment. To highlight the strides women have made, they pointed out that women make up one-third of sitting legislators in Maryland, as if equity and sexual harassment are somehow mutually exclusive. However, not once in this letter is the percentage of staffers, advocates and lobbyists in Annapolis who have reported sexual harassment mentioned. Not once are the women thanked who took time off work to tell their accounts of harassment, one of which was effectively dismissed in this letter. And not once do these lawmakers acknowledge that while they are in positions of power, most women who have experienced sexual harassment in the legislature are not.
The lawmakers state that they “have come a long way over the collective time [they] have been here — mainly because [they] stood up.” I now implore these women to stand up for those who have been sexually harassed at the General Assembly who do not have the power to stand up for themselves.
Jamie Sexton, Baltimore