Ahead of the release of her memoir, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand dished about some of the unsavory comments she endured from her colleagues after she had her first child. Here's an anecdote from a time she was working out in the House gym:
“Good thing you’re working out, because you wouldn’t want to get porky!” one of her older male colleagues said. Her response: “Thanks, a—hole,” she said in an excerpt from her book.
And here's another doozy:
An unidentified southern congressman once held the former upstate House member’s arm while walking her down the chamber’s center aisle. “You know, Kirsten, you’re even pretty when you’re fat,” he told her.
So it seems (unsurprisingly) that to be a woman in Congress is not unlike being a woman in most any other profession: There is no shortage of sexism, sexual harassment, and general insensitivity.
But we haven't even gotten to the coup de grace. Following a battle with her weight after giving birth to one of her two children, Gillibrand's efforts to lose weight did not go unnoticed:
After she dropped 50 pounds and got elected to the Senate, one of her favorite older senators walked up behind her, squeezed her waist, and intoned: “Don’t lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby.”
Congress is about 80% men, so it’s tough to even guess which older colleagues said that stuff to Gillibrand, really.— Elise Foley (@elisefoley) August 27, 2014
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.